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.


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...Late 1980's: renewed interest in organizational climate and groups

Late 1980's: rise of participatory management techniques known by such terms as

Total Quality Management (TQM), Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI).

1986: first ruling by U.S. Supreme Court on subject of sexual harassment

Late 1980's: work stress received increasing attention in I/O research, theory, and practice Balancing work and family lives received increasing attention.


- Organisation and Management of Health Care, April 2002, Version 2.0 , Main Contributor: Katie Enock, Public Health Specialist, Harrow Primary Care Trust

- Henri Rayol Industrial and General Administration, J.A.Caubrough, trans.(Geneva International Management Institute, 1930)







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