Discuss the characteristics of hygiene and motivation of Fredrick Herzberg.

Fredrick Herzberg is an American psychologist. He questioned the conventional wisdom of managerial dogma and practices. Maslow’s needs approach has been modified by Fredrick Herzberg and his associates. He has studied the problem of human motivation at the work place. In his research he was influenced by the writings of Abraham Maslow, Douglas McGregor and Chris Argyris. His research purposes to find a “two-factor theory of motivation.”

He was of the opinion that there are some factors which are responsible for bringing about job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction. Those factors responsible for job satisfaction are called motivational factors or motivators, And those factors responsible for job dissatisfaction are called maintenance on hygiene factors.

According to Herzberg the hygiene factors are organization policy and administration, supervision, working conditions, interpersonal relations, salary, status, job security and personal life. These were found only dissatisfies and not motivators. In other words, if they exist in a work environment in high quantity and quality they yield no dissatisfaction. Their existence does not motivate in the sense of yielding satisfaction, but their lack of existence would, however, result in dissatisfaction.

Herzberg called them as job context factors. On the other hand, motivational factors are achievement, recognition, the challenging work, advancement and growth in job. Their existence will yield feeling of satisfaction or no satisfaction. These are related to job content. Herzberg called them job content factors.

The hygiene or maintenance factors will not motivate people in an organization, yet they must be present or dissatisfaction will arise. The second factor on the job content factors are the real motivators because they have the potential of yielding a sense of satisfaction. These factors determine how a employee feels about his job, whereas hygiene factors only determine how a worker feels about his company or organization in general.

Herzberg makes a distinction between hygiene seeker and motivation seeker.

  1. Hygiene seeker is motivated by nature, of environment whereas motivation seeker is motivated by nature of the task.
  2. Hygiene seeker realizes little satisfaction from accomplishment whereas motivation seeker realizes great satisfaction from achievement.
  3. Hygiene seeker shows little interest where as motivation seeker shows more interest for performing the kind and quality of work that he does.
  4. When hygiene factors are improved, the motivation seeker show less reaction whereas the hygiene seeker show over-reaction of satisfaction.
  5. Motivation seeker have positive feelings toward work and life in general but the hygiene seeker have cynical view of work and life in general.
  6. Motivation seeker get profits professionally from experience but the hygiene seeker does not get any profit from experience.
  7. When the hygiene factor are not improved, hygiene seeker have over-reaction of dissatisfaction. But the motivation seeker have little discontent when hygiene factors need improvement.
  8. The motivation seeker may be an achiever. But the hygiene seeker may be successful on the job because of talent.
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