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Motivation and Hygiene Factors

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Two Factor Theory

Summary of Herzberg's Motivation and Hygiene Factors. Abstract

Frederick Herzberg

According to the Two Factor Theory of Frederick Herzberg people are influenced by two factors. Satisfaction and psychological growth was a factor of motivation factors. Dissatisfaction was a result of hygiene factors. Herzberg developed this motivation theory during his investigation of 200 accountants and engineers in the USA.


- Hygiene factors are needed to ensure an employee does not become dissatisfied. They do not lead to higher levels of motivation, but without them there is dissatisfaction.

- Motivation factors are needed in order to motivate an employee into higher performance. These factors result from internal generators in employees.


Typical Hygiene Factors are:Two Factor Theory Herzberg

  • Working conditions

  • Quality of supervision

  • Salary

  • Status

  • Security

  • Company

  • Job

  • Company policies and administration

  • Interpersonal relations

Typical Motivation Factors include:

  • Achievement

  • Recognition for achievement

  • Responsibility for task

  • Interest in the job

  • Advancement to higher level tasks

  • Growth

Combining the hygiene and motivation factors results in four scenario's:

  • High Hygiene + High Motivation: The ideal situation where employees are highly motivated and have few complaints.

  • High Hygiene + Low Motivation: Employees have few complaints but are not highly motivated. The job is perceived as a paycheck.

  • Low Hygiene + High Motivation: Employees are motivated but have a lot of complaints. A situation where the job is exciting and challenging but salaries and work conditions are not up to par.

  • Low Hygiene + Low Motivation: The worst situation. Unmotivated employees with lots of complaints.

Herzberg suggests that often work can and should be arranged in the following ways:

- job enlargement

- job rotation, and/or

- job enrichment.


Besides The Two Factor Theory, Frederick Herzberg is also known sometimes for his acronym KITA, which has been politely translated as a kick in the pants! Herzberg said that KITA does not produce motivation but only movement.

Compare: Maslow Hierarchy Needs  |  Theory X Theory Y  |  Competing Values FrameworkExpectancy Theory  |  ERG Theory  |  Hofstede  | 
What is Value Based Management?  |  Leadership Continuum

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