Maslow and Herzbergs Theory of Motivation

The Maslow and Herzbergs theory of motivation: Employee motivation has occupied an important area of inquiry among many administrative thinkers. Scientific management thinker, F.W. Taylor believed that workers could be motivated by manipulation of records and sanctions and for this end he devised the payment system based on piece work. But this theory of motivation was criticized by the Howthrone experiments conducted by Elton Mayo.

Then, the theory of motivation was developed by Abraham Maslow and Fredrick Herzberg in a comprehensive way. Both were psychologists and questioned the conventional, wisdom of managerial dogma and practices. They have studied the problem of human motivation in a systematic way.

In 1943, Abraham Maslow published his “Theory of Human Motivation” in the journal psychological review. In this theory he focuses on the human need, He say that human being is an organism, which drives into action to satisfy its needs. It means men are motivated only for satisfaction of their needs. He classified human needs into five categories and arranged them in an ascending order, starting from the lowest to the highest needs.

The self-actualization need is at the highest end. And at the lowest, there are physiological and security needs. In need there are social and self- esteem needs. According to Maslow when one set of needs are satisfied then the need for other set arises. It means if physiological and security needs of an individual are fulfilled, then he wanted for the satisfaction of social and self-esteem needs. Although Maslow’s theory of motivation is questionable and often not acceptable, his identification of basic needs has been fairly popular.

Fredrick Herzberg modified Maslow’s needs theory by developing his theory of motivation. His theory of motivation is based on two sets of needs:
  1. To avoid pain and
  2. To grow psychologically.

On the basis of these two set of needs, he developed the two factors theory of motivation. The first group of factors determine the job satisfaction and the second group of factors determine job satisfaction. Factors such as achievement, recognition, responsibility and advancement determine the job satisfaction in the organization. Similarly, factors such as company policy and administration, supervision, salary, interpersonal relations and working conditions determine the job dissatisfaction.

The job satisfaction factors are the motivational factors. Herzberg called these factors as “Motivations”. And the job dissatisfaction factors are the hygiene factors. It is also called as job context factors. And the motivation factors are the job content factors.

According to Herzberg, the hygiene factors will not motivate people, but they must be present unless dissatisfaction will arise in an organization. And the job content factors are the real motivators because they have the potential of yielding a sense of satisfaction.

These factors determine how a worker feels about his job, whereas hygiene factors only determine how a worker feels about his company or organization in general. The hygiene factors are essential for obtaining minimum performance by grafting the lower level needs. But motivations are necessary for securing outstanding levels of performance in an organization.

Both Maslow and Herzberg in the theory of motivation stress on the same relationship that is what motivates an individual. Maslow has suggested the theory of hierarchy of needs where people try to satisfy its higher need successively. And thus, unsatisfied these becomes a motivating factor for the individual.

But to Herzberg the economically advanced countries most of the lower order needs of workers are fulfilled and therefore, only higher level needs are the motivating factors. Maslow’s physiological security and social needs are Herzberg’s hygiene factor’s which determine the job dissections. Thus, they are not motivated people. Whereas self-actualization are the motivating factors. Further some parts esteem needs are under the motivation like advancement, recognition under the hygiene factors e.g. status.

Difference between these two theories is that Maslow emphasizes on unsatisfied needs, whether of lower order or higher order, will motivate people in the work place. Whereas Herzberg says that the lower level needs are the hygiene factor which can’t motivate people, only the higher level needs are the motivating factors. Maslow’s theory of motivation is universally applicable, whether it is in lower level workers or in higher level managers. In the underdeveloped countries, even lower-order needs are not reasonably satisfied. Hence needs, whether lower level or higher level are the motivational factors according to Maslow.

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