Do they offer a valid check of herzberg s two

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Office of Actions in Organisations, University of Lancaster; about study ieavefrom the Department of Psychology, University of Melbourne There are lots of ways of stating Herzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation every version could be tested in several ways. People who defend the theory argue that experts who neglect to find support for the idea have usually departed from your procedures employed by Herzberg. There were variations in methods of gathering data, categorizing the responses, and analysing the effects. These variants may be justified on the grounds that the effectiveness of any theory lies in it is logic and its capability to withstand deviations from a set method.

Some tests of Herzberg’s theory may produce support than others. This was proved in a study of London, uk bus crews. However it could be argued that there is more than one valid test of Herzberg’s two-factor theory, though some of these will probably produce contradictory results.

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The Herzberg theory, or two-factor theory of motivation or perhaps Motivator-Hygiene (M-H) theory, features given rise to a mass of investigations and experiments in industry in addition to many different types of businesses. Results tend not to always support Herzberg; actually only about one out of three accomplish that. Donald Hebb once stated that when it is a question of success, theories are just like women”fecundity much more important than purity. M-H theory features certainly been very fertile”more so probably than any other theory in applied sociable psychology. Many industrial specialists have not just survived but indeed flourished on the theory. The fecundity of the theory is not really in doubt but its purity undoubtedly is highly think.


The theory is within two parts, each which can be set by several ways. Part you says that job elements can be separated into two quite specific sets: in your first set consists of elements which bring about job fulfillment and hardly ever if at all to job unhappiness; these factors are called ‘Motivators’. The second established consists of work factors which in turn contribute to jobdissatisfaction and rarely if at all to job fulfillment; these are the ‘Hygienes’. Subsequently job satisfaction and discontentment are individual dimensions rather than the two ends of a one dimension. This is certainly a flat contradiction of the traditional view in psychology that satisfaction and dissatisfaction amount to a single dimension.

The first difficulty with the theory in practice is that the data usually include a proportion of responses which do not fit this kind of pattern. Several Motivators bring about dissatisfaction although some Hygienes bring about satisfaction. Within-factors reversals are far from uncommon and sometimes out number responses in the expected way. These incongruent responses will be attributed to sampling error, which usually of course is usually begging the question”rejecting inconvenient data to save lots of the theory. The analysis then takes the form of a comparative comparison”for Motivators we predict more pleasure than unhappiness, and for Hygienes we predict more discontentment than pleasure and check for significance accordingly. What investigators neglect to point out is that in doing this they are really really reformulating the theory to slip their details.

The revised theory at this point says, essentially, that Motivators contribute more to satisfaction than to dissatisfaction although Hygienes lead more to dissatisfaction than satisfaction. This is reasonable but it makes non-sense of the declare that satisfaction and dissatisfaction are separate proportions. In fact that supports the standard view of the single procession; different task factors create ranges of satisfaction-dissatisfaction which can be to be found in different positions on the same entier.

Part 2 of the theory is also in two parts. First: draw attention to Motivators (intrinsic job satisfaction or more order needs) will increase pleasure but will not affect any dissatisfaction together with the job; or perhaps, alternatively, increasing Motivators will be better organizational effectiveness as demonstrated by bigger productivity, more expensive, better attendance and punctuality, lower work turnover¦ in short, by increased performance. Second: paying moreattention to Care factors (extrinsic job pleasure or reduce order needs) will reduce dissatisfaction but actually will not enhance overall fulfillment; or otherwise, there will be no improvement in performance”on the contrary, acquiring costs into consideration there will be a lowered organizational efficiency mainly because improving Hygienes will cost the corporation more money. Observe that for each a part of Part two, i. at the. as regards both Motivators and Hygienes, you will find alternative estimations.

Increase of satisfaction or decrease of dissatisfaction are both in theory trivial plug-ins of Component 1 of the theory; trivial for the reason that they say no more than is already a part of that model. To be good to the M-H practitioners they do not rest their case within this alternative; they may be concerned simply with the effects on functionality and company efficiency. Work satisfaction is either a function or a stage towards better efficiency. This could tell us something special in the value program in which they operate but it really in no way counters the validity of this method of testing their particular theory. One particular problem must now be encountered. Does Portion 2 of the theory be based upon Part one particular? According to accommodate & Wigdor (1967, s. 385) in the event the satisfaction-dissatisfaction dichotomy is bogus then Component 2 is usually ‘highly suspect’.

