ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR – Question and answer 5

Comparatively discuss the theories of motivation of Maslow and Herzberg.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory are two influential theories of motivation that provide insights into understanding employee motivation and satisfaction in the workplace. While there are similarities between the two theories, there are also key differences in their perspectives. Let’s discuss and compare Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

Maslow’s theory, often represented as a pyramid, suggests that individuals have a hierarchy of needs that motivate their behavior. The needs are arranged in a hierarchical order, with lower-level needs requiring fulfillment before higher-level needs become motivating factors. The five levels of needs in Maslow’s hierarchy are as follows:

a. Physiological Needs: These are the basic biological needs, such as food, water, shelter, and sleep.

b. Safety Needs: These involve the need for security, stability, and protection from physical and emotional harm.

c. Social Needs: Also known as belongingness and love needs, they include the desire for interpersonal relationships, love, and a sense of belonging.

d. Esteem Needs: These needs encompass self-esteem and the need for recognition, achievement, respect, and status.

e. Self-Actualization Needs: The highest level of needs refers to self-fulfillment, personal growth, and reaching one’s potential.

According to Maslow, individuals strive to meet these needs sequentially, with higher-level needs becoming motivating factors once lower-level needs are satisfied. Once a need is fulfilled, it no longer serves as a motivator.

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory:

Herzberg’s theory focuses on factors that influence job satisfaction and dissatisfaction. He proposed that two sets of factors exist in the workplace:

a. Hygiene Factors (Dissatisfiers): These factors are related to the work environment and job context. They include aspects such as salary, job security, working conditions, company policies, and interpersonal relationships. When hygiene factors are absent or inadequate, they lead to job dissatisfaction. However, their presence does not necessarily lead to motivation or satisfaction.

b. Motivational Factors: These factors are directly related to the nature of the work itself and the intrinsic satisfaction it provides. Motivational factors include achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement, and personal growth. When these factors are present, they lead to job satisfaction and intrinsic motivation.

According to Herzberg, hygiene factors prevent dissatisfaction but do not motivate employees, while motivational factors contribute to job satisfaction and motivation.


Focus: Maslow’s theory focuses on individual needs and their hierarchical progression, while Herzberg’s theory emphasizes the influence of specific factors on job satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

Needs vs. Factors: Maslow’s theory emphasizes individual needs, while Herzberg’s theory focuses on job-related factors.

Sequential vs. Simultaneous: Maslow’s theory suggests a sequential fulfillment of needs, whereas Herzberg’s theory suggests that hygiene factors and motivational factors can coexist and impact satisfaction simultaneously.

Application: Maslow’s theory has broader application beyond the workplace, as it can be used to understand motivation in various life domains. Herzberg’s theory specifically applies to work-related motivation and job satisfaction.

Universal vs. Individual Differences: Maslow’s theory assumes a universal hierarchy of needs, while Herzberg’s theory recognizes that the importance of specific factors may vary among individuals.

Both theories contribute valuable insights into understanding motivation and job satisfaction. While Maslow’s theory provides a broad framework for understanding human needs, Herzberg’s theory offers a more specific focus on job-related factors and their impact on motivation and satisfaction in the workplace.

Explain the concepts of two continuum if satisfaction and dissatisfaction according to two factor theory of work motivation.

According to Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of work motivation, job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction are not opposite ends of a single continuum but are influenced by two separate continua. These two continua are known as the “Motivator-Hygiene” or “Satisfaction-Dissatisfaction” continuum. Let’s understand these concepts:

Motivator Factors (Satisfaction):

Motivator factors are intrinsic to the job itself and are directly related to the work content and nature. These factors contribute to job satisfaction and intrinsic motivation. When these factors are present, employees are more likely to feel motivated, satisfied, and engaged with their work. Examples of motivator factors include:

a. Achievement: Opportunities for challenging work and a sense of accomplishment.

b. Recognition: Acknowledgment and appreciation for good performance.

c. Responsibility: Autonomy and decision-making authority.

d. Advancement: Opportunities for growth, career progression, and development.

e. Personal Growth: Opportunities for learning, skill development, and self-improvement.

