Management theory

Management theory

Each organization manages its employees, projects, and development. Managers and directors manage their projects and teams. But overall, global governance has a large-scale goal to grow the business.

Currently, there is no complete and accurate description of the stages of management theory, because it has a relatively short history – about 100 years. The following notions are formed: classical school – 1900-1930 (Taylor, Ford, Bernard); School of Human Relations 1930-1960 (Douglas McGregor); systematic approach 1960-1975 (T. Burns and G. Stalker, 1961; F. Cast, J. Rosenzweig); situational approach 1975 – (T. Burns and G. Stalker, 1961).
The difference between the points of view is obtained from the way of considering the relationship between “organization – environment” and the desired result of management.

Classical school in management

Proponents of this approach focus on the internal life of the organization – improving its internal structure and operation. In management, they strive for rationalism in achieving goals. They are looking for the optimal way to organize and manage the activity. They are abstracted from the influence of the environment.

It is called classical because of the early stage of its origin and because today most of the ideas are the object of imitation and even full perception, they have become role models.
For them, the organization is characterized by:

Centralized power

Hierarchical structure – a clear distinction between managers and functional specialists and strict, regulated rules for regulating behavior
Division of labor through clear lines of subordination – mandatory specialization and professional qualification

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

He and his followers turned their attention to improving the organization of production and on this basis sought to improve the organization of management. The management superstructure is minimal, the worker naturally opposes the owner. It recognizes that there are workers who, if they have an acceptable pay and pay system, can increase their productivity.

The essence of his “scientific management”: Taylor’s most significant contribution is his idea that work obeys scientific laws and can be analyzed using scientific methods. For him, the goal of management is “to ensure maximum well-being for both employers and every worker.” Reference: “History of management science and basic management schools”,

The main thing in his approach is “the search for the best way”. According to him: “Science, instead of traditional habits; harmony – instead of contradiction; cooperation instead of individual work; maximum productivity – instead of limited productivity; development of each worker to his maximum available productivity and maximum well-being ”

Based on the definition of science given at the time by Prof. McLaurin (Boston Institute of Technology) – “classified or organized knowledge of some kind”, he wrote in his work Principles of Scientific Management (1912): “The collection of knowledge that existed before, but … was certainly in a disordered state in the minds of the workers, and its reduction thereafter in laws, rules, and formulas, constitutes the organization and classification of knowledge. This is a fact, although some do not approve of its name with the word science. “

The efficiency of the organization

The effectiveness of the organization can be achieved by:

Separation of planning from the work process. All responsibility for the planning and design of the work must be delegated to the management team. The implementation of these plans must be carried out by the workers. Reference: “Modern management in organizations”,

Choosing the best person for the job that is planned and designed.

Determining how a task can be performed most effectively. (Use scientific methods for this purpose)

Training of workers to perform tasks in the prescribed manner.

Determining the best way to reward different tasks.

Control of the employee’s work to ensure that the prescribed methods are followed and the set goals are achieved.

The prospect of scientific management is said to have led to the greatest improvements in American business, making Americans world leaders in manufacturing by the end of the 1970s (Denning, 1991). One of the most important objections to this approach is that it perceives workers as machines that will reliably and efficiently perform simple, repetitive operations if they are sufficiently motivated and rewarded; dehumanization, and alienation of the labor force.

As a method of management, it is considered that it is not flexible and cannot cope with rapid changes, unexpected developments, and competition. Reference: “Organizational Priorities in the Business Management of the Organizations”, It is effective where the work can be mechanized and the participants in it perceive the division of “thinking” managers and “performing” workers. In organizations where the nature of the work is changing with the introduction of new technologies, the method seems most inappropriate.

