Early Works On Management Tended To Stress On Employee Specialization Business Essay


The classical theorists tended to favour mechanistic structures which are organizational structures characterized by ta*****, specialization, centralization and formalization.

A number of people such as James D. Mooney, Lyndal Urwich & Frederick Taylor were the proponents of this view of management. Some of the problems associated with this type of management was boredom, resentment and low motivation.

Henri Fayol also came up with administrative management which was largely focused on identifying principles to make organizations more internally efficient. "In his principles of management, he identified fourteen general principles of management.

Max Weber, a German academic described bureaucracy as an ideal type of organization where one person has a lot of authority, there is a strict chain of command, there is centralized power and promotion is based more on technical competence.

The Hawthorne studies brought about the human relations movement which favoured more flexible management systems, open communication, employee participation etc. It was a critique of classical management and bureaucracy that favoured management styles that was more oriented towards employee needs.

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We can contrast mechanistic structures and organistic structures. The labels mechanistic and o.rganistic represent theoretical extremes and structures can and do fall between these extremes. Is one of these structures superior to the other?

In general more mechanistic structures are called for when an organization's environment is more stable and its technology is more routine. Organic structures tend to work better when the environment is less stable and the technology is less routine. So as can be seen there is no one best way to organize.

Fig 2

Pensis hitherto was one of the proponents of the human organisaton. He suggested that in every organization, there should be equity and fairness. His work can be summerised by fig 3

Write on contingency theory

An organization is a group of people who have come together to achieve a common purpose or good. The essential characteristics of an organization is the coordinated presence of people and not necessarily things.

Management decides the direction the organization should move in by putting policies and procedures in place and enforcing these policies and procedures by formulating strategies to realize its organizational goals.

In the private sector, some organizations have goods like selling insurance, winning football tournaments. In the public organizations and non profit sectors, some goals may be soul winning, promoting good health, promoting awareness of AIDS etc.

To be able to achieve its goals, organizations make use of group effort. By combining greater resources and wealth with effective and efficient teamwork, organizations have become the driving force in the world.

The field of organizational behaviour is interested with getting people to practice effective teamwork. Organizational behaviour refers to the attitudes and behaviours of individuals and groups or teams in organizations. The field of organizational behaviour involves the study of these attitudes and behaviours. It is interesting and important to study organizational behaviour because it is about people and human nature. Every good manager should be concerned with this area of management because that is the only way to get the best out of his employees and make his organization more efficient thereby maximizing profit.

There is a lot of study that has been carried out to show the existence of linkages between organizational behaviour and corporate performance and success. The main factor that differentiates organizations is the employees and the most successful organizations are those that effectively manage their employees.

Organizational behaviour management has a number of goals it helps managers to achieve.

predicting the behaviour of others is a requirement for everyday life both in the organization and outside the organization. Through continuous study, the field of organizational behaviour provides a foundation that helps improve predictions at organizational events.

The second goal of organizational behaviour is to help explore events as they occur in an organization. It is especially interested in determining why people are more or less motivated, bored, high employee turnover etc. The ability to understand eimployees enables you to effectively manage them.

Management is the art of getting things done through others. If behaviour can be predicted and explained it can be managed.

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Several studies have explored what managers do and can be divided into

Managerial roles

Interpersonal roles are the roles that a used to identify, forge and keep interpersonal relations going. They include leadership and liason roles.

Informational roles are used to maintain the effective communication in the organization. Roles played here include mentor role, disseminator role and spokesperson role.

Decisional roles are concerned with managerial decision making which include entrepreneur role, resource advocator role etc.

Fred Luther & colleagues determined that managers engage in four types of activities:

Routine communications (exchanging information, handling paper work); traditional management (planning, decision making, controlling); networking (interaction with outsiders, socializing and politicking); and human resource management (managing conflict and motivating/reinforcing staffing, training and development). One of the most fascinating findings is how emphasis on these various activities relates to management success.

John Kotter has also studied the behaviours of successful general managers and found a strong pattern of similarities that he grouped into the categories of agenda setting, networking, and agenda implementation.

The managers all gradually developed agendas of what they wanted to accomplish for the organization. These agendas were almost always informal and unwritten, and they were much more concerned with "people issues" and less numerical than most formal strategic plans.

The managers established a wide formal and informal network of key people both inside and outside of their organizations. This network provided managers with information and established cooperative relationships relevant to their agendas.

The managers used networks to implement the agendas. They would go anywhere in the network for help - up or down, in or out of the organization. The theme that runs through Kotter's findings is the high degree of informal interaction and concern with people issues that were necessary for the managers to achieve their agendas.

The style with which managers do what they do and the emphasis given to various activities will vary greatly across cultures because of cross-cultural variations in values that affect both managers' and employees' expectations about interpersonal interaction. Geert Hofstede has done pioneering work on cross-cultural differences in values and how these differences promote contrasts in the general role that managers play across cultures. National culture is one of the most important contingency variables in organizational behaviour.

Generally, an organization goes through 3 different stages as it grows. This is depicted in figure 2 below.