Motivator factors are associated with the intrinsic rewards employees derive from their work. They create a sense of fulfillment, satisfaction, and personal growth, leading to increased motivation and higher job satisfaction.

Hygiene Factors (Dissatisfaction):

Hygiene factors, also known as maintenance factors or extrinsic factors, are external to the job itself and are associated with the work environment and job context. These factors are necessary to prevent job dissatisfaction, but their presence alone does not lead to motivation or satisfaction. Examples of hygiene factors include:

a. Salary and Benefits: Compensation and financial rewards.

b. Job Security: Assurance of employment stability.

c. Working Conditions: Physical environment, equipment, and resources.

d. Company Policies: Fairness, rules, and procedures.

e. Interpersonal Relationships: Relationships with coworkers, supervisors, and subordinates.

Hygiene factors are necessary for maintaining a satisfactory work environment. When these factors are lacking or inadequate, they can lead to job dissatisfaction and discomfort. However, their presence at an acceptable level does not necessarily result in motivation or job satisfaction.

Herzberg argued that motivator factors directly contribute to job satisfaction and intrinsic motivation, while hygiene factors primarily prevent job dissatisfaction. Both factors operate independently on separate continua. Increasing the presence of hygiene factors alone will not lead to motivation or satisfaction; rather, it helps maintain a baseline level of comfort. To enhance motivation and satisfaction, organizations should focus on enriching the work itself, providing opportunities for growth, recognition, and meaningful tasks.

Overall, Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory suggests that job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are influenced by distinct factors, and addressing both motivator factors and hygiene factors is necessary to create a work environment that fosters motivation, engagement, and high job satisfaction.

Discuss with example, the role of culture and gender on the expression of need for achievement of people.

Culture and gender play significant roles in shaping the expression of the need for achievement in individuals. The need for achievement refers to the desire to excel, accomplish challenging goals, and attain success. Let’s explore how culture and gender influence the expression of this need:


Culture encompasses shared beliefs, values, norms, and practices within a specific group or society. Different cultures may prioritize and define achievement differently, leading to variations in the expression of the need for achievement. Here are some examples:

a. Individualistic vs. Collectivistic Cultures: In individualistic cultures (e.g., United States, Western Europe), personal achievement and individual success are often emphasized. Individuals are encouraged to set ambitious goals, take risks, and strive for personal accomplishments. In such cultures, the need for achievement may be expressed through individual recognition, career advancements, and pursuit of personal goals.

In contrast, collectivistic cultures (e.g., many Asian cultures) emphasize group harmony, cooperation, and the collective well-being. In these cultures, the need for achievement may be expressed through contributions to the group’s success, fulfilling family expectations, and maintaining social harmony. Success and achievement may be measured in terms of fulfilling societal roles and obligations rather than individual recognition.

b. High Power Distance vs. Low Power Distance Cultures: Power distance refers to the extent to which hierarchical relationships are accepted and respected within a culture. In high power distance cultures (e.g., some Asian and Latin American cultures), individuals may express the need for achievement through demonstrating loyalty and obedience to authority figures, adhering to established norms, and striving for success within existing power structures.

In low power distance cultures (e.g., Scandinavian countries), individuals may express the need for achievement through challenging authority, promoting equality, and striving for personal and social progress. Achievement may be associated with breaking traditional norms, challenging the status quo, and creating social change.

These examples illustrate how cultural values and norms influence the expression and definition of the need for achievement, shaping individuals’ goals, behaviors, and motivations.


Gender roles and expectations also influence the expression of the need for achievement. Societal expectations and stereotypes associated with gender can impact how individuals pursue and express their achievement-oriented behaviors. Here are a few examples:

a. Traditional Gender Roles: In some societies, traditional gender roles assign different expectations and priorities for men and women. Men may be encouraged to demonstrate assertiveness, competitiveness, and ambition, which align with traditional notions of achievement. Their pursuit of achievement may be more visible in career advancements, leadership positions, and individual accomplishments.

