American Public University
January 27, 2008
In this paper I will be explaining the evolution of management from the beginning of the industrial revolution to present which includes Classical School of Management, the Human Relations/ Behavioral School of Management, Theory X and Y, the Scientific Approach, Contingency Approach, and Theory Z. I will also be comparing the classical style and the present style to each other and to my and current work environment. The Classical school of thought began during the Industrial Revolution around 1900 and continued into the 1920s when new problems related to the factory system began to appear. Managers were unsure of how to train employees (many of them non-English speaking immigrants) or deal with increased labor dissatisfaction, so they began to test solutions. Traditional or classical management focuses on efficiency and includes scientific, bureaucratic and administrative management. Bureaucratic management needs a rational set of structuring guidelines, such as rules and procedures, hierarchy, and a clear division of labor. Scientific management focuses on the "one best way" to do the job. Administrative management emphasizes the flow of information in the operation of the organization. The first management theory approach to emerge was scientific management. It was introduced in an attempt to create a mental revolution in the workplace. It can be defined as the systematic study of work methods in order to improve efficiency. Frederick W. Taylor was its main contributor. Other major contributors were Frank Gilbreth, Lillian Gilbreth, and Henry Gantt. Scientific management has several major principles. 1st - it calls for the application of the scientific method to work in order to determine the best method for accomplishing each task. 2nd - scientific management suggests that workers should be scientifically selected based on their qualifications and trained to perform their jobs in the optimal manner. 3rd - scientific management advocates genuine cooperation between workers and management based on mutual self-interest. 4th - scientific management suggests that management should take complete responsibility for planning the work and that workers' primary responsibility should be implementing management's plans. Other important characteristics of scientific management include the scientific development of difficult but fair performance standards and the implementation of a pay-for-performance incentive plan based on work standards. Bureaucratic management focuses on the ideal of organization. Max Weber was the major contributor to bureaucratic management. Based on his observations, Weber concluded that many early organizations were inefficiently managed, with decisions based on personal relationships and loyalty. He proposed that a form of organization, called a bureaucracy, characterized by division of labor, hierarchy, formalized rules, impersonality, and the selection and promotion of employees based on ability, would lead to more efficient management. Weber also thought that managers' authority in an organization should be based not on tradition or charisma but on the position held by managers in the organizational hierarchy. Administrative management focuses on the management process and principles of management. In contrast to scientific management, which deals largely with jobs and work at the individual level of analysis, administrative management provides a more general theory of management. Henry Fayol was the mail contributor to this type of management. Fayol was a...