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Classical Management Theory

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Classical Management Theory

Early Management Theories

Early Theories of Organizations emerged mainly for military and Catholic Church. The metaphor of the machine was dominant, where organizations are viewed as machines. Therefore, the organizational application was, since workers behave predictably (as machines do rarely deviate from the norm), management knows what to expect, and workers operating outside expectations are replaced.

Classical Management Theories

There are three well-established theories of classical management: Taylor's Theory of Scientific Management, Fayol's Administrative Theory, Weber's Theory of Bureaucracy. Although these schools, or theories, developed historical sequence, later ideas have not replaced earlier ones. Instead, each new school has tended to complement or coexist with previous ones.

Taylor's Theory of Scientific Management, U.S.A

Frederick Taylor (1856-1915) "The Father of Scientific Management".

Scientific Management theory arose from the need to increase productivity in the U.S.A. especially, where skilled labor was in short supply at the beginning of the twentieth century. The only way to expand productivity was to raise the efficiency of workers.

Taylor devised four principles for scientific management theory, which were:

1. The development of a true science of management,

2. The scientific selection and training of workers,

3. Proper remuneration for fast and high-quality work

4. Equal division of work and responsibility between worker and manager

Limitations of The Theory of Scientific Management:

Although it maximized efficiency and productivity but its main limitation was ignoring human aspects of employment. This is manifested in the following:

* Some workers and unions opposed this theory because they feared that working harder or faster would exhaust whatever work was available, causing layoffs.

* Objection to the "speed up" conditions that placed undue pressures on employees to perform at faster levels, some managers exploited both workers and customers.

* Reducing worker's role to a rigid adherence to compulsory methods and procedures.

* The increased fragmentation of work due to its emphasis on divisional labor .

* Economically based approach to the motivation of employees .

* It put planning and control of workplace activities only in the hands of managers.

* No real bargaining about wage rates ( jobs were measured and rated 'scientifically').

 Fayol's Administrative Theory

Henri Fayol (1841-1925)

Henri Fayol is considered the founder of the classical management school because he was the first to systematize it. Fayol was like Taylor in his faith in scientific methods. However, Taylor was basically concerned with organizational functions, while Fayol was interested in the total organization and focused on management. Fayol insisted that management was a skill that could be taught once its underlying 14 principles were understood. To him, Managerial Objectives are : Planning, Organizing, Command, Coordination, and Control, and his tools for accomplishing these objectives were the following 14 principles.

Fourteen Principles of Management

- Division of work - limited set of tasks

- Authority and Responsibility - right to give orders

- Discipline - agreements and sanctions

- Unity of Command - only one supervisor

- Unity of Direction - one manager per set of activities

- Subordination of Individual Interest to General Interest

- Remuneration of Personnel - fair price for services

- Centralization - reduce importance of subordinate's role

- Scalar Chain - Fayol's bridge

- Order - effective and efficient operations

- Equity - kindliness and justice

- Stability of Tenure of Personnel - sufficient time for familiarity

- Initiative - managers should rely on workers' initiative

- Esprit de corps - "union is strength" "loyal members"


* Fayol was the first to give a definition of management namely 'forecast and plan, to organize, to command, to co-ordinate and to control'

* Fayol gave much of the basic terminology and concepts, such as division of labor, scalar chain, unity of command and centralization


* He was basically describing the structure of formal organization

* Absence of attention to issues such as individual verses general interest, remuneration and equity. He saw the employer as paternalistic and working in the employee's interest .

* Many of the principles were not designed to cope with conditions of rapid change and issues of employee participation in the decision making process of organizations.

 Weber's Theory of Bureaucracy

Max Weber (1864 - 1920), Germany

Weber developed a theory of bureaucratic management that stressed the need for a strictly defined hierarchy governed by clearly defined regulations and lines of authority. Bureaucracy is the organization form of certain dominant characteristics such as: Rules, Specified sphere of competence, Hierarchy, Specialized Training, Workers do not own technology, No entitlement to "official position" by incumbent, Everything written down, Maintenance of "ideal



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