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Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation

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Everything you need to know about Herzberg’s two factor theory of motivation.

Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory is a “content theory” of motivation” Needs priority, to a great extent, characterizes the types of behavior. A research study was conducted by Frederick.

Herzberg of Case-Western reserve University and associates. This study consisted of an intensive analysis of the experiences and feeling of 200 Engineers and accountants in 9 different companies in Pittsburg area, U.S.A.

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Herzberg concluded that there were two categories of needs essentially independent of each other affecting behavior indifferent ways. His findings are that there are some job conditions which operate primarily to dis-satisfy employees when the conditions are absent, their presence does not motivate them in a strong way.

Learn about:- 1. Hygiene Factors 2. Motivational Factors 3. Objectives 4. Critical Appreciation 5. Comparison between Maslow and Herzberg Models.


Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation

Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation – Maintenance and Motivational Factors and Criticism

In the late fifties, interviews of 200 engineers and accountants of Pittsburg area of U.S. were conducted by an American psychologist Frederick Herzberg and his associates. In this study, people were asked about their good and bad work experiences and elements related to these experiences.

The analysis of replies of these persons revealed that the elements of good and bad experience were not the same. Bad experiences or feelings of unhappiness or dissatisfaction came from the environment in which they work, while good experiences or feelings of happiness or satisfaction came from factors related to job.

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According to Herzberg maintenance or hygiene factors are to maintain good working environment. Presence of these factors does not satisfy people but their absence dissatisfies them. These are dissatisfiers not the satisfiers.

Examples of maintenance factors are- company policy, salary, job security, status, working conditions, etc.

On the other hand, motivational factors are related to job characteristics. Presence or increase in these satisfies persons and improves efficiency, their absence or decrease in these does not dissatisfy.

Maintenance and Motivational Factors:

Maintenance/Hygiene Factors:

i. Company policy

ii. Salary

iii. Job security

iv. Status

v. Working conditions

vi. Relationship with supervisor

vii. Relationship with peers.

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Motivational Factors:

i. Responsibility

ii. Recognition

iii. Growth

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iv. Promotion opportunities

v. Self-development

Herzberg pointed that motivational factors and maintenance factors are single directional. They effect in only one direction.

Herzberg clarified that both maintenance factors and motivational factors can motivate the employees.

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For a maintenance seeker, who is motivated by environment, maintenance factors may act as a motivator and for motivation seeker, who is motivated by the quality of work, motivational factors act as motivator.

Herzberg’s theory has been criticised on following basis:

1. Theory is based on survey of 200 employees who were engineers or accountants. So theory cannot be generalised because sample size is too small and only two occupations cannot represent entire workforce. This theory is more applicable to white collar workers.

2. The study was about extremely good or bad work experiences of people, it does not provide the comprehensive view about actual condition.

3. Categorisation of motivational and maintenance factors is a difficult task. One factor may be maintenance factor for one person and same may be motivational factor for others.

4. Satisfaction does not necessarily mean motivation. Deliberate efforts are required to link the both. The theory is a simplified portrayal of motivation process.


Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation – Two Dimensions of Motivation: Hygiene Factors and Motivational Factors

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Frederick Herzberg, Professor and Chairman, Psychology Department at Chase, Western Reserve University, Pitsburg, USA and author of “Work and Nature of Man” (World publishing Co. USA, 1966), in late 1950’s undertook intensive study of 200 engineers from 11 different companies in Pitsburgh, USA on Maslow’s ‘Motivation’ need priority model, especially on esteem and self-actualization needs.

Ensuing the study, Herzberg inferred that there are two factors of motivation- (i) Hygiene factors and (ii) Motivational factors. This set many guidelines for management and its efforts in ineffective utilisation of human resources. The theory developed out of his study is known as- “Motivation Maintenance Theory” or “Motivation Hygiene Theory” and also called as “Two-Factor Theory of Motivation.” Now, let us analyse these.

The idea of quite a few management personalities that money is the only motivation was changed by Herzberg’s theory of motivation. He made scientific achievement in this regard.

According to him, motivation has two dimensions:

(i) The factors that can cause dissatisfaction if present-Herzberg called them “Hygiene Factors”, and

(ii) Those, which lead to positive attitude and motivation, if they are present; and in their absence they lead to a negative attitude. They are called “Motivational Factors”.

