Title

Resurrecting the Motivation-Hygiene Theory: Herzberg and the Positive Psychology Movement

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2007

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory is a popular but controversial theory of employee satisfaction. The theory was at the center of a long debate that focused on conceptual and methodological problems with the theory. Now, more than 30 years after the debate and despite multiple claims that Herzberg's theory is dead, emerging research from the field of positive psychology is surprisingly consistent with basic tenets of the motivation-hygiene theory. It may be time to resurrect Herzberg's theory. This article includes a summary of the motivation-hygiene theory, a clarification of long-standing misinterpretations of the theory, and an examination of the fit between Herzberg's theory and contemporary research on happiness, intrinsic motivation, and materialism. The benefits of returning to Herzberg's model are discussed.

Publication Title

Human Resource Development Review

DOI

10.1177/1534484307307546