This essay sample essay on Classical Viewpoint offers an extensive list of facts and arguments related to it. The essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion are provided below.

The classical management writers had a particular viewpoint of the worker. Discuss what this was. [12 marks] a The evolution of management has been in existence since the construction of massive structures such as the pyramids in Egypt in the ancient days and the Great Wall of China during the Qing Dynasty period.

It is thus evident how important the role of management and its application is globally and through the passage of time. The emergence of the classical approach occurred during the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain and Europe, as it became necessary to have a more formal approach to management.

Production shifted away from the cottage industry as large complex organisations sprouted due to new forms of technology. The classical approach places emphasis on purpose, formal structure, hierarchy of management, technical requirements, and common principles of organisation in order to manage efficiently the higher amount of outputs from increased producitivity.

(needs emphasis on the workers) The classical management approach comprises of three theories namely- bureacratic management by Max Weber, Scientific management by Taylor and Administrative management by Henri Fayol.

Max Weber is a German sociologist who defined an organisation as a well-defined hierarchy of authority and responsibility, following a system of rules and regulations where there is no confusion and conflicts. Under this formal hierarchy structure, workers abide by rules and follow accordingly without question.

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Official positions exist in their own right and jobholders have no rights to particular positions in the top management, since appointment of staff is based on qualification and competence.

Classical Viewpoint Of Management

This will thus allow for a stable and well-defined job content such that work performance is based on the identified roles. However, the over-emphasis on rules and regulation only serves to dehumanise and demotivate the workers as workers’ initiation and creativity are being stifled. They become inflexible in responding to situations, and reluctant to innovate in time. There are three types of legitimate authority identified by Weber- traditional, charismatic and rational-legal authority. Workers are required to accept those in authority that arises from tradition and custom.

They must also be loyal and entrust their confidence in the personal qualities of the leader. Hence, there is no questioning of the authority since the workers are bounded by the rules and procedures of the organisation, and does not have any job movement in their job scope. Nonetheless, Weber see this approach as neccessary at that time in order to achieve stability in the organisation, where rules are implemented to increase efficiency and productivity even though it neglects the social needs of the workers. Another writer who contributed to the classical approach is Taylor.

He introduced the theory of scientific management where workers are viewed as “rational economic man” who are satisfied and motivated by high wages, and are willing to work diligently for the organisation. He was concerned with the efficiency of the working methods, and the question of how to organize different resources into efficient and profitable operations. He wanted to prevent “soldiering” which he believes arises due to the fallacious belief of the workers that any increase in output will result in unemployment, hence deliberately restrict their work-rate in order to stay in employment.

Hence in order to overcome this problem, he came up with “a true science of work”, referring to the amount to be done by a suitable worker under optimum conditions. Workers are paid their wages according to their productivity. Workers are systematically trained and placed through careful selections, jobs designated for them. Through analysis of the “stopwatch exercise”, he was able to establish standard time and standard output of work. He argued that workers prefer to be given a definite task with clear-cut standards, then rewarded accordingly for their productivity without limit.

However, the scientific approach fails to consider the social needs of the workers as well, and also overlooked the human desire for job satisfaction by labelling workers merely as a “rational economic man” who works long hours willingly for the sake of higher wages. Workers are viewed as cogs of machines, and exploitation of labour and unfair distribution of wages may occur. Administrative management was prefaced by Henri Fayol. He says that to manage is to forecast and plan, to organise, to command, to coordinate and to control.

In his book “Administration “Industrielle Et Generale”, he proposed 14 principles of management which he feels will enable organisations to function efficiently. His emphasis was also on the hierarchical aspects of the business enterprise as a formal organisation, based on the division of work, scalar chain, unity of command and centralisation. This top-down management style shows how authority is limited and restricted from the workers, who are expected to follow the leadership of others. In conclusion, under the classical approaches to management, the theories have similar traits towards their view of the worker. Discuss in what ways, and for what reasons, this viewpoint may be different in the 21st century. [13 marks] The 21st century marks an important pardigm shift in business and management principles. We now live in the Information Age (post-modern) and not the Industrial Age (classical). The 21st century is also a period of great uncertainty where we have seen horrific acts of terrorism against the good of mankind, the SARS outbreak in Asia, which threatened to derail the World Economy in today’s ever-increasingly ‘boundary-less’ global economy as well as many other events.

