The most common classification was proposed by Thierry and Koopman-Iwema (1984) has classified theories as two main theories: content theories and process theories. If make this classification more wide other two kinds of theories will be considered, its behaviour modification theories and work design theories. So in this essay we will analyse how these four kinds of theories developed over time. See the diagram1 back of the pages.
Behaviour modification theories suggest the environment effect on people’s behaviour. There are significant influences on the behaviour of the external environment of the enterprises. The most frequently mentioned behaviour modification theories are Taylor’s theory of the study scientific management (1919) and Elton Mayo’s theory (1923) about social relationship in workplace. Taylor (1919) developed “scientific management” in America steelworks. In this theory he made three main key points of assumptions about human behaviour when they are working: Man is a rational economic animal concerned with maximize his economic gain; People respond as individuals, not as groups; People can be treated in a standardized fashion, like machines; Taylor held his viewpoint that the only thing make people work is money. They design a system about piece-rates, the worker who did not finish his daily work will be less-paid or pay nothing, on the contrary if the one who did more than a fair day's work (e.g. exceeded the target) would be paid more. In his observation he also find if the employees were not been watched they will not work initiatively.
The weakness of Taylor’s theory ignored the differences between people and theirs individual feelings. There couldn’t have a “best way” to suit every individual. Besides, although money is an important motivation to every people, some other reasons are necessities. In terms of Mayo’s theory, the experiments ignored environmental factors e.g. gender. Therefore researchers found the flaws of behaviour modification theories and carried out a series of new theory that's the famous content theories.
Content theories ‘focus on the underlying human needs that supposedly shape motivational drive’ (Shields, 2010). The theories proposed human’s behaviour motivated by unsatisfied needs and they always avoid the felling of dissatisfaction (Shields, 2010). It emphasizes the reason of motivation and from that way to motivate...