The Classical approach is one of the most influential theories of management. Its influence may be dated back to its exclusive impact during the industrial Revolution. This management approach is reliant on unique principles of balance in authority and responsibility, division of labor, delegation to build as well as unity of command. The approach is extremely critical in the definition of excellent management as well as the process of management. This approach is based on several theories that were fashioned by theorists; Weber, Taylor, and Fayol. Each of these management theorists has come up with unique arguments that are designed on executive principles to coin the classical approach. These arguments are on theories of scientific management, bureaucracy, and administrative theory.
The first theory that defines Classical Approach is the scientific management theory. During the Industrial Revolution, there were extensive scientific discoveries that continuously came up. At this time, Taylor was uniquely placed to think that science was extremely influential to the manner in which management was conducted. The main aim for Taylor was to advance economic efficiency as well as maximize productivity by maximizing how certain tasks were conducted while preventing slacking for employees (Muhammad, 1978). This led to the definition of this new form of management as scientific management.
Scientific management worked in various techniques. One of the approaches that Taylor used in defining this management theory was the development of a standard method for undertaking each job. Different jobs entail some uniqueness Wilczek, T. (2008). It was the aim of the science management theory to define the uniqueness of a job and how it should be undertaken.
The theory was also anchored on a principle that dictated that selected workers have unique abilities through which they perform uniquely at their occupation. One employee’s ability is not equal to the ability of the other employee, and it is vital for managers to understand that (Montana & Charnov, 2008).
The other principle that was used to develop this theory is that workers should be trained in a standard method. There are certain principles that need be respected while a worker is being trained. One of the critical standards that needs be considered is ethical knowledge for the worker (Muhammad, 1978).
Scientific management is also built on a principle that workers need be supported by any management through planning of their work as well as minimizing all possible interruptions that may hinder them from performing accordingly (Montana & Charnov, 2008).
Remuneration is the other core element in the definition of scientific management. It dictates that workers should be provided with favorable wages that will motivate them to work for increased output for the organization.
The administrative theory has also been extremely contributive to the development of the Classical Approach. This is a theory that was defined by Henry Fayol. In his theory, Fayol dictated that management as a scientific process is anchored to five indisputable elements organizing, planning, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. Planning as one of the elements dictates that any organization should a process through which activities should be carried out to meet a given goal. Organizing refers to making orderly arrangement and determination of a task. Commanding is a process that engages, supervising, guiding, motivating and leading individuals to achieve a given set of tasks. Coordinating is an extremely critical process of management which refers to the process of bringing together all elements of management to ensure high output. The last element that Fuyol analyzed is controlling which defines that the manager should govern or control all aspects that would be required to meet a given goal for an organization (Montana & Charnov, 2008).
- Division of labor: this is a principle that permits for job specialization. Fayol dictated that excessive specialization would lead low worker involvement as well as poor quality.
- Authority and responsibility: Fayol incorporated both informal and formal authority that came from special proficiency
- Discipline: respectful and obedient employees are required in any organization.
- Line of authority: a rank for leadership from top to bottom is required in an organization
- Centralization: this is the degree by which authority remains at the very top in an organization.
- Unity of direction: this is a plan of action to guide an organization.
- Order: every employee is assigned a duty which he or she may perform best.
- Initiative: this is the encouragement for innovation.
- Equity: all employees should be treated in respect and justice.
- Remuneration of personnel: a successful payment should contribute to the success of an organization.
- Stability of tenure: long term employment is significant.
- General interest over individual interest: the company takes preference over the person.
- Union is strength: refers to mutual understanding and harmony among organization members.
Wilczek, T. (2008).
Bureaucracy is the other critical theory that aimed at defining the Classical Approach. This is an element of the Classical Approach that was developed by Max Weber. His vision was that an organization should be managed in a rational and impersonal basis, which gives the definition of Bureaucracy. This theory was also defined by certain principles. One of the principles is that any organization should be based on rational power that is efficient and can easily adapt to changes. The second principle dictated that employees’ selection should be on the basis of competence and extensive qualification. Also, organizations are dependent of rules and regulations that are impersonal and should be equally applicable among employees. Division of labor was also an extremely fundamental principle in Max’s definition of management as they are applicable in the Classical Approach. He also, agreed that in an organization, positions should be organized in a given hierarchy. As a concrete principle in definition of how managers should behave in an organization, Max dictated that managers should not depend on personality for successful execution of orders but should depend on legal power that is exposed to any managerial position (DuBrin, 2010).
However, the Classical Approach may face several criticism on the basis of different theories that have been used in its definition.
The scientific management theory which is extremely core in the definition of the Classical Approach may be criticized on various grounds. This theory does not appreciate the social context of work as well higher requirements of workers. Also, the theory does not take into consideration the difference among employees in execution of duties. The theory also renders the Classical Approach unreliable as it regards employees as uninformed and their views should not considered crucial Wilczek, T. (2008).
The administrative theory may be criticized on the basis that it is not obvious that the intended plan will take place. Men are not masters of seasons, which may be extremely significant in the realization of a given plan. Also, it is not obvious that all elements in management will work for the intended success.
In the modern society, bureaucracy is associated to negative meaning. People have not yet understood the meaning of bureaucracy. Therefore, it becomes extremely difficult to define the significance of classical Approach to such people. They argue that it contains rep tapism and endless rules (DuBrin, 2010). It may also be challenged on the point at which it dictates that all employees should be equal. There is no instance at which all employees will be equal. There is no point at which the manger will be equal to the rest of the employees.
The Classical Approach is an extremely significant element in management. It provokes extensive analysis of different principles of management. Reliable theorists aided in making the Classical Approach extremely reliable. Thus it has been anchored on three main theories of scientific management, administrative theory as well as bureaucracy theory. The main concern for these theories is the basis of argument on the relationship among employees as well as the relationship between a manager and a worker. Working conditions are extremely critical and have been exhaustively analyzed in the Classical Approach. However, the approach is not fully satisfactory as it is characterized with extensive criticisms as defined by different theories that form the Classical Approach.
DuBrin, Andrew J.. Essentials of management. 9th ed. Australia: South-Western, 2010.
Montana, Patrick J., and Bruce H. Charnov. Management. 4th ed. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 2008.
Muhammad, F.. "Classical And Modern Management Approaches And Techniques In Public Administration: Patterns And Trends." International Review of Administrative Sciences 44, no. 1 (1978): 135-144.
Wilczek, Tim. The "Classical Model" for practising Human Resource Management or is there a need for an integrated approach including specialised human resource strategies?. München: GRIN Verlag, 2008.