Does Herzberg’s Motivation Theory Have staying Power – Author’s conclusion and direction for future research

A different strength of the article is thus the authors provide conclusions that are advised and concurrent with the evidence presented in the paper. Additionally, the authors also present implications for practice based on the evidence identified from the data collected. Such implications for instance include the need for organization to consider intrinsic sources of motivation, as advised by Herzberg’s theory, to secure long-term employee commitment , especially in periods of job cuts to achieve optimal structures for their labour costs.

A weakness of the study, with respect to the concluding aspects, is however that the authors fail to identify areas where further research needs to be conducted. For instance such further studies are necessitated to validate the study design that the authors have used in the study. Studies using similar methodological approaches could for instance help in assessing the validity of the findings in different employment settings such as in different countries. Avenues for further research could also involve quantification of the effect noted in the study, by use of a quantitative research design where researchers can influence the factors studied. Such an approach could help in delineating whether significant differences exist in aspects such as maintenance of motivation from intrinsic (motivations) and extrinsic (movement factors).


I agree with Bassett-Jones and Lloyd (2005) thesis that Herzberg’s theory of motivation has utility even in the modern organisational setup due to the role that intrinsic factors play even in the theories considered to derive their impact from extrinsic motivators. For instance, in the expectancy theory of motivation, the effectiveness of extrinsic aspects such as rewards, are argued to be influenced by intrinsic aspects such as the value that an individual attaches to such a reward, the valence (Isaac, Zerbe & Pitt, 2001). In this respect, to achieve effective motivation, the entity has to offer its employees rewards that they value.

Another support for the usefulness of Herzberg’s theory in the modern organisation arises from observations of increasing preference for effective work-life balance in the workforce. For instance, in a survey of the factors that are shaping the workplace in this decade and those that will persist even up to 2025, Gratton (2011), notes of the increasing preference of the generation X and Y workforce to establish a balance between their involvement in work and family activities. Such observations imply that aspects such as financial rewards and supervision, which where advanced in earlier theories, e.g. Taylorism, to enhance employee productivity, may prove inefficient in meeting the motivational needs of such a workforce. Accordingly, entities will need to evaluate factors that provide intrinsic motivation, such as flexible work arrangements and empowerment to make decisions that appears to be of value to the younger staff as noted by Gratton (2011).

Despite such importance of intrinsic factors in enhancing motivation, extrinsic factors also have a role to play in enhancing employees motivation and commitment to organisational outcomes. Cohen (2004) for instance identifies rewarding innovative behaviours to be core to establishing a “company of leaders.” In this respect, rewards, as he notes, could include tangible extrinsic aspects such as stock ownership and performance reviews that facilitate promotion of individuals who consistently engage in innovation. Go to the conclusion.

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