Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory is another theory of motivation that has received criticism, but this was a real eye-opener for me.
The central idea for Motivation-Hygiene Theory is that job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not part of a single continuum. What this means is that an improvement in satisfaction does not automatically result in a decrease in dissatisfaction; and conversely, improvement in areas causing dissatisfaction (known as ‘hygiene factors’) will result in less dissatisfaction, but not automatically result in a corresponding increase in satisfaction.
For the manager, a knowledge of Motivation-Hygiene Theory raises an awareness of the necessity to address both sides of the balance – i.e. improve hygiene factors to reduce dissatisfaction, but also improve motivation factors to increase satisfaction.