1. Hygiene Factors:

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These are called ‘Maintenance’ factors also. When the presence of these factors may not significantly motivate an employee, the absence of such factors can cause serious dissatisfaction. For example, these factors are wages, fringe benefits, working conditions, company policy, administration and supervision.

When these physiological and security needs are achieved, dissatisfaction disappears in an individual. A point to be noted is that ‘no positive’ attitude or motivation takes place in an individual. This, according to Herzberg’s hygiene factors, prevents dissatisfaction but do not act as incentives (satisfiers).

2. Motivational Factors:

These are directly are related to work itself. The presence of these factors leads to a highly motivating situation. However, their absence does not create any dissatisfaction. The motivational factors include-recognition on achievement, advancement of work itself, possibility of growth and development and responsibility.

Factors like achievement and responsibility are related to the work itself and others are derived from it. These factors are called motivators or satisfiers. They are job centered and related to job contents.

Herzberg’s model has been applied to the industry and it has given new hopes and avenues. One of these avenues is ‘job enrichment’. It is the activity to improve the job in a way that there are more motivators. The main principle behind job enrichment is to keep Hygiene (maintenance) factors high while increasing motivational factors.

Job enrichment is entirely different from job enlargement. The purpose of job enlargement is to make the job to become complex in nature and different altogether so as to help avoid monotony. Job enrichment aspects motivate more by attaching greater responsibility and become challenging so that workers get job satisfaction from his performance.

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Only a challenging job can provide job satisfaction. Herzberg’s motivation factors are fully related to job content. The main theme of his theory is that a worker gets real satisfaction from his job itself. When we consider the Indian conditions, the workers attach greater importance to job security due to the fact that job opportunities are limited because of a large number of aspirants.

When we compare Maslow and Herzberg’s models, we find a particular difference of motivation between the two. Maslow puts forward his view that any unsatisfied need, whether of lower or higher order can motivate individuals. Therefore the theory has a universality in its application. It can be applicable to lower level employees as well as the higher level executives.

The fact remains clear in underdeveloped countries due to a lack of socio-economic progress. Even lower order needs are not yet satisfied by a vast majority of working class. Such needs are still considered as strong motivating factors.

As per Herzberg theory, these are hygiene factors and fail to motivate workers. While applying any motivation theory, socio-economic conditions and standard of living of the working class needs to be taken into consideration, so as to help get better results through motivation.


Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation – Factors and Objectives

Another study of motivation based on what people want, and what motivates them was developed by Frederick Herzberg of case-western Reserve University. He conducted a study on 200 engineers and accountants in nine different companies in Pittsburgh area, USA.

The research approach was built around situation in which respondents found their job “exceptionally good” or “exceptionally bad”. This approach has been repeated many times with a variety of job holders in various countries. The results indicated that recognition led to a “good feeling” and the lack of recognition reflect in the form of “bad feeling”. He concluded that when people feel good about their jobs they are satisfied.

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They mentioned features intrinsic to the job. On the other hand when they were dissatisfied, feel bad about their jobs, they tend to give extrinsic factors as the main reasons. Herzberg called these Motivation and maintenance factors respectively. Therefore this theory is also called Dual factor theory of the motivation – Hygiene theory of motivation.

(i) Motivational Factors:

These factors are associated with positive feelings of employees about the job. The achievement and responsibilities are related to job itself, the employee’s performance. Motivators mostly are job centered and are also called job content factors. Absence of these will not lead to dissatisfaction but a lesser degree of satisfaction. They are also called intrinsic because there is a direct connection between work and rewards. An employee in this situation is self-motivated.

(ii) Maintenance Factors:

These factors are mainly related to job context because they are more related to the environment surrounding of the job. They avoid pain in the environment. Therefore they are also called Hygiene factors including company policy and administration, supervisory practice, working conditions, salary and wages and interpersonal relationship on the job.

They are also called extrinsic factors provided no direct satisfaction at the time of work is performed such as retirements, health, insurance and vacation, etc. for many years managers had been wondering why their fancy policies and fringe benefit were not increasing employees motivation because they are maintenance factors according to Herzberg. They produce no growth in worker output.

Keith Davis says; “Motivators are job oriented; they relate to job content….. maintenance factors are mostly environment centred; they are related to job context.”

According to Dumette, Cumette, Campbell and Haked (1967) this theory has accomplished three important objectives:

(a) It has discovered those features of job situation that make the difference between satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

(b) Unlike the tradition of most previous research it emphasizes those job features that lead to change in feelings towards the job.

