Friday 15 June 2012

Management Theories in 20th century

Managers use various techniques, methods and principles to manage the human resources in organization. The important management theories can be classified as:
  • Scientific school of management-  Taylor, Gantt, Gilbreth
  • Classical school of management- Weber, Fayol, Follett, Barnard
Scientific school of management
This approach scientifically determines the best ways to manage human resources and productivity of individuals in an organization. Basic ideas in scientific management are:
  • Developing new procedures to execute the tasks
  • Creating co-ordination between management and employees
  • Dividing the work in equal shares to each team
  • Using a universal selecting, training and developing programs throughout the organization.
Frederick Taylor’s- Taylor is the father of scientific management, he proposed management theory based on personal experience at steel plant. The important aspects in Taylor’s theory are:
  • More productivity- By using appropriate methods and tools, the task can be executed at less time with less number of workers.
  • Incentive system- Employees who meet the goals effectively must be awarded with good amount of incentives.
  • User-friendly relation- Management and labour must be communicated well to execute the tasks so a user-friendly environment must be created.
Henry Lawrence Gantt - In support to Taylor’s theory, Gantt developed a chart to plan or schedule day to day work. How much of work is done at each stage of production can be determined very easily through this graph. This chart was named as Gantt and it is being used by various organizations in scheduling the tasks and projects.

Frank and Lillian Gilbreth- A time-and-motion study was introduced by Gilbreth based on working speeds of employees. Frank observed that while performing a task in teams, some employees are productive where as some employees are inefficient and very slow at work. Based on this, he removed useless motions to improve performance. This study promotes the individual workers in an organization. Social and psychological problems of workers were also considered in Gilbreth’s management theory. 

Classical School of management
The flow of information in an organization can be understood from these classical management theories.

Max Weber- According to Weber’s theory an organization should not be managed by a single personal, particular organizational structure and rules must be used to manage an organization effectively. Weber called the ideal organizations as bureaucracy; some of the characteristics of it are well-defined hierarchy, division of labour based on skills, maintaining complete records and specifying rules and regulations.

Henri Fayol- Fayol proposed 14 different management principles; those can be used as guidelines for organizing and managing human resources. These principles are widely used by modern-day managers.

Mary Parker Follett- Setting common goals and objective for all the employees is the main aspect in Follett’s theory. Today most of the managers are using the concepts specified in Follett’s theory, for example, employee opinions and views must be considered while making important decisions.
Chester Barnard- The idea of ‘informal organization’ was first introduced by Barnard; this idea helps in creating effective communication all over the organization and improves the coordination among employees. According to him success of any organization depends on cooperation of its employees.

Thus both classical and scientific management theories help today’s managers in handling human resources or workforce in their own way. Scientific and classical management theories differ from each other in some aspects; all the scientific management theories concentrate on productivity of individuals where as classical management theories focuses on the total organization.

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