The Classical Theory and Current Theory Business Essay

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Motivation derived from the word motive. Motivation general defined as the desires or willingness of actions and causes for acting or behaving in a certain way. Motivation is taking part in making decision and then carries out an action or behaviour. Motivation also helps people to overcome difficulty. In organization, motivation refers to the needs, desires, wants or drives within workers to bring out goals. (Catchpole, 2008)

In fact, motivation also affects the level of performance or outcomes of enterprise. As a result, motivation is important for the purpose to increase the level of efficiency, successfulness and profit of the organization. Some study cases show that motivation is able to affect workers' behaviour, level of productivity and creativity during work. (Catchpole, 2008)

Besides that, there are several arguments try to illustrate the nature of motivation. Motivation theories generally assort into two types, content theories and process theories. Content theories concentrate on particular stuffs that provoke people while process theories concentrate on the real course of motivation. The ways to imply the theory into organization is also different. (Catchpole, 2008)

Moreover, traditional and modern motivation theories are discovered base on different model and function with different way. Traditional theories rely on human relation model and focused on only one factor while modern theories depend on human resource mode and focused on more than one factors. Traditional and modern theories also motivate workers with different motivator as intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. (Catchpole, 2008)

Due to the time changing, there are several new motivation theories been discovered by theorists. There are conflict between current theories and classical theories due to change on structure of organization and generation mind set. Most of the aspects of traditional theories are been modify by theorists and then create new theory of motivation. (Catchpole, 2008)

Current organization using machines to do most of the task while labour force using to control those machines. Younger generation, Y generation compare to the older generation, X generation, Y generation willing to work with own way but not follow orders from managers exactly. (Catchpole, 2008)

Lastly, there are several strategies managers use to motivate their employees in organization with implement of motivation theories. In order to motivate workers effectively in an organization, it is important for managers to analyse and choose the better strategies. The strategies frequently managers used are motivate employees through communication, providing job flexibility, set an effective rewards system and job redesign. (Hatch et al, 2012)


Motivation is an intricate subject that affected by a lot of aspects. Motivation general defined as the willingness and reasons for person acting or behaving in a particular way. Motivation is also refer the driving power or dynamic strength for a personal to realize goals which is the feedback from individual's needs. Motivation is also combination of level of skills, knowledge, feelings and emotions which uncontrollable by employees. Yet, it is testimony that proof if the level of motivation influence the function of organization. (Catchpole, 2008)

According to Mitchell, motivation is individual phenomenon which is intentional and relates arousal, orientation and obstipation; then reflected in the individual's behaviour and action. (Catchpole, 2008) Mitchell said that motivation is "about the internal and external forces that influence individual's degree to which an individual wants and chooses engage in certain specified behaviour and action." (Mitchell, 1983, pp82)

Motivation had been sort into intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is the internal factors or willingness of an individual to carry out a certain job. (Ryan, 2012) The internal factors are specifically enjoyment and satisfaction. The behaviour and actions is relying on the intrinsic rewards like moral ethics, interest or pleasure. (Hatch et al, 2012)

In other hand, extrinsic motivation refers to external elements to the personal and not related to the job that been apply. (Ryan, 2012) The external elements influence personal is mostly from social sources or families. The personal manners and actions depend on extrinsic rewards such as money, praise and honour title. (Hatch et al, 2012)

Classical Theory and Current Theory

Classical theory of motivation is focused on the contents of motivation or the demands of employees. (Curtis, 2012) The classical theory's pattern of motivation only focussed on one factors like money or social relations. (S. R. Rao, 2009) Besides that, the classical theory of motivation is also using human relation model. Human relation model claim that people wish be approval valued and appreciate for their work with higher payment in return. (Catchpole, 2008)

Moreover, it uses money as main motivator. This is because in the earlier, theorists believe in economic demands motivation and workers are work for money. Thus, by giving higher wages, the worker will work more efficient. (Catchpole, 2008)

