Classical Organization Theory : The Field Of Public Administration And Management

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Classical Organization Theory

As far back as the end of World War II, the field of public administration and management has had significant importance to American society. As early as the 1700s, there has been a deep interest in organizational behavior, human motivation and productivity. Rooted in the industrial revolution of the 1700s, Classical Organization Theory was the forerunner in the concept of organizational theory, the first of its kind. Classic Organization Theory was based primarily on the assumptions of how organizations worked or should work. The primary organizational assumptions were that economic goals and their accomplishment were the reasons that organizations existed; systematic, scientific inquiry was the one best way to organize for production; specialization and division of labor maximized production; and, rational economic principles dictated the ways in which people and organizations acted (Shafritz, Jang, & Ott, 2011). Formalization, control and power were central concepts in classical organization theory. During this time, the goal of management was to maintain equilibrium, subsequently, emphasis was on being able to control and manipulate workers and their environment. Classical Organization Theory dominated organizational theory into the 1930s and was a direct reflection of the harsh societal values developed of their times.

The major theorists of the classical organization era included, Henri Fayol, Frederick Taylor, Max Weber, and Luther…

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