Faculty Of Development And Society Built Environment Division Commerce Essay

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This is an individual repost of Management Theory and Application. Based on the assessment instruction, this is an individual short report that content of maximum 3000 words. In order to understand the importance of management approaches and theories, this report is to outline the major trends in management approaches in the workplace. Besides that, this assessment is requiring to state one of the different approaches that consider being most effective in promoting a good organisational structure and organisational relationships. Lastly, the attributes to be a good leader should be identify as a part of the report for this assessment.

Definition of Management

Management is the process of groups of people working together efficiently accomplishes selected aims through well designed and maintained environment (Koontz and Weihrich 1990, p. 4). Yasin (2004) mentioned that management is the art, or science, of achieving goals through people which mean managing is one of the important human activities. Besides that, management is about solving problems that keep emerging all the time in the course of an organisation struggling to achieve its objectives and goals (Yasin 2004). There are three main management objectives. First objective is the least cost and minimum waste achieved to meet the goals and targets of organisation. The second objective is take care about the health & safety and welfare of employees. The last objective is to protect and maintain the machinery and resources of the organisation, including the human resources. There are four main approaches which is more practices in the industry: classical approach, human relation approach, system approach and contingency approach (Cohen, 1988).

Type of Management Approach

Classical Approach

Certo and Certo (2009) mentioned that the classical approach to management was the product of the first concentrated effort to develop a body of management thought. According to Cole (2004), the structure and activities of formal or official organisation are the primary concerned by the management with the classical approach. Cohen (1988) mentioned that the classical approach is a task oriented which involved few steps in establishing an organisation structure such as:

Analysis of the work to be done

Grouping for type of work by nature of activity

Group to achieve economics of scale

Establish realistic spans of control

Group to achieve co-ordination

Establish relationships for responsibility, reporting and information

The classical approach to management is more concerned on the planning work, principles of management, technical requirements of the organisation and the assumption of rational and logical behaviour.

Certo and Certo (2009) discussed about the classical approach to management can be divided into two distinct areas. The first area is about lower level management analysis, consists primary of the work of Henry L. Gantt, Frederick W. Taylor, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth. The jobs of workers at lower levels of the organisation are more focused by these individuals. The lower-level management analysis is concentrates on the "one best way" to perform a task which only focus on the highest production by the workers (Certo and Certo, 2009). The process of finding this "one best way" are known as the scientific method of management (scientific management).

For the second area, comprehensive analysis of management, concerns the management function as a whole which is mainly contributed by Henri Fayol. The second area of classical approach are concerned a wide range of managerial performance which approaching the study of management to embrace the comprehensive view (Certo and Certo, 2009).

Features of the Classical Approach

A hierarchical management structure with maximum specialisation tends to be created by the management and organisation with the classical approach (Cohen, 1988).

Roles are clearly defined and the rational rules and regulations are limited the authority of each role.

Activities are whenever possible reduced to routine.

Appointments and promotion are strictly on merit, the technical abilities in relation to the tasks to be carried out are the main criterion of performance.

The purely economic is assumed to motivate the employees.

Communication is usually downward vertical along the lines of authority.

Limitations of the Classical Approach

In the nineteenth century, application of classical approach are tends to bring a number of problems to the business (Certo and Certo, 2009). Cohen (1998) mentioned that the classical approach is costly to apply and take several years to proof it suitable for the organisation especially to the big company. In other word, the approach is not suitable in unstable or unpredictable conditions. Besides that, classical approach does not adequately concern about human variables which may cause the unsatisfied of the employees (Certo and Certo, 2009).

Major sub-groupings

Two major 'sub-grouping' of the classical approach are:

Scientific management


Human Relations Approach

According to Cole (2004), the father of the human relations approach is Elton Mayo, whose association with the so-called 'Hawthorne Studies' between 1927 and 1932 who concern about the human factor at work. An early major influence are from the Abraham Maslow's work on motivation based on the hierarchy of human needs from basic physiological needs such as food, sleep etc to higher psychological needs such as self-fulfilment (Cole, 2009). Besides that, McGregor, Likert, Herzberg and Argyris are the important contributor to the human relations approach. The social role of the supervisor and important of intangible factors in motivation are affect the organisation is the major conclusion made from these studies.

