DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO MANAGEMENT
Management was influenced by various disciplines like sociology, economics, political science, anthropology, psychology, and even literature. Due to such multidisciplinary influences, even authors like Harold Koontz (1961) referred to management as a ‘jungle’. Even then, differences exist in the classification of approaches. Although one of the ways to classify management approaches is from the analysis of John G. Hutchinson (1971), which considers the development of management from five different perspectives, the history of management can be broadly classified into three groups: (1) the classical approach, (2) the neo-classical approach, and (3) the modern approach. The classical approach has conventionally implied traditionally accepted views. This approach emphasizes organizational efficiency to increase organizational success. It believes in functional interrelationships, following of certain principles based on experience, a bureaucratic structure, and a reward-punishment nexus. The classical school of thought developed in three different directions: the scientific management approach, the administrative approach, and the bureaucratic approach, which also falls under the administrative school of thought. The bureaucratic approach was pioneered by Weber (1920), the scientific management approach by Taylor (1903), and the concept of administrative theory by Fayol (1949). The neo-classical approach /Behavioral approach emphasized human relations, the importance of the person behind the machine, individual as well as group relationships, and social aspects. This approach was pioneered by Mayo and his associates (1933). It was further extended to the behavioral sciences approach, pioneered by Abraham Maslow (1968, 1971), Chris Argyris (1957), Douglas McGregor (1960), and Rensis Likert (1961). The quantitative approach (which developed during World War II and believes in economic effectiveness to solve business problems) and the contingency approach (which discards the concept of universality and determines managerial decisions by considering situational factors) also form a part of the neo-classical approach. Modern management thought combines concepts of the classical school with social and natural sciences. It basically emerged from systems analysis. Even though most discussions on the evolution of management thought start with the classical approach, a brief acknowledgement of the contributions of the pre-classical theorists is useful to appreciate the process of development in management thought. A list of the contributions by pre-classical theorists has been provided in Table 1.1.
Table 1.1 Contributions of Pre-classical Theorists
Robert Owen (1771–1858)
He is considered to be a pioneer of the human resource management process. He advocated the necessity of concern for the welfare of workers. Charles Babbage (1792–1871)
As an inventor and a management scientist, he built the practical mechanical calculator, which is considered to be the basis of the modern computer. He also advocated the idea of specialization of mental work and suggested the necessity of profit sharing. Andrew Ure and Charles Duplin (1778–1857)
They emphasized the necessity of management education, which further paved the way to professionalize management functions. Henry Robinson Towne (1844–1924)
He emphasized the significance of skills in running a business. Reviewing the contributions of the pre-classical theorists, it is clear that their focus was more on developing some specific techniques to solve some identified problems. Due to their obvious technical background, they could not think of management as a separate field. By and large, they integrated management with their respective areas of specialization. Andrew Ure, Charles Duplin, and Henry Robinson Towne largely laid the foundation of management theory, which has ultimately shaped modern management...
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