Disscuss the Contingency Approach to Management Essay

1326 Words Aug 25th, 2012 6 Pages
Definition of contingency(noun) by the Oxford Dictionary noun (plural contingencies) * a future event or circumstance which is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty * examples: a detailed contract which attempts to provide for all possible contingencies * a provision for a possible event or circumstance: stores were kept as a contingency against a blockade * an incidental expense: allow an extra fifteen per cent on the budget for contingencies * [mass noun] the absence of certainty in events: the island’s public affairs can occasionally be seen to be invaded by contingency * [mass noun] Philosophy the absence of necessity; the fact of being so without having to be so.
mid 16th century (in the
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However, where variation is high, requiring many judgments concerning which material is appropriate and which is not, managers will want to avoid making tasks routine.

One of the first applications of contingency theory came from research conducted by two British scholars, Thomas Burns and G. M. Stalker. After studying several industrial firms in England, such as textile mills and electronics manufacturers, they concluded that the appropriate managerial techniques were highly dependent on the kind of task the organization was trying to accomplish.
Burns and Stalker identified two organization types: mechanistic, for a task that is routine and unchanging, and organic, for a task that is nonroutine and changing. They discovered that the most successful firms were those that used whichever type was appropriate for a given task. When the task was routine and unchanging (mechanistic), the appropriate managerial approach was to emphasize efficiency, a high degree of specialization, and elaborate procedures for maintaining controls over behavior. On the other hand, when the task was nonroutine and changing (organic), the appropriate approach was to emphasize low job specialization, creativity rather than efficiency, and freedom for workers to control their own behaviors rather than relying on rules and procedures to keep them "in line." It is clear that this represents an integration of the classical and behavioral approaches. Other theorists,

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