Herzbergs Two Factor Theory

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Frederick Herzberg Pages: 11 (3792 words) Published: June 24, 2013
Motivation is an important driver in an organisation and is crucial to the management of intellectual capital. Motivation underlies what employees choose to do (quality and/or quantity), how much effort they will put into accomplishing the task, and how long they will work in order to accomplish it. Employees who are motivated will work more effectively and efficiently and shape an organisation’s behavior. A motivated workforce will have a strong effect on an organisation’s bottom line. Motivation is strongly tied to job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is how individuals feel about the tasks they are supposed to accomplish and may also be influenced by the physical and social nature of the workplace. The more satisfied employees are with their jobs, the more motivated they will be to do their jobs well. There are several important studies relating to motivation. These include Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Frederick Herzberg’s study of hygiene and motivational factors, Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y, Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Theory, and J. Stacy Adams’ Equity Theory. It is worth noting that the paper will give some highlights of the above mentioned theories so as to give a bigger picture on the subject of motivation, further the paper will give brief definitions of some key concepts such as motivation and job satisfaction. It is also important to state here that the paper will restrict itself to the two factor theory by giving a brief explanation on the theory and then zero in on each of the hygiene factors in detail after which the position of the author on the subject under discussion will be outlined and the conclusion shall follow with the bibliography.


As posited by Vroom (1964), the word "motivation" is derived from the Latin word movere, which means "to move". Motivation is an internal force, dependent on the needs that drive a person to achieve. Schulze and Steyn (2003) affirmed that in order to understand people's behaviour at work, managers or supervisors must be aware of the concept of needs or motives, which will help "move" their employees to act. Locke (1976) defines job satisfaction as the positive emotional state stemming from valuation of a person’s experience associated with the job. Job satisfaction is associated with salary, occupational stress, empowerment, company and administrative policy, achievement, personal growth, relationship with others, and the overall working condition. It has been argued that an increase in job satisfaction increases worker productivity (Wright & Cropanzano, 1997; Shikdar & Das, 2003). Therefore, job satisfaction has a major effect on people's lives. Locke (1976) indicated that job satisfaction most commonly affects a person's physical health, mental health and social life whereby people who are satisfied with their jobs will tend to be happy with their lives. Breed and Breda (1997) indicated that job satisfaction may affect absenteeism, complaints, and labour unrest. In view of this, satisfied workers will be much more productive and be retained within the organisation for a longer period, in contrast to displeased workers who will be less useful and who will have a greater tendency to quit their jobs (Crossman, 2003). More importantly, satisfied workers not only perform better but also provide better service to customers, which could result in improving customer satisfaction.

It is assumed that motivation and satisfaction are very similar and that, in many cases, they are considered to be synonymous terms. According to Hersey and Blanchard (1988), motivation and satisfaction are quite different from each other in terms of reward and performance. The authors point out that motivation is influenced by forward-looking perceptions about the relationship between performance and rewards, whereas satisfaction involves how people feel about the rewards they have received. In other words,...

Bibliography: 3) Productivity (Wright & Cropanzano, 1997; Shikdar & Das, 2003).
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8) Hyun, Sungmin, "Re-examination of Herzberg 's Two-Factor Theory of Motivation in the Korean Army Foodservice Operation"(2009). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. Paper 10510.
9) Locke, E. A. (1976). The nature and causes of job satisfaction: Handbook in
industrial and organizational psychology
10) Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and Motivation, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY.
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