The first stage known as the craft stage has no formal policies and procedures. There is no mission, vision statement or organizational objectives. Operations at the company focus on one individual and are functional area such as marketing or sales.

The next stage known as the entrepreneurial stage is where the organization starts showing signs of growth. The growth is rapid initially then starts slowing. Sales and profits show considerable growth rate.

Professional management is the final stage where the entrepreneur is replaced with a professional manager how is well versed in the art of getting things accomplished in organizations through others. The professional manager accomplishes this through managerial roles, interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decisional roles. Such a professional manager performs four main activities that is routine communications such as exchanging information, handling paper work, traditional management that is planning, decision making, controlling; networking and lastly human resource management that is managing conflict and motivating, staffing, training and development.

During the professional management stage, the company is guided by written policies and procedures. Internal efficiency and not external factors contribute more to the realization of profits.

An organization chart is a diagrammatic representation of an organization structure. Each box represents a position and each line indicates the nature of the relationship among the different positions.

From the chart, not only are specific relationships identified but one gets an overall sense of how the entire organization fits together.

Organizations goals are objectives that management seeks to achieve in pursuing the purpose of the firm. Goals motivate people to work together. Although individual goals are important, the organisation's overall goals are the most important.

Organization structure is a system of task, reporting and authority relationships within which the work of the organization is done. The structure defines the form and function of the organization's activities. Structure also defines how the parts of an organization fit together as in an organization chart.

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The main organization building block is the division of labour. It provides the rationale for job specialization departmentalization and divisionalization.

Arising out of the division of labour are the organizing concepts of span of control, chain of command and centralization/decentralization.

Job specification relates increasing size in organization's, the decision of technical and productive systems and managers rea*** of control.

When organizations are small and tasks relatively straightforward, it is easy for a group of people to work interchangeably on tasks. This allows flexibility in the use of staff, improves communication and it may be motivating through existence of task variety, identity, significance, responsibility and feedback.

However as organizations become larger and some areas of work become more difficult job specialisation inevitably occurs.

Departmentalization is also based on division of labour and involves the grouping together of labour and involves the grouping together of related jobs into admin units typically called departments.

There is functional departmentalization which is based on business functions such as accounting, marketing, sales etc.

Product departmentalization focuses more on the needs of the user. This can further be broken into product, customer and geography.

You can have a which is a mix of the different types of product departmentalization.

A matrix departmentalization capitalizes on the strengths of both functional and product departmentalization. In some cases this is known as divisionalisation. This is at the core of the conglonerate concept exercised in the USA.

Span of control - This is the number of people reporting to a manager. Can also be called span of management. Experts have offered a number of formulae and rules for determining the optimal span of control but research on the topic has not been conclusive. Henry Mintzberg concluded that "the optimal size depends on the coordination requirements within the unitl including factors such as the degree of job specialization in the unit, similarity of tasks, type of information needed by unit members, differences in the members need for autonomy and the extent to which members need a direct access to the supervisor."

Chain of command on administrative hierarchy is a system of reporting relationships in the organization which flows down as directives from top management through middle/junior management to first line managers and subordinates and reporting relationships flow upwards through the same channel. The size of the hierarchy is inversely related to the span of control: in organizations with a small span of control, there are many managers in the hierarchy; organizations with a large span of control have a smaller admin hierarchy.

Line and staff structure: - The addition of staff specialists to a line structured organization creates a line and staff structure. Staff functions are advisory and supportive in nature; they contribute to the efficiency and maintenance of the organization. Line functions are directly involved in production and marketing of organization's goods and services. Fig 7 below shows s**** line and staff structure.

Centralization occurs when organizations maintain high control of authority at or near the top of the organization. Organizations that delegate authority cloer to where the work is done are said to be decentralized.

Formalization is the extent to which roles are highly defined by the organization. Here detailed, written job descriptions, policies and procedures manuals and the need to document everything are the order of the day. Rules and procedures can be both explicit and implicit. Implicit rules may develop as employees become accustomed to doing things in a certain way over a period of time. Though unwritten, these established ways become standard operating procedure with the same effect on employee behaviour as written rules.

Bureaucracy - Weber's ideal bureaucracy had seven essential characteristics including division of labour, hierarchy of authority and rules and procedures. These characteristics were to ensure order and predictability among people and jobs in the bureaucracy but these same features can lead to laziness, inefficiency and red tape. Organizations nowadays retain some characteristics of a bureaucratic structure while remaining innovative and productive.

Responsibility and authority

Policies and procedures in the modern organization will move if they are seen to be impartial, generalizable, shows equity, uniformity, restrictive and impersonal.

Factors affecting structure

Several factors can affect which structure is the most appropriate for a given organization. Strategy, size, environment and technology are some of the factors closely related to structure.

A major part of an organization's strategy for attaining its objectives deals with how the organization is structured. In addition to clarifying defining strategy through the delegation of authority and responsibility, the structure of an organization can either facilitate or inhibit strategy implementation.

