The two-factor theory, also known as the dual-factor theory or motivation-hygiene theory, was proposed by psychologist Frederick Herzberg in the 1950s. According to this theory, there are two factors that influence an individual's motivation and job satisfaction in the workplace.
The first factor is called hygiene factors or extrinsic factors. These factors are related to the work environment and include aspects such as salary, job security, company policies, working conditions, and interpersonal relationships. Herzberg argued that these factors do not directly lead to motivation, but their absence or dissatisfaction can cause dissatisfaction and demotivation. In other words, when hygiene factors are inadequate, employees become dissatisfied, but improving them does not necessarily lead to increased motivation.
The second factor is called motivators or intrinsic factors. These factors are related to the nature of the work itself and include aspects such as achievement, recognition, responsibility, growth, and advancement. Herzberg argued that these factors directly contribute to an individual's motivation and job satisfaction. When motivators are present and fulfilled, employees experience satisfaction and are motivated to perform at a higher level.
According to the two-factor theory, job satisfaction and motivation are influenced by a combination of both hygiene factors and motivators. While hygiene factors can prevent dissatisfaction, they do not necessarily lead to motivation. Motivators, on the other hand, are the key drivers of motivation and job satisfaction. Therefore, Herzberg suggested that organizations should focus on providing both adequate hygiene factors to prevent dissatisfaction and sufficient motivators to enhance motivation and job satisfaction.