Based on their investigations and theories, Cohen (1988) discussed that an organisation can be established through the following steps:

Analyse the people in organisation

Group the people for social factors

Establish spans of control based on the social needs of the workers and interpersonal skills of the manager

Group to achieve co-ordination

Group to achieve economies of scale

Features of Human Relations Approach

Cohen (1988) mentioned that the main feature of this approach is taking human factor into account rather than technical factors. It will be noted that the same factors are taken into account but the emphasis and priorities change. The problems of an informal organisation structure shall overcome by assigned the task to groups of people, who can organise the work within each group to suit the talents and inclinations of the members. Interpersonal skill is the important skill to be considered when appointing a manager. Besides that, the reward system and non-economic factors in motivation are important factors to be considered in this approach. Lastly, the communication between workers throughout a level in the business is encouraged.

Problems of the Human Relations Approach

There are many instances where the company try to cut down the cost of mechanisation in order to improve the satisfaction of the operators but result in higher costs and uncompetitive products or services (Cohen, 1988). Cohen (1988) given an example attempts made by Volvo in Scandinavia successful to improve the industrial relation by using socio-technological approaches, but had to be abandoned due to the final cost of building a car was higher.

System Approach

Cohen (1988) mentioned that system approach is a method of analysis that can cover most areas of research and knowledge. The system approach attempts to reconcile the classical approach and human relations approach. This approach is focused on the total work organisation, range of variables within the organisation and the interrelationships of structure and behaviour. Certo and Certo (2009) mentioned that the two basic types of system are open system and closed system. Open system is a system that interacting with its environment which men the environment is influencing the system. The second type of system, the closed systems do not interact with and no influenced by their environment.

Features of the System Approach

Cohen (1988) discussed that once the system approach apply on the data processing base, it lends itself to designing structures for new or existing business and project very quickly. An establishment of Matrix type structures are frequently resulting in use of this approach.

Problems of the System Approach

The main disadvantages of this approach apply to the organisation is that it is conceptually difficult (Cohen, 1988). The application of system approach requires specially trained systems analysts such as production engineers and O&M specialists to monitor it.

Contingency Approach

Cohen (1988) mentioned that there is no single approach to organisation which is appropriate to all situations based on the investigation carried out by the Professor Joan Woodward (1950s) to determine the relationship between the success of companies and the approach to organisation which they had adopted. According to Certo and Certo (2009), the contingency approach to management is focused that what managers do in practice depends on situation of the organisation. In general, the contingency approach try to find out the situations or conditions in which various management methods have the best chance of success. Certo and Certo (2009) mentioned that there is no one best way to solve management problem in all organisation but should provide insights into the contextual and situational factors that affect management decisions - contingency approach.

Features of the Contingency Approach

According to Cohen (1988), there are no new methods of designing organisation purposed by contingency approach. The contingency approach suggests that there are some factors should take into account while designing organisation such as technology of production, the rate of innovation, and the stability of the environment. The Contingency Approach also propose that there are different approaches may have to apply even within one firm, and at different levels within the firms (Cohen, 1988).

There are some main challenges of using contingency approach(Certo and Certo, 2009):

Find out the organisational situations

Selecting the suitable management tactics for those situations

Competently implementing those tactics

Effective approach to promote organisational structure and relationships

The most effective approach to promote the organisational structure and relationships is Human Relations Approach. The basic idea behind the human relation approach to management is that the critical factor of organisational effectiveness is people's needs (Cole, 2004). The human relations approach has led to ideas on humanising the work organisation to increasing the production. Certo and Certo (2009) also mentioned that the human relations approach to management emphasises increasing production through an understanding of people. According to proponents of this approach, an organisational wills success when the manager understands their people and adapts their organisations to them.

Certo and Certo (2009) mentioned that the Hawthorne Studies discover the human relation movement, a people-oriented approach to management in which the interaction of people in organisations is studied to judge its impact on organisational success. The final objective of this approach is to improve the organisational success by creating appropriate relationship with people.