Women, on the other hand, may face societal expectations focused on nurturing, caregiving, and maintaining relationships. Their expression of the need for achievement may be channeled into areas such as family and community accomplishments, developing social connections, and contributing to the well-being of others.

b. Changing Gender Roles: With evolving societal attitudes towards gender roles, there has been a shift in the expression of the need for achievement. Increasingly, women are pursuing careers, leadership positions, and entrepreneurial endeavors, demonstrating the same drive for achievement as men. This shift challenges traditional gender stereotypes and expands the range of expressions for the need for achievement.

However, it’s important to note that cultural contexts and individual variations exist within gender groups, and not all individuals conform to societal expectations. People can defy traditional gender roles and express the need for achievement in diverse ways, depending on their personal aspirations, cultural environment, and individual values.

In summary, culture and gender significantly influence the expression of the need for achievement. Cultural values, such as individualism vs. collectivism and power distance, shape the definition and priorities associated with achievement. Gender roles and expectations, both traditional and evolving, influence how individuals express and pursue achievement-related goals. Understanding these cultural and gender dynamics helps create inclusive environments that support individuals’ diverse expressions of the need for achievement.

Discuss the contribution of goal setting theory of motivation in the process of Management by objectives (MBO).

The goal setting theory of motivation and the management by objectives (MBO) approach are closely interconnected and mutually reinforcing. The goal setting theory, proposed by Edwin Locke, emphasizes the importance of setting specific, challenging goals to enhance motivation and performance. MBO, on the other hand, is a management approach developed by Peter Drucker that involves setting objectives collaboratively, aligning individual and organizational goals, and managing performance based on those objectives. Let’s explore the contribution of the goal setting theory in the MBO process:

Clear and Specific Goals:

The goal setting theory emphasizes the significance of setting clear, specific, and challenging goals. This aspect aligns with the MBO approach, as it emphasizes the importance of setting well-defined and measurable objectives. Clear goals provide employees with a sense of direction and focus, helping them understand what is expected of them and how their performance will be evaluated within the MBO framework.

Commitment and Participation:

According to the goal setting theory, involving employees in the goal-setting process leads to greater commitment and motivation. MBO encourages participative goal setting, where employees and managers collaborate to establish objectives. This participatory approach fosters a sense of ownership and engagement among employees, increasing their motivation to achieve the agreed-upon goals.

Goal Alignment:

The goal setting theory highlights the importance of aligning individual goals with organizational goals to enhance motivation and performance. MBO facilitates this alignment by ensuring that individual objectives are derived from and contribute to broader organizational goals. When employees see a clear connection between their individual goals and the overall objectives of the organization, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work.

Feedback and Evaluation:

The goal setting theory emphasizes the role of feedback in enhancing motivation and performance. Regular feedback allows individuals to track their progress, make adjustments, and stay motivated. In the MBO process, feedback and evaluation mechanisms are integral components. Managers and employees engage in ongoing discussions and performance reviews to assess progress toward goals, identify areas for improvement, and provide feedback. This feedback loop helps employees stay focused, motivated, and aligned with the MBO objectives.

Performance Improvement and Learning:

The goal setting theory recognizes that setting challenging goals can lead to increased effort, persistence, and performance improvement. In the MBO process, as employees work toward achieving specific objectives, they are motivated to develop new skills, acquire knowledge, and find innovative solutions to overcome challenges. MBO promotes a continuous learning and improvement mindset, encouraging employees to stretch their capabilities and achieve higher levels of performance.

Accountability and Performance Measurement:

Both the goal setting theory and the MBO approach emphasize the importance of accountability and performance measurement. Setting clear goals and establishing a system for tracking progress enables managers to hold employees accountable for their performance. The MBO process provides a framework for regular performance reviews, allowing managers to assess performance against objectives, identify areas of success or improvement, and provide recognition or support as needed.

By integrating the goal setting theory into the MBO process, organizations can foster a motivational climate that encourages employees to set challenging goals, align their efforts with organizational objectives, actively participate in goal setting, receive feedback, and continuously improve their performance. This alignment between individual and organizational goals promotes motivation, engagement, and the achievement of desired outcomes within the MBO framework.

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