RBI Grade B (NRA) Exam: Herzberg Theory

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Enumerate Herzberg՚s two factors theory of motivation including principle of job enrichment.

The motivation-hygiene theory was proposed by psychologist Frederick Herzberg. In the belief that an individual՚s relation to his or her work is a basic one and that his or her attitude toward this work can very well determine the individual՚s success or failure, Herzberg investigated the question “What do people want from their jobs?” he asked people to describe, in detail, situations when they felt exceptionally good or bad about their jobs. Their responses were tabulated and categorized. Herzberg suggested that certain extrinsic factors, or hygiene (those associated with the environment surrounding a job) , only have the power to de-motivate while intrinsic factors (those associated with the job itself) have the power to energize, or motivate, behavior. The extrinsic, or hygiene, factors largely correspond to Maslow՚s lower order physiological and safety needs. They include factors associated with job dissatisfaction such as working conditions, supervision, relations with co-workers, salary, company policy, and administration. Intrinsic factors, or motivators, largely corresponding to Maslow՚s higher order needs, include the work itself, responsibility, recognition for work well done, advancement, and achievement.

From a philosophical perspective, it is Herzberg՚s position that it is the responsibility of society՚s dominant institutions to provide for the growth and well being of people. In our society, one such dominant organization is the business institution. Therefore it is the responsibility of business and industry to provide the means for growth and self actualization.

Herzberg՚s theory thus posits that there are two classes of factors that influence employee motivation; intrinsic factors and the extrinsic factors. The intrinsic factors were also called the motivator factors and were related to job satisfaction. The extrinsic factors were called hygiene factors and were related to job dissatisfaction. Motivators (intrinsic factors) led to job satisfaction because of a need for growth and self actualization, and hygiene (extrinsic) factors led to job dissatisfaction because of a need to avoid unpleasantness. The most important part of this theory of motivation is that the main motivating factors are not in the environment but in the intrinsic value and satisfaction gained from the job itself. It follows therefore that to motivate an individual, a job itself must be challenging, have scope for enrichment and be of interest to the jobholder. Motivators (sometimes called ‘satisfiers’ ) are those factors directly concerned with the satisfaction gained from a job, those are

Motivators (Satisfaction)

Motivators lead to satisfaction because of the need for growth and a sense of self-achievement.

A lack of motivators leads to over-concentration on hygiene factors, which are those negative factors which can be seen and therefore form the basis of complaint and concern. Hygiene factors (often referred to as maintenance factors) lead to dissatisfaction with a job because of the need to avoid unpleasantness. They are referred to as hygiene factors because they can be avoided or prevented by the use of ‘hygienic’ methods. The important fact to remember is that attention to these hygiene factors prevents dissatisfaction but does not necessarily provide positive motivation. Hygiene factors are also often referred to as ‘dissatisfiers’ They are concerned with factors associated with the job itself but are not directly a part of it. Typically, this is salary, although other factors which will often act as dissatisfiers include:

The sense of achievement and the intrinsic value obtained from the job itself

  • the level of recognition by both colleagues and management
  • the level of responsibility
  • opportunities for advancement
  • The status provided.

Hygiene Factors (Dis-Satisfaction)

  • perceived differences with others
  • job security
  • working conditions
  • the quality of management
  • organizational policy
  • administration
  • Interpersonal relations

Job Enrichment

The idea of job enrichment is probably the most significant contribution of Herzberg՚s theory. Meaningful tasks allow for growth, and job enrichment is a relatively simple method for facilitating this growth: Adding different tasks to a job to provide greater involvement and interaction with the task. Adding tasks can raise the level of challenge in any particular job to a level commensurate with the abilities of an employee. It might be argued that, if a job can not be enriched and it is not challenging to the person in that position, then that person ought to be replaced by someone who will find the job challenging.

Principles of job enrichment according to Herzberg are


  • Removing some control while retaining accountability
  • Increases accountability for individual own work
  • Giving a person a complete natural unit of work
  • Granting additional authority to an employee in his activity
  • Introducing new and more difficult tasks not handled previously
  • Assigning individuals specific or specialized tasks, enabling them to become experts
  • motivators involved
  • responsibility and personal achievements
  • Responsibility and recognition
  • Internal recognition
  • Growth and learning
  • Responsibility, growth and advancement


Define moral, it is said, the higher the moral the higher is the productivity. However it may not be true in all cases, illustrate this through a graph.

According to Keith Davis morale means the attitude of the employee and groups towards their work environment and towards voluntary cooperation to the full extent of their ability in the best interests of the organization According to Morris Viteles Morale refers to the condition of a group where there are clear and fixed group goals that are felt to be important and integrated with individual goals. Where there is confidence in the attainment of these goals and the confidence in the means of attainment in the leader, associates and finally in one self. Morale indicates the happiness of the employee with organizational environment. It also refers to the preparedness of the groups of the employee to the subordinate the individual and the group goals of the organization It represents the integration of an individual with the team and the organizational itself. Generally it can be said that morale has a positive relationship with productivity. The higher the morale the higher is the productivity.

High productivity involves a combination of ability, training, work habits, performance goals ext. Curve ‘A’ above where morale is high but productivity is low indicates the management՚s failure in the proper discharge of management function: CHIEFLY THE PLANNING FUNCTION. Planning can be high in spite of morale being low because of the rigid systems and controls imposed by the management. The situation where productivity is higher in spite of morale being low or productivity being lower in spite of morale being high does not last long. In the first situation productivity is high because of the strict management controls and close supervision. It also happens in an atmosphere where the people are treated as machines. In this situation the management is apparently creating discontent in the organization which may blow up in its face. When this happens the productivity also dips. In the second situation when morale is high but productivity is high but productivity is low, slowly people distance themselves from the organization because of the disillusionment about the management abilities. In this situation after sometimes the morale comes down. This in both these situation ultimately morale as well as productivity are at their nadir. Every manager is always interested in curve B indicating high morale as well as productivity. But morale is not static phenomenon. Today the morale high but some thing may go wrong and the morale might start coming down. In words a manager must have his fingers on the morale in the organization. No doubt a manager can know the level of morale in his organization by morale surveys. These morale surveys involve drafting of questionnaires, interview people, tabulate and analyze the data. This may be time taking process. Instead he may pay due attention to some of the morale indicators that give an idea about the status of morale at a particular time Therefore a manger has to understand some of the morale indicators in the organization. An attention these indicators may enable him to take some corrective action on time.

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