Human resource is an important source for a company to generate their business. So, it is important that the employer or manager take the human factor as consideration into account. In this case, the human relations approach is the most suitable approach to apply for company to promote the organisational structure and relationships.

Human relation approach is an approach that takes human factor as consideration in developing a business. There are some theories contribute to human relations approach such as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, McGregor Theory X & Y, Likert, Argyris, and Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene that applying in the organisation to motivate their team members.

In order to secure the organisational structure and relationships, the basic needs of human are important factor to consider. An early influence to the human relations approach was Maslow's Hierarchy stated that there are five types of specific groups of needs such as physiological needs, safety needs, love needs, esteem needs and self-actualisation needs. In other word, financial gain is not the only the basic need by the human being. In conclusion, the employer and manager should understand basic need of their team member in order to build a strong organisational structure and relationship.

Attributes of a good leader

Certo and Certo (2009) defined leadership is the process of directing workforce toward the accomplishment of some objective which means causing individuals to follow a particular course or to act in a certain way. Leader is a symbol of the group, understanding, knowing, and applying job-related ideas constitute conceptual skills. Leaders always try to expand the creativity to its maximum by find out a better way, so the vision of leader is very important to their subordinates (Northouse 2007).

Foster (2010) mentioned that there are some attributes to be a good leader such as

Humble: A good leader should not look down on others subordinates

People builder: A leader should invest resources and time into the personal development of their team by coaches, teaches and shares their skill, knowledge and experience with others to help them become more confident.

Visionary: A leader must create a vision for their subordinates to follow, so, it is important that the vision is communicated regularly among their team. Besides, leader positive and willing to allow and help others to create their own vision under the umbrella of the overall company vision.

Ability to execute: A leader should know and understand their company strategy and try to execute it in daily by turning the words into action and inspire team member to give their best in everyday.

Willing to listen and be challenged: A leader is willing to hear other view points and making decisions based on the ideas from others. Besides, he does not mind having any ideas challenged from their team member because it could create better solution for the problems. In addition, he should actively listen to the wants and needs of their people.

Candid communicator: A leader is a straight shooter and honest with employees. They should provide the real information or feedback to their employees such as condition of the organisation and performance & areas of improvement. Leader should not afraid to discuss about the tough issues through open and consistent communication.

Risk taker: As a good leader who might need to take the risk and responsibility in making choice and decision for their subordinate without blaming to others.

A strong organisation needs a good leader to direct their team member to the direction of the company's goal by continuous development of leader and team members based on the environment of the organisation. As a good leader who should always develop himself and his team member in order to achieve the goals of the company. In order to create strong relationship organisation, leader communicate with their team member through open communication to listen and understand their basic need in the company for motivate their people. Lastly, a good leader should not afraid to try new strategies and take the consideration of the ideas of worker into account for developing their company business.


In this report, there were difference of management approaches introduced such as Classical Approach, Human Relations Approach, System Approach, and Contingency Approach which have difference progression and development of management theories.

The development of management approaches involves the development of principles, techniques and concepts. The theorists are improving the management skills by contributing different style in managing organisation structure in order to use the minimum company resources to produce maximum productivity for company. Each management approaches have their own function and characteristics which only apply for suitable circumstances and subordinate due to the limitation of each approach. Classical Approach is more emphasis on purpose, formal structure, hierarchy of management, technical requirements, and common principles of organisation. Human Relations Approach is more focus on social factors at work, leadership, groups, the informal organisation, and behaviour of people. System Approach is the integration of the classical and human relations approaches. Contingency stated that no one best design of organisation; success of organisation is depend on a range of situational variables.

In this report also mentioned about the attribute of good leader in an organisation. Regardless of how good of the management approaches apply in the organisation, without a good leader to direct the team member, the organisation will not move to direction of company's goal and objectives. The leadership is an important factor that should concern by the manager or employer in their company because leadership is an intrinsic part of management.

In conclusion, a successful organisation must have a good leader to implement the suitable management approach in their company in order to achieve the goal and objective with company resources.