Essay on Is Classical Management Theory Outdated and Obsolete?

Essay on Is Classical Management Theory Outdated and Obsolete?

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Management and leadership are two separate ideas. Management is planning, organising, leading and controlling an organisation (Meyer et al., 2007). Leadership is a process in which a leader influences others to set and achieve goals (Allen et al., 2013). There are several theories that imply that leadership is a quality that cannot be taught, whereas managing can be (Ackoff, 2005). Classical management theory is focused around improving efficiency while visionary leadership is more focused on empowering workers. Visionary leadership and classical management theory both aim to motivate and inspire workers; however, the intentions and outcomes are different. One theory is not better than the other especially since most of the time the two theories are intertwined. Classical management theory is not outdated or obsolete; however, visionary leadership should become more interwoven with the classical management theory in order to use the best parts of both theories to create a more efficient managing style.
Classical management theory is about improving efficiency and this is divided into scientific and administrative theory. It focuses on production efficiency which makes all jobs small and simple in order to make them easily taught (Meyer et al., 2007). This theory minimizes skill requirements and job learning time so that people, who do not speak the same language, can easily learn how to do the job as well as making training less time-consuming. This increases production and efficiency. Fredrick Taylor is known as the father of scientific management. He introduced this idea in the early 20th century. The scientific approach is intended to motivate workers to be more effective. Instead of having a worker be paid by the hour, Tay...


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Parker, L. and Ritson, P. 2005. Revisiting Fayol: Anticipating Contemporary Management. British Journal of Management [online], 16 (3), 175-194. Available at: http://ejscontent.ebsco.com/ContentServer.aspx?target=http%3A%2F%2Fonlinelibrary.wiley.com%2Fresolve%2Fdoi%2Fpdf%3FDOI%3D10.1111%2Fj.1467-8551.2005.00453.x
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