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8/5/2015 UnderstandingHerzberg'smotivationtheory|ACCAQualification|Students|ACCAGlobal

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UNDERSTANDING HERZBERG'S MOTIVATION


THEORY
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byJohnBall
03Oct2003

Understandingwhatmotivatespeopleinallwalksoflifeisbasictoallwhoaspiretomanagement.Oneof
thebestknownofallthewritersonmotivationisHerzberg.

Heisnotedforamongotherthingshisideasonjobenrichment,enlargementandrotation.However,
hisideasonmotivationinthehygienemotivationtheoryareparticularlyusefultoourunderstandingof
whatmotivatespeople.

Thisisparticularlyrelevantastheoriginalresearchwasundertakennotinthefactory,butintheofficesof
engineersandaccountants.

CONTENT THEORIES OF MOTIVATION


Herzbergsmotivationtheoryisoneofthecontenttheoriesofmotivation.Theseattempttoexplainthe
factorsthatmotivateindividualsthroughidentifyingandsatisfyingtheirindividualneeds,desiresandthe
aimspursuedtosatisfythesedesires.

Thistheoryofmotivationisknownasatwofactorcontenttheory.Itisbaseduponthedeceptivelysimple
ideathatmotivationcanbedichotomisedintohygienefactorsandmotivationfactorsandisoftenreferred
toasatwoneedsystem.

Thesetwoseparateneedsaretheneedtoavoidunpleasantnessanddiscomfortand,attheotherendof
themotivationalscale,theneedforpersonaldevelopment.Ashortageofthefactorsthatpositively
encourageemployees(themotivatingfactors)willcauseemployeestofocusonother,nonjobrelated
hygienefactors.

Themostimportantpartofthistheoryofmotivationisthatthemainmotivatingfactorsarenotinthe
environmentbutintheintrinsicvalueandsatisfactiongainedfromthejobitself.Itfollowsthereforethatto
motivateanindividual,ajobitselfmustbechallenging,havescopeforenrichmentandbeofinterestto
thejobholder.Motivators(sometimescalledsatisfiers)arethosefactorsdirectlyconcernedwiththe
satisfactiongainedfromajob,suchas:
thesenseofachievementandtheintrinsicvalueobtainedfromthejobitself
thelevelofrecognitionbybothcolleaguesandmanagement
thelevelofresponsibility
opportunitiesforadvancementand
thestatusprovided

Motivatorsleadtosatisfactionbecauseoftheneedforgrowthandasenseofselfachievement.

Alackofmotivatorsleadstooverconcentrationonhygienefactors,whicharethosenegativefactors
whichcanbeseenandthereforeformthebasisofcomplaintandconcern.Hygienefactors(oftenreferred
toasmaintenancefactors)leadtodissatisfactionwithajobbecauseoftheneedtoavoidunpleasantness.

Theyarereferredtoashygienefactorsbecausetheycanbeavoidedorpreventedbytheuseof
hygienicmethods.Theimportantfacttorememberisthatattentiontothesehygienefactorsprevents
dissatisfactionbutdoesnotnecessarilyprovidepositivemotivation.

Hygienefactorsarealsooftenreferredtoasdissatisfiers.Theyareconcernedwithfactorsassociated
withthejobitselfbutarenotdirectlyapartofit.Typically,thisissalary,althoughotherfactorswhichwill
oftenactasdissatisfiersinclude:

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8/5/2015 UnderstandingHerzberg'smotivationtheory|ACCAQualification|Students|ACCAGlobal
perceiveddifferenceswithothers
jobsecurity
workingconditions
thequalityofmanagement
organisationalpolicy
administration
interpersonalrelations

UnderstandingHerzbergstheoryrecognisestheintrinsicsatisfactionthatcanbeobtainedfromthework
itself.Itdrawsattentiontojobdesignandmakesmanagersawarethatproblemsofmotivationmaynot
necessarilybedirectlyassociatedwiththework.Problemscanoftenbeexternaltothejob.

IMPROVED MOTIVATION
Managersunderstandingthatfactorswhichdemotivatecanoftenberelatedtomattersotherthanthe
workitself,canleadtoimprovedmotivation,greaterjobsatisfactionandimprovedorganisational
performancebytheentireworkforce.

Understandingindividualgoals,coupledwithwiderskillsandabilities,canleadtogreateropportunities.
Individualsareseenasvaluabletoorganisationsandcanacquirenewskillsusefulinthefuture.

Improvingskills,opportunitiesandincreasingemployeeknowledgewill,inthelongerterm,increasethe
valueofanorganisationshumanassets.Mostimportantly,itcanleadtogreaterstaffcommitment,
understandingandloyalty.

DrJohnBallisformerexaminerforPaper1.3

Lastupdated:20Apr2015

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