Classical Approach to Management – Advantages and Benefits of the Classical Management Theory
Classical management theory was introduced in the late 19th century. It became widespread in the first half of the 20th century, as organizations tried to address issues of industrial management, including specialization, efficiency, higher quality, cost reduction and management-worker relationships. While other classic management theories have evolved since then, classical management approaches are still used today by many small-business owners to build their companies and to succeed. Quality used stainless steel tanks, processors and kettles in stock! www.smbsales.com
One of the advantages of the classical management structure is a clear organizational hierarchy with three distinct management levels. Each management group has its own objectives and responsibilities. The top management is usually the board of directors or the chief executives who are responsible for the long-term goals of the organization. Middle management oversees the supervisors, setting department goals according to the approved budget. At the lowest level are the supervisors who oversee day-to-day activities, address employee issues and provide employee training. The levels of leadership and responsibilities are clear and well defined. While the three-level structure may not be suitable for all small businesses, it can benefit those that are expanding. Division of Labor
Scientific management theory advantages and disadvantages
One of the advantages of classical management approach is the division of labor. Projects are broken down into smaller tasks that are easy to complete. Employees’ responsibilities and expectations are clearly defined. This approach allows workers to narrow their field of expertise and to specialize in one area. The division of labor approach leads to increased productivity and higher efficiency, as workers are not expected to multitask. Small-businesses owners can benefit from taking this approach if they are looking to increase production with minimal expense. Monetary Incentive
According to classical management theory, employees should be motivated by monetary rewards. In other words, they will work harder and become more productive if they have an incentive to look forward to. This gives management easier control over the workforce. Employees feel appreciated when being rewarded for hard work. A small-business owner can take this approach to motivate the employees to achieve production goals. Also read about “Contemporary theory of management”
The autocratic leadership approach is the central part of classical management theory. It states that an organization should have a single leader to make decisions, to organize and direct the employees. All decisions are made at the top level and communicated down. The autocratic leadership approach is beneficial in instances when small-business decisions need to be made quickly by a leader, without having to consult with a large group of people, such a board of directors. Small businesses, especially sole proprietorships, can have an advantage in taking this approach, as they need a strong leader to grow.
ANOTHER WAY IN DEFINING THE CLASSICAL APPROACH
The classical school is the oldest formal school of management thought. Its roots pre-date the twentieth century. The classical school of thought generally concerns ways to manage work and organizations more efficiently. Three areas of study that can be grouped under the classical school are scientific management, administrative management, and bureaucratic management.
The classical school (of management) has sought to define the essence of management in the form of universal fundamental functions. These, it was hoped, would form the cognitive basis for a set of relevant skills to be acquired, by all would-be managers through formal education.
Body of the classical school’s management thought was based on the belief that employees have only economical and physical needs, and that social needs and need for job-satisfaction either don’t exist or are unimportant. Accordingly, this school advocates high specialization of labor, centralized decision making, and profit maximization. See also behavioral school of management, contingency school of management, quantitative school of management, and systems school of management. Read about advantages of formalization in organization
Weaknesses of the Classical Management Theories
Classical theories and the principles derived from them continue to be popular today with some modifications. Many criticisms have been directed at the classicists. Several major ones are discussed here.
Reliance on Experience
Many of the writers in the classical school of management developed their ideas on the basis of their experiences as managers or consultants with only certain types of organizations. For instance, Taylor’s and Fayol’s work came primarily from their experiences with large manufacturing firms that were experiencing stable environments. It may be unwise to generalize from those situations to others’ especially to young, high-technology firms of today that are confronted daily with changes in their competitors’ products.
Many of the assumptions made by classical writers were based not on scientific tests but on value judgments that expressed what they believed to be proper life-styles, moral codes, and attitudes toward success. For instance, the classical approaches seem to view the life of a worker as beginning and ending at the plant door. Their basic assumption is that workers are primarily motivated by money and that they work only for more money. They also assume that productivity is the best measure of how well a firm is performing. These assumptions fail to recognize that employees may have wants and needs unrelated to the workplace or may view their jobs only as a necessary evil.
Failure ot Consider The Informal Organization
In their stress on formal relationships in the organization, classical approaches tend to ignore informal relations as characterized by social interchange among workers, the emergence of group leaders apart from those specified by the formal organization, and so forth. When such things are not
considered, it is likely that many important factors affecting satisfaction and performance, such as letting employees participate in decision making and task planning, will never be explored or tried.
Classical approaches aim at achieving high productivity, at making behaviors predictable, and at achieving fairness among workers and between managers and workers; yet they fail to recognize that several unintended consequences can occur in practice. For instance, a heavy emphasis on rules and regulations may cause people to obey rules blindly without remembering their original intent. Oftentimes, since rules establish a minimum level of performance expected of employees, a minimum level is all they achieve. Perhaps much more could be achieved if the rules were not so explicit. Read about difference between behavioural theory and contingency theory of leadership
Classical theories of management leave the impression that the organization is a machine and that workers are simply parts to be fitted into the machine to make it run efficiently. Thus, many of the principles are concerned first with making the organization efficient, with the assumption that workers will conform to the work setting if the financial incentives are agreeable.
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