In other hand, current theory of motivation is emphasized on the process of motivation. The current theory's pattern focussed on more than one factors in once. It motivates employees other than money. Due to the time changing, motivations rely on treasures rather than only monetary awards to motivate the younger generation. (S. R. Rao, 2009)

The current theory uses the human resource model to motivate employees. Human resource model defined as the process of personal or organisation making selection among alternative forms of intentional operation. Yet another, the human resource model stricture as more complicated way to control employees. (S. R. Rao, 2009)

Purposes and Importance

Firstly, motivation helps to improve the level of efficiency of workers. The level of output is not only rely workers' qualification and ability. It will create a better productivity and cut down cost of operations and raise entire efficiency. (Manzoor, 2012)

Next, motivation influences achievement of goals. The cooperative level of work condition assists to realize goals effectively through motivation. The workers are behaving in purposive attitude and leading to goal. (Manzoor, 2012)

Besides that, motivation also helps to construct gently relationship within organisation and lead to employee's satisfaction. The managers should treat well and give preferment chance to the workers. (Manzoor, 2012)

Apart from construct better relationship, the workers are faithful to the enterprise. It will bring stability in labour force to company and create a good public image of company. Stability of labour force is eventful to ensure the evolution of company. (Manzoor, 2012)

Moreover, motivation leads to optimistically and challenging manner of workers in work. There will be more adaptability and creativity during amendments and restructuring. (Manzoor, 2012)

Content theory

The content theory stress on the nature of needs and things motivate personal. It explained the certain factors that practically motivate personal during work. It is focused on the impact which determining employees' demands and targets that employees pursue, for the purpose to fulfill those demands and the awards employees seeking. The content theory is also concerned with personal demands and targets. (Catchpole, 2008)

Examples for the content theories are Maslow's Need Hierarchy Theory; Alderfer's modified Need Hierarchy Theory and Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory. (Zan, 2012)

Abraham Maslow had develops the Neo-Human Relations School in the 1950's, known as Hierarchy of Needs Theory which focus on the physiological needs of employees. (McLeod, 2012) Maslow set a theory which stress on intrinsic rewards that consists of five levels of human basic needs which employees want to fulfill at work. (Boeree, 2006)

First level is the "self-actualisation"which pursues individual potential achievement. Identify individual growth; advancement and creativity are aspects in this level. By giving challenging job, advancement in organisation and achievement in job can motivate employees. (McLeod, 2012)

Next is "esteem" which refers to self-esteem, self-respect and prestige status.It included the longing for self-respect, strength, achievement, reputation and recognition by others and appreciation. Organisation can full fill the desire of employees for job title, social recognition and feedback from job. (Boeree, 2006)

The third level of the hierarchy is "belonging" which introduce to tribal natural. Employees seek for friendship, sense of belonging, social activities or love in organisation. Cohesive work group, friendly supervision and professional associations are employees seeking for. (McLeod, 2012)

The forth level is "safety" which means security. Employees seeking shelter for themselves and their family.Organisation can prepare safe working place, job security and company benefits to employees in order to motivate them. (Boeree, 2006)

Lastly, "physiological" means human basic needs to survive included health, food, rest and oxygen. It also focused on to maintain human body to live. Salary and wage, cafeteria and pleasantworking condition are pursued by employees. (Boeree, 2006)

According to Maslow's hierarchy, a personal has variety needs that sort into levels and creating a hierarchy. It states that, once a need is been fulfill, the particular need is no longer consider as a need. (Catchpole, 2008)

In 1969, Clayton P. Alderfer simplified Maslow's need hierarchy from five levels into three levels. (Zan, 2012) Alderfer argued that the needs are not hierarchy relationship but a continuum. Not only one needs be activated in once. Alderfer proposed the high level of needs should be satisfied first. However, if the top level of needs creates motivating influence, the base level of needs is not necessary to be fulfill. (Catchpole, 2008)

