Frederick Herzberg

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Frederick Herzberg
Born April 18, 1923 (1923-04-18)
Lynn, Massachusetts, U.S.[1]
Died January 19, 2000 (2000-01-20)
University Hospital, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, U.S.[1]
Alma mater City College of New York

Frederick Irving Herzberg (April 18, 1923 – January 19, 2000[1]) was an American psychologist who became one of the most influential names in business management.[2][3] He is most famous for introducing job enrichment and the Motivator-Hygiene theory. His 1968 publication "One More Time, How Do You Motivate Employees?" had sold 1.2 million reprints by 1987 and was the most requested article from the Harvard Business Review.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Herzberg was born in 1923 in Lynn, Massachusetts, to Gertrude and Lewis Herzberg, who were Lithuanian immigrants. He enrolled at the City College of New York in 1939. He did not finish his studies as he enlisted in the army. In 1944 he married Shirley Bedell.

He finally finished his studies and graduated from the City College of New York in 1946. He then decided to move to the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a master's degree in science and public health. He completed a Ph.D. at Pittsburgh that focused on electric shock therapy.


Herzberg started his research on organizations in the 1950s. He worked at the University of Utah, where he remained until he retired. Prior to his move to Utah, Herzberg was professor of management at Case Western Reserve University, where he established the Department of Industrial Mental Health.

In his lifetime, Herzberg had consulted for many organizations as well as for the United States and other foreign governments. He has a son who currently lives in West New York.[3]

Motivator-Hygiene Theory[edit]

Main article: Two-factor theory

Herzberg proposed the motivator-hygiene theory, also known as the two-factor theory of job satisfaction. According to his theory, people are influenced by two sets of factors.

The idea is that hygiene factors will not motivate, but if they are not there, they can lower motivation. These factors could be anything from clean toilets and comfortable chairs, to a reasonable level of pay and job security.

Motivational factors will not necessarily lower motivation, but can be responsible for increasing motivation. These factors could involve job recognition, potential for promotion or even the work in itself.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Obituary: Frederick Irving Herzberg". Deseret News. January 22, 2000. Retrieved February 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Biography - Frederick I. Herzberg (1923-2000)". Western University. 
  3. ^ a b Feder, Barnaby J. (February 1, 2000). "F. I. Herzberg, 76, Professor And Management Consultant". The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  4. ^ Herzberg, Frederick (September–October 1987). "One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?". Harvard Business Review. 65 (5): 109–120. OCLC 23349159.  (note: the reference to sales numbers is in the abstract written by the editors.)
  5. ^ Herzberg, Frederick; Mausner, Bernard; Snyderman, Barbara B. (1959). The Motivation to Work (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0-471-37389-3. 

Additional reading[edit]

  • Hodgetts, Richard M.; Luthans, Fred D.; Doh, Jonathan P. (2006). International Management: Culture, Strategy, and Behavior (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-296108-2. 

External links[edit]