This sample paper on Influence Of Classical And Human Relations Approaches In Management Today offers a framework of relevant facts based on the recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body and conclusion of the paper below.
MANAGEMENT ESSAY INTRODUCTION This essay compares and contrasts the “Classical” and “Human Relations” approaches to management. It focuses on how these approaches are similar and compatible and looks at their differences and incompatibilities. It then explores how systems theory and contingency theory can reconcile the incompatibilities between the approaches.
The essay is structured as follows. First, the essay shall explain the nature of the “Classical” and “Human Relations” approaches to management.
Then, it will explore their similarities and dissimilarities. This section will be followed with an introduction to systems theory and contingency theory and how they can reconcile the dissimilarities and incompatibilities between the approaches. The essay shall finish with some concluding remarks. CLASSICAL V. HUMAN RELATIONS Management emerged as a field of study over 100 years ago (Holt, 1999, p.
137). The ‘Classical’ management functions appeared at the turn of the century (Carroll and Gillan,1984). The ‘Human Relations’ viewpoint came about in the 1920’s and 30’s (Holt, 1999, p. 137). Classical Management Classical management is a result of the early attempts to formalize principles for a growing number of professional managers (Jeliniek, 2005).
Henri Fayol (1841 – 1925) and Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1915) are seen as two of the forefathers of classical management (Parker and Ritson, 2005; Parker and Lewis, 1995). Classical management is comprised of three directions to management: scientific, administrative and bureaucratic (Bartol et al, 2006).
•Scientific management is the focus on the scientific study of work methods to improve worker efficiency. Taylor is viewed as one of the chief contributors to the scientific branch of classical management (Bartol et al, 2006). The scientific management school of thought reflected an engineer’s ideology of work (Parker and Lewis, 1995).
Taylor, while working as chief engineer for Midvale Steel, noticed a phenomenon known as soldiering, (Bartol et al, 2006). Bartol et al (2006) describe soldiering as “deliberately working at less than full capacity”. Taylor (1985) believed that by applying a science of management based on four principles he could decrease soldiering. Taylors four principles of scientific management are: Scientifically study each part of a task and develop the best method for performing it. Carefully select workers and train them to perform a task using the scientifically developed method.
Cooperate fully with workers to ensure they use the proper method. Divide work and responsibility so management is responsible for planning work methods using scientific principles and workers are responsible for executing work. Another pioneer of scientific management was a close associate of Frederick Taylor’s, Henry L. Gantt (Darmody, 2007). Gantt introduced the Gantt chart which was a graphical aid that helped to plan, schedule and control.
He also developed a unique pay incentive system which rewarded workers and supervisors who reached a standard in an allocated time (Bartol et al, 2006). Bureaucratic management encourages the view that an organisation needs to act rationally and not on the subjective whims of managers or owners (Perrow, 1972). It focuses on written procedures and formal rules (Holt, 1999, p. 137). This approach to management draws largely on the work of German sociologist Max Weber (Bartol et al, 2006).
Weber’s work emphasized the need for clear passages of communication, clear specifications of authority and responsibility and clear knowledge of whom is responsible to who (Perrow, 1972). Administrative management focuses on how managers can better coordinate an organisation’s internal activities (Bartol et al, 2006). Henri Fayol is the most widely recognised contributor to administrative management ( Breeze 1981; Breeze and Miner 1980; Crainer 2003). Henri Fayol identified five major functions of management: planning, organising, commanding, coordinating and controlling (Crainer, 2003). He is best known for his 14 principles of management (Bartol et al, 2006).
Parker and Ritson (2005, p177) point out that, though Fayol never advocated his 14 principles as an all-encompassing solution to any problem regardless of circumstance, many authors present his principles as inflexible. As is shown above Classical management promotes the view of people as production mechanisms who can be made to work more efficiently through scientific study (scientific approach). It encourages the use of formal rules and written procedures bureaucratic approach) and also focuses on ‘all purpose’ management functions and principles for any situation (administrative approach). The Classical management view point is mechanistic, authority based, highly structured and promotes management-by-exception. It completely disregards human behaviour and the effect it can have on efficiency.
