What is Motivation-Hygiene Theory?
Controversy surrounding the theory
How it is used today?
How I will incorporate into my workplace
In 1959, Frederick Herzberg found the people had two
essential needs in life.
The human’s need as an animal to avoid pain
The human’s need to grow psychologically
This led to the creation of a dual factor theory that has
been a stepping stone for motivation in the workplace.
Herzberg interviewed 203 engineers and accountants
They were asked to recall a time when they felt
exceptionally good at their job and the feelings associated
At a second interview they were asked to recall a time
when they felt exceptionally negative on the job and the
These results led to to categories
Also know as Job Satisfiers
Motivators are things that create positive feelings
These included things such as
Growth in Workplace
Hygiene Factors were associated with work context and
These included things like:
The theory states that if the motivator factors are
present in conjunction with hygiene factors then the job
will be satisfying
If the hygiene factors are the only present factors then
the job will be in a neutral state
If the hygiene factors are not present then the job
becomes dissatisfying, whether the motivators are
present are not
The idea is that employees will give a “fair day’s work
for a fair day’s pay”
Even though hygiene factors do not lead to extra work
they are need as building blocks to start productivity
In order to move past this the motivators are needed
It was said that theory was methodologically bound do
to the interview questions.
People will take credit when things go well and blame the
environment when they don’t
They also did not take into account job requirements
Another thing criticized is that the rater interpreted all
the data and not the respondent
Rater could have contaminated or misinterpreted the data
The theory provides no overall satisfaction
No evidence supporting that a factor would lead to overall
satisfaction or dissatisfaction
Job satisfaction is a perceived characteristic therefore
any condition could lead to job satisfaction or
Although highly criticized the theory still remains
popular today. Principles of the theory have been
applied to developing the definitions for intrinsic and
The Theory today
The theory is being used in Web based design
They have used to the two-dimension system to allow web
users to rate the things that create satisfaction and
The theory was also used to help identify the satisfiers
and dissatisfiers for e-learning programs in order to
optimize the learning experience.
I am a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer with the
Clemson Men’s and Women’s Track and Field team.
Work long hours for low pay while dealing with tough
coaches and spoiled athletes
They hygiene factors are present
I am trying to incorporate some motivator factors into
I am going to sit down with my supervisors and ask them
for some more responsibility also for some positive
reinforcement at times.
I am going to explain to my athletes that I do care, but
if they continue to have a negative attitude they will be
kicked out of the athletic training room.
I am going to sit down with my coaching staff and ask
them input on how I can help them to help me to create
a better line of communications and relationship.