(c) It developed a taxonomy of job situations consisting of satisfying and dissatisfying features. Satisfying features which the employees would like to attain and the dissatisfying features that they would like to avoid;

Herzberg’s theory has been criticized by many authors basically on the point of the factors leading to satisfaction and dissatisfaction are really different from each other. However, this model applies best to managerial, professional, and upper level white collar employees. It provides a useful distinction between maintenance items that are necessary and motivational factors that have potential for improving employee’s effectiveness.


Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation

Managers are not in a position to understand why their fancy personal policies and fringe benefits offered by them were not increasing employee motivation on the job. For this Fredric Herzberg has provided an interesting extension to Maslow’s need hierarchy theory and developed a specific content theory of work motivation. This theory is known as Dual Factor Theory and the motivation-hygiene theory of motivation.

This theory’s approach is very simple and built around the question- “Think of a time when you felt exceptionally good or exceptionally bad about your job, either your present job or other job you have had.” This approach has been repeated many times with a variety of jobholders in various countries. The result indicated that when people talked about feeling good or satisfied they mentioned features intrinsic to the job and when people talked about feeling dissatisfied with the job they talked about factors extrinsic to the job. Herzberg called these Motivation and Maintenance factors respectively.

Hygiene Factors:

Hygiene Factors, when absent, increase dissatisfaction with the job. When present, help in preventing dissatisfaction but do not increase satisfaction or motivation. Hygiene factors represent the need to avoid pain in the environment. They are not intrinsic part of a job, but they are related to the condition under which the job a job is performed.

They are associated with negative feelings. They are environment related factors-hygiene. They must be viewed as preventive measures that remove sources of dissatisfaction from the environment. These factors are- Environmental, external to job, prevent dissatisfaction, and zero level motivation if maintained, never satisfied completely and money is most important hygiene factor.

Motivators:

Motivators are associated with positive feelings of employees about the job. They make people satisfied with their job. If managers wish to increase motivation and performance above the average level, they must enrich the work and increase a person’s freedom on the job. Motivators are necessary to keep job satisfaction and job performance high.

On the other hand, if they are not present they do not prove highly satisfying. Motivators are content factors affect satisfaction and spur individuals to superior performance. Herzberg advised job enlargement and job enrichment. He wanted jobs to be made more interesting, meaningful and challenging. His theory is very appealing to practicing managers.

In addition to the above, many more theories are available in management literature, which deals with motivation theory. They are- (a) Achievement Theory of David C.Mc Celland, (b) Expectancy/valence Theory of victor Vroom, (c) Porter and Lawler’s Model, (d) Adam’s Equity Theory, (e) Gillerman on Motivation, (f) Path-Goal Hypothesis and (g) Employee-Centered Approach of Likert.


Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation – Criticisms and Comparison of Maslow’s and Herzberg’s Models

Maslow’s theory has been modified by Herzberg and he called it two-factor theory of motivation. According to him, the first group of needs are things such as company policy and administration, supervision, working conditions, interpersonal relations, salary, status, job security and personal life. Herzberg called these factors as ‘dissatisfiers’ and not motivators. By this, he means that their presence or existence does not motivate in the sense of yielding satisfaction, but their absence would result in dissatisfaction.

In the second group are the satisfiers, in the sense that they are motivators. These factors are related to ‘job content.’ He included the factors like achievement, recognition, challenging work, advancement and growth in this category. Presence of these factors will yield feelings of satisfaction.

Frederick Herzberg’s theory is also called motivation-hygiene theory. Herzberg believed that individual’s relation to work is a basic one. Individual’s attitude towards work determines his/her success or failure on the job. Herzberg conducted a study by asking the question: What do people want from their jobs? He asked the respondents to describe situations or events when they felt exceptionally good and bad about their jobs. The responses of the respondents are tabulated as presented in Exhibit 15.3.

Herzberg concluded that the replies of the good feeling of the jobs of the respondents are significantly different from those of the bad feelings of the jobs of the respondents. Factors on the right side of the exhibit tend to be related to job satisfaction motivational factor and the factors on the left side of the exhibit tend to be related to job dissatisfaction maintenance factors.

Factors contributed to job satisfaction in the order of their significance include- achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility, advancement and growth. Those respondents, when they felt good about their job, attributed to these factors.

In contrast, when they felt bad about their jobs, they attributed the following factors for being bad on their jobs. These factors in the order of their significance include: company policy and administration, supervision, relationship with supervisor, work conditions, salary, and relationship with peers, personal life, and relationship with subordinates, status and security (Exhibit 15.3).

