Management usually entails four main activities namely planning, organising, leading and controlling. Management theories and principles, have emerged through a gradual evolutionary process which took place over the past two centuries. In fact the first business and management programmes were offered by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1881 (Bateman et al.,1990).
It must be noted, though that many management techniques have been prevalent ever since ancient and medieval times. However attempts to develop formal management theories are more recent and were spurred on by the industrial revolution in the United States from the early 18th Century.
The different phases in the evolution of management can be classified as follows: 1. Classical management approaches
2. Behavioural management approaches
3. Quantitative management approaches
4. Contemporary management approaches
CLASSICAL MANAGEMENT APPROACHES
The classical management movement began around the 1870s and this school of thought refers to three main management styles which are: 1. Scientific Management
2. Bureaucratic Management
3. Administrative Management
The concept of scientific management was originally put forward by Frederick Winslow Taylor. As a matter of fact, Taylor's contribution to this management viewpoint has been so significant that he has been unanimously accepted as "the father of scientific management". Many authors also refer to scientific management as "Taylorism". Hired by the Midvale Steel Co. in 1878 as an engineer, Taylor made two crucial observations on management and workers’ attitudes towards their responsibilities.
According to Taylor the workers were involved in soldiering for three specific reasons:
1. they felt if only some workers worked at full capacity, others who did not do so would lose their jobs. So a feeling of solidarity towards their co-workers handicapped their obligation to work at a faster pace. 2. the implied system of "maximum production for minimum pay" imposed by management discouraged the workers from being more productive. 3. the working practices adopted by the workers were inherently inefficient. Taylor also believed that Midvale's management was not bent in determining the most efficient ways of tapping into the huge potentials of its workers. So in order to solve this conflicting situation between management and workers attitudes, Taylor devised a scientific approach to management, hence the name "scientific management".
Scientific Management – Contributions:
• Introduced a scientific approach to management.
• Improved factory efficiency and productivity.
• Used as a model upon which the creation of modern assembly lines was based on. • Allowed managers to reward workers for higher performance and productivity through the differential rate system. • Built a sense of co-operation between management and workers. However scientific management has also been criticised by many authors.
Scientific Management - Limitations:
• Limited by its underlying assumption that workers were primarily motivated by economic and physical needs. It therefore overlooked the desire of workers for job satisfaction. • Led, in some cases, to the exploitation of workers and it has been often suggested that scientific management was at the centre of many strikes prevalent in those days. • Excluded the tasks of management in its application.
• Instilled an authoritarian leadership approach.
• Focused only on the internal operations of the organisation.
The theory of scientific management was further extended through the works of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth as well as of Henry L Gantt.
The concept of bureaucratic management was put forward by Max Weber, a German sociologist. Weber's need to establish a bureaucratic system of management stemmed from his exposure to nepotism whereby he saw that many people were being recruited in...
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