Classical Management Theorists

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Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol were both theorists of the classical management movement. The classical approach was the framework to what management is all about. Therefore it can be said that they laid the foundation for many theorists. Frederick Taylor was an important theorist of the early 20th century and he made many important contributions to management. He proposed the principles of scientific management which he believed would improve industrial efficiency. He believed management could be formulated as a discipline. Taylor’s principles of scientific management focused on cooperation between management and the workers as well as improving the technical skills of the workers (Hodgetts, 1995). His approach is often referred to scientific management, Taylorism or Taylor’s principles. He is also known as the ‘father of scientific management’. Henri Fayol, like Frederick Taylor also contributed significantly to classical management theory. Fayol’s suggested that there were five main roles of managers, these being planning, organising, commanding, coordinating and controlling. Taylor began his career as a common laborer and went up the management chain. Henri Fayol on the other hand started his career as an engineer and moved up to a manager (Wren, 1994). Both their views of management differ in this aspect.

Fayol introduced various principles of organization and management whereas Taylor introduced principles on work methods and methods to secure efficiency, however both had a functional specialization. They both argued that there were certain principles which existed in all organizations in order for it to operate and produce efficient results. They both aimed for a ‘óne best way’ approach to management thinking. Fayol’s five functions include: • Planning which involves drawing up plans of action to bridge the gap between where we are and where we want to be. A good plan would have the characteristics of unity, continuity, flexibility and precision...
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