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Viewing Management Through Various Approaches Essay

Management however can be defined as the process of getting things done with and through the help of people for the achievement of goals, the only concern now is how these things are achieved ‘with and through’ people. The different approaches to management shows how the concept of getting things done have been evolved and how people particularly manage today.

The initial organisations were recognised and coined by an American engineer called, Frederick Winslow Taylor a.k. a. F W Taylor, who devised the theory of ‘Scientific Management,’ This theory is concerned with the structure and activities of formal organisation, rather than the people working in the organisation, to control production between management and labour. Taylor propounded this theory by observing the intentional inefficiency of workers in his company. Taylor’s theory looks into the rational approach of organisational work and the measurement much accurate.

The method shot up productivity through division and specialisation of work. Employees were encouraged to work by giving extra pay for each extra time of work. It emphasised on the intake of right people for the right task and intensive training for the operation, which in turn increased ‘output per worker, reducing deliberate inefficiency. ‘ The theory also stressed

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on the control and close supervision on the performance of workers, which clearly meant less efficient work without any redundancies.

Planned and formal information being used for the execution of work could be another benefit of this approach. Taylor’s view of work being successful through management’s control and considering worker’s merely as an element of production isn’t quite applicable practically. The close supervision and rigid rules eventually lead to the dislike of work, for bonuses cannot compensate job satisfaction and motivation. The fragmentation of work on account of its emphasis on individual tasks leads to monotony.

The social interaction between workers was also overlooked, which led to workers having to work in isolation. The planning, decision-making and control were given purely in the hands of the managers, which restricted initiatives in workers. A more advanced form of ‘scientific management,’ was formulated by a French industrialist called Henry Fayol, who also focused on organisation in terms as a formal structure rather than the motivation of employees. This approach is termed as the ‘Classical Management Theory.

‘ This theory extensively talks about the importance and implementation of division of labour, the principle of chain of command, span of control, unity of command and direction; and job specialisation. This particular theory has been regarded important widely, for it developed the basic managerial functions, viz. planning, organisation, commanding, coordinating and controlling. Fayol’s functions of management though altered slightly are still used immensely today. His view of job specialisation and close supervision led to effective results.

He was the first person to create the actual management theory with his fourteen principles. Though Fayol’s approach towards management was regarded as very beneficial then, in today’s world it isn’t quite relevant. Now days, humanistic aspect of people is vital for any organisation to succeed which the theory overlooked. Henry Mintzberg one of the prominent challengers of Fayol’s theory believed that managers weren’t always controlling the staff; they had other roles to play in the organisation like, interpersonal, informational and decisional.

Max Weber, another classical administrator looked into management having the power of ‘legitimate authority,’ which meant that managers had the power to control and coordinated the activities of employees. The organisations were to operate in strict rules and regulations also implied as ‘the red-tape. ‘ This theory is still used in organisations today and is called, ‘Bureaucracy,’ which emphasised on job specialisation, control, hierarchy of authority, rules and regulations and impersonal decisions

The notion of job specialisation in Bureaucracy again directed employees towards efficient and effective work. The clear line of authority enabled worker’s knowledge on whom they’re accountable to. The strict rules and regulations implied on the employee’s discipline and their work. The principle of impersonality nurtured job appraisals without any biasness. The rigid rules and regulations, however led to employees wall of initiative, which in turn led to their dislike. The concept of specialisation hindered the growth of individuals and organisation, for they would be saturated.

A shift from work and the intense emphasis of increasing productivity took place when an American professor called Elton Mayo developed a study of individual workers, called it the ‘Hawthorn Studies. ‘ This study had four key stages comprising set of experiments among people, the first being the study of physical surrounding. The second stage analysed the effect of physical surrounding changes on the worker’s output; some changes being rests, pauses, lunch break duration, length of work etc.

The third step was of conducting interviews with the workers about their working conditions, supervision and the morale. Final step was evaluating new people i. e. 14 men for six months on their reactions to different situational changes. The outcome of this theory proved that worker’s productivity was lowered due to control, supervision and least provision of breaks. And this theory is called, The Human Relations Approach, which looks into the human behaviour of the organisation, their motivation and the concept of leadership.

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