Five Principles of Management Essay

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In the contemporary age, management theory pertaining to proper management practice has undergone evolution. The ‘classical’ theories of management cropped up somewhere during the early years of the previous century. They include the scientific model of management that deals with matching activities with individuals for maximizing efficiency, and the administrative theory of management that emphasizes the identification of principles to help formulate the most effective management and organizational system. The behavioral theories of management were proposed prior as well as subsequent to World War II, and revolve around the way leaders ought to control and lead employees for achieving improved performance. The theory of management science, which was formulated in the World War II era, has increased in significance with scholars coming up with rigorous quantitative and analytical methods for aiding managers in measuring and controlling corporate performance. Lastly, management theories were also formulated in the 60s and 70s for explaining the impact of external environmental factors on management and overall corporate operations (Appendix A: The Evolution of Management Theory, n.d).

Scientific Management Theory

Contemporary management commenced its evolution towards the close of the 19th century, following the massive Industrial Revolution of the West. Huge factories replaced the small workshops that were operated by skilled labor manufacturing products without machines (crafts-style manufacturing). The factories employed several hundred or several thousand semi-skilled and even unskilled workers to control the advanced manufacturing machinery and tools. A large number of these factory supervisors and managers only possessed technical knowledge, thereby being ill-equipped to deal with the social issues bound to arise when individuals are made to work in large teams (as is typical for a shop or factory system). Thus, managers started seeking novel means of managing corporate resources, and turned their focus to improving task-employee mix efficiency (Appendix A: The Evolution of Management Theory, n.d.).

Frederick Taylor (1856–1915) is credited with outlining scientific management techniques and systematically studying individual-task associations to redesign work processes, with an aim to achieve increased efficiency. According to the theorist, the efficiency of the manufacturing process would increase if the efforts and time devoted by individual workers towards producing one output unit (i.e., one finished product or service) decreased. Further, he observed that increased labor division and specialization could also contribute to increasing efficiency. The basis for this system was production-line time researches. Rather than depending on conventional work techniques, Taylor scrutinized and clocked the movements of steel workers on a succession of tasks. Based on time study, the theorist broke down individual jobs into smaller parts, followed by determining the most efficient and swiftest way to perform individual parts of those jobs (Appendix A: The Evolution of Management Theory, n.d.).

By the year 1910, Taylor’s scientific management system had grown in popularity and was devotedly and comprehensively employed in several instances. The efforts of the theorist have had a lasting impact on manufacturing system management. Both manufacturing and service organizations’ managers now undertake a meticulous analysis of the main tasks which need to be carried out and attempt at developing work systems which facilitate highly efficient organizational operation. But in several firms in that age, managers were selective when it came to employing the novel scientific management principles, leading to problems. For instance, scientific management helped improved performance in certain firms; however, instead of sharing the gains in performance with the workforce (via, for instance, bonuses, as recommended by the theorist), managers simply foisted more work onto their subordinates.
Thus, scientific management proved disadvantageous to several workers, leaving them distrusting their employers who were perceived to be uncaring when it came to the workforce’s well-being. Such dissatisfaction among the workforce resulted in workforce resistance towards novel scientific management methods; occasionally, employees even held back their knowledge of the job from their superiors for protecting their wages and jobs (Appendix A: The Evolution of Management Theory, n.d.).

Administrative Management Theory

When scientific managers were busy analyzing the task-individual mix for achieving efficiency improvements, other scholars had turned their focus to administrative management, which revolved around developing a corporate structure that resulted in superior effectiveness and efficiency. Corporate structure may be defined as a system of authority and task relationships controlling the way personnel employ resources for accomplishing corporate goals. Of the two major views pertaining to the development of effective corporate administration systems contributed by the European continent, one was put forward by the famous German sociology professor, Max Weber (1864–1920) (Appendix A: The Evolution of Management Theory, n.d.).

Weber penned his Theory of Bureaucracy text during the era of Germany’s Industrial Revolution. For aiding his country in managing its emerging industrial enterprises during an age when Germany was aiming for achieving power in the international playfield, the theorist came up with the bureaucracy concept, which was a formal administrative and organizational system aiming at ensuring effectiveness and efficiency. In his view, firms adopting each of the 5 principles would be successful in establishing bureaucracy which would bring corporate performance improvements. Rules, norms and SOPs (standard operational procedures) offer behavioral guidelines for attaining performance improvements as they delineate the ideal means of completing corporate tasks. Position specifications and utilizing SOPs and rules for regulating task performance aid managers in organizing and controlling employees’ work. In a similar way, equitable and just policies for employee recruitment and promotion decrease stress, enhance the feeling of security, and prompt employees to work ethically and promote organizational interests. But inefficient bureaucracy management can lead to several issues. In certain instances, leaders make the bureaucratic red tape overly cumbersome, discouraging organizational change and rendering the decision-making process ineffectual and time-consuming. Overreliance of management on rules for resolving issues and inadequate reliance on their personal judgment and competencies renders their behavior inflexible. One major challenge organizational leaders face is: using bureaucratic principles to benefit the company instead of causing it harm (Appendix A: The Evolution of Management Theory, n.d.).

Behavioral Management Theory

Early behavioral management theories revolved around management’s personal behavior for motivating personnel, urging them to give their best performance, and dedicating themselves to accomplishing corporate objectives (Appendix A: The Evolution of Management Theory, n.d).

Human Relations Theory – by Elton Mayo

Fredrick Roethlisberger and Elton Mayo, a couple of Harvard Business School researchers, performed a sequence of researches from 1927 to 1932 and contributed to the formulation of the human relations management theory. The two were employed by Western Electric for analyzing personnel response to their physical….....

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Appendix A: A brief history of management. (n.d.) Retrieved April 13, 2018 from

Appendix A: The Evolution of Management Theory. (n.d.) Retrieved April 13, 2018 from

Chand, S., (n.d.). 4 Limitations of Contingency Approach | Management. Retrieved April 13, 2018 from

Clem, A. H., & Mujtaba, B. G. (2010). Infusing value: application of historical management concepts at a modern organization. Journal of Management and Marketing Research, 4, 1.

Narula V. (n.d). Human Relations In Management: Elton Mayo. Retrieved April 13, 2018 from

Sridhar, M. S. (2011). Schools of management thought. Retrieved April 13, 2018 from file:///C:/Users/MutuaDavid/Downloads/ManagementschoolsofthoughtbyMSSridhar.pdf

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