Human Relations In contrast to the Classical viewpoint, the human relations or behavioural viewpoint focused on the need to understand the effect of different factors on human behaviour (Bartol et al, 2006). It is based on research of human beings needs, perceptions and feelings (Heyel, 1939). The Human relations viewpoint encourages an organisation to be seen as a “social system with interactions, communications, alliances and conflicts” (Holt, 1999, p137). The human relations movement developed from research done by early behaviourists, such as Hugo Munsterberg, Mary Parker Follett and Elton Mayo (Bartol et al, 2006). The most well known and important of these studies is the Hawthorne studies (Gautschi, 1989).
The Hawthorne studies were conducted at the Hawthorne plant of the Western Electric Company. The studies tested the effect different factors such as lighting on workers had on efficiency. The results of the studies were not as expected and researchers discovered the Hawthorne Effect. Heery and Noon (2001, p151) describe the Hawthorne effect as the concept that subjects of experiments respond positively to being singled out as a special group worthy of study. The results of the Hawthorne Studies caused the focus of management study to change greatly and generated enough interest in the social aspect of organisations to spark the Human Relations movement (Bartol et al, 2006; Perrier 1972).
Abraham Maslow and Douglas McGregor were two major theorists to contribute to the Human Relations movement. Maslow developed a theory of motivation based on three assumptions of human needs. Using this he created a hierarchy of needs, introducing the concept that workers have needs beyond the basic drive for money to put a roof over their head (Bartol et al, 2006). Maslows Hierarchy of Needs. (Maslow, 1970) Douglas McGregor developed the Theory X versus Theory Y approach to behavioural management.
Douglas’ theory X and Theory Y refer to the assumptions that managers hold about their workers (Bennis, and Stephens, 2000). Kermally (2005) describes McGregor’s theories as: Theory X assumes: People inherently dislike work. As a consequence, they have to be threatened (using disciplinary actions) before they work hard and also they have to be controlled. The average person prefers to be directed and is not keen on taking any responsibility. He or she is interested in focusing on meeting security needs.
Theory Y assumes: It is natural for human beings to put effort into work. Control and punishment are not the only ways to make people work. A person will direct himself or herself if they are committed to the organisational objectives and the job is satisfying. The average person will take responsibility if there were proper conditions. Employees like to use their imagination and creativity to make decisions to solve problems.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y help managers develop a better view of workers’ nature, their behaviour and how to interect with them. These theories along with the Hawthorne studies, and research done by other behaviouralists emphasise the view of workers as social people with varied needs. The focus of the Human Relations management viewpoint is on how to best deal with these needs and behaviours to increase efficiency. The similarities between the Classical and Human Relations approaches to management are few. The main similarity is the aim; that is, to be as efficient an organisation as possible.
The clearest incompatibility is the focus on human behaviour is nearly non-existent in Classical management, but is the underlying theme in Human Relations management. Human Relations focuses on people and workers as individuals, while the classical view looks at everyone as a whole. Classical management had one way to deal with all problems, where as Behavioural management doesn’t assume that all problems’ can be dealt with in the same way, regardless of circumstances. Bartol et al (2006) says systems theory is an approach based on the idea that organizations can be visualized as systems. It has four major components: inputs, transformation processes, outputs and feedback.
Systems theory can help to reconcile the differences between Classical and Human relations management theory, due to it’s looking at the organization as a whole. Contingency theory is a viewpoint arguing that appropriate managerial action depends on the particular parameters of a whole (Bartol et al, 2006). This would help the classicals view lack of judgment and use of universal solutions. CONCLUSION The classical and human relations management views are still relevant in management today. With the use of more contemporary viewpoints such as systems theory and contingency theory we can combine the strengths of each theory, and create a better guideline for future managers.
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