Explain how the managerial ideas of Taylor and Fayol differ from Mayo. Assess the relevance of Classical Management theorists to the management of contemporary organisations

Topics: Management, Scientific method, Organization Pages: 7 (1304 words) Published: September 12, 2004
"Classical Management" comprises three different approaches:

- Scientific Management (associated with the work of F W Taylor);

- Bureaucratic Management (hierarchical structure associated with the work of M Weber);

- Administrative Management (associated with the work of H Fayol).

The "Human Relations" approach is associated with the work of E Mayo and F Roethlisberger. Immediately, we can see a difference between the ideas of Taylor and Fayol and those of Mayo as they are even classified differently. In order to explain how these managerial ideas differ, I will first explain what those ideas were.


Taylor developed the four scientific principles of management:

1. Development of a true science

2. Scientific selection of the worker

3. Scientific education and development of the worker

4. Intimate and friendly cooperation between management and workers.

The focus was on the individual rather than the team, aiming to improve efficiency through production-line time studies. Each job was broken down into its components and the quickest and best methods of performing each component were designed. There could be only one best way of maximising efficiency, developed through scientific study and analysis. Rewarding productivity was encouraged as money was seen as the one true motivator. Employees did the physical labour and management did the organising and planning. Through standardisation, worker specialisation and tight managerial control, Taylor promised increased efficiency. Although Taylor's methods did not allow scope for individual workers to excel or think for themselves, they were widely adopted.


Fayol laid down 14 principles of management to be applied in any situation:

1. Specialization of labour. Specializing encourages continuous improvement in skills and the development of improvements in methods.

2. Authority. The right to give orders and the power to exact obedience.

3. Discipline. No slacking, bending of rules.

4. Unity of command. Each employee has one and only one boss.

5. Unity of direction. A single mind generates a single plan and all play their part in that plan.

6. Subordination of Individual Interests. When at work, only work things should be pursued or thought about.

7. Remuneration. Employees receive fair payment for services, not what the company can get away with.

8. Centralization. Consolidation of management functions. Decisions are made from the top.

9. Scalar Chain (line of authority). Formal chain of command running from top to bottom of the organization, like military

10. Order. All materials and personnel have a prescribed place, and they must remain there.

11. Equity. Equality of treatment (but not necessarily identical treatment)

12. Personnel Tenure. Limited turnover of personnel. Lifetime employment for good workers.

13. Initiative. Thinking out a plan and doing what it takes to make it happen.

14. Esprit de corps. Harmony, cohesion among personnel.

Fayol divided managerial activities into five functions:

- planning

- organising

- commanding

- coordinating

- controlling

The emphasis was on rational, central planning, looking at the whole picture, managing from the top down. Like Taylor, Fayol looked upon organisations as machines, viewed money as the one true motivator and emphasised maximum efficiency and productivity through standard operating procedures.


Mayo's Hawthorne studies are a landmark in management thinking. They followed preliminary illumination experiments, which studied the affect of light on productivity. The Hawthorne studies examined the affect of fatigue and monotony on productivity and experimented with the introduction of rest breaks, changes in work hours, temperature and humidity. Two key aspects of the Human Relations Approach are employee motivation and leadership style. Mayo learned that:

- Job satisfaction is increased through employee...
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