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Evaluating The Evolution of Management Theory

Info: 1993 words (8 pages) Essay
Published: 2nd May 2017 in Business

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The Practice of management has evolved from the year 3000 BC to the new era of government organization brought up by the Sumerians and Egyptians. In scientific management we have two such people who changed the faces of Management. They are Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henri Fayol. The classical view on management came from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Management is the principal activity that makes a difference in how well organization serve people affected by them. Management is a specialty in dealing with members with matters of time and human relationships as they come up in an organization. For time we have scientific management and for human relationships we have behaviorist thought.

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Scientific School of Thoughts


Scientific management is also called Taylorism, and is also known as Taylor’s system, or the Classical view which is a theory of management that understands and improves the workflow process, which increases labour productivity. The important ideas of the scientific theory of management were developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor in the early 1880s and the early 1890s, which were published in his books, such as Shop Management (1905) and The Principles of Scientific Management (1911) were some of his books. Concisely, Taylor believed that management and labour had to work, hand in hand to increase productivity of an organisation. Taylor made assumptions that the decisions which are based upon tradition and rules of thumb should be redrawn by relevant procedures which are developed after a careful study of an individual at his or her work. This in today’s world is very much applicable and very much apt. His ways reflect to get things done by different people and his ways are also regarded as the best and successful ways. Taylor made it consistent that, if management had to do well to an organisation then, management itself would have to change its ways and could be determined if only one came up with a proper study. Taylor had suggested that decisions given on rules of thumb and traditional management had to be replaced with perfect procedures developed after a careful study of individual situation in an organisation. Taylor introduced scientific management to increase the productivity of the workers in an organization. Taylor proposed that the only way to increase or improve the productivity of the organisation was to raise the effectiveness and efficiency of the workers. Taylor made his views on the production line time studies. Method Study was a study to do the in a more precise way. Motion study is the study of movement. Motions which are productive, motions which are incidental, and motions which are unproductive. Time study was a study which determined the time taken for accomplishing a particular job. Fatigue study was the study of the rest intervals taken by a person in an organisation for accomplishing a job. Through this the person was able to regain his or her stamina and continue to work for higher productivity of the organisation.


Henri Fayol was a French management theorist and was generally hailed as the founder of the Classical Theory of Management. Fayol introduced a way of Managerial Behavior and he was the first one who systematized it in an organisation. His theories on management and administration were built on personal observation and experience of an individual in an organisation. Fayol mostly emphasized on his five functions which are still been used in today’s management. The first one is to forecast and plan, which means to examine the future and draw up relevant plans. The second one is to organize, which means to build up the structure for the administration to perform with higher standards. The third one was to command, which means to maintain a proper activity among the personnel. The forth one is to co-ordinate, which means to bind together as one and maximize the efforts of the organisation for higher productivity. And the fifth one is to control, which means all the activities in an organisation should perform with proper control and practice which benefits the output of the oranisation in good terms. Fayol believed that there were perfect principles and laws of administration which were waiting to be specialized from, observation and experience. Fayol had his own 14 principles to keep on, in an organization, they were as follows:

“Division of Labour, Authority and Responsibility, Discipline, Unity of Command, Unity of Direction, Putting the General Good First, Personnel Remuneration, Centralisation, Scalar Chain, Order, Equity, Stability of Tenure of Personnel, Initiative, Espirit De Corps”.

Although Fayol listed only 14 principles of management in his journals, he believed that there was more no higher limit to the number of principles of administration or management in an organisation. Fayol’s thinking was broadly used in many parts of the world such as France, United Kingdom and in the United States of America.

Behaviourial School of Thought

In Behaviourial School of Thought we have some famous duos, they are Abraham Maslow, Elton Mayo and Douglas McGregor. We also have some experiments such as the Hawthorne Experiments. It all starts from the behavioral school of thought where a group of management scholars have been examined in the following fields like sociology, psychology, and related subjects, through which some of them use their vast and gigantic knowledge to propose more effective ways to manage people in an organization. Basically it is a body of management which directly or indirectly motivates its employees by using sociological, psychological techniques rather than laying down rigid rules and regulations in an organisation.

