Herzberg's two-factor theory

Herzberg's two-factor theory

This is an example of a content theory of motivation.

Herzberg's needs based theory identified two sets of factors on the basis that they "motivate" in different ways.

Hygiene factors must be addressed to avoid dissatisfaction and include:

  • Policies and procedures for staff treatment
  • Suitable level and quality of supervision
  • Pleasant physical and working conditions
  • Appropriate level of salary and status for the job
  • Team working

Hygiene factors are concerned with extrinsic factors these are separate from or external to the job itself. However, in themselves hygiene factors are not sufficient to result in positive motivation.

Motivators include

  • Sense of achievement
  • Recognition of good work
  • Increasing levels of responsibility
  • Career advancement
  • Attraction of the job itself

The main motivation factors are thus not in the environment but in the intrinsic value and satisfaction gained from the job itself. Most are non-financial in nature.

 Herzberg defines three ways that management can attempt to improve staff satisfaction and motivation

  • Job enrichment (sometimes called 'vertical job enlargement') - a deliberate, planned process to improve the responsibility, challenge and creativity of a job. Typical examples include delegation or problem solving. For instance, where an accountant's responsibilities for producing quarterly management reports end at the stage of producing the figures, they could be extended so that they included the preparation of them and the accountant could submit them to senior management. This alteration in responsibilities could not only enrich the job but also increase the workload, leading to delegation of certain responsibilities to clerks within the department, the cascading effect enriching other jobs as well.
  • Job enlargement - widening the range of jobs, and so developing a job away from narrow specialisation. There is no element of enrichment. This is also known as 'horizontal job enlargement'. Herzberg contends that there is little motivation value in this approach.
  • Job rotation - the planned rotating of staff between jobs to alleviate monotony and provide a fresh job challenge. The documented example quotes a warehouse gang of four workers, where the worst job was tying the necks of the sacks at the base of the hopper after filling; the best job was seen as being the fork-lift truck driver. Job rotation would ensure that equal time was spent by each individual on all jobs. Herzberg suggests that this will help to relieve monotony and improve job satisfaction but is unlikely to create positive motivation.
Created at 8/10/2012 11:46 AM  by System Account  (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London
Last modified at 9/26/2013 12:16 PM  by System Account  (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

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motivation;content theories;herzberg;hygiene factors;motivators;job enrichment;job design;job enlargement;job rotation

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