HR assignment help on: Literature on : Theory of Herzberg
The literature aims to critically analyze the two-factor theory of Herzberg and would also try to investigate whether the theory has the staying power with the help of reviewing pre existing researches on the theory. Herzberg’s two factor theory of motivation got published in the year 1959, though was most controversial theory of those times and was considered to be the replicated theory but became the foundation for many key theories of human resource development and organizational behavior (Stello n.d). as per Herzberg’s theory the the job satisfaction or dissatisfaction of employees is based on two factors, that is job satisfaction is influenced by the motivator factors where as job dissatisfaction by hygiene factors. The hygiene factors included: working conditions, relations with co-workers, supervisor, rules and policies of the company, basic salay and wages whereas the motivator bfactor included achievement, responsibilty, recognition, work, growth etc (Raghuwanshi 2008). Herzberg categorized hygiene factors as extrinsic factors and motivator factors as intrinsic factors to employees. As per his theory of motivation the hygiene factors do not motivate the employees but their absence would lead to job disatisfaction and motivator factors are intrinsic in nature and their presence have positive impacts on the job satisfaction and output and also motivates the employees (Herzberg et. al 1959). The two factors of Herzberg’s theory are explaine below:
The hygiene factors in the Herzberg’s theory are also considered as the maintenance factors in the organization and involve physiological, safety and love needs from Maslow’s hierarchy of lower level needs. These factors are not directly related to the job but are related to the environment and the working conditions surrounding the job. These factors when are not present in the organization dissatisfies the employees but however, their presence does not develops strong motivation in employees Gibson (2000). The hygiene factors of Herzberg’s theory include; company’s rules and policies, administration, supervision, interpersonal relationships with subordinates, with supervisor, with peers, salary, incentives, working environment, job security, personal life, and status (Baah and Amoako, 2011). Herzberg categorized these variables as hygiene factors because they are essential to sustain a minimum level of satisfaction but their absence can also cause dissatisfaction among employees. According to him these factors are not motivators but are required to avoid dissatisfaction in employees, Huling (2003).
The motivators for employees according to Herzberg, pertaining to the job, are intrinsic to the job itself. It involves the physiological need for growth and development, recognition, responsibilities, achievements, and job itself. Herzberg mentioned that the absence of these motivator factors does not results in dissatisfying the employees but their presence develops a strong levels of motivation in employees and results into good work performance. The Herzberg motivators are also known to be satisfier’s motivators, which includes; responsibilities achievements, recognition, growth and advancement etc (Baah and Amoako, 2011).
As per various management experts the Herzberg’s theory has limited scope and does not hold good in all conditions. As the research was done on only 200 employees who were either accountants or engineers (Raghuwanshi 2008). So the scope was limited to engineeers and accountants and also the theory asseses that the extrinsic factors and intrinsic factors exists separately. But both the factors goes hand in hand. According to Herzberg absence of extrinsic factors does not have any impact on the motivation levels of employees, but increase in salary or wages or interpersonal relationaships are considered to be great motivators (Raghuwanshi 2008). The theory is also seen as replica of Maslows model, where the hygiene factors of Herzberg’s are similar to the lower level need of Maslow’s and motivation factors were equivalent to higher level needs in Maslow’s theory. (Jones and Loyld, 2005).
There are several motivation theories developed by management experts that have directed the path and strategy for organisations to understand how to manage their human resource to get a motivated work force. These theories attempted to explain what makes people or employees behave the way they do and also suggests on stimulating factors and strategies which could be applied to achieve the desired behavior from the employees related to their work commitment. To motivate employees in organizations for achieving desired and effective performance from them is a complicated and a tough task (Baah and Amoako, 2011). As quoted by Vroom and Deci (1970): “The question of what motivates workers to perform effectively is not an easy one to answer”. A complete contrast view of Herzberg’s theory is the views of Taylor, which explains that people are shy and lazy and they external factors to motivate them. Not all employees could be motivated intrinsically, they need external stimulation for getting motivated (Jones and Loyld, 2005). But another view of Hawthorn suggested that people work for their own sake and they are motivated by internal stimulations. From the mid of twentieth century many great researchers worked on the theories of motivation like: Vroom (1964), Maslow (!954), Herzberg et. al (1959), McGregor (1960), McClelland (1961) etc. But of all these theories, the theory developed by Herzberg is considered to be more complicated relation between internal and external factors of motivation. The theory is considered to be weak in corelaing the relationship between monetary rewards and job satisfaction (Jones and Loyld, 2005). Though Herzberg and his team took interviews which applied critical incident analysis, the method was relatively a new technique of collecting data at that time. The team focus on two factors, job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction. But the team failed to explain the corelation between job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction. As in their findings, employees tend to be very dissatisfied in the absence of company policies, finacial rewards, interpersonal relationships or working conditions. But the Herzberg and his team did not corelate for the presence of these variables with the level of job satisfaction. The sources for job satisfaction included responsibility, roles, recognition, work, prospects, and were reponsible for motivating the employees (Jones and Loyld, 2005).
Baah and Amoako, 2011, critically analysed Herzberg’s theory and assesed its application and relevance in understanding the motivating factors for Ghananian workers. Competition, Information Technology, globalisation are some reasons for the increased requirement for motivated employees, so that the organizations could seek best out of their human resource power. And for this the managers provide quick incentives, increased salary, growth options etc but the issue here is, does these variables actually motivating the employees or not. Baah and Amoako, 2011, on this issue, mentioned in his study about the Herzberg’s two factor theory and his investigation about what made employees feel good and feel bad. They mentioned that as per Herzberg and his team, the factors affecting job satisfaction are completely different from that of affecting job dissatisfaction.
As per Baah and Amoako, 2011, the theory encourages managers to not be foussed only on motivating employees but should consider both the factors as mentioned by Herzberg, that motivating and satisfying the employees to get the best results. With his two factor theory he meant to show that job satisfaction is equally important along with motivation for employees. Herzberg et, al also gave the solution of how to remove or lessen job dissatisfaction among employees:
Formulating and executing company’s rules and policies carefully.
Organization should provide helpful, supportive and effective supervision to employees
Employees should be treated with respect and dignity.
Competitive wages and salaries
Similarly, he also mentioned how to achieve job satisfaction for employees;
Responsibilities according to capabilities
Training and development
The above variables mentioned by Herzberg (1959), helped managers in understanding not only motivational factors for employees but they were encouraged to take care of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction for employees.
The Herzberg motivational theory was considered to be the most replicated theory of those times, and also had many drawbacks. It has undergone a lot of criticisms too. The question also raised that whether the theory has staying power or not? Apart from all the criticisms and drawbacks, the theory stands as the foundation for many important theories in human resource development. So, I believe that this theory is still has importance in understanding the organizational behavior of employees.
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