The Evolution of Management Thought

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The Evolution of Management Thought
Khalil Said
University of Phoenix

The Evolution of Management Thought
The evolution of management thoughts and theories in modern management thinking began in the nineteenth century and continued during the twentieth. The need to define management and the role of managers led to the foundation of management theories through experience of the pioneer thinkers. Classical management theory focused on dividing the labors and tasks execution. Classical era characterized by creating a stable profit that stability is the key success of an organization. Among the most influential thinkers that time were Frederick Taylor and his thoughts of scientific management, Henri Fayol and the administrative management, and the bureaucracy of Max Weber. These three thinkers called for the division of labor to improve management effectiveness in organizations. The principles of scientific management, administrative management, and bureaucracy were put forward as the best and only ways for organizations to be operated and administered efficiently to improve, succeed, and meet their profit goals. Henri Fayol belongs to administrative management; his long career working in a mining company led him to develop the five basic elements of management. These elements are “1) plan by examining the future and draw up plans of action,2) organize, build up the structure, 3) command by maintaining activity among the personnel, 4) co-ordinate, bind together, unify, and harmonize activity and effort, and 5) control, see that everything occurs in conformity with policy and practice” (Jarvis, 2005). Besides that, Fayol developed the 14 principles of management. According to Hartman (2007) although these principles were controversial in modern organizations, some of them are still in use in those organizations. Wren (2005) noted that these principles derived from Fayal’s experience whereas he was working at a mining company. Although these principles, according to Wren, are not absolute in all organization settings, they served as the foundation of management and as “lighthouses” to show the way to theory. Fayol’s principles were: 1. Division of labor: through specialization, employees maximized their productivity and produced better results with the same effort they hitherto spent in executing the same tasks. 2. Authority: Manager’s responsibilities are to exercise power and give order to the right employees. Manager’s authorities based on his or her official authority and differentiated from their personal authorities. 3. Discipline: managers require applying disciplinary methods to keep respect between an organization and its employees on the one hand, and a smooth functioning of all works on the other. 4. Unity of command: employees can receive orders from one only manager. Fayol is best known is differing with Taylor on the value of functional foremen. According to Reid (1995) “Fayol believed that no employee should receive orders from more than one source and that this authority must be represented at all times.” 5. Unity of direction: there is a clear plan in place for all organizational activities on which all decision-making centralized. 6. Subordination of individual interests to the general interest: the interest of organizational goals comes first before the interest of any employee or group of employees. 7. Remuneration: an agreement between a firm and employees should provide a satisfactory pay rates to both parties. These rates depend on the quality of service and market conditions. 8. Centralization. The degree of centralization and decentralization depends on the dynamics of each organization. Wren (2005) noted that according to Fayol’s centralization and decentralization argument “everything which goes to increase the importance of the subordinate’s role is decentralization, everything which goes to reduce it is centralization (p. 217).” 9. Scalar chain. A chain of authority...
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