Essay about Classical Management Theories

1523 Words 7 Pages
Successful management requires an understanding of the fundamental concepts of effective management techniques and principles. In order to gain such insight, and manage effectively and efficiently, managers must develop an awareness of past management principles, models and theories. From the turn of the 20th Century, the need for a formal management theory was growing evident; organisations required a system to guide managers in an attempt to improve productivity and efficiency of workers. This urgency for a theory saw the development of six major management approaches, the focus of this essay will be on two of the classical management theories; the scientific management theory and the human relations movement. The contributions of both …show more content…
(Mohanty and Sethi, 1996) The underlying assumption of the Scientific Management Theory, according to Dwyer (2005) is that
Human nature is machine-like and thoroughly rational, motivated by simple, uncomplicated economical needs.

In 1924, a series of studies were conducted in an attempt to determine the effect that lighting had on the productivity of a worker. These studies were later known as the "Hawthorne Studies". The studies, which were fronted by Elton Mayo, provided new insights into individual and group behaviour, and found that social norms or group standards were the major determinants of workers behaviour. (Robbins et al., 2006).
It is from the Hawthorne Studies that the Human Relations Movement stemmed, and this theory holds a philosophy that a manager's concern for workers will lead to their increased satisfaction and improved performance. (Dwyer, 2005) The names associated with this movement include; Dale Carnegie, Abraham Maslow and Douglas McGregor. The main characteristics of the Human Relations Movement included; a scientific approach to the analysis of human behaviour, concern for the well-being of workers, attention to interpersonal relationships, and a view of the worker as a significant variable. (Mohanty and Sethi, 1996)
The Human Relations Movement contradicted many of the major suppositions of the Scientific Management Theory. Scientific Management focused on the use of exact…