Criticisms:

This theory suffers from the following criticisms:

i. The procedure used by Herzberg is limited by its methodology;

ii. The reliability of the methodology used by Herzberg is questioned;

iii. The conclusions of this theory are related to job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction. Therefore, it is not a theory on motivation;

iv. This theory does not provide measurement to find out the total job satisfaction or job dissatisfaction;

v. This theory ignores situational variables; and

vi. Herzberg did not cover the relationship between job satisfaction and productivity, though he assumed that there is a relationship between these two factors.

However, this theory significantly contributes to the literature on motivation and this theory is known by most of the practising managers. The practising managers practise this theory in motivating their subordinates.

Comparison of Maslow’s and Herzberg’s Models:

If we compare Herzberg and Maslow’s models, we can see that Herzberg’s theory is not much different from that of Maslow. Most of the maintenance factors of Herzberg come under low level needs of Maslow. Maslow says when the lower level needs are satisfied, they stop being motivators and what Herzberg says is the same in the sense that they are maintenance factors (not motivators).

But one particular difference that can be talked off here is that Maslow emphasizes that any unsatisfied need, whether of lower or higher level, will motivate people and Herzberg clearly identifies certain needs and calls them as maintenance factors which can never be motivators.


Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation – Factors, Critical Appreciation and Comparison of Maslow and Herzberg Models

Frederick Herzberg (1959) extended the work of Maslow and developed a specific content theory of work motivation. He conducted a widely reported study on about 200 accountants and engineers from eleven industries in the Pittsburgh area. He used the critical incident method of obtaining data for analysis.

He asked them two questions:

(1) When did you feel particularly good about your job-what turned you on?

and

(2) When did you feel exceptionally bad about your job-what turned you off?

He then asked them to describe the conditions that led to these feelings.

Herzberg found that employees named different types of conditions for good and bad feelings. His study revealed that the factors responsible for job satisfaction are quite different from the factors that led to dissatisfaction. Reported good feelings were generally associated with job experiences and job content.

Reported good feelings, on the other hand, were generally associated with the surroundings or peripheral aspects of the job- the job context. These two feelings were not obverse of each other. If a person was satisfied with his job in a particular condition, the absence of such condition would not mean job dissatisfaction, but it might be called no job satisfaction.

Similarly, opposite of job dissatisfaction is not job satisfaction but it might be no job dissatisfaction.

Thus, Herzberg suggests that the opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction, as was traditionally believed. Removing dissatisfying characteristics from a job does not necessarily make the job satisfying.

Herzberg’s theory is based on a two-factor hypothesis, that is, factors leading to job satisfaction and factors leading to job dissatisfaction.

The factors so identified were classified by him into two categories:

1. Motivational factors and

2. Hygiene or Maintenance factors.

1. Motivational Factors:

These factors are related directly to the job itself. The presence of such factors creates a highly motivating situation, but their absence does not cause dissatisfaction. People always respond positively with the presence of such factors.

Herzberg mentioned six motivational factors as:

(i) Recognition

(ii) Advancement

(iii) Responsibility

(iv) Achievement

(v) Possibility of growth

(vi) Work itself.

Factors like achievement and responsibility are related to job itself and others are secured from it. This set of factors has been designated as motivators or satisfiers and they are job-centred factors related to job contents.

2. Maintenance Factors:

This set of factors is such that their presence did not significantly motivate the employees but the absence of these factors caused serious dissatisfaction. The presence of such factors prevents dissatisfaction and maintains a certain level of motivation but any reduction in the availabilities of these factors is likely to affect motivation and bring down the level of performance.

For instance, an increase of Rs. 10 in the salary of a person does not mean much but reduction of Rs. 10 from his salary may upset him and is likely to cause dissatisfaction. Maintenance factors mostly are related to environment, outside the job.

Herzberg named ten maintenance factors as:

(i) Company policy and administration

(ii) Technical supervision

(iii) Interpersonal relations with subordinates

(iv) Salary

(v) Job security

(vi) Personal life

(vii) Working conditions

(viii) Status

(ix) Interpersonal relations with supervisors

(x) Interpersonal relations with peers/colleagues

Hygiene or maintenance factors are the context factors. They provide a background on which people work. They create an atmosphere for doing work, but there is nothing them that would motivate them. According to Herzberg, they can dissatisfy by their absence but they cannot satisfy by their presence.

