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Management Foundations Essay

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The classical management perspective represents the first well-developed framework of management (Davidson. P. et al, 2000). It’s the framework from which later theories evolved and concerns efficiency and productivity, which in turn leads to effective and efficient management. Scientific management and the Administrative theory are both classical management theories, which provide information on managing in the workplace, which are very useful and vital to have in the workplace. These theories are very different in many ways as they both have different purposes when managing in the workplace although there are one or two similarities, which illustrate its importance in the workplace. Both these theories contribute greatly to the understanding of management in many ways and can impact on contemporary management practices. The following analysis will further explain the classical management theories, which are scientific management, and the administrative theory. In analysing scientific management and the administrative theory one gains a greater knowledge of management and how it contributes to the workplace. It will then go onto comparing and contrasting the two theories and how they contribute to the understanding of management. And finally it will go into the importance, if any, for contemporary management practices. Through scientific management and the administrative theory one is able to understand management in the workplace and the importance of the theories.

According to Davidson. P. et al. “Scientific management is a series of approaches aimed at improving the performance of individual workers through the use of analytical procedures to lift workplace efficiency”. The system was developed by Fredrick Taylor (1856-1915), in hope of providing the workplace with greater productivity and efficiency, which in turn gave individuals a greater understanding of management. Fredrick Taylor defined his theory as “the one best way for a job to be done” (Robins. S. et al, 2006). Scientific management brought many improvements to productivity, which was much needed and impressive. Highly repetitive jobs were re-designed, with remarkable increases in output, which contributed to the workplace greatly (Davidson. P. et al, 2000). Taylor’s production methods helped create the foundation for improved manufacturing efficiency, greater profits and higher wages (Parayitam. S, 2002). Scientific management eliminated, waste in human energy, waste in equipment, waste in machine power, and instead evolved into an extended planning department so better appliances, improved programs of work and recording of individual work can be introduced (Nyland. C, 2000). Taylor achieved improvements in productivity of 200 per cent or more (Smiths. A, 2000). Taylor stated, “The role of managers is to plan and control, and that of workers to perform as they are instructured”. However, scientific management can also lead to overspecialized jobs, resulting in worker resentment, monotony, poor quality, absenteeism and turnover. Overall, this theory has contributed greatly to the means of understanding management, as the theory is not simplistic better yet informational therefore educational to one.

Whereas scientific management deals with the jobs of individual employees, administrative management focuses on managing the total organisation. Bartol. et al. states in his own words “Administrative management is a style of management that focuses on principles to be used by managers to co-ordinate the internal activities of the total organisation”. This theory was developed by Henri Fayol (1841-1925) to be taught to individuals with administrative responsibilities, which lead to the five major functions of managerial activities, planning, organising, commanding, co-ordinating and controlling (Bartol. K. et al, 2001). Fayol stated fourteen principles of management, which are fundamentals, or universal truths that could be applied to management activities in all human endeavors (Smiths. A, 2000). The acceptance theory of authority (Barnard, 1886-1961) argues that authority does not so much depend on вЂ?persons of authority’, as on the willingness to comply of those who receive the orders (Bartol. K. et al, 2001). Barnard felt managers could exert authority on a day-to-day basis, as each individual possesses a вЂ?zone of indifference’ within which they are willing to accept orders and directions without much question. This allows one to gain an insight into management, and the right way to manage whilst looking out for the employers as well as its employee’s best interest. Fayol argued that management was an activity common to all human undertakings in business, in government, and even at home (Smiths. A, 2000). In the contemporary management practices most managers still believe that Fayol’s principles remain central to the tasks of managing (Davidson. P. et al, 2000). Overall the administrative theory is indeed greatly important in its contributions towards how one perceives management.

In relation to scientific management and the administrative theory, both of these are vital to one as it contributes greatly to their understanding of management, however in two very different ways. These theories may both be significant to one although different in many ways. The scientific management theory is aimed at improving the performance of individual workers therefore there focus been the individuals in the workplace though the administrative theory is aimed at principles to be used to co-ordinate the internal activities which means there focus is the total organisation. The scientific management theory was developed to provide greater productivity and efficiency in the workplace however the administrative theory was evolved help individuals with administrative responsibilities in the workplace therefore both theories having two total different pathways and focuses for the theories. Taylor believed that the focus of management should be on increasing performance using scientific methods, whereas Barnard attempted to increase performance through communication with workers and by securing essential personal efforts on the part of individuals (Parayitam. S, 2002). Finally one other difference in the theories is the classification of workers; each theory classified its workers different, although the administrative theory made workers its priority. There is however two similarities in the theories which are that these two management theories both identify tasks, the importance of incentives, respect for workers, and the need for training (Parayitam. S, 2002). And also the other common threads of ideas offered by Taylor and Fayol were increased efficiency



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