/. occup. Psychol. 1977,50,197-204. Pritited in Great Britain
Is there a valid test of Herzberg's two-factor theory?
Department of Behaviour in Organisations, University of Lancaster; on study ieavefrom the Department of Psychology, University of Melbourne
There are several ways of stating Herzberg's two-factor theory of motivation and each version can be tested in various ways. Those who defend the theory argue that researchers who fail to find support for the theory have usually departed from the procedures used by Herzberg. There have been variations in methods of gathering data, categorizing the responses, and analysing the results. These variations may be justified on the grounds that the strength of any theory
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in short, by improved performance. Second: paying more attention to Hygiene factors (extrinsic job satisfaction or lower order needs) will decrease dissatisfaction but will not increase overall satisfaction; or alternatively, there will be no improvement in performance—on the contrary, taking costs into account there will be a lowered organizational efficiency because improving Hygienes will cost the organization more money. Notice that for each part of Part 2, i.e. as regards both Motivators and Hygienes, there are alternative predictions. Increase of satisfaction or decrease of dissatisfaction are both theoretically trivial extensions of Part 1 of the theory; trivial in that they say no more than is already contained in that model. To be fair to the M-H practitioners they do not rest their case on this alternative; they are concerned only with the effects on performance and organizational efficiency. Job satisfaction is either a by-product or a step towards better efficiency. This may tell us something about the value system in which they operate but it in no way detracts from the validity of this method of testing their theory. One problem must now be faced. Does Part 2 of the theory depend on Part 1? According to House & Wigdor