Critical Appreciation of Herzberg’s Model:

Herzberg has made an important contribution in the field of work motivation and job satisfaction. He has extended the applicability of Maslow’s theory into the actual organizational setting. His major contribution is that of drawing attention of the managements to the fact that for ensuring efficiency on the part of the employees, motivators also have to be paid attention to, in addition to the hygiene factors.

Implications of this theory are far-reaching as they insist that the key to motivation lies in structuring meaningful jobs, jobs that are challenging and rewarding, if the possibility of growth exists in them, if they provide sense of achievement, recognition and responsibility. Thus, this theory made the managers responsive to the intrinsic factors instead of extrinsic factors of motivation.

Herzberg’s work has been very influential. It played an important part in encouraging organizations to enrich jobs, to make them more complex, more demanding in skill and to increase the degree of control the worker has over his environment and work activities.

The relevance of this theory in the present context is that it is interesting work and achievement that sustains high commitment and performance. Pay may get people to work but excitement turns them on once they are there.

Criticism:

Herzberg is criticized on the grounds of the limitations of critical incident method which he followed. When things are going well, people tend to take credit themselves. Contrarily, they blame failure on the external environment.

Critics also claim that this theory is method-bound. Results are not similar by using other method. Also, using the critical incidents method may cause people to recall only the most recent experiences. The “recovery of events” bias is embedded in the methodology.

Comparison of Maslow and Herzberg Models:

Herzberg’s framework seems compatible with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow refers to the needs or motives, while Herzberg seems to deal with goals or incentives that tend to satisfy those needs. For instance, money and fringe benefits tend to satisfy needs at the physiological and security levels.

Interpersonal relations and supervision are examples of hygiene factors that tend to satisfy social needs. Increased responsibility, challenging work, and growth and development are motivators that tend to satisfy needs at the esteem and self-actualization levels.

Hygiene factors are roughly equivalent to Maslow’s lower order needs and the motivational factors are somewhat equivalent to higher-order needs.

However, there is a significant difference in both models in the sequential arrangements. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is sequentially ordered in terms of needs arrangements. Herzberg’s model does not have any such hierarchical arrangements. Maslow believes that any need can be motivator if it is relatively unsatisfied. On the contrary, Herzberg believes that only higher order needs serve as motivators.

Unfortunately, neither model provides an appropriate link between organizational goals and individual need satisfaction. Both fail to handle the question of individual differences in motivation.

Herzberg can be said to be the father of job design theory which got developed more completely by Hackman and his associates. Hackman and Oldham Job Characteristic Model is important since it insists that good job design will lead to internal motivation of the workers and result in good job performance and employee satisfaction.


Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation – With Shortcomings and Conclusion

Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory is a “content theory” of motivation” Needs priority, to a great extent, characterizes the types of behavior. A research study was conducted by Frederick. Herzberg of Case-Western reserve University and associates. This study consisted of an intensive analysis of the experiences and feeling of 200 Engineers and accountants in 9 different companies in Pittsburg area, U.S.A.

Herzberg concluded that there were two categories of needs essentially independent of each other affecting behavior indifferent ways. His findings are that there are some job conditions which operate primarily to dis-satisfy employees when the conditions are absent, their presence does not motivate them in a strong way.

Another set of job conditions operates primarily to build strong motivation and high job satisfaction, but their absence carely proves strongly dissatisfying. According to Herzberg, factors that give real satisfaction to an individual are motivators.

The theory is classified into two factors:

A. Hygienic or Maintenance Factors:

1. Fair co-policy and administration

2. Supervisor knows the work

3. Supervisors relationship

4. Peers relationship

5. Fair salary

6. Job security

7. Subordinates relationship

8. Personal life

9. Status

10. Good working condition

(i) Concerned basically with job environment.

(ii) Extrinsic to the work itself.

(iii) Leads to High Job dissatisfaction

(iv) The maintenance seekers tend to be more concerned with factors surrounding the job such as supervision; working conditions, pay etc.

B. Motivators:

Factors that give satisfaction (feeling of achievement, significance of growth)-

1. Opportunity to accomplish something significant.

2. Recognition.

3. Chance for development

4. Opportunity to grow

5. Chance for increased responsibility

6. The job/work itself

(i) Motivators or Growth Factors – Concerned with job content. Intrinsic to the work itself.

