Is Herzberg Correct?

In: Business and Management

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Is Herzberg correct?

Herzberg’s theory starts with the premise that the factors involved in gaining job satisfaction and motivation are completely separate and distinct from the factors that lead to job dissatisfaction.

He believes that motivator factors that are intrinsic to work are achievement, recognition for achievement, the work itself, responsibility, and growth or advancement. He said that motivators are the primary cause of job satisfaction and they cause positive job attitudes, because they satisfy a workers needs for self-actualisation, which is the individual’s ultimate goal.

He stated that hygiene factors were the contrast to motivators, and were the primary cause of unhappiness in work. These are extrinsic to the job and include company policy, administration, supervision, interpersonal relationships, working conditions, salary, status and security.

Herzberg states that management might challenge the employee by increasing the amount of production expected of him or her, i.e instead of tightening 10,000 bolts a day, he or she might be challenged to see if they can achieve 15,000 bolts a day. While the management sees this as challenging and engaging the employee, it merely enlarges the meaningless of the job.

Critics find it quite strange that Herzberg’s two sets of factors fit so neatly into two boxes, intrinsic (contributing to job satisfaction) and extrinsic (to dissatisfaction).
In a study by Ewan (1963) it was found that hygiene factors (the dissatisfiers), for example, a new company policy, could in fact act as a satisfier, while satisfiers sometimes acted in the predicted manner, and sometimes left workers feeling indifferent.

It is said that Herzberg’s theory is flawed in the sense that results tend to reflect defensive processes at work within the individual. This is because individuals are more likely to perceive causes of…...

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