Classical Theory

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‘It’s background, Ideologies and Implications in Management’


Classical management theory is a branch of management theory which evolved around the 19th century .It was developed during the industrial revolution when problems related to factory systems began, to recognize the role that management plays in an organization particularly focusing on the efficiency of the work process. Over time classical approach developed 3 branches;

1. Scientific Management theory

2. Bureaucratic Management theory

3. Administrative Management theory



Scientific Management theory grew out of the need to improve efficiency through more efficient utilization of physical and human resources. It focuses on the best way an individual efficiently performs a task. It was developed by scientists and engineers among them F.W.Taylor (1856-1915). Taylor studied each job and determined the most efficient way to perform each job. He set a number of principles to guide management; development of a true person’s job( Job description), the scientific selection, training and development of workers, division of work, and responsibility for both management and workers, that is, let them do their work and determine accurately the correct times and methods for each job.

Implications: This approach led to dramatic increase in productivity and higher pay. However workers began to oppose this approach because they feared that working harder or faster would exhaust whatever work was available, causing layoffs. The emphasis on productivity and by extension profitability led some managers to exploit both workers and customers and as a result, more workers joined unions. It was thus Henry Grant came up with a new idea of workers and supervisors earning bonuses for achieving set targets, hence, this incentive furthered motivational impact....
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