Classical Management Viewpoint of the Worker

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Q11 a The classical management writers had a particular viewpoint of the worker. Discuss what this was. [12 marks]

a The evolution of management has been in existence since the construction of massive structures such as the pyramids in Egypt in the ancient days and the Great Wall of China during the Qing Dynasty period. It is thus evident how important the role of management and its application is globally and through the passage of time. The emergence of the classical approach occurred during the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain and Europe, as it became necessary to have a more formal approach to management. Production shifted away from the cottage industry as large complex organisations sprouted due to new forms of technology. The classical approach places emphasis on purpose, formal structure, hierarchy of management, technical requirements, and common principles of organisation in order to manage efficiently the higher amount of outputs from increased producitivity. (needs emphasis on the workers) The classical management approach comprises of three theories namely- bureacratic management by Max Weber, Scientific management by Taylor and Administrative management by Henri Fayol. Max Weber is a German sociologist who defined an organisation as a well-defined hierarchy of authority and responsibility, following a system of rules and regulations where there is no confusion and conflicts. Under this formal hierarchy structure, workers abide by rules and follow accordingly without question. Official positions exist in their own right and jobholders have no rights to particular positions in the top management, since appointment of staff is based on qualification and competence. This will thus allow for a stable and well-defined job content such that work performance is based on the identified roles. However, the over-emphasis on rules and regulation only serves to dehumanise and demotivate the workers as workers’

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