Herzberg's Motivation Theory

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Herzberg’s Motivation Theory John O’ Donnell

“Frederick Herzberg an American psychologist was convinced that the way work was being organised in organisations was not promoting welfare or happiness for their employees. In his research in the 1950s and 60s he set out to understand employee satisfaction and the effect of attitude on motivation. In Pittsburgh USA in 1959 Herzberg and his research team surveyed two hundred engineers and accountants, they asked them to describe what was good and bad about the organisations that they had worked in order to ascertain what factors led to satisfaction or dissatisfaction in the workplace. In 1968 the same survey was carried out extending the participants to include to include manual and clerical groups, the results were very similar. From this research Herzberg concluded that certain factors lead towards job satisfaction, while others often led to dissatisfaction. The factors leading to satisfaction he called motivators and the factors leading to dissatisfaction he called hygiene factors. “He called them hygiene factors because they helped to prevent dissatisfaction only when it was present but do not lead to satisfaction as hygiene prevents disease when present but does not add to well being.” (One More Time, Fredric Herzberg ) The most important motivators were, Achievement, Recognition, Work Itself, Responsibility, and Advancement. Herzberg’s research showed that these factors were very closely related to the content of work, with its intrinsic interest, challenge and the employees responses which were generated by them. The most significant hygiene factors were Company policy and administration, Supervision, Salary, Interpersonal relations and Working conditions. Herzberg pointed out that these factors related to the context or work environment then its content. When these factors ran in line with employee requirements they could...
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