Paper Example on Classical Theories

Published: 2021-07-05
610 words
3 pages
6 min to read
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
Critical thinking
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Unlike theories in scientific disciplines that seem to remain unchanged, classical theories centered on humanistic approaches evolve with time, which is mainly because of the dynamic nature of human environments. Classical theories on Job Satisfaction have for instance undergone evolution to maintain relevance and applicability (Williams et al., 2006). However, the evolution of certain classical theories has evidently left the founding principles and concepts intact, with the only changes being in the context within which the theories find their basis (Harrison et al., 2006). The evolution observed in such classical theories result from the changes brought in by modern times and changes in work environments. Classical theories have depicted the progressive evolution by becoming more responsive to changes in technology and management approaches that have had a significant impact on employee job attitudes.

Why the Classical Theories Have Evolved

Classical theories such as the social exchange and social identify have evolved to accommodate the changes in management approaches adopted by organizations and social institutions. The classical theories for instance dwelled on employee perceptions about their work environments and management in job attitude studies, whereby, how employees related to each other and the management would largely determine underlying attitudes. The same approach was also used while investigating and determining approaches that could yield desired attitudes and changes in organizational and institutional contexts (Harrison et al., 2006). However, the advancements in technology and improvement in work ethics and management approaches compelled classical theorists to incorporate this change in theory. As mentioned earlier, evolution was inevitable, which is mainly because the classical theoretical approaches had to maintain relevance and applicability in modern contexts (Williams et al., 2006).

Survival of Classical Theories

Survival of classical theories is relative since a given approach could appear obsolete in one social context and yet remain evident at another one. A good example is the classical approach in scientific management that had little concern on job attitudes. The approach regarded human labor as a component like any other in organizations, and therefore gave job attitudes less consideration (Williams et al., 2006). For organizations that relied on the approach in management, the theory is obsolete in modern organizational context, meaning that the approach did not survive. On the other hand, classical approaches like the humanistic and modern management theories seem to have survived. The approaches initially placed high levels of importance on job attitudes and the general perceptions of employees. The emerging organizational contexts and the general global outlook on management appear to have perpetuated the approaches even further, and this is mainly because of the growing emphasis on approaches that are sensitive to humans and their dignity. Classical humanistic and modern approaches have therefore survived to today and are still highly applicable in management and manipulation of job attitudes.

Classical theories needed to survive the emerging organizational landscape in modern times, including the advancements in technology and management approaches that seemed to lay more emphasis on job satisfaction and job attitudes (Harrison et al., 2006). Classical theories that appeared to favor exploitation of human labor found it difficult to survive, as such; they had to give way to new approaches like the modern management approach. Classical theories also needed to survive advancements in technology that brought in new ways of replacing human labor through automation. Thus, the question of job attitudes was progressively being eliminated in certain organizational contexts, which called for change or adjustment.



Harrison, D. A., Newman, D. A., & Roth, P. L. (2006). How important are job attitudes? Meta-analytic comparisons of integrative behavioral outcomes and time sequences. Academy of Management journal, 49(2), 305-325.

Williams, M. L., McDaniel, M. A., & Nguyen, N. T. (2006). A meta-analysis of the antecedents and consequences of pay level satisfaction.

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