Maslow’s and the Two-Factor Motivation Theories

In the year 1959, a behavioral scientist and management theorist by the name Frederick Herzberg, proposed a hygiene-motivator theory called the two factor theory. According to him, some job factors caused satisfaction while others caused dissatisfaction. He categorically based his theory on two factors; Hygiene factors and motivational factors.

According to him, absence of the hygiene factors caused dissatisfaction at the work place, since they were necessary for motivation. The hygiene factors as argued by Herzberg symbolize the physiological needs that certain individuals wanted fulfilled, and are critical in averting any form of dissatisfaction at work.

The first of these factors is pay. It must be reasonable, appropriate and equal for those in the same industry domain. It should also be competitive to all. The second factor is the administrative policies which should be clear and fair to all. The working should be flexible, with efficient dressing codes and vacations to avoid any form of rigidness. Fringe benefits are the third factor, which allows health care plans and benefits for the family members and help programs for all employees.

The other working conditions include efficient working conditions such as safety and cleanliness among others (Robert, 2011). The employees should also enjoy a familiar status within the organization. Job security must also be provided to all employees in the organization. Herzberg further argues that the hygiene factors cannot in any way be regarded as motivators since motivational factors are always expected to yield positive results.

The psychological needs, initially perceived as extra benefits, are symbolized by these needs. He divided them into six factors which include recognition as the first factor. Recognition involves acknowledgement and rewarding of one’s accomplishments by the management. The employees are also expected to be responsible for the work they do, where the managers are expected to minimize the control for the work, but fully maintain accountability.

The employees are also expected to receive growth and advancement opportunities since they are expected to be motivated for them to produce quality work. The work too is supposed to be interesting, challenging and meaningful, so that the employees are motivated to be able to produce good results in their work or perform perfectly.

The second motivational theory that this research paper will seek to unfound is the Maslow’s hierarchy theory, which is a motivation content theory. This theory consists of two parts; the classification or categorization of human needs, and the correlation between the classes. These classes were summarized by Maslow’s as self-actualization; esteem needs, social needs, sense of belonging, safety needs and physiological needs.

The first four of the six needs are defined as deficiency of needs, for their dissatisfaction causes a certain deficiency in people that motivates them to meet these needs (Christopher, 2009). The physiological needs which lie at the bottom of the hierarchy include things like water, food and air.

When these needs are not met or satisfied, they sometimes become predominant. Safety needs like security and health arise at the onset of emergencies. When all the needs stipulated above are met, then other needs like intimate relationships and obtaining love arise. Esteem needs include things like achievement, self-esteem, confidence and recognition from others.

The highest level is self-actualization and here, behavior is motivated by the desire of an individual and the need to become all that one is capable of becoming rather than deficiencies. Based on the two-factor theory, the adequacy of factors related to hygiene should be greatly emphasized by managers.

This should be done to avoid employee dissatisfaction at places of work. Another thing that managers must ensure is that the work that employees do is rewarding to them. A rewarding work provides a motivation to employees and this makes them to put more effort in their work, which in turn increases production and profits.

The job must also be able to maximize on the skills of the employees and this involves focusing fully on the motivational factors, which are a driving force in producing quality work at their organizations. Managers can effectively asses the implications of the motivating theories at their places of work, by assessing whether their employees are motivated or not (Donald & Paul, 2009). This can be known by the reporting time.

If the workers are timely in their arrival times, then this clearly indicates that they are motivated in one way or another. The moods of employees at work can also asses the implications of the motivational theories, as a jovial mood will implicate a happy working environment. On the other hand, a silent or sad mood will implicate a bad working environment.

The employees can also be issued with questionnaires that will give a critical view of their working conditions. The use of questionnaires is the best method as the best answers to the effectiveness of the motivational theories can come from the employees themselves. The managers can then use the information given by their employees to analyze the effects of the motivational theories in their organizations.


Christopher, F. (2009). Leadership: Theory, application & skill development. New York: Sage.

Donald, C., & Paul, H. (2009). Supervisory Management. Mahon, OH: Cengage learning.

Robert, N. (2011). Management fundamentals: Concepts, Applications, Skills Development. Mahon, OH: Cengage Learning.