Classical Management Theory and Human Relations Theory

Topics: Management, Organizational studies and human resource management, Organization Pages: 4 (1112 words) Published: December 15, 2012
The systematic development of management thinking is viewed, generally, as spanning from the end of the nineteenth century with the emergence of large industrial organizations. Management theories consist of two group—classical management theory and human relations theory. In this essay, the nature of the “Classical” and “Human Relations” approaches to management will be described at first and then bring out the differences and similarities between them.

The classical theory of management was formed in the early 20th century and based on a pyramid, formal structure. To be more precise, it puts an emphasis on technical requirements of the organisation, common principles as well as hierarchy of management. There are three well-established theories of classical management, such as Bureaucratic Organization of Weber, Administrative Management of Fayol and Scientific Management of Taylor. Weber features extensive and binding systems of rules, a strict hierarchical organizational structure. Fayol identified POCCC: plan organize command, coordination, control. Scientific management is a branch of the classical school of management and concentrates on the philosophies of economic rationality, efficiency, individualism as well as the scientific analysis of work. It arises in part from the need to expand productivity. This is due to the fact that the skilled labour was in short supply at the beginning of the twentieth century and augmenting the efficiency of workers was considered as the only way to increase productivity. As a consequence, Frederick W. Taylor, Henry L. Gantt, and the Gilbreths Frank and Lillian - devised the body of principles known as scientific management.

By contrast, as for the theory of human relations, it is to pay greater attention to social factors at work, leadership, the informal organisation and behaviour of people. The basic tenets of the human relations school emerged from a group of studies during the late 1920s and 1930s known as the...

References: Taylor, F.W(1911) The Principles of Scientific Management.New York: Harper
Bennett, R
Mullins, L.J. (2005) Management and Organisational Behaviour (7th ed.) Harlow: FT Prentice Hall
Henderson, G
Rose, N. (2005) Human Relations Theory and People Management [online].Available from: [Accessed by 11 FEB 2012]
Buono, B
Clayton, T and Beardwell, J (2007) Human Resource Management (5th ed.) Pearson Education
Mantex (2011) ClassicalVs Human Relation Approaches[online].Available from:
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