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Organization Theorists Essay

When one mentions of organizational management then a myriad of things are called to mind because it encompasses a lot of things. Organizational management claims its origins back into the 16th century when people like Plato saw the essence of leadership and managed to write about it. Aristotle on the other hand emphasized the concept of persuasive communication which is basically a subset of organizational management. Machiaveli without any doubt set the foundation for the contemporary organizational power dynamics and organizational politics as we know them today.

If there is any organizational aspect that has ever received a myriad of contributions from various formidable personalities, then it is organizational management. Adam Smith on his part was apt to advocate for a new orientation of organizational structure based on the division of labor. It is the works of these personalities such as Adam Smith that motivated Marx Weber to talk of charismatic leadership 100 years down the line. After Weber, Frederick Winslow Taylor followed with his contribution of the practical use of goal setting and the successful use of a reward system as a way of motivating the employees.

In the 1920s, the Hawthorne Studies marked the apex of organizational management and maybe

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the end of the scientific management. Led by Elton Mayo, the study aimed at maximizing productivity of employees in the workplace. There was a marked shift from scientific management to pave way to the Human Relations Movement focusing on the human factor and the human psychology and how the two affected the organization as a whole. The major proponents were people like Chester Barnard, Frederick Herzberg, Abraham Maslow and Henri Fayol among others.

This paper seeks to highlight the main common contributions of the Fayol, Taylor and Weber and how their common stance has been responded to by Chester Barnard. Fayol’s, Taylor’s and Weber’s Central Ideas The Hawthorne Studies gave in to the Human Relations Movement which, unlike the foregoing scientific management, focused on the human factor and human psychology. Therefore, things like the teamwork, motivation and the self actualization of the employees were given priority. The main proponents to this kind of movement were Fayol and Chester Barnard.

The proponents of the scientific management were people like Weber and Taylor. Scientific management believed in the rationalization of organization with precision of instructions coupled up with time-motion study in a bid to enhance productivity. Collectively, it may be seen as if these organization theorists viewed organizations as machines and saw the workers as interchangeable factors of production (Hatch, 2006). Each one of the theorist’s (Fayol, Taylor and Weber) contribution is given in the following sections. Henri Fayol Henri Fayol, the father of management, has made fast contributions to the organizational theory.

Being a successful French industrialist, he was able to not only initiate the first management school but also engender a number of management concepts. These concepts include but are not limited to what is commonly acronymed as PODSCORB: P- Planning O- Organizing D- Developing S- Staffing COR- Coordinating B-Budgeting Further, Fayol was the first to introduce the concept of lateral organizational communication as opposed to the top down approach to organizational communication. Lateral organizational communication is evident from Fayol’s Gang Plank theory.

Fayol together with his contributions, all motivated by the classical school of thought, to organizational theory can be located with precision in the administrative management arm of this school of thought. He strongly believed in the fact that management theories could be generated and taught to the others. He discovered a number of management principles while he was the General Manager of the Commentary-Fourchambault Company which he turned round from average of bankruptcy to a strong and formidable financial and market leader. The principles include: ? Division of labor- specialization hence high productivity with same effort

? Unity of direction- common centre of authority and a single common plan of action ? Unity of command- Dual or multiple commands should be avoided; employees can only receive commands from a single source. ? Authority and responsibility-Manager’s official and personal authority should be distinguished and the manager should assume responsibility as a result of his authority ? Remuneration of Personnel-should be satisfactory to both the employer and employee and should be determined by the market itself. ? Discipline- Obedience coupled up with utmost respect is essential.

Managers are under the obligation of institutionalizing sanctions whenever violations are made as a way of instilling discipline in the employees. ? Centralization- enhances optimum utilization of the human resource in an organization ? Initiative- greatly augments the employee’s energy and zeal hence leading to the general success of the organization ? Order- the right employees using the right materials is the recipe for organizational success. ? Scalar chain- Chain of authority should be clear while at the same time encouraging the lateral communication with the employees to ensure organizational success.

? Esprit de Corps-Teamwork enhanced by work team formation and the widespread use of the face-to-face together with verbal communication can lead to enhanced organizational performance. ? Equity- organizational kindness plus justice is equal to organizational equity ? Subordination of Individual Interest to General Interest- employee’s interests should be subjugated by the general organization’s interests. ? Stability of Tenure- Stable workforce maintenance is necessary to ensure optimum productivity of the workforce

The above 14 management principles were the major contributions of Fayol to the organization theory and albeit some have been criticized, most of them remain in practical managerial application. Max Weber Whereas Fayol could be classified under administrative management, Weber lies under bureaucratic management. His contribution to the organizational theory revolved around the power and authority in an organization. He enacted an ideal bureaucracy by instituting legal authority thus enhancing legality of rules and the legal right to give commands by those in authority.