In a ground-breaking study of organization strategy, Alfred D. Chandler described a pattern in the evolution of organizational structures. The pattern was based on studies on Du Pont; General Motors; Sears, Roebuck & Co.; and the Standard Oil Company, with corroborating evidence from many other firms. The pattern Chandler described was that of changing strategy, followed by administrative problems, leading to decline in performance, revised structure, and a subsequent return to economic health. In summary, Chandler concluded that structure follows strategy. In other words, Chandler found that changes in strategy ultimately led to or resulted in changes in the organization's structure.


There are many ways to measure the size of an organization, but gross sales and number of employees are the most frequently used. While there are no hard and fast rules, certain characteristics generally are related to an organization's size. Small organizations tend to be less specialized (horizontal division of labour), less standardized, and more centralized. On the other hand, larger organizations tend to be more specialized, more standardized, and more decentralized. Thus as an organization grows in size, it is only natural for certain structural changes to occur.

Paul Lawrence and Jay Lorsch conducted a later study dealing with organization structure and its environments. The original study included 10 firms in three distinct industrial Reaching conclusions similar to those of Burns and Stalker, Lawrence and Lorsch found that to be successful, firms operating in a dynamic environment needed a relatively flexible structure, firms operating a stable environment needed a more rigid structure, and firms operating in an intermediate environment needed a structure somewhere between the two extremes.

Numerous other studies have been conducted in the past several years investigating the relationship between organization structure and environment. In general, most have concluded the best organization structure for a given organization is contingent to some degree on its environment.

Numerous studies have also been conducted investigating potential relationships between technology and organizational structure. One of the most significant of these studies was conduct by Joan Woodward in the late 1950's. Her study was based on an analysis of 100 manufacturing firms in the southeast Essex area of England. The general approach taken by Woodward was to classify firms along a scale of "technical complexity" with particular emphasis on three modes of production: (1) unit or small batch production (e.g. custom-made machines) (2) large batch or mass production (e.g. an automotive assembly plant); and (3) continuous flow or process production (e.g. a chemical plant). The unit or small batch production mode represents the lower end of the technical complexity scale, while the continuous flow mode represents the upper end.

A similar study was undertaken a few years later by Edward Harvey. Rather than use Woodward's "technical complexity" scale, Harvey grouped firms along a continuum from technical diffuseness to technical specificity. Technically diffused firms have a wider range of products, produce products that vary from year to year, and produce more "made-to-order" products. Harvey's findings were similar to Woodward's in that he found significant relationships between technology and several organizations characteristics.

The general conclusion reached in the Woodward and the Harvey studies was that they both clearly reflected the presence of a relationship between organizational technology and a number of aspects of organizational structure. Many additional studies have been conducted investigating the relationship between technology and structure.

The knowledge that there is no one best way to organize - the design is conditional - has led to a contingency (situational) approach to organizing. Figure 8 shows the previously discussed variables and others that can have an impact on what is the most appropriate organization structure. The contingency approach should be viewed as a process of assessing these relevant variables and then choosing the most appropriate structure for the situation. Because most of the relevant variables are dynamic, management should periodically analyze and appraise the organization's structure in light of any relevant changes.

Responsibility and Authority

Responsibility and authority are related to both configurational and operational aspects of organization structure. For example, the organization chart shows who reports to whom at all levels in the organization. From the operational perspective, the degree of centralization defines the locus of decision-making authority in the organization. Often there is some confusion about what responsibility and authority really mean for managers, however, and how the two terms relate to each other.


Responsibility is an obligation to do something with the expectation that some act or output will result. For example, a manager may expect an employee to write and present a proposal for a new program by a certain date thus, the employee is "responsible" for preparing the proposal.

Responsibility ultimately derives from the ownership of the organization. The owners hire or appoint a group, often a board of directors, to be responsible for managing the organization, making the decisions, and reaching the goals set by the owners. A downward chain of responsibility is then established. The board hires a president to be responsible for running the organization. The president hires more people and holds them responsible for accomplishing designated tasks that enable the president to produce the results expect by the board and the owners. Although managers seemingly pass responsibility on ot others to achieve results, each manager is still held responsible for the outputs of those to whom he or she delegates tasks.


Authority is power that has been legitimized within a specific social context. Only when power is part of an official organizational role does it become authority. Authority includes the legitimate right to use resources to accomplish expected outcomes. The authority to make decisions may be restricted to the top levels of the organization or dispersed throughout the organization.

Like responsibility, authority originates in the ownership of the organization. The owners establish a group of directors who are responsible for managing the organization's affairs. The directors, in turn, authorize people in the organization to make decisions and to use organizational resources. Thus, they delegate authority, or power in a social context, to others.

Authority is linked to responsibility because a manager responsible for accomplishing certain results must have the authority to use resources to achieve those results. The relationship between responsibility responsibility and authority must be one of parity; that is the authority over resources must tbe sufficient to enable the manager to meet the output expectations of others.

But authority and responsibility differ in important ways. Responsibility cannot be delegated down to others but authority can.