Usefulness of Classical Management Theory in a Modern Organisation

3670 Words Apr 30th, 2012 15 Pages

Classical Management Theory propounds that a manager’s foremost preoccupation is how to increase an organisation’s efficiency in order to increase productivity.

Scholars of management from as early as the 19th century touted the need for managers to find that formula, that modus operandi, that would deliver positive results, on a sustainable basis, in the most efficient manner. In the process they sought to define the role(s) of a manager and although these have been altered by influences such as technology, the key underlying principles remain unchanged.

Management today, like it was 100 years ago, is still very much about planning, organising, controlling, influencing. Classical Management theorists sought to connect
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Modern organisations employ elaborate selection procedures, relying on oral and written interviews among others, personality and aptitude tests, and the results of these are judged against pre-defined standards to determine suitability.

In other words, selection of the most suitable employee is not a matter of guess work or a product of someone’s gut feeling. It is measured, it is scientific. Furthermore, Taylor’s views remain applicable today in the sense that organisation will conduct training for new employees, possibly to equip with advanced skills to do a job, or to enable them do a job in the style of a given organisation.

A caveat, however, comes in handy at this point: the principle examined above also suggests that workers should not be left to their own devices. That workers that have been scientifically selected and trained should be still be micromanaged so to speak, to ensure they do not “deviate” from an organisation’s chosen way. Now that has no place in any organisation that purports to be modern. Modern organisations, if anything, are constantly seeking employees that thrive with minimal supervision.

A modern organisation is expected to find the kind of worker with sufficient knowledge, confidence and drive to determine their own course within the organisation’s broad goals/objectives. As such, Taylor’s proposal in this
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