Particularly relevant is his principle of governance known as the “development of scientific knowledge.” According to him, the production process should be described in detail and on this basis to create technological documentation, to develop reasonable labor standards, which in turn will form the payment system. This explains the need for staff specialization. Reference: “Social and ethical responsibilities in management”,

The other important principle is “Ensuring the application of scientific knowledge in the practical activities of selected and trained workers” – after selection, workers must be trained to work in the best method. The training of workers is a task for managers. Reference: “Organizational culture“,

Serial production – Henry Ford (1883-1945)

Henry Ford recommends three basic principles of organization management.

Vertical structure of the organization/closing the cycle from the extraction of raw materials to the sale of the car /.

Mass production.


Chester Barnard and the “acceptance of power”

Chester Barnard’s main idea: The organization is based on the interaction between managers and subordinates. To perform the task assigned to them, subordinates must be able to understand and understand the task; to consider that it corresponds to the purpose of the organization; that it is compatible with their interests, mental and physical capabilities.

School of human relations

It arises as a negation of the classical. Main thesis: Management is the achievement of things through people, therefore the emphasis should be on interpersonal relationships. Where people work as a group to achieve common goals, all participants in the process must understand people. They rely on three basic understandings: Man is a social being; rigid hierarchy and formalization of processes are incompatible with human nature; Solving the human problem is the job of those in power.
They develop problems related to the delegation of power; the autonomy of the employee, the interpersonal relationships (trust and openness between the manager-executor, the integrity of the personality during the labor process, etc.).

Douglas McGregor (1906-1964) – Theory X and Theory Y.

Theory X

People in the organization do not like their job, have an innate apathy towards work, and will avoid it whenever possible.
Due to the dislike of work, people cannot make a positive contribution to the activities of their organization unless they are raped and threatened with various punishments to make an effort concerning organizational goals.
Ordinary people prefer to be guided, avoid responsibility, have small ambitions, strive for a safe way of working.
There are few workers with creative imagination and ingenuity to solve the problems of the organization.

Theory U

People in the organization find work to be natural (like play and rest), want to be involved in decision-making, accept, and usually seek to take responsibility. Work can be a source of satisfaction and then they strive for it, but if it is a source of punishment they will avoid it.
External control and threats of penalties will not lead to a significant effort by employees to achieve organizational goals. The employee likes and will control himself in the fulfillment of goals to which he has accepted obligations.
Employees’ commitment to the organization’s goals is a function of the rewards associated with their achievements. The employee likes responsibility and will strive for it in controlled conditions.
The intellectual potential of ordinary people is underutilized, but it exists in most employees. They will use it in a controlled environment. Reference: “Management and leadership: theories and approaches”,

An alternative way to explain human behavior could be to look at the needs that the individual seeks to meet through Maslow’s approach, according to which there are five levels of needs that influence a person’s behavior:

Physiological needs – food, water, shelter

Security needs – protection from dangers, threats, deprivation

Social needs – belonging, acceptance by the group, friendship

Needs of one’s own “I” – self-esteem, reputation, position

Self-affirmation – the need to realize their opportunities for continuous self-development.

According to Maslow, needs are in a hierarchy because the needs of the lowest level must be met first.
In the late ’60s of the twentieth century, the opinion was formed that the internal dynamics of the organization are formed under the influence of external events.

The organization as an open system

In the middle of the twentieth century, the business environment changed significantly. Cybernetics is evolving, research is increasing, accelerating and the results are being quickly applied in practice. Based on the emerging theory of systems, a new approach to the management of the organization is formed. Reference: “The groups in the organization and their effectiveness”,

It becomes clear that the behavior of the organization is influenced by factors that do not lend themselves to mathematical description – interests, values, attitudes, the behavior of the organization (owners, managers, contractors) and are within the company. This gives grounds to H. Simon and J. March formulate the thesis of “limited rationality” in the search for optimal solutions. Reference: “Communication process in management”,

The situational approach arises when it is clarified that a significant part of the factors are outside the company and it cannot influence them, regardless of its activity. This forms the view that there is no single right method of management, but it changes according to the situation.

Published by Anton Radev

Front-End Web Developer

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