Frederick Herzberg came up with his finding

Frederick Herzberg came up with his findings on satisfaction, which he published in his book “The Motivation to Work,” in 1959 (NetMBA [no date]). He conducted series of interviews where “employees were asked what pleased and displeased them about their work” (NetMBA [no date]). After analyzing the gathered data, he came up with the six top factors in the work environment that cause dissatisfaction, or the hygiene factors, and the top six factors that cause satisfaction, or the motivation factors.
When the following factors are absent, there is dissatisfaction: (a) Company policy, (b) Supervision, (c) Relationship with Boss, (d) Work Conditions, (e) Salary, and (f) Relationship with peers (NetMBA [no date]). However, it is to be noted that the presence or maintenance of these factors does not necessarily mean satisfaction but would only mean that there is no dissatisfaction (NetMBA [no date]). If supervision will be maintained at the minimum level, it does not necessarily mean that the employee will gain satisfaction in his job. Furthermore, it could be noticed that these factors are external to the job itself and to the worker. These are things which are dependent on a lot of other things aside from the worker and the job.
The factors that lead to satisfaction are as follows: (a) Achievement, (b) Recognition, (c) Work itself, (d) Responsibility, (e) Advancement, and (f) Growth (NetMBA [no date]). Similar to the factors that lead to dissatisfaction, the absence of one of these six factors does not necessarily lead to dissatisfaction but would only mean that there is no satisfaction felt.

It is to be noted that Herzberg does not meant these two sets of factors to be of the opposite poles but he meant it to live on two different sticks. It is best to make an illustration of this for better understanding.
Here, it is easy to pinpoint what happens when the two set of factors are present and absent or maintained and not maintained. Reading the second column downwards, motivating factors bring satisfaction when these are present. With their absence, no satisfaction is felt but this does not necessarily mean that the employee is dissatisfied. On the third column, when the hygiene factors are not maintained to a desired level or are absent, this leads to dissatisfaction. Their presence or maintenance, on the other hand, would bring no dissatisfaction but does not necessarily mean that satisfaction is achieved.
Somehow, it gives much sense that this theory provides certain implications for management of human resources. This theory pinpoints how the level of confidence or satisfaction of employees can be boosted or how their morale, for that matter, can be placed at a higher level. The human resources manager, aided with this theory, may at the very least, be able to identify soft spots where improvements could be made for the employees to feel satisfied with their jobs.
The sets of factors mentioned above could be a starting point for bringing in satisfaction and for boosting the morale of the employees. More specifically, the manager could concentrate on addressing the hygiene factors and keeping it at a level that leaves no dissatisfaction for the employees and raising up the motivation factors to bring in satisfaction. This way, it could also be a precursor for higher levels of morale for the employees.
Further, Herzberg did not leave the study without strategies for bringing in the much-desired satisfaction for employees. One of his suggestions was job enlargement for employees. Job enlargement, in human resource management, may be taken as the horizontal expansion of a certain job. For example, a secretary who has the job duties of answering phone calls and making appointments to clients may be given a new task of organizing the incoming and outgoing files. Giving more tasks of the same nature and would fit the job title would fall under the category of job enlargement. It is like adding more chocolate to the chocolate. This is not the same as job enrichment, which is adding the almonds and fruits to the chocolate.
To this, the technique that leads to job satisfaction can be identified and is through the combination of high hygiene and high motivation (Anon. [no date]). This means eliminating the causes of dissatisfaction to a point where there is “no dissatisfaction” felt by the employees (Anon. [no date]). Subsequently, the company can inject the motivation factors to lead the people to become highly-motivated employees (Anon. [no date]).
The two-factor theory of job satisfaction may have took off from and have similarities with the Hierarchy of Needs by Abraham Maslow as it also pertains to (a) physiological, (b) security and safety, (c) love and feelings of belonging, (d) competence, prestige, and esteem, (e) self-fulfillment, and (f) curiosity and the need to understand (Anon. 2005).
This theory does not escape the criticisms because there are loopholes or gaps that are left unfilled. This theory does not take into consideration the fact that people may not consider the same set of hygiene and motivation factors because they might have different needs and achievements. Moreover, it does not take into consideration the nature of corporations because the motivation factors can not be introduced such as the call centers where the hierarchy is vey flat and job enlargement is not very much possible because of the high division of labor.
Anonymous. (no date). Two Factor Theory – Herzberg, Frederick. Available from: [Accessed 29 December 2007].
Anonymous. 2005. Motivation. Microsoft® Encarta® 2006 [CD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation. [Accessed 29 December 2007].
NetMBA. (no date). Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory (Two Factor Theory). Available from: [Accessed: 29 December 2007].

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