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What is the purpose of management theory? Explain how knowledge to understanding of management theories can help you in your work; use example to illustrate your answer where possible.

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Question: What is the purpose of management theory? Explain how knowledge to understanding of management theories can help you in your work; use example to illustrate your answer where possible. Throughout the past century, a number of management theories have been developed which help us to understand and explain the structure of, and behavior in organizations. The history of management thought is been tracked back in one form or another, can be traced back thousands of years. However, the systematic development of management thinking is viewed, generally, as dating from the end of the nineteenth century with the emergence of large industrial organizations, and ensuing problems associated with the structure of management. The study of organization and management is the development of management thinking and what might be termed management theory. The application of theory brings about change in actual behavior. However, McGregor puts it: 'Every managerial act rests on assumptions, generalizations, and hypotheses. That is to say, on theory. Our assumptions are frequently implicit, sometimes quite unconscious, often conflicting; nevertheless, they determine our predictions that if we do a, b will occur. Theory and practice are inseparable'. It is also important to remember that management theory is not an end in itself, but rather a tool to enable us to understand management practice, and to increase the effectiveness. Management theories may be viewed as attempts to find a set of principles to guide the performance of management roles into being effective and efficient. The importance of management theory is because: * What leading writers say is an important part of the study of management; * It is necessary to view the interrelationships between the development of theory, behavior in organizations and management practice; * An understanding of the development of management thinking helps in understanding principles underlying the process of management; * Knowledge of the history helps in understanding the nature of management and organizational behavior, and reason for the attention given to main topic areas; * Many of the earlier ideas are of continuing importance to the manager and later ideas on management tend to incorporate earlier ideas and conclusions. ...read more.


Fayol cautions managers against the personal vanity which prevents them from allowing this opportunity to their subordinates. 14. Esprit de corps. 'Dividing enemy forces to weaken them is clever, but dividing one's own team is a grave sin against the business.' These Principles of Management. Fayol carefully choose the term principles of management rather than rules or laws: "I prefer the word principles in order to avoid any idea of rigidity, as there is nothing rigid or absolute in administrative matters; everything is a question of degree. The same principle is hardly ever applied twice in exactly the same way. Because we have to allow for different and changing circumstances, for human beings who are equally different and changeable, and for many other variable elements. The principles too, are flexible, and cab be adapted to meet every need; it is just a question of knowing how to use them." Bureaucratic Management Bureaucratic management is an approach that emphasizes the need for organization to operate in a rational manner rather than relying on the arbitrary whims of owners and managers. The bureaucratic management approach is based mainly on the work of prominent German sociologist Max Weber. Max Weber Behavioral Management The classical theorists generally viewed individuals as mechanisms of production. As a result, they were primarily interested in finding ways for organization to use these productive mechanisms more efficiently. In contrast, the behavioral management is a perspective that emphasizes the importance of attempting to understand the various factors that effect human behavior in organizations. Hawthorne Studies Elton Mayo, known as the Father of the Hawthorne Studies, identified the Hawthorne Effect or the bias that occurs when people know that they are being studied. The Hawthorne Studies are significant because they demonstrated the important influence of human factors on worker productivity. There were four major phases to the Hawthorne Studies: the illumination experiments, the relay assembly group experiments, the interviewing program, and the bank wiring group studies. ...read more.


The main three branches have evolved: management science, operations management, and management information systems. Management Science Management Science is an approach aimed at increasing decision effectiveness through the use of sophisticated mathematical models and statistical methods. The increasing power of computers has greatly expanded the possibilities for using the mathematical and statistical tools of management science in organizations. Example of this approach is linear programming, queuing, or waiting line, models, and routing, or distribution, models. Operations Management Operations Management is the function, or field of expertise, that is primarily responsible for managing the production and delivery of an organization's product and services. It includes area such as inventory management; work scheduling, production planning, facilities location and design, and quality assurance. Operation management is often applied to manufacturing setting in which various aspects of production needs to be managed, including designing the production process, purchasing raw materials, scheduling employees to work, and storing and shipping the final products. Operations management applies to delivering services as well. Management Information System Management Information System refers to the field of management that focuses on designing and implementing computer-based information systems for use by management. Such systems turn raw data into information that is useful to various levels of management. Making full use of computers, can provide facts and assist decision- making, reducing many variables to quantifiable terms, and so removing guesswork and intuition. This approach places great stress on the importance of management accounting to provide the logic of cost/benefit analysis and budgeting techniques in order to make planning more scientific and less a matter flair. Likewise, mathematical models are used to predict likely futures and assist the running of the firm. In many industries, computer-based information systems are becoming a powerful competitive weapon because organizations are able to handle large amounts of information in new and better ways. The idea behind quantitative management is to make management more scientific. Contemporary Management Contemporary Management represents major innovations in ways of thinking about management. There are three important contemporary management is the systems, excellence and contingency theories. 1 ...read more.

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