Motivational Theory

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Definition: Motivational Theory

The dual factor theory or the Herzberg’s motivation theory was developed to better understand employee attitudes and motivation at the work place. The theory states that there are two sets of factors that cause job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction and both the phenomenon are independent of each other. This means that, some factors need to be avoided in order to prevent dissatisfaction, however the absence of them do not necessarily provide job satisfaction. Thus the two feelings need to be treated independently of each other.

The factors that result in job satisfaction were called “motivators” while those that cause dissatisfaction were called “hygiene” factors.

Some examples are:

Hygiene Factors:  Salary, relationship with peers, relationship with boss, work condition, company policies.

Motivators: Achievement, recognition, responsibility, growth.


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