The Evolution of Management Thought Khalil Said University of Phoenix The Evolution of Management Thought The evolution of management thoughts and theories in modern management thinking began in the nineteenth century and continued during the twentieth. The need to define management and the role of managers led to the foundation of management theories through experience of the pioneer thinkers. Classical management theory focused on dividing the labors and tasks execution. Classical era characterized by creating a stable profit that stability is the key success of an organization.
Among the most influential thinkers that time were Frederick Taylor and his thoughts of scientific management, Henri Fayol and the administrative management, and the bureaucracy of Max Weber. These three thinkers called for the division of labor to improve management effectiveness in organizations. The principles of scientific management, administrative management, and bureaucracy were put forward as the best and only ways for organizations to be operated and administered efficiently to improve, succeed, and meet their profit goals.
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Henri Fayol belongs to administrative management; his long career working in a mining company led him to develop the five basic elements of management. These elements are “1) plan by examining the future and draw up plans of action,2) organize, build up the structure, 3) command by maintaining activity among the personnel, 4) co-ordinate, bind together, unify, and harmonize activity and effort, and 5) control, see that everything occurs in conformity with policy and practice” (Jarvis, 2005). Besides that, Fayol developed the 14 principles of management.
According to Hartman (2007) although these principles were controversial in modern organizations, some of them are still in use in those organizations. Wren (2005) noted that these principles derived from Fayal’s experience whereas he was working at a mining company. Although these principles, according to Wren, are not absolute in all organization settings, they served as the foundation of management and as “lighthouses” to show the way to theory. Fayol’s principles were: 1. Division of labor: through specialization, employees maximized their productivity and produced better results with the ame effort they hitherto spent in executing the same tasks. 2. Authority: Manager’s responsibilities are to exercise power and give order to the right employees. Manager’s authorities based on his or her official authority and differentiated from their personal authorities. 3. Discipline: managers require applying disciplinary methods to keep respect between an organization and its employees on the one hand, and a smooth functioning of all works on the other. 4. Unity of command: employees can receive orders from one only manager.
Fayol is best known is differing with Taylor on the value of functional foremen. According to Reid (1995) “Fayol believed that no employee should receive orders from more than one source and that this authority must be represented at all times. ” 5. Unity of direction: there is a clear plan in place for all organizational activities on which all decision-making centralized. 6. Subordination of individual interests to the general interest: the interest of organizational goals comes first before the interest of any employee or group of employees. . Remuneration: an agreement between a firm and employees should provide a satisfactory pay rates to both parties. These rates depend on the quality of service and market conditions. 8. Centralization. The degree of centralization and decentralization depends on the dynamics of each organization. Wren (2005) noted that according to Fayol’s centralization and decentralization argument “everything which goes to increase the importance of the subordinate’s role is decentralization, everything which goes to reduce it is centralization (p. 17). ” 9. Scalar chain. A chain of authority exists from the highest organizational authority to the lowest ranks. A direct and clear communication channel needed to increase the effectiveness of organizational communication. 10. Order. Selection of the right material and the right employee to execute certain tasks is important for continuing each organizational function and activity. 11. Equity. Justice and fairness to be in place dealing with employees. 12. Stability of tenure of personnel.
A stable environment is important to maximize the productivity of managers and employees. 13. Initiative. Initiatives and plans in need to communicate in clear directions at all levels of the organizational hierarchy so that there should be no waste of time and valuable resources. 14. Esprit de Corps. “Create a functional teamwork with clear verbal communication is important for the success of an organization. ” (Wren, 2005, p. 215) Administrative theory looks at the organization as a closed system.
The interaction with external environment and the absence of human elements or social factors characterized the formal and classical management era. “Classical administrative theory, like its near-contemporary the scientific management approach, rests on the premises that organizations are unproblematically rational and (effectively) closed systems” (Marshal1998). Walonck (n. d, cited in Reshef, 2000) emphasized that “classical management theory was rigid and mechanistic. The shortcomings of classical organization theory quickly became apparent.
Its major deficiency was that it attempted to explain peoples’ motivation to work strictly as a function of economic reward. ” Fayol agreed with Taylor’s ideal that if work methods and procedures are carefully examined and observed, more efficient ones could be created and adopted by the rest of the workforce. ” Fayol and Weber offered plans for managing large organizations. Fayol (cited in Wren, 1994) “stressed education for management rather than technical training, the importance of planning and organizing, and the ongoing phases of command, coordination, and control,” (p. 30) The increase of organizational complexity, environmental uncertainty, and a competitive advantage locally and globally made the classical theories too weak to respond in a timely manner to all these factors. Peter Drucker the Moralist Drucker according to some sources is one of the greatest thinkers in modern management theory. According to Hartman (2007) he is “the father of management by objectives (MBO). ” Drucker’s idea and management thoughts based on the relationship and the interaction between management and employees.
According to this theory, management spends more time focusing on developing strategic policies and less time spending on supervisory and control issues. Handy (1996) explains that MBO “assumes that subordinates and superiors negotiate and that neither is power conscious. It also assumes that results are important and that some risks are worth taking ??? uncertainty- which are the individual’s responsibilities (p. 118) Drucker emphasized the importance of environment.
