Organizational Behaviour

Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory

Think and Grow Rich

Hertzberg’s Two Factor Theory, also known as the Motivation-Hygiene Theory. This theory was derived from a study designed to test the concept that people have two sets of needs, They are:

  • Their needs as animals to avoid pain.
  • Their needs as humans to grow psychologically.

Hertzberg Study

Hertzberg’s study consisted of a series of interviews that sought to elicit responses to the Questions:
Recall a time when you felt exceptionally good about your job. Why did you feel that way about the job? Did this feeling affect your job performance in any way? Did this feeling have an impact on your personal relationships or your wellbeing?

Recall a time on the job that resulted in negative feelings? Describe the sequence of events that resulted in these negative feelings.

Research Result

It appeared from the research, that the things making people happy on the job and those making them unhappy had two separate themes.

Satisfaction (Motivation):

Five factors stood out as strong determiners of job satisfaction:

  • Achievement
  • Recognition
  • Work Itself
  • Responsibility
  • Advancement

The last three factors were found to be most important for bringing about lasting changes of attitude. Recognition refers to recognition for achievement as opposed to recognition in the human relations sense.

Dissatisfaction (Hygiene):

The determinants of Job dissatisfaction were found to be:

  • Company Policy
  • Administrative Policies
  • Supervision
  • Salary
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Working Conditions

From the results, Hertzberg concluded that the replies people gave when they felt good about their jobs were significantly different from the replies given when they felt bad. Certain characteristics tend to be consistently related to job satisfaction and others to job dissatisfaction.

Intrinsic factors,

such as work itself, responsibility and achievement seem to be related to job satisfaction. Respondents who felt good about their work tended to attribute these factors to themselves. Dissatisfied respondents tended to mention extrinsic factors such as supervision, pay, and company policies and working condition. ” ‘

According to Hertzberg,

The factors leading to Job satisfaction are separate and distinct from those that lead to job dissatisfaction. Therefore, managers who seek to eliminate factors that can create job dissatisfaction may bring about peace but not necessarily motivation. They will be placating their workforce rather than motivating them.

As a result, conditions surrounding the job such as quality of supervision, pay, company policies, physical working conditions relations with others and job security were characterized by Hertzberg as hygiene factors, when they are adequate, people will not be dissatisfied; neither will they be satisfied.

If we want to motivate people on their jobs, Hertzberg suggested emphasizing factors associated with the work itself or to outcomes directly derived from it, such as promotional opportunities, opportunities for personal growth, recognition, responsibility, and achievement. These are the characteristics that people find intrinsically rewarding.

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