Saturday, May 28, 2011

Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation

This blogpost by the team of would help our readers understand about Herzberg’s two factors theory of motivation. What motivates and provide job satisfaction to employees has always been an important question in the management world. There are many theories on employee motivation like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Herzberg’s theory of motivation, Equity theory of motivation, Alderfer’s ERG Theory etc.

Herzberg provided a two factor theory of motivation explaining what motivates employees in the workplace. According to him, there are two factors, hygiene factors and motivators that influence job satisfaction. He defined motivators’ factor as those factors by which employees of an organization are satisfied and achieve a physiological growth. There are different motivators’ factors such as recognition, responsibility, achievement, advancement and work (Duening and Ivancevich 2003). On the other hand, hygiene factors are those factors that result in dissatisfaction of employees. There are also different hygiene factors such as salary, working condition, policies and administration of companies and interpersonal relation (Duening and Ivancevich 2003).

Herzberg differentiated between physiological and psychological needs of employees and mentioned that once the physiological needs of the employees are satisfied, psychological needs like sense of achievement and growth becomes very important for them. So while designing human resource policies of the company, it is very important for the companies to consider both physiological and psychological needs.

Herzberg does not ignore the importance of good salary for employee motivation. Herzberg’s two-factor theory develops a relationship between money and motivation. It is because as salary is a hygiene factor that result in dissatisfaction of employees and for this it is necessary that salary should be effective in order to satisfy employees (Hodgetts, Luthans and Doh 2005). Along with salary, jobs should be such designed that they offer sufficient challenge to employees and give the maximum responsibility and accountability.

Herzberg’s theory have lot of implications on management of employees and forced a change in the management world how employees should be motivated in the workplace. As per this theory, a more holistic and personalised approach is required to manage employees.

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Mathis, R.L. and Jackson, J.H. (2008) Human Resource Management, 12th Edition. USA: Cengage Learning.
Griffin, R.W. and Moorhead, G. (2009) Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations, 8th Edition. Canada: Cengage Learning.