The top level of the hierarchy is "growth needs" are merged of self-actualisation and esteem. The middle level is "relatedness needs" which is same as the belonging. The base level "existence needs" is combined the safety and physiological needs. (Zan, 2012)

Process Theory

The process theory is stress on the cognitive process of motivation. It recognized the dynamic relationship between the factors affected behaviour and actions. Besides that, the process theory claims that there are specific requirements for the result to achieve. It is concerned about how the motivate arise. Examples for process theories are Expectancy Theory; Goal Setting Theory by Locke and Adams's Equity Theory. (Zan, 2012)

In 1964, Victor H. Vroom had introduces the expectancy theory which produce a systematic explanatory theory of workplace motivation. (Zan, 2012) Expectancy theory argues that humans act rely on their aware expectations then certain behaviour will create concrete desirable goals. (Catchpole, 2008)

The theory asserts that the motivational force is the combination of expectancy that creates the first expression and valance with instrumentality extent the first expression to final goal. (Zan, 2012)

Expectancy refers to the perceived probability of the individual that the work will incite appetence outcomes. The motivating elements arrive when an individual can perform a valued outcome. (Koontz, 2013)

Instrumentality is the belief of the individual will receive award if the performance look forward is established. Instrumentality connected personal expression and lead to outcome. (Koontz, 2013)

Valence is the value of the award that attractive to the personal. Valance is major element in order to motivate employees. The awards should be worthy and demand to employees. (Zan, 2012)

Instead of expectancy theory, Edwin Locke had defined another process theory, goal-setting theory in 1960. According to Locke (1968), the theory is by setting goals along with decent feedback on performance. The goals set should be definite, measurable, feasible and dividable with time limit. (Redmond, 2012)

The goal set should be imaginable and theoretical in order to enable employees to understand clearly and easily with imagination. The goal also should be acceptable and attainable, so employees believe the goal can be achieve and with analyse self-strengths and self-weak point. . (Redmond, 2012)

Setting and define desirable goals is the central to carry out the motivation. By establish a specific goal can generate higher level of performance than mounting a general goal. In 2002, Locke and Latham discovered that goal difficulty, level of output and efforts have direct linear connection. (Redmond, 2012)

If the goals are hard to accomplish which are direct linear and positive connection linked to expression, the individual will work to achieve it. However, if the goals are easy to achieve, employees would not need to work hard and efficiently, and thus it do not create a better result or outputs. (Zan, 2012)


There are several strategies organizations use to motivate their employees. Firstly, communication within managers and employees can stimulating and encourage employees during work. Communication is the sources of information and knowledge in an organisation. It also helps to control and form organizational member's manner and behaviour. The friendly relationship in an organization can be built through communication. (Berger, 2008)

Next, the work flexibility like compressed workweek and job sharing also can motivate employees. Examples for compressed workweek are work five days weekly or three days off a week. Job sharing or job twinning is one job divided involves two or more persons once. However, work flexibility is good but adjustment problems may always occur, thus, arrangement and cooperation are needed. (Australian Government, 2013)

Besides that, effective award systems can motivate employees. Effective award systems include basic desires satisfaction, comparable and multifaceted. Effective award systems also can increase productivity and creativity of employees then result in performance improvement. Awards system basically sort into two types, intrinsic reward and extrinsic reward. (Hatch et al, 2012)

Intrinsic awards are self-administered rewards and contrast to extrinsic awards. Intrinsic awards also related with happiness, interest and desire. Examples for intrinsic awards are personal advancement and competitive can motivate employees. Employees wants to feel proud and they are been appreciate from the work they done. (Hatch et al, 2012)

Extrinsic awards are valuable feedback from external factors which not related to the particular work. Examples for extrinsic awards are bonus, job title and holidays. Extrinsic awards also help to control employees' manners during work and reinforce intrinsic awards. (Hatch et al, 2012)

Moreover, redesign job is also use to motivate and improve productivity of workers. Example for job redesign is job enlargement, job enrichment and job rotation. In order to motivate workers effectively, managers must be prudent and conscious to choose a correct job redesign structure. (Encarnacion, 2013)

