Classical Approach to Management

Topics: Management, Max Weber, Rational-legal authority Pages: 4 (1084 words) Published: May 14, 2013
prIs the Classical approach to management obsolete?
Critically discuss your views on this matter.

The classical school of thought, established in the late nineteenth century, was composed of the writers who first contributed to organisational theory. Over the last one hundred years, the perception on management has evolved significantly. However many of the original views devised by the classical theorists are still evident. The theories formulated by Henri Fayol, Max Weber and Frederick W Taylor focus predominantly on efficiency, leading to a rational perspective on management and organisations. This essay will discuss the opinions portrayed by these writers and demonstrate that their approach remains relevant today.

Henri Fayol suggested management should be classified as a separate activity in business. Within this managerial class he composed five primary objectives that managers should follow and adhere to. These were to plan and forecast, organise, command, co-ordinate and control. He also determined fourteen principles of management, which included specialisation, authority and unity of command. Fayol’s approach seemed very logical and rational, regarding management as a science – something that could be taught. He believed his principles could be educated to managers and as a result, encourage them to manage more efficiently. Fayol was a lucrative businessperson and his research was based upon this success. This led others to believe his findings were more plausible. Fayol’s work could be deemed as being too idealistic and to a certain extent some of his principles could be classed as being rather old-fashioned. Much of his work is based upon the assumption of compliant labour, however in this modern century employees are not always happy to oblige to new procedures or regulations. On the other hand, his identification of distinct managerial activities is still able to influence modern day managers. His principles can be commonly...

References: Brooks, I. (2003) Organisational behaviour, Gosport: Pearson Education Limited
Handy, C. (1993) Understanding organizations, St Ives: Penguin Group
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