Classical Management Theory

1529 WordsApr 13, 20117 Pages
Classical management theory, for all it’s rationality and potential to improve efficiency, dehumanised the practice of management (Inkson & Kolb, 2001). Choosing either bureaucracy or scientific management, discuss this quote and argue whether modern business’ continues to dehumanise. People’s conception of the nature of work and the social relationships between individuals in various levels in organizations changed, brought by the industrial revolution of the late 1800s. Classical management believed in work specialization. That is, that work should be organized and divided according to one’s specific individual skill. There are three subfields of management, each with a slightly different emphasis: scientific management, bureaucratic…show more content…
Job fractionation lead to unauthorized breaks, as people did not like their jobs. Workers reacted by refusing to co-operate, and unionization efforts and sabotage also became more common during this period. Over time, concern for improving worker’s attitudes arose and by the 1930s, behavioural scientists began looking at ways to make employees happier on the job. As we have just discussed, the benefits that arose from scientific management seemed outweighed by the multiple drawbacks we have just highlighted, relating the human needs and considerations of workers. Thus, the idea based on rationality and technique almost seemed to “dehumanise the practice of management”, through this statement Inkson & Kolb (2001) understood. This emphasis on the human factor in employee performance became known as the human relations movement. Management now realized that people wanted to feel useful and important at work. Attention moved away from scientific measurement of fractionation towards a better understanding of the nature of interpersonal and group relations on the job. Motivation had taken a shift from the piece-rate approach to having a stronger social emphasis. “Hardly a competent workman can be found who does not devote a considerable amount of time to
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