Custom Writing Essay Paper on Herzberg’s Two-Factor Motivation Theory

Herzberg’s two-factor motivation theory and its usefulness in organizations

There have been numerous attempts to develop detailed studies and theories of satisfaction, self-awareness and motivation. Each of these theories has been tested and applied on its impacts on work places and people’s lives (Sambhanthan & Good, 2013). Driven by my interest in the management field, I have decided to examine the different styles of motivating the workforce that leaders and managers of organizations typically use. The work of the manager is communicating and motivating their workers to achieve the organizational goals. Herzberg’s two-factor motivation theory is categorized under theories that focus on individual needs. They explain the different factors that influence the behavior of individuals.

The theory divides job satisfaction and motivation into hygiene factors and motivational factors. The motivating factors include recognition, achievement, work, growth possibilities, responsibility and advancement while the hygiene factors include relationship with supervisors, company policy, working conditions, salary, relationship with colleagues, relationship with subordinates, job security, personal life and status (Lundberg, 2009). Basically, Herzberg defines the factors as intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. He argued that that the intrinsic motivators (motivating factors) relate to the things that people do at work that contributes to job satisfaction. The extrinsic motivators (hygiene factors) are those forces that employees’ do not have control over. Herzberg refers to them as the source of job dissatisfaction. Since the factors contributing to employees’ satisfaction are different from those leading to dissatisfaction, the opposite of satisfaction cannot be dissatisfaction.

The two-factor theory is useful to employers and organizational managers as they seek to increase job satisfaction and consequently the overall performance. They need to take into account the factors affecting employees’ satisfaction and address them. The most effective way is to address the intrinsic motivators, giving workers encouragement and recognizing them. Challenging responsibilities, sense of achievement and recognition makes the employees feel valued in the organization. The theory also helps administrators to involve employees in making decisions as well as delegating some duties to employees. Such acts give employees a sense of responsibility leading to high level of motivation (May & Decker, 1988). To address dissatisfaction, employers and managers have a responsibility of revitalizing the environment. According to Herzberg, improving factors that causes dissatisfaction such as the working conditions, employees’ perception of satisfaction with their work is not altered. Improving the extrinsic factors only prevents employees from dissatisfaction.


May, C. R., & Decker, R. H. (December 07, 1988). Putting Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation in Perspective. Planning and Changing, 19, 3, 141-49.

Sambhanthan, A., & Good, A. (January 01, 2013). Critical Success Factors for Positive User Experience in Hotel Websites: Applying Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory for User Experience Modeling. International Journal of E-Services and Mobile Applications (ijesma), 5, 1, 1-25.

Lundberg, C. (December 01, 2009). Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of work motivation tested empirically on seasonal workers in hospitality and tourism. Tourism Management, 30, 6, 890.