Relevance of Classical Management Theories in Modern Business Environment

3194 words 13 pages
The Classical Management Theory is thought to have originated around the year 1900 and dominated management thinking into the 1920s, focusing on the efficiency of the work process. It has three schools of thinking: Scientific management, which looks at ‘the best way’ to do a job; Bureaucratic management, which focuses on rules and procedures, hierarchy and clear division of labour; and Administrative management, which emphasises the flow of information within the organisation.

Scientific Management

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) is known as the father of scientific management. His approach emphasised empirical research to increase organisational productivity by increasing the efficiency of the production process. In the United
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This is truer today where organisations are constantly faced with a turbulent external environment of increased competition. o the emphasis on impersonality and division of labour leads to boredom, dissatisfaction and discontent within the workforce o rules and procedures may become so important in their own right that there is a tendency to forget the underlying processes that they are meant to make more efficient.

Administrative Management

Henri Fayol (1841-1925) was a French industrialist and one of the most influential early management thinkers. Scientific Management was concerned with increasing the productivity of the shop floor. Classical Organisation Theory grew out of the need to find guidelines for managing such complex organisations as factories. An early attempt was pioneered by Fayol to identify the principles and skills that underlie effective management. He believed that sound management practice falls into certain patterns that can be identified and analysed. He focused on management, which he felt had been the most neglected of business operations. Based on his experience in management, he developed fourteen general principles of management:

1. Division of Work and specialisation to produce more work for less effort.
2. Authority to give orders and the power to exact obedience.
3. Discipline and respect between a firm and its employees.
4. Unity of command where an employee receives


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