This paper seeks to critically discuss managerial implication of Herzberg’s Two-factor Theory and Adam`s Equity Theory. This paper will attempt to trace original meanings of the two theories when they were made and see whether they still find application to present generation type of management. This paper will also consider the latest available and possible researches on the theories to back the analysis
Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory Frunzi G. and Savini, P. (1997, 146) explained that under Herzberg’s Two-Factor (motivation-hygiene) theory, “individuals have positive feelings about the organization which employs them if the individual has opportunity for recognition, advancement, achievement, and responsibility. ” They considered that motivating factors are related to the work itself which can increase employee performance.
They also posited that Herzberg have made claims that “hygiene factors such as status, working conditions, company policy and administration, money, supervision, interpersonal relations, and security do not motivate individuals, but rather prevent job dissatisfaction” (147). By analyzing further, it could be observed that Herzberg’s’ first component in his approach to motivation theory involves what are known as the hygiene factors and includes the work and organizational environment.
These hygiene factors include: (1)The organization; (2) Its policies and its administration; (3) The kind of supervision such as leadership and management, which people receive while on the job; (4) Working conditions (including ergonomics); (5) Interpersonal relations; (5) Salary; (6) Status and (6) and Job security. These factors do not lead to higher levels of motivation but without them there is dissatisfaction. On the other hand, the second component in Herzberg’s’ motivation theory involves what people actually do on the job and should be engineered into the jobs employees do in order to develop intrinsic motivation with the workforce.
The motivators are: (1) Achievement; (2) Recognition; (3) Growth / advancement; (4) Interest in the job. These factors result from internal instincts in employees, yielding motivation rather than movement. The theory posits that both hygiene and motivation must be done simultaneously (Frunzi G. and Savini. P. 1997) Syptak, et. al. ,(1989) traced the history of Herzberg’s theory to have started in the late 1950s, where Herzberg interviewed a group of employees to find out what made them satisfied and dissatisfied on the job.
Herzberg was reported to have asked the employees essentially two sets of questions: “Think of a time when you felt especially good about your job. Why did you feel that way? Think of a time when you felt especially bad about your job. Why did you feel that way? ” It was from these interviews that Herzberg went on to formulate his theory that there are two dimensions to job satisfaction: motivation and “hygiene”. The hygiene issues were found incapable of motivating employees but they can minimize dissatisfaction, if handled properly.
In other words, they can only dissatisfy if they are absent or mishandled. Herzberg therefore identified hygiene factors to include company policies, supervision, salary, interpersonal relations and working conditions or the issues related to the employee’s environment. He also identified motivators, on the other hand, to have the capacity to create satisfaction by fulfilling individuals’ needs for meaning and personal growth. These motivating factors include achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility and advancement.
The author however posited that hygiene areas must be addressed first before the motivators can promote job satisfaction and encourage improved production. By having hygiene issues which must be present or must be handled properly before there could be motivation, it would mean there must be order of things. It is as if arguing that one must satisfy what is necessary before one must satisfy what is desirable. Necessity would therefore appear to be precursor of motivation.
It would therefore be imprudent to management to even thing of expecting high performance from giving salaries if the basic needs of the employees are not satisfied. Salary then which is a hygiene factor according to Herzberg could actually become a motivating factor it could assume a function of recognition of the employees’ performance by bringing up the salary. Application of the theory Syptak, et. al. ,1989 applied the Herzberg’s theory to real-world practice, by starting with the hygiene issues.
Despite the fact that hygiene issues are not the source of satisfaction, their presence or proper management must be dealt with first to produce an environment that will satisfy and motivate employees in every possible way. As an illustration, an organization’s policies can be a great source of frustration for employees if the policies are not explained and understood by employees as when not everyone is required to follow them. A good company cannot make employees to feel a great sense of motivation or satisfaction due to company policies since, it more of companies needs to have these policies than those of the employees.
But the same kind of company can decrease dissatisfaction in this area by ensuring policies to be fair and applicable equally to all by making printed copies of company policies-and-procedures manual easily accessible to all members of employees. In the absence a written manual, a wise company could create one, by getting staff input along the way or have existing ones updated with input from employees. Another hygiene factor is supervision and for a wise management to decrease dissatisfaction in this area, it must start by making wise decisions in having employees properly supervised.
This means that as a rule people need to be guided and to miss this minimum requirement, one could only expect chaos. Management must be therefore careful in choosing the supervisors who must have the respect of the lower employees in order to move them into direction where the organization should movie. A good leader must have leadership skills, the ability to treat all employees fairly and the ability to give feedback whenever possibly and could set means of employee evaluation and feedback so that no one feels singled out (Syptak, et. al. ,1989). Herzberg also identified salary as one of the hygiene factors.
As such since under the theory, salary is not a motivator for employees, it should be used to prevent dissatisfaction by ensuring the basic requirement of employees to be paid fairly. Thus, in case believe that they are not compensated well, this will cause them to be unhappy working for the company. There is therefore a need to consult salary surveys to verify whether the salaries and benefits being offered by the company are comparable to those of other companies in the area and the company must also make sure that it has clear policies related to salaries, raises and bonuses (Syptak, et.
al. ,1989). Another hygiene factors is the interpersonal relations which must be observed by a good management by noting that part of the satisfaction of being employed is the social contact it brings. This can be done by allowing employees to have a reasonable amount of time for socialization during lunch and coffee breaks. Man is basically social and to prevent people from doing this is the harshest punishment of the employees’ freedom of communication. Interpersonal relation will help them develop a sense of camaraderie and teamwork (Syptak, et. al. ,1989).
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