Job enlargement also known as "horizontal job loading" means increase types of jobs that similar to the original job. This method helps to increase experience, skill and knowledge by carry out the particular job. However, job enlargement is not often motivating workers due to same salary received but work more. (Hackman et al, 1975)

Job enrichment is "vertical job loading" increase type of job, responsibility and authority to employees. Job enrichment helps to reduce boredom and increase creativity among employees. But it has difficulty in time distribution and decision making to allocate work load. (Mione, 2013)

Job rotation is about same with job enlargement but it appointing different people to different work with increase the variety of work. It improves skill, experience and knowledge of different work as result of carry out different jobs. This can helps to decrease monotony and boredom and improve work quality. (Hackman et al, 1975)

Can Traditional Theories Uses in Modern Organisation

Yes, classical theories can be used in current organization.

Classical theories stress on concerned of employees' basic needs and feeling. It is importance to satisfy employees' feeling and needs as employees behave rely on expected reward. Employees would not put more effort into work if their basic need and feeling did not been satisfy after the work done. (Curtis, 2012)

Next, aspects of classical theories are absorbed by modern theories. The modern theories are discovered base on study, analysis and simplifying the classical theories. The classical organization's structures are also similar with current organization. Labour force is still a major source to function an organization and enterprise. (Curtis, 2012)

As example, Andrew Grove, president of Intel Company using Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory to motivate his employees. He said that understands the needs are important and it is easier to design programs for his organization. He also believed that motivation is arise from needs. (Grove, 1995)

Performance related pay is an example of current theories that often use by managers to motivate employees. Performance related pay is a monetary award or incentive pay to employees that considered achieves certain targets. (Nidirect Government Service, 2013)

However, performance related pay discourage teamwork due to employees want to get higher payment without share with others. In additions, it also leads to bad relationship between managers and employees due to bad competition occurred in organization. This problem become more critical when the payment is count based on individual's performance. (S. R. Rao, 2009)

Moreover, employees feel being treated unfair because the measure of performance does not have a real measurement and stipulation. Example like a promoter did the job of promoting a particular product but the promoter did not get any payment due to unsuccessful to achieve the sale targets. (S. R. Rao, 2009)

As conclusion, performance related pay is hard to motivate employees in long period while Maslow's hierarchy of need theory can work for long period. The classical theory may not carry out a significant motivation effect on employees in short period but it is useful in long period.


As conclusion, motivation is a vital tool to enhance the quality and efficiency of an organization. Motivation arises from needs and satisfaction of needs. Concerned of workers and customers are equally important. Without workers or customers, the organisation of a company is unable to function or carry out their business. (Catchpole, 2008)

Besides that, motivation connected job satisfaction and work performance. The level of job satisfaction and work performance should achieve equally to allow an organization to function properly. Job satisfaction influence force of motivation then affected work performance. Thus, motivation works as equalizer to balance job satisfaction and work performance. (Catchpole, 2008)

Moreover, the effectiveness of motivation theories is affected by period of time. The classical theory is appropriate to motivate workers in long period. Oppositely, the modern theory is more effective to motivate workers in short period. Hence, modern theory is more suitable to motivate part-time workers while classical theory is appropriate to motivate full-time workers. (Curtis, 2012)

Furthermore, managers need to understand the best way to lead out team working of employees and guide their effort in order to attain objectives of organization. Hence, managers must study and analysis the motivation theory before making selection. Choosing the right motivation theory is important in order to motivate employees effectively. (Catchpole, 2008)

Last but not least, understanding of theories of motivation is important for managers to carrying out their professional roles and for organization to function. Yet, it helps to increase the profitability and successfulness of business. This is due to nowadays people still behaviour based on expected award when achieved a goal. Effective workers work efficiently. (Catchpole, 2008)

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The Classical Theory And Current Theory Business Essay. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved July 21, 2024 , from

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