In the field of management science, a notable figure is Frederick Herzberg. An
apocryphal story is told about Herzberg. It is said that a large catering firm in
the U.S.A. had ‘motivational trouble’ in its kitchens. People washing up worked
slowly, frequently quit the job, and generally looked fed up. A bright young
management expert suggested it was because workers hadn’t ‘got’ any
motivation. ‘Let’s send for Frederick Herzberg and he’ll tell us how to put some
motivation into the work force’, he said. Frederick Herzberg was duly contacted,
and a consultancy fee of 2,000 dollars was agreed. When Herzberg arrived the
young management expert explained, ‘We even tried everything. We even tried
enriching their jobs by letting them wash cutlery on Mondays and Tuesdays,
and crockery on Wednesdays and Thursday, but they’ve still got no motivation.
How can we motivate them to do this job?’ After studying the scene for a few
moments, Herzberg is reputed to have said something like ‘you can’t. The job’s
lousy. I’m impressed you get them to do it at all. Can I have my 2,000 dollars
now please?’ The message is clear. You don’t put motivation into people: they
either find it themselves, or they don’t.