Management Theory Essay

1378 Words Nov 10th, 2014 6 Pages
Critically evaluate the classical and human relations approaches of management theory.

A central part of the study of organisation and management is the development of management thinking and management theory, applying theory can cause change in actual behaviour and managers reading the work of leading writers may see their ideas, attitudes and conclusions being influenced by management practise. The classical approach towards management theory was developed shortly after scientific management came into widespread use as a complementary set of ideas, as while scientific management initially focused on the micro level issue of job design, classical theory attempted to lay down guiding principles for the design and functioning of the
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In order to gain an insight into to how management theory has developed over the years it is important to trace major developments and what has led to the concentration of attention on such topics as structure, motivation, groups and leadership. To help identify main trends in management theory it is usual to categorise the work of writers into various approaches based on their views of organisations, their structure and management. The earliest approach is known as classical (or formal/scientific management) and the writers concerned with this approach focused on improving the organisation structure as a means of increasing efficiency, they emphasised the importance of principles for the design of a logical structure of organisation. Most classical writers had their own set of principles but among the most publicised are those of Fayol and Urwick.

Fayol was a French industrialist who had the view that many of the root causes of industrial failure were down to management and personnel. He was a top-down theorist and believed that change must begin with the board of directors. Sunderland and Canwell (2004) states that Fayol said an individual who specialised would become more skilled, efficient and effective, but also considered that the manager should have the ultimate accountability for the employees. Fayol identified fourteen elements of management which were key qualities some of these were:

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