Frederick Herzberg motivation theory shows that different factors contribute towards the satisfaction and dissatisfaction at work/job; these factors are not merely opposing reactions to the same factors as had been believed by most people.  The Herzberg’s theory suggests that, man is basically born with two sets of needs. One as an animal being ‘to avoid pain’ and the other as a human ‘to grow psychologically,’ he also demonstrated it through a biblical illustration: “Adam after his expulsion from Eden having the need for food, warmth, shelter, safety, etc., – the ‘hygiene’ needs; and Abraham, capable and achieving great things through self-development – the ‘motivational’ needs.”[sky]

Other examples of Herzberg’s hygiene needs are:

a)    Employee relationships with supervisors

b)    Work conditions

c)    Salary

d)    Security

e)    Office policies

f)    Personal life

g)    Relationship with subordinates

Whereas according to Herzberg the real motivational factors are:

a)    Recognition

b)    Responsibility

c)    Advancement in professional life

d)    Work itself

e)    Sense of achievement

Following are some quotations from Herzberg on salary:

“It  appears as frequently in the high sequences [‘sequences’ refers to events causing high or low attitude feelings recalled by interviewees in the study] as it does in the low sequences… however… we find that in the lows [events leading to dissatisfaction], salary is found almost three times as often in the long-range as in the short-range attitude changes.”

Herzberg says the following on the interrelation of salary and other motivational and hygiene factors:
“When salary occurred as a factor in the lows (causes of dissatisfaction) it revolved around the unfairness of the wage system within the company. It was the system of salary administration that was being described. It concerned an advancement that was not accompanied by a salary increase. In contrast to this, salary was mentioned in the high stories (events causing satisfaction) as something that went along with a person’s achievement on the job. It was a form of recognition; it meant more than money; it meant a job well done; it meant that the individual was progressing in his work.”

In conclusion to salary being an essential factor in employee motivation Herzberg says that, “Viewed within the context of the sequences of events, salary as a factor belongs more in the group that defines the job situation and is primarily a non-satisfactory”

However it has been argued by many people that money is a major motivator, but it is also true that for most people money is not an aspect of motivation, whether it is power, responsibility a sense of achievement or other issue, money cannot be the sole factor of motivation for anyone.


All in all, Herzberg’s research establishes that people strive to attain ‘hygiene needs’ mainly because they cannot do without them, however once these needs are satisfied the result/effect soon wears off, there fore it can be said that satisfaction attained from fulfillment of hygiene needs is temporary and organizations need to understand that people are not suitably motivated by just addressing these needs. In order to motivate employees, the real motivation factors (according to Herzberg) should be addressed these would include sense of achievement, advancement etc; such issues that signify the actual meaning of fulfillment. Till date, there has not been any vital criticism on the Herzberg theory which stands as rationale for its validity.