Hawthorne Studies

The Hawthorne studies rose in 1924, the experts at the Hawthorne, Illinois, plant of the Westerns Electric Company Designed a research program to study the effects of illumination on productivity. They felt that, in addition to physical and technical changes some behavioral assumptions or changes should be made in an organisation. Hawthorne effect tells us that workers who receive special attention will perform more efficiently than others because they have received that special attention from the management. So like this, the employees who had received special attention will perform more than expected, by this the organisation can reach its specified goals.

Theory X and Theory Y

The classic theory of Theory X – Theory Y was developed by Douglas McGregor. According to him, the traditional organisation with its centralized decision making, hierarchical pyramid, and external control of work is based on certain assumptions about human nature and human motivation. Theory X assumes that most of the people prefer to be directed, are not interested in assuming responsibility, and want safety above all. All of this philosophy leads to, this belief that money, fringe benefits, and the threat of punishment motivate people. Managers who accept Theory X assumptions will try to structure, control, coordinate and supervise their employees. In Theory X, work is inherently unsavoury to most of the employees of the organisation. In this case most of the people are not ambitious or high thinker’s, they only have a little need for responsibility in their own hands, and prefer to be directed. Most of the employees have very little capacity for creativity or ideas in solving organizational problems. In Theory X, motivation happens only at the physiological and security levels. Most employees must be closely controlled and often motivated to achieve organizational objectives and goals. In Theory Y, work is as natural as play, if the conditions are very much suitable. Here, self-control is often essential in achieving organizational goals and objectives. The capacity for creativity in solving organizational problems is widely distributed among the employees. Motivation occurs at the social, esteem, and self-actualization levels, as well as at the physiological and security levels. Employees are mostly self-directed and creative at work if they are properly motivated in the organization.

Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory

Abraham H. Maslow was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1908. He studied primate behaviour at the University of Wisconsin, where he received his doctorate in psychology in 1934. Maslow was drawn to the study of human motivation and personality. His theories were based on the basic human needs for every human in an organization. His needs are as follow:

Basic Physiological Needs: These needs are most basic of them in the list of the hierarchy needs and corresponds to primary needs such as hunger, thirst, shelter, sleep and sex are some examples of these needs. In the organizational context, basic salary helps the employees to satisfy these needs.

Safety/Security Needs: These needs provide security and protection to the employees from physical and emotional harm and Job Security is the most important out of them.

Affiliation/Belonging Needs: These needs refer to affection, sense of belongingness, acceptance and friendship or most importantly to socialize with the people around them.

Esteem Needs: These include factors such as self-respect, autonomy status, recognition and attention among an organization.

Self-Actualization Needs: It is the highest level of need in the hierarchy like skills, talents and emotions in a manner that is most personally fulfilling.

Amateur View’s

This essay made me explore seriously historical management and its contemporary management thoughts about 25 years ago and a critical examination made me realize that this attempt of homosapiens were isolated in those developed countries and that we cannot remain primitive in their thoughts. In my ambiguous decision, in today’s world if we propose Taylorism, we might get into negative heights. Taylorism encourages to keep the thoughts of the workers under captivity and to be mechanical. This leads to just a routine work, which actually inhibits the productivity of the organization. There is one good thing about Taylorism, which is, that, if an employee worked more towards the organization then he/she will be intended to get more pay and vice versa. We can reside on Behavior School of Thought because in modern times innovation and motivation is very much important. We can see that if employees are motivated, they work more effectively and more efficiently towards the objectives and goals of the organization. In Maslow’s Need of Hierarchy, if the organization keeps on motivating the employees, the employees will itself work more towards the objectives of the organization. According to Maslow, human needs arrange themselves into a Hierarchy.

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My attributes of thought regarding the management theory is that to have unique workers with specialized ability, execute decentralization of power, motivation, then provide proper economic incentives, which will yield maximum profit of the organization making each worker feel that he/she is a contributor and a leader. Thus, annulling the division between workers and managers we have to enrich our work environment with ideas, approaches and solution for the maximum output of an organization. Eventually, enhancing individual preferences, laying emphasis on measuring as measurement enables improvement. Business thoughts have been greatly influenced by reductionalism since ages. My analytical logic is to be sustainable for many tomorrows and accommodate changes in various disciplines, facilitate labor empowerment, improvise technology, and learn from failures, human emotions and handicraft a management system to get ready for the 21st century.


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