Is the Classical Approach to Management Obsolete? Critically Discuss Your Views on This Matter.

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There have been many different approaches to management over the past few centuries; autocratic, which causes dissatisfaction for employees due to authority being in the hands of one person; paternalistic, in which the authoritative leader cares for his employees more than his profits; democratic, in which the management allows the employees to voice their opinions and laissez faire in which the management stays, for the majority, out of its employees business. These approaches are ever changing due to developments in modern day society. (Khilawala, 2002).

The classical approach to management is typically known as the scientific or autocratic approach. I intend to investigate three of the original classical management
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(Miller, 2008).

Although in the main, bureaucracies do offer a stable and hierarchical approach to the management of an organisation, it sometimes happens that employees/managers of the organisation will look out for their own interests, wanting to defend their positions, and so ideas such as promotion based on merit don’t get fulfilled. Weber’s bureaucracy could also be limited due to the rigidity of the system which implies a lack of flexibility to respond to demands of change in business environment (Miller, 2008). For example, due to the rigid structure proposed by Weber in sectors such as division of labour, the system is not time efficient.

It is true that bureaucracies are still used today; organisations such as the army still adopt its principles. However I believe the bureaucratic system is a much less common approach to modern day management due to its rigid structure which: lacks innovation to drive the business forward, creates an impersonal environment and inefficient time scales. This is no use for modern organisations that have to be flexible and prepared to deal with anything thrown at them, e.g. the oil spillage in the Mexican Gulf where the flexibility to draw on technical specialists at all levels irrespective of a hierarchy became important.

Henri Fayol 1841-1925 – Administration
Fayol’s approach to management was much more directed towards discovering the elements it took to be an

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