Management theories

“There are many approaches to management that have evolved over time. Trace this evolutionary pattern and appraise the reasons why successive approaches were developed.” In order to answer this essay question thoroughly, the author intends to view the different theories via a chronological approach. Beginning in the early 19th century up until the late 20th century, the most prominent theories of those times will be examined. They will be centred around the four main schools of managerial thinking, classical, human relations, systems and contingency. There are a number of management theories that have emerged and evolved over the years. The importance of management theories didn’t materialise until the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries. The growth of large organisations with high concentrations of people and resources in one area created a need for co-ordination and organisation which highlighted the need for management.

One of the earliest recognised writers on management theory was Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1917), also known as the “father of scientific management”. Frederick Taylor was deemed to be part of the classical school of management theory, he was concerned with the detail of organisational functions and how they can be managed to benefit the whole company. Taylor based his studies on the Midvale Steel Company located in Philadelphia, USA. During this time there was a shortage of skilled workers in America and in order to meet demand, productivity needed to expand by increasing the efficiency of workers who were available.

In order to achieve this Taylor developed a number of principles which collectively became known as Taylorism and were based on the idea that there was ‘one best way’ to do each job. Taylor analysed each job conducted within the organisation, identified the components which made up the job and designed the quickest and best way to do each component.

He believed that a group of people each trained in a specific task, similar to the modern assembly line, could out produce the same number of workers each doing the full set of tasks. He trained each worker in the improved methods of work and those who were inadequately skilled were simply sacked without regard, Taylor argued that they would easily find work elsewhere due to the skills shortage.

Through his processes, Taylor was able to calculate the level of productivity that each worker should achieve and in order to encourage this attached the rate of pay to the amount produced. This is similar to today’s notion of performance related pay. Taylor believed that man was solely motivated by economic needs and as long as wages were increased, employees would be happy. The five main principles of scientific management as stated by Buchanan and Huczynski, 1997 1 are as follows: -“There are many approaches to management that have evolved over time. Trace this evolutionary pattern and appraise the reasons why successive approaches were developed.”

In order to answer this essay question thoroughly, the author intends to view the different theories via a chronological approach. Beginning in the early 19th century up until the late 20th century, the most prominent theories of those times will be examined. They will be centred around the four main schools of managerial thinking, classical, human relations, systems and contingency. There are a number of management theories that have emerged and evolved over the years. The importance of management theories didn’t materialise until the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries. The growth of large organisations with high concentrations of people and resources in one area created a need for co-ordination and organisation which highlighted the need for management.

One of the earliest recognised writers on management theory was Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1917), also known as the “father of scientific management”. Frederick Taylor was deemed to be part of the classical school of management theory, he was concerned with the detail of organisational functions and how they can be managed to benefit the whole company. Taylor based his studies on the Midvale Steel Company located in Philadelphia, USA.

During this time there was a shortage of skilled workers in America and in order to meet demand, productivity needed to expand by increasing the efficiency of workers who were available. In order to achieve this Taylor developed a number of principles which collectively became known as Taylorism and were based on the idea that there was ‘one best way’ to do each job. Taylor analysed each job conducted within the organisation, identified the components which made up the job and designed the quickest and best way to do each component.

He believed that a group of people each trained in a specific task, similar to the modern assembly line, could out produce the same number of workers each doing the full set of tasks. He trained each worker in the improved methods of work and those who were inadequately skilled were simply sacked without regard, Taylor argued that they would easily find work elsewhere due to the skills shortage.

Through his processes, Taylor was able to calculate the level of productivity that each worker should achieve and in order to encourage this attached the rate of pay to the amount produced. This is similar to today’s notion of performance related pay. Taylor believed that man was solely motivated by economic needs and as long as wages were increased, employees would be happy. The five main principles of scientific management as stated by Buchanan and Huczynski, 1997 1 are as follows: –