The Motivation to Work
Quality work that fosters job satisfaction and health enjoys top priority in industry all over the world. This was not always so. Until recently analysis of job attitudes focused primarily on human relations problems within organizations. While American industry was trying to solve the unsolvable problem of avoiding interpersonal dissatisfaction, problems with the potential for solution, such as training and quality production, were ignored. When first published, The Motivation to Work challenged the received wisdom by showing that worker fulfillment came from achievement and growth within the job itself. In his new introduction, Herzberg examines thirty years of motivational research in job-related areas.
Based on workers' accounts of real events that have made them feel good or bad on the job, the findings of Herzberg and his colleagues have stimulated research and controversy that continue to the present day. The authors surprisingly found that while a poor work environment generated discontent, improved conditions seldom brought about improved attitudes. Instead, satisfaction came most often from factors intrinsic to work: achievements, job recognition, and work that was challenging, interesting, and responsible.
The evidence marshaled by this volume called into question many previous assumptions about job satisfaction and worker motivation. Feelings about intrinsic and extrinsic factors could not be validly averaged on a single scale of measurement. Motivation and performance are not merely dependent upon environmental needs and external rewards. Frederick Herzberg and his staff based their motivation—hygiene theory on a variety of human needs and applied it to a strategy of job enrichment that has widely influenced motivation and job design strategies. Motivation to Work is a landmark volume that is of enduring interest to sociologists, psychologists, labor studies specialists, and organization analysts.
“There is ingenuity in this book’s approach… I recommend the book to anyone concerned with the industrial scene or with the psychology of motivation.”
—Leo Meltzer, Industrial and Labor Relations Review
“The major intent of the study was to derive information about individual work experiences of the interviewees, largely through the technique of content analysis of the stories gathered.”
—Melvin J. Vincent, American Sociological Review