The Classical Approach to Management
Management is a process and discipline that is core in the administrational structures of different organizations and business enterprises. Dating its origin back to the 1930s and in the late 19th century during the Industrial Revolution, the classical approach to management places its reliance on significant principles of management. These principles include labor division, balance between responsibility and authority, unity of command and delegation that helps in the establishment of the relationship between subordinates and managers. This approach constitutes the core of the discipline of management and the process of management.
Classical management became widespread during the early years of the 20th century. At this time, many organizations were trying to address issues related to industrial management like employer-employee relationships, specialization, quality delivery, efficiency and cost reduction among other management concerns. Approaches in classical management are still used even in the modern world where other management theories have evolved over time. Most of the business owners today rely on the classical approach of management for the building and growth of their companies to success (Barker et al. 2006, p. 114).
The success from the use of the classical approach is because it advocates for a high level of specialization of labor, maximization of profits accrued by the companies and efficient decision making. As a result, it places a strong emphasis on efficiency of the different stakeholders in the business including the managers and the workers. The classical approach aims at increasing the efficiency of the workers in different organizations. The approach is based on management practices that are a result of careful observations of outcomes. It mainly looks at the universal principles of operation that are important for economic efficiency (Barker et al. 2006, p. 114). This approach includes bureaucratic, scientific and administrative types of management.
The scientific management has it focus on how best a job can be done; administrative management on the other hand focuses on the basic managerial and manager functions. Bureaucratic management shifts to the guidelines needed for formalization of rules, procedures and a clear labor division. The strict rules in the bureaucratic management are used to eliminate inconsistency in work delivery that often affects efficiency. The approach advocates for distribution of work based on individual specialization. Authority division is also a major characteristic whereby the superiors make the ultimate decisions concerning the company. Clear rules that are usually well implemented govern all the activities within the organization. Competent and hardworking workers are usually promoted to emphasize on service delivery (Tripathi et al. 2008, p. 34).
There are however, some criticisms that question the functioning of the classical approach of management. For instance, the approach professes the a thought in the body of management that is based on the belief that employees only have physical and economic needs and that they do need social needs and a satisfaction from their jobs. When personal relations for workers are ignored, the successful operation of the company is also jeopardized. The approach similarly lacks initiatives for the workers since they are not motivated to work harder. Paper formality are also increased, factors that contribute to delayed quality delivery. It is evident in the approach the human resources is ignored and much significance given to physical resources and work instead. Classical approach does not give importance to group and individual relations hence underestimating the vital need of human resource (Tripathi et al. 2008, p. 34). There are similarly numerous labor-management conflicts within the classical approach that has been attempted to be eliminated using the behavioral approach to management. However, the boundary between the different management approaches is becoming less distinct over time.
Companies can experience various advantages from using the classical approach to management. Initially, the hierarchical structural organization of the approach has three management levels that are distinct and instrumental in the proper organization of companies. It is organized in such a way thateach management group has its own responsibilities and objectives. The chief executives or the board of directors who make the ultimate long-term decisions and goals for the organization takes the top management spot. In the middle, there are themanagement overseers who are responsible for setting the goals of the different departments in an organization that are according to the budget approved for operations. Supervisors are at the lowest level and they are expected to oversee the daily activities in the workplace, provide training to new employees and address the different issues that employees face at work. These leadership levels are well defined which elaborates the importance of responsibility in the organization. Although most of the small business cannot fully rely on the three level organizational structure it can help growing and expanding businesses (Montana et al., 2002, p. 66). This clear distinction of roles is important for efficiency in operations.
Labor division is also one of the advantages of the classical management approach. The approach emphasizes on the breaking down of projects into smaller different parts that are manageable and easy to complete. The expectations and responsibilities of the employees are usually clearly defined. Labor division allows different workers in the company to explore and narrow down to their specific field of expertise and specialization that increase work efficiency (Montana et al. 2002, p. 67). Apart from efficiency, the productivity of the company is similarly increased. This is because the workers in the company are therefore not expected to multi task but to instead work on areas they are well versed and experienced in for more impact in the results to be felt. In this kind of approach small-businesses owners are expected to benefit especially if, they intend to increase their production with minimal expenses. According to classical theory of management, the employees are often motivated through monetary rewards. This is an important practice in the approach that encourages the employees to work harder and be more productive since in the end they will be looking forward to their rewards. This approach assists the management to better control their workforce. The feeling of being appreciated for good work done by the management motivates the employees. Small business owners can also adopt this kind of approach as a measure to motivate employees to achieve the goals for production.
Lastly, the autocratic leadership approach that is central part of classical management theory is similarly of great significance. The approach states that organizations are expected to have a single leader who is responsible fro making decisions for the company and to direct and organize the employees. S a result all of the major decisions are made at the top and then communicated down. The approach is highly beneficial particularly to small businesses that often have numerous decisions that usually need to make quickly by a leader without the need of consulting other people like the board of directors (Wilczek, 2008, p. 2).
It is therefore evident that although the classical approach to management fails to address the significance and importance of the human resource in the organization, it is operational and allows the division of labor. The autocratic rule of a central leader that is similarly important is also addressed in the approach. The classical management system is therefore essential for improved quality deliver and production for an organization
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