Herzberg's Cognitive Dissonance Theory

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The first theories on motivation and work motivation were developed by Maslow (1954), Herzberg (1959), and McGregor (1960). In his theory on hierarchy of needs, Maslow asserted that every human-being has a 5-level hierarchy of needs ranging from physiological, to safety and security and to self-actualization. But these 5 types of needs are not present all at once in a person. Once a lower-level need is satisfied, the individual will move up to the higher level. (Maslow 1954 and Robbins 2003). In developing his two-factor theory, Herzberg found that people, when feeling happy with their work, gave significantly different answers from when they felt bad about their work. (Herzberg, Mausner, and Snyderman, 1959). This signifies that an employee’s…show more content…
The central proposition of this theory is that if a person holds two cognitions, broadly defined as beliefs, that are inconsistent with one another, he will experience the pressure of an aversive motivational state called cognitive dissonance. He will then seek to remove this pressure through, among other ways, altering one of the two dissonant cognitions (Bem, 1967, p. 183). The dissonance experienced by the individual, i.e. the employee, is considered a negative intrapersonal state that he or she will seek to alleviate using a reduction strategy (Elliot and Devine, 1994). This will involve altering his or her behavior, concluding that the dissonant behavior is not important or by changing his or her attitude (Robins 2003). The experiments conducted by Andrew Elliot and Patricia Devine (1994) strongly supports "Festinger's conceptualization of cognitive dissonance as a fundamentally motivational state.” (Elliot and Devine, 1994,…show more content…
First introduced by Edwin Locke and Garry Latham (1990), the goal-setting theory, in many ways, changed the way scientists look at motivation. In 1996, Locke published a paper delineating his goal-setting theory while giving a brief comparison between his theory and previous motivational theories, which either “externalized motivation by attributing it to reinforcers” (consequences of actions) or “kept motivation within the organism but attributed it to strictly physiological mechanisms” (Locke 1996). The major assumptions on which these theories were based imply that consciousness could not be a cause of action. Goal setting, on the other hand, is very much focused on the cognitive aspect of motivation. It "accepts the axiomatic status of consciousness and volition" (Locke 1996). Locke's theory is founded on the premise that most human actions serve a certain purpose. Therefore, employees consciously have something they want to achieve when perform their duties. Specific, difficult yet attainable goals will lead to higher performance by employees. Also, high commitment to the goal is achieved when the individual is convinced that the goal is important and attainable. Goals determine the direction of the action, the degree of effort exerted toward that direction and the persistence of such an effort (Locke
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