SYNOPSIS: PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION OPTIONAL – Paper 1- TLP UPSC Mains Answer Writing [12th August, 2020] – Day 6

  • IASbaba
  • August 13, 2020
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TLP Public Administration Optional
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1. While the content theories of motivation are structural models, the process theories of motivation are behavioural ones. Discuss 

                                                                                                   15 marks (250 words)


Question is self structured; we can divide the answer into two parts. One for the Content-theory and the other for Process-theory; As far as the explanation is concerned, it is better to bring in as many theories of motivation as possible here.

From Paper2

We can bring in examples of great motivators from the Indian administration and others who are currently in news. And we can also mention their quotes.


W.Scott defines motivation as ‘stimulating people into actions to achieve desirable goal’. As per the definition of Scott, motivation is the phenomenon that influences others behaviors, attitudes, actions and goals. 

On delving deeper into the concept of motivation we can learn that; there are two broad ways by which an individual can be motivated. I.e. the motivation by the content and the motivation by process; these two ways are considered as the two different theories of motivation in managerial science.  


On a keen observation of these two theories of motivation we find that, there arises an analogy like, while the Content theory resembles the Structural model of management, the process theory however appears to be similar to the Behavioral model.

  • Firstly, just like the Classical Theories which recommended a proper structuring of the organization [Fayol’s Scalar Chain, Weber’s hierarchy, Gullick and Urwick’s Departmentation, etc], the Content theory of motivation propounds for a structural and hierarchical stages of motivation.

Ex: Maslow’s need hierarchy theory provides for a pyramidical structure of 5 stages of motivation- Physiological, Security, Social, Esteem and Self Actualization.

However, the Process theory on the other hand concentrates on the attitudes and behaviors that motivate a person. This nevertheless, is nearer to the Ideas of Elton Mayo, Chester Bernard and other behavioralists, who stressed on the behavioral change in the organization.

Ex: Skinner’s Reinforcement theory of motivation says that, the rewarding behaviors like the respect, praise, recognition etc motivate the sub-ordinates to a great extent.

  • Secondly, the Structural models treated every worker as one and the same, or in other words, like the cogs in the machine. In the same way, the content theory of motivation propounded that, every human being is motivated by the same content and manner as being standardized by the scholars.

Ex: For Herdzberg, every person has to pass through hygiene and motivation stages, if he/she wants to attain the highest stage of motivation. However, McClelland propounds that every human being on this earth has to fulfill achievement, affiliation and the power needs.

Unlike this, the Behavioral models postulated that the preferences and the needs of human beings differ. 

Ex: F.J Rothleberger says “human beings differ from all cataloguing”. And Simon opines” human behavior departs in many ways from presumed and prescribed behavior”.

Again, the process theory of motivation correlates with the above idea of varied tastes and differences.

Ex: Vroom says that, motivation is governed by our choices among the voluntary behaviors”. And Adams, in his Equity theory states that, many people get motivated if they are treated equitably with others in the organization.

  • Lastly, just like the Classical Theories that spoke of ‘what’ [they said discipline, harmony, order, etc improve the efficiency of an organization], the Content theory also propounds the ‘contents’ which motivate an individual. 

Ex: Herdzberg’s theory says the job content and vertical job loading motivates the workers.

As a contrast the to Classical models, the Behavioral Models spoke of the ‘how’ part [i.e. how to bring the harmony, discipline and order in an organization]; and the Process theory of motivation stands on the side of behavioralism here as well. 

Ex: the Goal setting theory says that, the provision of supply elements like, encouragement, moral support, resources, etc, help in setting better goals; which in turn motivates a person to work and achieve that goal. 

Contemporary Relevance: 

Content theory is equivalent to Pay scale, postings, promotions, social status etc which motivate the bureaucrats.

Process theory on the other hand is similar to the, moral support of ministers, transferring to a required place in case of familial emergencies, speedy compensation to the martyrs, etc.


Hence, from the above discussion, we can see that Process theory is an advanced version of the Content theory, as Behavioralism is for the Classical theories. It caters to the minute nuances that Content theory couldn’t cater to.

“Motivation is both, an initiation as well as an action”. – W. James Potter

2. “Management maintains and controls, while leadership influences and creates opportunity for people to change and perform” J.C. Maxwell. Comment                                  15 marks (250 words) 


The implicit demand of the question is to differentiate between management and the leadership. However, the lines of differentiation are already provided in the question itself. 

Further, in the explanation part, we have to bring as many theories of leadership as possible.

From Paper2

We can bring in examples of great leaders from the Indian administration and other contemporary ones. And we can also mention their quotes.


Steve Jobs says, “Management is persuading the people to do the things they do not want to do. And leadership is inspiring the people to do the things they never thought they could do”. And his words convey one essential message that, there is a considerable difference between a leader and a manager.


Moving ahead with the difference, management and leadership can be contrasted in different contexts, different contents and in different ways. 


  • The very first intention of management is to gain the control of the workers; so that they obey the orders of the manager, even if the order happens to be a bitter one. Ex: Taylor wanted to gain the control of the Solderers in the organization, by periodic inspections and by bringing in discipline and order in the workplace.

Further, the control can be either a coercive or a persuasive control. Management often uses persuasive means to gain the control of the organization. Ex: Material and non-material inducements of Chester Bernard.

However, management can only force or persuade the workers to perform bitter tasks. This force or persuasion is ephemeral and fades away ones the work is done. And management, anyway, can’t inspire the workers to change their mentality; so that they develop immense respect and veneration towards the organization, which is a permanent change.  

  • Being said that, management also performs the activity of maintaining the organization. Maintenance here can mean several things like, overseeing the day to day business of the organization, coordinating among different working units, connecting the work chain, etc.

 However it can also mean higher level activities like, ironing out the differences in an organization, persuading the workers to contribute more to the organization, taking crucial decisions, strategic planning, etc.

Ex: all the functions of POSDCoRB.

Despite its ability to perform all these activities, management can only maintain an organization. And, some of the greater things like setting high goals, taking the risk, inspiring the workers to reach such goals, etc, do not come under the ambit of management.


  • Leadership on the other hand has the ability to do the things that the management is unable to do. A leader inspires the followers by performing the bitter jobs one self before insisting the workers to do the same. This helps in instilling a sense of adorability among the followers, and they become ready to perform voluntarily; those jobs which they earlier used to shirk. 

Ex: Transformational theory of leadership propounds that, a leader is one who leads by example.

  • Also, leadership has the ability to create an aura around ones persona. This aura or the charisma deeply influences both the mindset and the personality of the followers. Such an influence gives immense strength to the followers, which propels them to do anything and everything, ones the leader is present by their side. Ex: Charismatic leadership.
  • However, this aura doesn’t come out of thin air. The leader has to possess several qualities to attain such charisma.

For this, he should have immense care towards the followers. He, instead of doing the manager’s job of fault finding, dominating, harassing, etc; should deal patiently with the subordinates’ mistakes. Also, he should provide enough time and opportunity for them to correct their mistakes and move on.

Ex: The team (9, 9) of Blake and Mouton. It indicates the highest priority being provided not only to the production, but also to the people.

Contemporary relevance:

A status quoits bureaucrat can be likened to a manager.

Example of a Leader: incumbent Prime Minister who stopped the former Railway Minister from giving a voluntary resignation, and later gave him a chance to work as the Minister of Commerce.


Hence, we can conclude that while management does the ordinary things leadership does the extra-ordinary ones. And while the former does the things rightly, latter does it greatly.

However,”real challenge is to combine strong management and strong leadership and use each of them to balance each other”.- John Kotter



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