(ii) Leads to High Job satisfaction

(iii) The motivation seekers generally are individuals who are primarily motivated by the satisfier’s such as advancement, achievement and other factors associated with work itself.

The Shortcomings of Herzberg’s Theory:

1. Infact job satisfaction and dis-satisfaction are two opposite points on a single continuum Individuals on the job are affected by any change either in the job environment or in the job content.

2. Herzberg model is method bound and a number of other methods used for similar study have shown different results not supporting his contentions other the theory has limitation is general acceptability.

3. This theory does not attach much importance to pay, status, or inter-personal relationships which are help generally as important contents of satisfaction.

Conclusion:

According to Herzberg, management should focus on rearranging work so that motivator factors can take effect.


Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation – Hygiene Factors, Motivating Factors, Critical Analysis and Comparison

Based on research study, Herzberg has concluded that there are two categories of factors emerging from job conditions: hygiene factors and motivating factors. Because of categorization of various factors into two groups, this theory is also known as two factors theory.

Various hygiene and motivating factors as follows:

i. Hygiene Factors:

Hygiene factors (also known as maintenance factors) are those factors which are not intrinsic parts of a job, but they are related to conditions under which a job is performed. These factors are company policy and administration, technical supervision, interpersonal relationship with supervisors, interpersonal relationship with peers, interpersonal relationship with subordinates, salary, job security, personal life, working conditions, and status.

These factors are not motivating factors but these only prevent low work performance due to work restrictions. These factors are necessary to maintain at a reasonable level of satisfaction in employees. Any increase beyond this level will not provide any satisfaction to the employees; however, any cut below this level will dissatisfy them. As such, these are also called as dissatisfiers.

ii. Motivating Factors:

Motivating factors are those factors which are related to a job. These factors are achievement, recognition, advancement, work itself, possibility of growth, and responsibility. These are capable of having a positive effect on job performance. An increase in these factors will satisfy the employees; however, any decrease will not affect their level of satisfaction. Therefore, these factors are known as satisfiers. Since these factors increase level of satisfaction in the employees, these can be used in motivating them for higher performance.

Herzberg maintains that potency of various factors is not entirely a function of the factors themselves. It is also influenced by the personality characteristics of the individuals. From this point of view, individuals may be classified into two groups — motivation seekers and maintenance seekers. The motivation seekers generally are individuals who are primarily motivated by the ‘satisfiers’. On the other hand, the maintenance seekers tend to be more concerned with ‘dissatisfiers’.

Critical Analysis of the Theory:

Herzberg’s theory is based on the assumption that most of the people are able to satisfy their lower order needs considerably. As such, they are not motivated by any further addition of satisfaction of these needs. This is true which has been supported by many research studies. Herzberg’s theory has been applied in the industry and has given several new insights. One of these insights is job enrichment. The idea behind job enrichment is to keep maintenance factors constant or higher while increasing motivating factors.

However, Herzberg’s theory is not applicable in all conditions which has been substantiated by various research studies. Therefore, classification of various job factors into maintenance and motivating is not universal. This classification can only be made on the basis of level of persons’ need satisfaction and relative strength of their various needs.

Thinkers on the subject have argued against the theory as follows:

i. Job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are two opposite points on a single continuum. Individuals on the job are affected by any change either in the job environment or in the job content.

ii. Herzberg’s theory is ‘method bound’, and a number of other methods used for similar study have shown different results not supporting his contentions. Thus, the theory has limitations in general acceptability.

iii. This theory does not attach much importance to pay, status, or interpersonal relationships which are held generally as important contents of satisfaction.

Comparison of Maslow and Herzberg Theories:

When theories of Maslow and Herzberg are compared, it can be seen that both the theories focus their attention on the same relationship, that is, what motivates an individual. Maslow has given it in terms of need hierarchy while Herzberg has put factors affecting satisfaction of human needs into two categories- maintenance and motivating.

Maslow’s physiological, security, and social needs come under Herzberg’s maintenance factors while self-actualization comes under motivating factors. There are some divisions of esteem needs: status under maintenance factors while advancement and recognition under motivational factors. However, there is a basic difference between the two theories.

Maslow emphasizes that any unsatisfied need, whether of lower order or higher order, will motivate individuals. Thus, it has universal application. It can be applied to lower-level workers as well as higher-level managers. In underdeveloped countries, where even lower order needs are not reasonably satisfied because of lack of socio-economic development, such needs are motivating factors. According to Herzberg, these are hygiene factors and fail to motivate employees.


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