Similarities and Comparison between Maslow’s and Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation

A careful study and analysis of these two models i.e. Maslow's Hierarchy of Need Theory and Herzber's Two Factor Theory, would suggest that they are not very much different from each other. There is much similarity between Herzberg’s and Maslow’s models. A close examination of Herzberg’s ideas indicates that what he is actually saying is that some employees may have achieved a level of social and economic progress in our society such that higher level needs of Maslow (Esteem and Self actualization) are the primary motivators. However, they just still satisfy the lower level needs for the maintenance of their current state. Thus, we can say that, money might still be a motivator for non-management workers (particularly those at a minimum wage level) and for some managerial employees. Similarities between two theories can be better explained with the help of following figure and points. 

Similarities between Maslow's Hierarchy of Need Theory and Herzberg's Two Factor Theory

  1. Both the models fail to explain individual differences in motivation. 
  2. Both the models are content model. They focus on identifying needs that motivate people to do something. 
  3. Both the models assume that needs are the driving force that cause a person to do something.
  4. Both deal with the same problem.
  5. Both tend to over simplify the motivation process.

Distinction between Maslow’s and Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation 

Difference between two different theories can be better explained with the help of following points in the table.
Maslow’s Theory
Herzberg’s Theory
1. Basis
Maslow’s theory is based on hierarchy of needs.
Herzberg’s theory is based on factors that avoid dissatisfaction and pain and the factors that satisfy and motivate employees.
2. Nature of Theory
It is descriptive theory.
It is prescriptive theory.
3. Essence of Theory
The essence of this theory is that the unsatisfied needs motivate individual to work.
The essence of theory is that the gratified or satisfied needs motivate individuals for higher performance.
4. Motivators
Any unsatisfied needs or drive serve as motivator.
Only higher order needs serve as motivators.
5. Applicability
It is applicable to all the human beings working anywhere in the society irrespective of their need level.
It is more applicable to those people whose lower-level needs have been satisfied.
6. Effect of satisfaction of needs
According to this model, once a need is satisfied, it no longer motivates.
According to this model, managers must concern themselves with the satisfaction of employees in order to motivate them.

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