MBA 808: MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES
ASSESSMENT OF CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF MANAGEMENT
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE BY WHOM?
(5 PAGES SINGLE SPACING, TIMES NEW ROMAN, FONT 12)
JONI ANYANGO K’ONDIEK
Management theory is a set of ideas and rules intended to help supervisors/managers to know the goals of the organization, to understand what inspires people to work when achieving the goals of the organization and to plan work required to attain the goals of the organization in the most competent and effective way possible. HISTORICAL THEORIES OF MANAGEMENT
Scientific Management Theory, Fredrick Taylor (1890-1940): Tasks were standardized as much as possible where workers were rewarded and punished. This worked well for organizations with assembly lines and other mechanistic, routinized activities. Bureaucratic Management Theory, Max Weber (1930-1950): Max Weber embellished the scientific management theory with his bureaucratic theory focusing on dividing organizations into hierarchies, establishing strong lines of authority and control. Human Relations Movement (1930-today): A major belief included that the organization would prosper if its workers prospered as well.
Fig. 1 above summarizes evolution of management theories over the years i.e. Pre-Classical, Classical, Behavioral, Quantitative and Contemporary viewpoints. This article therefore assesses the Contemporary viewpoints. CONTEMPORARY VIEWPOINTS:
The dominant theories of organizations prior to the 1960s were: 1). Classical/Traditional School, who saw organizational design as a rational structure, or mechanisms which would be imposed upon people and 2). Human Relations, or Social Psychological School, who saw organizations primarily in terms of the needs of the individuals within them. The theorists of human relations set out to humanize the work place at the expense of studying the organization as a whole. They did not address themselves sufficiently to several major problems that can arise in practically every organization e.g. dealing with tensions between the requirements for structure and the needs of people. Questions of conflict tended to be dealt with in terms of avoiding it by attention to motivation and leadership. A further difficulty in the human relations approach was its emphasis on the practical application of ideas rather than on the conceptual development of organizational theory. This suggests we need to look elsewhere for a fuller explanation of behavior in organizations hence the birth of the theorists who see organizations as complex social systems responsive to a number of inter-dependent and important variables like the Contemporary Theory. Contemporary approach to management focuses on the use of rigorous quantitative techniques to help managers make maximum use of organizational resources to produce goods and services. This school of thought or view point about management includes those major ideas about managing and organizations that have emerged since the 1950s. Some of the ideas, systems theory for example, are rooted in experiences gained during World War II. Contemporary viewpoints therefore consider the Systems Theory, Contingency Theory and Emerging Views. The systems theory: This approach is based on the notion that organizations can be visualized as systems of interrelated parts or subsystems that operate as a whole in pursuit of common goals. According to Mullins (2010), a systems approach is a management approach that attempts to reconcile the classical and human relations. Here, attention is focused on the total work of the organization and the interrelationships of structure and behavior and the range of variables within the organization. The organization is viewed within its total environment and emphasizes the importance of multiple channels in interaction. A system is a collection of part...
References: 1. Management: Theory and Practice 7th Ed. By Gerald A. Cole and Phil Kelly, BookPower Publishers
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