What Are the Differences Between Maslow and Herzberg?

The main difference between Abraham Maslow's and Frederick Herzberg's theories is that the former assumed all human needs were motivators while the latter did not. The two were contemporaries and developed their theories in the 1950s.

Maslow's theory is often presented as a pyramid in five layers, with the lowest or widest layer being the most basic of needs and the peak the highest need. When the lowest has been satisfied, human beings will then look to achieve the next.

  • Food and shelter
  • Security
  • Social needs
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-fulfillment

Herzberg was a psychologist, and he divided human needs into two groups based around workplace factors. The first he called "hygiene needs." These include Maslow's first three tiers, specifically pay, job security and working conditions. He did not believe these factors motivated workers.

He believed what he called "satisfiers" motivated employees, including achievement, recognition, job growth and other factors related to Maslow's top two tiers.