He postulated that an ideal bureaucracy excludes favoritism within an organization (Robbins, 2004). He therefore suggested six common principles of an ideal bureaucracy. These are: ? Well defined hierarchy- Bureaucracy structure should allow the supervision and control of lower ranks by the higher authoritative ranks. This enhances order and control within an organization. ? Rules and regulations- rationalization of organizational activities to ensure certainty and coordination ? Division of labor and specialization- Just like Fayol, Weber advocated for division of labor which will lead to specialization.

He assented to the need for rationalization of roles and responsibilities to a degree of mastery and hence the employee who has mastered his/her role or/and responsibility is granted an obligatory authority to complete the roles and/or responsibilities. ? Impersonal relationships- For managers, only impersonal relationships should be encouraged with the employees so as to maintain rational decision making (concerning employee performance, conduct, etc) which is often affected by prejudice, personal relationships and favoritism (Simon, 1997)

? Competence- basis for hiring or firing of employees. Job promotions should also be based on the same. If this is done, the probability of hiring, assigning, promoting or even firing of employees based on personal bias will be eliminated. ? Records- Organizations should keep records of all their activities to enhance an accurate memory and evidence for each action or consideration of the organization Similarly, despite the fact that Weber’s principles of a bureaucracy have been criticized, they have also often found considerable practical applications.

Frederick W. Taylor’s As the father of scientific management, he encouraged the use of scientific advances to the decision making functions of management (Simon, 1997). His elemental philosophy of work was that human beings are motivated by the prospect of high material rewards and therefore if wages are tied to the volume of work, these workers will be motivated towards high output for as long as the conditions of work are designed to maximize production.

His basic approach towards studying the work process involves separation and analysis of each job into separate motions and then redesigning each job into the best way possible thereby getting rid of the wasted motions. In 1911 he published a book called Principles of Scientific Management whereby he enumerated a number of principles. These principles include: ? Division of Work- Just like Fayol and Weber, Taylor also talked about division of work. He says that division of work must be applied to the maximum because through repetition, skills and speed (hence mastery of work) are developed.

He also asserts that the unnecessary duplication of efforts should be avoided and workers should be saved from unnecessary tasks. ? Standardized conditions- Through the use of most efficient methods the work environment should be carefully planned ? Planning and Performance functions- there should be separation of planning of work which is the responsibility of managers and performance of work which is the responsibility of workers. ? Target- Highest target for the workers maximizes workers’ productivity ? Time study-Establishes the amount of time required to efficiently complete a given task Chester Barnard

He played a pioneering role in the Behavioral Science Movement which asserts the fact that workers’ motivation should be viewed in terms of factors such as work itself, work environment, nature of incentive system, interpersonal relations, the workers’ needs and values and the management style. Unlike other organization theorists who viewed organizations as machines and saw the workers as interchangeable factors of production, Chester Barnard representing the behaviorists attempts an integrated approach to the management by relating management to the social and behavioral sciences (Robbins, 2004).

In his 1938 book (The Functions of the Executive) he views organizations as communication systems. In this system, the managers have the mandate of enacting a common sense of purpose which will enhance and sustain cooperation. The acceptance theory of management was his beautiful contribution which upholds the willingness of the managed people to accept those in authority. This acceptance of the workers determines the ability of the managers to exercise authority and the corresponding intake and execution of orders without much ado. As opposed to Weber’s viewpoint of communication flow i. e.

top to bottom, Chester Bernard advocates for a bottom-to-top flow of communication. He values the worth of workers in an organization and asserts that their acceptance of the management plays a key role in the success of the organization because it enables unity of purpose. He proposes four major factors that affect the acceptance of authority by the workers. These are: ? The employees’ understanding of the organizational communication- this is why it is supposed to flow from bottom to top. ? The employees’ acceptance of the organizational communication as being in tandem with the purpose of the organization

? The employees’ feeling that the management’s actions achieve consistence with their needs and desires ? The employees’ feeling that they are under obligation (mentally and/or physically) to execute the commands they receive from those in higher authority. Conclusion In conclusion, Chester Barnard deviates from the beliefs of other theorists who seemingly take the organization as a machine and the workers as factors that can be manipulated to achieve maximum productivity. He emphasizes the worth of workers and views the organizations as communication systems.

To elaborate the worth of the workers he enacted the acceptance theory and also enumerated the factors that affect the workers’ acceptance of authority. He further asserted the importance of informal organizations and relations within the workers fraternity because they help in healthy communication which in turn is influential to the degree of organizational success. The underlying motivation of Chester Barnard’s contribution to the organization theory is his bid to understand the needs and desires of the employees within an organization.

This motivation therefore serves to position him as a bridge with all other theorists who generally handled an organization as if it were some kind of machine and the workers as if they were some kind of factors which have to be manipulated to optimize productivity. References Hatch M. J, (2006): Organization Theory: Modern, symbolic, and postmodern perspectives, Oxford University Press, pp24-46 Robbins S. P, (2004): Organizational Behavior: Concepts, Controversies, Applications, Prentice Hall, pp123-129 Simon H. A, (1997): Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organizations, the Free Press,

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