Group Theory

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory- Workplace Influences

Frederick Herzberg states that people in the workplace are influenced by two factors-

Motivation factors– Satisfaction and psychological growth

Hygiene factors– Dissatisfaction

Herzberg developed this theory during an investigation of 200 engineers and accountants.

The significance of the theory

Job satisfiers deal with factors involved in doing a job and job dissatisfiers deal with elements that define job context. These ideas relate to modern ethical management, social responsibility, and the psychological contract. Herzberg’s theory is an attempt to manage people properly as well as bring humanity and caring into the workplace. His research showed that individuals will strive to achieve “hygiene” needs because they are not satisfied without them. However, satisfaction is temporary. Most individuals are only truly motivated by enabling them to be able to satisfy the factors that Herzberg identified such as advancement, development, and achievement.

Herzberg’s research experiment

Data were collected from 200 engineers and accountants in the Pittsburgh area. Each respondent listed events that marked changes in feelings in the workplace and also other interpretations of what factors led to their satisfaction in the workplace such as: Achievement, Intrinsic interest in the work done, Advancement, and Responsibility.

What do most individuals want from their jobs?

Do employees just want to make a higher salary? Security? Opportunities for advancement? Good relationships with their co-workers? Or something else?

By analyzing these interviews, Herzberg found that job characteristic related to the nature of the work an individual performs. However, he found that the absence of gratifying job characteristics did not appear to lead to dissatisfaction or unhappiness. Instead, he found that dissatisfaction resulted from unfavorable assessments.

Purpose of the study and what it means in today’s workplace

Purpose of the study was to develop the Herzberg theory and its application to an organization in order to increase its worker’s productivity. The Two-Factor Theory is one of the most known and accepted job enrichment methods used today. The study caused considerable controversy among behaviorists.


A sense of achievement meaning employees will know that due to their hard work, the business will grow. Recognition of workers contribution; giving credit to the employees as well as making them feel good about themselves. Intrinsic motivators represent less tangible, more emotional needs as well as challenging work. Extrinsic motivators represent more tangible and basic needs such as job security, pay, and fringe benefits.

Motivational factors

Career advancement, Personal Growth, Recognition, Achievement, Responsibility, and Hygiene.

Factor that has the effect to demotivate workers

Affect the conditions of the workplace. Elements of life or work that don’t increase satisfaction but can lead to dissatisfaction if they are missing: Hygiene factors, Rate of pay, Relations with others, Quality of supervision, Job security, and Company Policies.

Satisfaction and dissatisfaction

Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are independent of one another where one can increase and the other doesn’t have to diminish. Satisfaction– Motivator factors. Dissatisfaction- Hygiene factors.

First step- Eliminate job dissatisfaction

Getting rid of hygiene factors which cause dissatisfaction. Fix obstructive company policies. Provide supportive and non-intrusive supervision. Create and support respect and dignity. Ensure wages are competitive. Build job status by providing meaningful work.

Second step- Create job satisfaction

Provide opportunities for achievement. Give credit for work done to who did it. Create rewarding work that compliments the skills of the employee. Provide advancement opportunities. Offer development opportunities.


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