Henceforth, the classical management writers’ viewpoint of the workers has become less relevant in the 21st century as the approach was developed in the 1890 to 1940s. The classical approach’s viewpoint of the workers has become different in the 21st century as the modern era is more focused on the social needs and welfare of the workers. Human’s rights are being advocated, henceforth making it necessary for organisations and their management to take care of the needs of the workers. Workers from the past were also less educated, whereas 90% of the population in the 21st century living in cities are literate.

As such, it is more important for managers to focus more on improving the interactions and relations between management and workers at the workplace. This is developed in Hawthorne studies by Elton Mayo, who discovered the importance of informal working group. When workers feel more important at work and being taken care of, their productivity will improve, resulting in an increase in output. This is therefore different from the viewpoint of the classical approach when the social needs of the workers are being neglected. Nowadays, management has adopted a much flatter structure instead of a tall one.

Workers have to be convinced of the abilities of their superiors before accepting their management styles. Similarly, top management must also be open to ideas coming from the lower level of workers within the organization. There should be mutual communications between the managers and their subordinates. Managers are encouraged to show care and concern towards the workers so that they will be motivated. This motivation to work will help to keep the productivity and efficiency of the organization going by making the subordinates feel important (encouraging self-esteem), and feel as if they really belong to the organization.

As such they will feel that contributing to the organization will not only benefit the organization but themselves through self-satisfaction. However, too much motivation and giving leeway to workers will cause them to be complacent and to lose their sense of working abilities. Hence there should be a proper balance between adopting some of the classical approaches and putting them together with human relations which will be discussed later.

The Gilbreths, followers of Taylor in scientific management of classical approaches were convinced with doing things in the “one best way” through the process of recording techniques done in experiments and motion studies. The Gilbreths used charting and basic elements of on-the-job motions and providing a standardized basis for recording movements. By doing experiments like these, the Gilbreths are trying to anaylse the whole working operations and this, as they believe, will most likely boost worker’s morale because of its obvious physical worker benefits and involves the management’s concern for the worker.

In this form of classical approach, every worker will always be a doer, a learner and a teacher that will have new possibilites in the job scope. This method applies mainly in the Industrial as mentioned earlier. However, as a contrast to such a classical theory of management’s attitude to the worker, Elton Mayo’s Hawthorne studies were on the workers rather than on the work. Hawthorne was mainly interested in studying social relationship at work.

Human relations have become an important element in management as it is proven by the company is able to thank their workers and show their appreciation is by giving company dinners and incentives like healthcare services that will benefit them, and such activities undertaken by organizations are still practiced in many organizations such s MacDonalds, Federal Express. The systems theory also states that organisations are complex entities, or systems of inter-ralted and independent parts comprising of input, process and output which have interaction with the external environment to arrive at stable state (homeostasis).

Under the open socio-technical system, workers need work compatibility with each other in order to work in teams, which is important for work redesign (relevant for motivation). The Volvo experiment at the Kalmer plant has hexagon-shaped factories with assembly lines along glass walls. The autonomous team decides on allocation of work and responsibilities. By specializing and helping each other as a team, productivity and sales quality will improve. (need to relate more to 21st Century)

As organizations cannot be totally humanized, management’s attitudes and perspectives towards Man have also evolved along with their management ideologies, from Human Relations approach to one of Contingency Approach. Due to factors such as globalization, cultures of various countries (eg asian values that need adaptation), turbulent environment (war on ‘terrorism’), deregulation, privatisation, urbanisation and movement towards capitalism and dependence on market economy by countries such as China and India and greater competition, which are prevalent in the 21st century, and therefore old ideas have to be discarded and new ones embraced.

As organizations have adapted and become more complex (Peter’s and Waterman’s attributes of organizations in the early 20th century, these ideas have become less applicable in changing times of the 21st century), operations have been decentralized and more “fluid” and flexibility have emerged (Sony and 3M). Therefore Man has evolved due to the demanding nature of today, which require many competencies and skills to deal with any incidences that occur due to the non-ideal (no one optimum) state in the business world.

The classical approach have declined over the years but we cannot deny that their usefulness have not totally been eliminated. Some approaches like the structural organizations in the government still adopt its concept which is based on bureaucracy. However, managements must also give consideration to human factors and not simply based it on one approach. The structures of the organization should be more flexible and not rigid in order to adapt quickly to any global changes. Only then organizations can operate well in a globally ever changing integrated precarious world economy (need to emphasize more on 21st century; change conclusion).

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Classical Viewpoint. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Classical Viewpoint
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