I would believe if Portion 1 can be false then simply Part two is irrelevant or must be argued on other environment. If and only if Part 1 applies, then Portion 2 can be tested making use of the concepts structured on Part 1 ) Another serious difficulty pertaining to testing the validity with the theory is the fact that both equally parts stand on two legs. In Part 1, 1 leg pinpoints Motivators even though the other identifies Hygienes; partly 2 1 leg anticipates the effects of elevating the potency of Motivators while the different leg works with changes in Hygienes. Does the theory claim that every part can easily stand on a single leg at the same time?

If one particular investigator concurs with the Driving force leg but not the Hygiene leg, truly does Part 1 of the theory stand or land? And if another investigator follows with the opposite result, credit reporting Hygienes although not Motivators, does this increase or perhaps diminish our confidence in the theory? In the same way for Part 2 of the theory. In fact, testing the effect of adding more weight on the Motivators is actually a dubious process if this is the only change. The effects are not really surprising. The relative ineffectiveness of spending resources about Hygienes, which can be what the theory also forecasts, may shock industrial well being advocates although not cynical managers.

On the whole terms, assertions describing the theory are superficially similar and do not differ greatly from the way set out above. For instance: Whitsett & Winslow (1967, p. 393) in explaining M-H theory say ‘dissatisfaction and others factors that contribute to dissatisfaction are independent and distinctive from those factors that contribute to pleasure. Satisfaction is not reverse from dissatisfaction for they work on separate continua¦ This is totally different from traditional thinking¦’ As regards Part 2, Property & Wigdor (1967, l. 371) declare ‘The second major hypothesis of the dual-factor theory of motivation would be that the satisfiers work in inspiring the individual to superior performance and effort, but the dissatisfiers are not’. Later on they put (p. 373) ‘If the dual-factor theory were right, we should anticipate highly happy people to be highly encouraged and to develop more’ which usually as they point out does not square with the facts.

But nevertheless general transactions are similar, exact statements, if perhaps made whatsoever, are usually sporadic or in variance with each other. Sometimes there is not any argument”an author assumes that his knowledge of the theory is the same as that of others. Or the exploration design shows an underlying meaning of the theory which may be comparable to or quite different from that of another examine which the writer is supporting or refuting; but creators seem to be unacquainted with this. Fights about what the idea says might be unspoken and possess to be deduced. However , at times interpretations in the theory are set out in a manner that makes possible reviews with other interpretations. For example. Property & Wigdor (1967) incorporate a rank purchase of importance to get the Motivators and for the Hygienes included in the theory. This kind of reflects the infiuence of Maslow after Herzberg and may be a reasonable interpretation of Herzberg’s objective.

On the whole it appears an pointless refinement which makes for extra complications when tests validity. Whitsett & Winslow (1967) accuse Burke (1966) of ‘A unique misinterpretation of the M-H theory… seeing that M-H theory makes no claim that generally there should beany fixed order of importance amongst either motivator or health factors’ (p. 41O). As it happens Burkie makes zero such claim either. Is overall task satisfaction portion of the theory? Certainly not according to Whitsett & Winslow (1967) who declare: ‘One of the extremely common and chronic misinterpretations in the Motivation-Hygiene (M-H) theory is a attempt to employ measures of overall task satisfaction for making statements purporting to be created from the theory. The idea does not, and purposely would not, make transactions about total job satisfaction’ (p. 395).

In saying that work attitudes has to be looked at two times (p. 396) they are putting an emphasis on Herzberg’s procedure of conducting separate pieces of selection interviews for good important incidents at work (revealing pleasure and hence Motivators) and for negative critical occurrences (revealing unhappiness and hence Hygienes). Perhaps the most systematic try to sort out the actual theory really says was performed by Full (1970) who have identified five distinct types of Component 1 of the theory. Some variations are better than others because that they entail these people. King is not always sure Herzberg was aware of these kinds of versions or which of them Herzberg was proclaiming to support. King classifies the evidence according as to if it is irrelevant or tightly related to these theories, and then subdivides the relevant studies into those which support and those which refute any of thesefivetheories. Table one particular sets out King’s five unique versions of Herzberg’s two-factor theory.