Classical Management Theory

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The dawn of the Industrial revolution in the late 19th century resulted in increased mechanisation and industrialisation, giving rise to the era of the Classical Management. The theory was inclined towards providing workers the tools necessary for maximising their efficiency and output. Characterized by an autocratic style of leadership, communication flow was predominantly downward unidirectional, written and strictly pertaining to work. This style of communication worked well and still works reasonably fine in organisations that witness few or no changes; however the theory has been criticised for creating an "assembly-line" atmosphere and for perceiving organisations through the lens of a machine metaphor (Miller 2012) where human communication was not given any relevance. Ignoring human aspects was the main limitation of this theory (Mahmood, Basharat & Bashir, 2012).

Classical Management Theory cannot be deemed completely suitable for modern organizations that are exposed to multifaceted changes and challenges. Modern organisations are highly wedged by influences of market competition, globalization, unethical practises and several other influences, thus creating a complex work atmosphere. (Alajloni, Almashaqba,Nemer Al-Qeed 2010). Organisations are undergoing a transformation from being bureaucratic to participative, where employee morale, social interactions and team work are crucial for organisations to be able to flourish. This highlights the fact that effective leadership and communication plays a key role in bringing about this transformation. Hackman and Johnson (2009) have defined leadership as a form of human communication and a “culture influencing activity”, which plays an incredibly important role in the suc...

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