Classical Theory Essay

CLASSICAL MANAGEMENT THEORY: ‘It’s background, Ideologies and Implications in Management’ INTRODUCTIONS Classical management theory is a branch of management theory which evolved around the 19th century . It was developed during the industrial revolution when problems related to factory systems began, to recognize the role that management plays in an organization particularly focusing on the efficiency of the work process. Over time classical approach developed 3 branches; 1. Scientific Management theory . Bureaucratic Management theory 3. Administrative Management theory IDEOLOGIES IN CLASSICAL MANAGEMENT THEORY 1. SCIENTIFIC THEORY Scientific Management theory grew out of the need to improve efficiency through more efficient utilization of physical and human resources. It focuses on the best way an individual efficiently performs a task. It was developed by scientists and engineers among them F. W. Taylor (1856-1915). Taylor studied each job and determined the most efficient way to perform each job.

He set a number of principles to guide management; development of a true person’s job( Job description), the scientific selection, training and development of workers, division of work, and responsibility for both management and workers, that is, let them do their work and determine accurately the correct times and methods for each job. Implications: This approach led to dramatic increase in productivity and higher pay. However workers began to oppose this approach because they eared that working harder or faster would exhaust whatever work was available, causing layoffs. The emphasis on productivity and by extension profitability led some managers to exploit both workers and customers and as a result, more workers joined unions. It was thus Henry Grant came up with a new idea of workers and supervisors earning bonuses for achieving set targets, hence, this incentive furthered motivational impact. Furthermore, Frank B. and Lillian Gilberth further collaborated on fatigue and emotion studies.

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This focused on ways of promoting the individual worker’s welfare, aiming at helping workers reach their full potential as human beings. 2. BEURACRATIC THEORY The second branch of classical theory, the Bureaucratic management, was evolved by Max Weber, who was a German sociologist. It sought to focus on strictly defined hierarchy, governed by clearly defined regulations and lines of authority. Implications: It emphasized the need for hierarchical structure of power. It also recognized the importance of division of labour and specialization.

Furthermore, a formal set of rules was bound into a hierarchy structure to ensure stability and uniformity. Weber also believed that technical competence should be emphasized and that performance evaluations should be made entirely on the basis of merit. Weber’s model of bureaucratic management clearly advanced the formation of huge corporations such as Ford. 3. ADMINISTRATIVE THEORY Administrative Management theory is the third branch of classical management theory. It was developed by Henri Fayol among other scientists, for efficient management of organizations.

It also tried to develop the basic functions of management with particular emphasis on coordination of resources, and establishing a universal set of management principles that could be applied to all organizations. Implications: This approach led to dramatic increases in productivity and higher pay. It also stimulated managers to take the role of leadership. The shortcomings of classical management theory became apparent. Its major deficiency was that it attempted to explain people’s motivation to work strictly as a function of economic reward. CONCLUSION

Even as the classical management theory evolved from the period during the industrial revolution when problems related to factory systems and workers’ plight began, it gradually developed to recognize the role that workers and management plays in an organization particularly focusing on the efficiency of the work process. Although these theories developed in a historical sequence, the later ideas have not replaced the earlier ones but instead have tended to compliment the previous ones. REFERENCES: 1. Koontz Harold. (1990) Essentials of Management: Tata McGrawHill 2. Saleemi, N. A; Principles and Practice of Management


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