As a modern thinker, he believed that organizational innovation required remaining at a competitive advantage and responding in a timely manner to the internal as well as the external environments. The increased complexity of multinational organizations created the necessity of a new structure that Drucker (1974) called “Federal decentralization”. In federal decentralization, a company is organized so that there are a number of independent units operating simultaneously. “Each unit has its own management which, in effect, runs its own autonomous business. ” (p. 72) this structure has resulted in large conglomerates, which have diversified into many different fields to minimize risk. Drucker (cited in Cornelis, 2009) in the new realities states that: “management is what tradition used to call liberal art- liberal because it deals with the fundamentals of knowledge, self knowledge; wisdom, and leadership; art because it deals with practice and application. ” According to Drucker (Cited in Clark, 2004) “a theory of business has three parts: 1. There are assumptions about the environment of the organization: society and its structure, the market, the customer, and technology. . There are assumptions about specific mission of the organizations. 3. There are assumptions about the core competencies needed to accomplish the organization’s mission (pg. X1 ). ” The advance in information technology and communication led Drucker to emphasize the importance of knowledge and knowledge workers. In his book the new realities he states that “knowledge is information that changes something or somebody???either by becoming grounds for actions, or by making an individual (or an institution) capable of different or more effective action. Thus, the productivity of knowledge and knowledge workers will not be the only competitive factor in the world economy, it is, however; likely to become the decisive factor, at least for most industries in the developed countries” (Clark, 2004, pg. X1, cited Drucer). In contrast with the rational system and top down management “do it on my way”, Drucker emphasized the importance of the human subject and employee involvement. In his book the new realities he noted that “the task of management is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their strength effective and the weaknesses irrelevant.
This is organization is all about, and it is the reason that management is the critical, determining factor” (Cornelis, 2009). Drucker (1954, cited in Gazell, 2000) “management was a body of knowledge ultimately enabling people to control nature and their lives and to achieve economic improvement and social justice through “the systematic organization of economic resources”. He added that “management is work, and as such it has its own skills, its own tools, its own techniques” for completing tasks. ” In his view culture is based on shared beliefs and values, shared justification and rationalizations, and shared behavior. A leader is someone who has followers, popularity is not leadership, results are, leaders are highly visible, they set examples; leadership is not rank, privilege, titles or money, it is responsibility” (from the essential Drucker, cited in Cornelis, 2009) Fayol in his view of management focused on management and the role of managers and administrative procedure. According to Wren (2004) Fayol first noted that the effect of management on business activities was not fully understood and that technical expertise “can be completely destroyed by defective administrative procedures. Second, “a leader who is a good administrator but technically mediocre is generally much more useful to the enterprise than if he were a brilliant technician but a mediocre administrator. ” Thus, according to Fayol, as cited in Wren (2004) “organizational success depended more on the managerial abilities of its leaders than on their technical abilities” (p. 12). According to Fayol, employees execute tasks and do what the managers want them to do. Employees involvement was absent from his thoughts and writing.
Stone and Patterson (2005) noted that “both theories relied on the machine metaphor with a heavy emphasis on mechanization of jobs, which undermined the human aspect of the organization and failed to recognize organizations as complex organisms. ” In contrast, Drucker hoped to see the American factory as a self-governing community. Drucker (cited in Hoopes, 2003) noted that “managers could legitimately make strategic decisions from participation in the plant’s social organizations (p. 240). ” Classical managers have the duty to lead in a directive manner because their leaders are also directive and classical top down management style.
According to Crawford, Brungardt, and Maughan (n. d), leaders organize, control, command, decide, and manipulate for results. The most effective leaders are those who can force structure on a disordered organization that had no form before. They added that “the capacity to organize cannot be underscored enough for the classical leader. Given the fact that the classicist desires stability to minimize change, formal structure is the ultimate way of codifying what is good in the organization, and what is bad is structured as far away as possible from leadership. ” Conclusion
Management theories and thoughts exist to solve problems and provide some guidelines to a profitability and survival of organizations. The dilemma between the classical view of management thoughts and the post-classical view is that classical theories dealt with top down management and decision-making regardless of any environmental effects and the human subject. Whereas the post classical theories see that bottom up decision making and its external environment affect overall organizational effectiveness as an organization becomes more complex and conducts its business in uncertain and unpredictable global market. References Clark, D. 2004). Knowledge. Retrieved Dec 12, 2009, from http://www. sos. net/~donclark/knowledge/knowledge. html Cornelis, A. (2009). Peter Drucker on management: Three themes. Retrieved Dec 07, 2009, from http://www. scribd. com/doc/21607554/Peter-Drucker-on-Management-3-themes Cohen, W. A. (2007). A class with Drucker: The lost lessons of the world’s greatest management teacher. AMACOM. Crawford, Brungardt, & Maughan (2007). Understanding leadership. Retrieved Dec 13, 2009, from union. okstate. edu/Leadership/Documents/HistoryofLeadership. ppt Gazell, J. A. (2000). Drucker on effective public management. Journal of Management History.
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