Vikki Carpenter                                                                                                                                                                     09/05/07

HNC Management Assignment


Vikki Carpenter

Management Theories

Terms of reference

  • Research and gather information on different management theories
  • Collate information and create a table of findings on approaches, highlighting differences  
  • Relate findings to organisations, giving examples.
  • Evaluate procedures, search strategy and the effectiveness of using available resources
  • Make recommendations for improving research skills for future assignments

The Research

Management theories and approaches were researched and compared. To do this information was firstly sourced from a number of media’s such as Internet web sites and management books.  Information was then organised into the different theories and read before deciding what was to be used.  Sources of information used are referenced below.

  1.                       Very Brief History of Management Theories, written by Carter McNamara, PhD
  2.             The Evolution of Management and Organisational Behaviour (OB)
  3.                       The Human Relations School of Management        
  4.                     The Systems Approach to Management (circa 1945 – 1975)
  5.         Human Relations Movement
  6. Management and Organisational Behaviour 5th Edition (Prentice Hall)                Laurie J Mullins

When referring to these articles or web pages the numbers will appear on the left of text

The Theories

        Classical Approach

The classical approach to organisation, structure and management relies on formal structure, governed by rules and red tape.  These structures are usually tall, with many layers of management.  Decision-making is carried out at the top of the organisation and there is a hierarchy of management and control.  Classical organisations are departmentalised by specialisation and the division of labour.  This is a very mechanistic approach and classed as scientific management.

Classical writers emphasise the importance of principles and rules as the mainstay of organisational effectiveness.  Taylor, Webber, Fayol, Urwick, Mooney and Reiley are just a few of the many writers in the classical vein.  They are sometimes criticised for not fully taking into account personality factors and for creating an organisational structure in which people exercise a very limited amount of control over their working environment.  Most writers have their own set of principles and the number of principles varies between individuals.  Fayol advocated 14, Urwick advocated 10 and Mooney & Reiley paid particular attention to three:

  • The principle of co-ordination - the need to get people to act together with unity of action, the exercise of authority and the need for discipline
  • The scalar principle – hierarchy of organisation, the grading of duties and the progress of delegation
  • The functional principle – specialisation and the distinction between different kinds of duties
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Generally the classical approach attempts to provide common principles, which give us a useful starting point in attempting to analyse the effectiveness of the design of the organisation structure, although psychological and social factors also need to be remembered. This approach has been criticised for being too inhumane as it is a science of things not people and can lead to low morale.

        Human Relations Approach

Where the classical approach takes a mechanistic view to organisations, the Human Relations approach considers and gives attention to social factors at work i.e. the behaviour of employees within an organisation. Several ...

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