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Paper Topic:

Compare the motivational theories of Frederick Herzberg, Abraham Maslow, and Douglas McGregor. Which theory or theories would provide a good platform for employee motivation in a hospitality environment?






Motivational Theories


To be able to clearly understand what motivational theories are all about it is very important to first define what motivation is and its importance in any organization

Motivation can be defined as a decision-making process , which the individual chooses the desired outcomes and sets in motion the behavior appropriate to them (Buchanan , Allen 45 . Thus motivation could be described as the degree of behavior that an individual wants and chooses to be engaged in

Motivation is

a very importance factor in any organization for the organization to perform well then its employee have got to be well motivated . A well-motivated employee means higher productivity

It is the importance of motivation as a subject that led to the development of various motivational theories with a view of helping organizations understand their employees better for higher productivity These motivational theories include : -

- McGregor 's Theory X and Theory Y

- Maslow 's hierarchy of needs Theory

- Herzberg Two Factor Theory among others

These s are going to describe and compare these 3 theories and find the best theory to provide a good platform for employee motivation in a hospitality environment

i . Herzberg two factor theory

This theory was developed by Fredrick Herzberg (a psychologist ) in 1959 and when developing it , he argued that job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction are independent of each other . This means that there are certain factors at the work place that bring about job satisfaction whilst others cause dissatisfaction (Herzberg F ,179

Herzberg called the satisfiers as `motivators ' and the dissatisfiers he called `hygiene factors . The motivators in of importance are



Work itself


Advancement and


The hygiene factors by themselves do not provide any satisfaction but are necessary to avoid dissatisfaction (Herzberg F , 182 . If these factors are absent or inadequate they cause dissatisfaction . The hygiene factors include

Company policy


Relationship with supervisors

Work environment and condition

Remuneration /pay /money

Relationship with colleagues or subordinates

Personal life

ii )Abraham Maslow 's Hierarchy of needs Theory

Abraham Maslow developed this theory in 1943 . Just like McGregor 's Two factor theory it is a content theory and forms the basis of Herzberg motivation theory

In his hierarchy of needs theory , Maslow argues that individual behavior at any given time is determined by his /her strongest or most pressing need (Maslow , A .H , 12 ) According to this theory employees have five different needs that are set in a hierarchy or pyramid . They are arranged as follows depending on importance




Esteem /Ego


According to Maslow lower level needs have to be satisfied before climbing to the next level . This means that until the most pressing needs are satisfied first , the other needs will have little effect on the individual 's behavior . As one need is met it becomes less important but other needs loom up and motivate behavior (Maslow , A .H , 23

According to the hierarchy the first needs are the...

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