Herzberg ‘s Two-Factor Model


When scientists looked into what would make construction workers happy, they came up with the dual-factor hypothesis. According to Herzberg, there is a distinct difference between what makes individuals happy and what makes them unhappy at work. Success, recognition, and growth are seen to be internal variables that contribute to job happiness, whereas management policies, work circumstances, and coworkers are thought to contribute to job discontent.
Individuals’ needs are not prioritized according to Herzberg’s idea. People get dissatisfied with their jobs when their basic hygiene requirements aren’t being met, as we’ll see in the next sections. Worker satisfaction is not only affected by factors such as pay rates, working conditions, or interpersonal relationships at the workplace. Motivational variables such as accomplishment and recognition, the job itself, and personal growth have all been linked to higher levels of work satisfaction.

The factors of the theory Herzberg has stated are below:

Motivational factors are factors that have a positive effect on motivation if they exist and do not turn into negative effects if they don’t exist,
Hygiene factors – can be defined as factors that do not have a positive effect on motivation if they exist, and turn into negative effects if they don’t exist.

How Does Herzberg ‘s Theory Work In Workplace?

Let’s see with an example how Herzberg constructed his theory.

The ideals of “providing responsibility, freedom to take initiative” may be interpreted differently by two people working in the same role. The self-motivated employee sees it as a need of the job and treats it as such, therefore taking ownership and initiative isn’t motivating to him. Although this may be a necessity for the first employee (he may think that every job should be limited by someone or that he should know the limits), if the second employee is given responsibility, he can turn it into positive motivation, and in this case, the value will be included in the motivational factor class.

Even yet, there is a potential that the second employee may have seen his/her employment as a hygienic factor because of the rigid definition and limitations of their duties. Due to his presumption that these limits would be established for him by virtue of his position, he may view the hygiene factor as a violation or as something that doesn’t exist when given the opportunity to define them on his own In other words, how a person perceives the world, their own psychological state, and their attitude to a phenomenon may have a significant impact on their definitions of Herzberg’s motivating and hygienic factors.

Detractors exist, despite considerable support for the hypothesis. However, there are many who argue that the technique fails to take into account people’s tendency to focus on the positive aspects of their jobs when things are going well. However, when things go wrong, they prefer to point the finger at other causes.
Another frequent objection is that the theory presupposes a substantial relationship between work happiness and production. In order for Herzberg’s conclusions to have any practical value, this assumption must be accurate in the methods he used.

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