Motivation,Empowerment, and Leadership

Posted by Winnie Melda on January 14th, 2019


Maslow portrayed peoples’ needs in the form of a pyramid with a number of stages. The highest in the triangle is self-actualization while the lowest is physiological needs.  The theory is based on the assumptions that people have certain needs that affect their behavior.  Unsatisfied needs influence behavior. The needs are arranged in the form of a hierarchy and needs at any level emerges when lower needs are satisfied. Herzberg’s Two-factor theory suggests that an individual’s relation to work is fundamental and that the attitude towards work can influence the outcome.  Herzberg conducted a research and concluded that employees generally have two set of needs in the work environment: Hygiene factors and Motivator factors.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory Vs. Herzberg's two-factor theory

Both Maslow's theory and Herzberg's two-factor theory confer that specific needs must be met in order to produce desired behavior, and maintain it.  Additionally, both theories are concerned with increasing the motivation levels of individuals.

Basis of Theory

The basis of Maslow's theory is the hierarchy of human needs. Maslow identified a set of human needs and prioritized them and their satisfaction in motivating employees.  The theory focuses on employees and the organization from the employee's viewpoint. According to Maslow, people have a pyramid hierarchy of needs that they require satisfied from the bottom to top. In the case Maslow's hierarchy of needs is applied to work situations, the manager should know where to satisfy or ensure that deficiency of needs is met.

On the other hand, Hertzberg shows hoe hygiene factors and motivating factors determine behavior. According to Herzberg’s, every task has its motivators and hygiene factors. The absence of Hygiene factors results in an unsatisfying experience. Conversely, increasing hygiene factors does not improve satisfaction; but brings the person to a neutral state (Daft, 2014). Thus, salary and other financial incentives are hygiene factors as they are less likely to energize employees to higher levels of performance. Thus, hygiene factors do not create satisfaction and therefore cannot motivate behavior.  Motivators are such as recognition, achievement, growth and the work itself. 

Nature of Theory

Maslow's hierarchy theory is simple and descriptive.  It is based on extensive experience about human needs. On the other hand, Hertzberg's theory is more prescriptive. The theory suggests that motivating factors can be used effectively. Hertzberg based his theory on actual information collected through research.


Maslow's hierarchy theory is popular among scholars and has been widely cited and applied in the field of motivation.  Herzberg's theory is often used as an extension of Maslow's hierarchy theory of motivation. It has been applied narrowly specifically where money is a less important motivating factor.


Maslow's hierarchical model suggests that any need can be taken as a motivator as long as it is relatively less satisfied or satisfied. In the Hertzberg’s two factors theory, lower level needs or hygiene factors do not act as motivators. Only the higher order needs such as recognition, achievement and challenging work act as motivators (Daft, 2014).

Significance of each

Each theory is significant and complements each other. Maslow’s theory may be used to be used to determine the order of fulfilling needs in order to motivate a person. Herzberg theory can be used to determine the causes of dissatisfaction or satisfaction. It can also help in explaining the factors that lead to motivation and demotivation. This way, it is an extension of Maslow’s theory.


Daft, R. L. (2014). The leadership experience. Cengage Learning.

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at MeldaResearch.Com in best custom research papers if you need a similar paper you can place your order from nursing paper writing service.  

Winnie Melda

About the Author

Winnie Melda
Joined: December 7th, 2017
Articles Posted: 364

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