B.Sc. CSIT 7th Semester Principle of Management

Evolution of Management Thoughts

Concept of management thought

Management is that field of human behavior in which managers plan, organize, staff, direct, and control human and other resources in an organized group effort in order to achieve desired individual and group objectives with optimum efficiency and effectiveness. Awareness and understanding of important historical developments are also important to modern managers. The history of management theories helps managers by organizing information and providing a systematic framework for action.. Evolution of management thought may be divided into following stages:

  1. Classical Theory
  2. Behavioral Perspective
  3. Quantitative management perspective
  4. Integrating Theories

Classical Theory


Classical theory was started in the beginning of 19th century. This theory supposes the human beings as wise economic creature and advocates that the human beings always work for economic benefits. The classical theory is the first insightful thought of management . This includes Scientific Management Theory, Administrative Management Theory, and Bureaucracy Theory.

F. W. Taylor’s Scientific Management Theory

Scientific management (also known as Taylorism) is based on the work of the US engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor. Frederick W. Taylor, the father of scientific management was born in 1856 in the US. He was a mechanical engineer. He did most of his wo r k a t t h e M i d va l e a n d B e t h l e h e m S t e e l Companies in Pennsylvania. He studied each element of the steel worker’s jobs. He determined what each worker should be producing and then he designed the most efficient way of doing each part of the overall task. Taylor implemented a piece work pay system rather than paying all employees the same wage, he began increasing the pay of each worker who met and exceeded the target level of output set for his or her job. In 1911 A.D, Taylor published his works. A piece Rate system, Shop Management, On the Art Cutting Metals, and The Principles of Scientific Management, in which he described how the application of the scientific method to the management of workers greatly could improve productivity. 

Taylor develops a science for each element of the job to replace old methods; selects, teaches and trains the workers; supervises employees to make sure they follow the prescribed methods for performing jobs and distributes works and responsibilities equally between management and workers. 

The main objective of Taylor’s Scientific Management was to improve economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. Taylor studied how work was performed and he looked at how this affected worker productivity. He suggests one best way for each job to be done. Taylor believed that all workers were motivated by money, so he promoted the idea of a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. His scientific management emphasizes rationalization and standardization of work through division of labor, time and motion studies, work measurement, and piece rate wages. The principles that Taylor’s provided for improving production efficiency are still used in today’s organizations. 

Scientific management means knowing exactly what you want men to do and seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest way. 

-F. W. Taylor 

Scientific management is that kind of management which conducts a business or affairs by standards established by facts or truths gained through systematic observation, experiment or reasoning. -George Blac

In conclusion, Scientific Management Theory is an early management theory analyzing and improving workflows in organization though the use of scientific method. Improving economic efficiency, especially individual labor productivity is the main objective of scientific management. Frederick W. Taylor proposed the one best way for a job to be done. This theory seeks to improve an organization’s efficiency by systematically improving the efficiency of task completion by utilizing scientific, engineering, and mathematical analysis. He gave emphasis on a true science, scientific selection of the employees, scientific education, and development of the employees and intimate and friendly co-operation between the management and the employees.

Features of Scientific Management

  1. Scientific Selection of employees
  2. Training and development
  3. Specialization in work
  4. Harmony between management and labor
  5. Time and motion study

Principle of Scientific Management

  1. Division of labor
  2. Training and development 
  3. One best way
  4. HArmony
  5. Replacing rule of thumb with science
  6. Co-operation but not individualism

Limitation of Scientific Management

  1. One best way or one best method.
  2. Mechanistic
  3. Neglects human aspect of workers
  4. More monotonous

Administrative Management Theory

Administrative Management Theory was propounded by Henri Fayol. He was a French Mining Engineer and director of mines who developed a general theory of business administration. He has propounded administrative theory of management and he has contributed a lot in the field of development of management. Henri Fayol was the first to identify the specific managerial functions such as planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. He divided business activities in six categories. He propounded fourteen principles of management, Henri Fayol adopted functional approach in the field of management. Fayol focused on efficiency through management training and behavioral characteristics. He also stressed the importance and the practice of forecasting and planning in order to train management and improve workplace productivity. The major difference between Fayol and Taylor is Fayolism’s concern with the human and behavioral characteristics of employees and Fayol’s focus on training management instead of focusing on individual worker efficiency. 

Business Activity

  1. Technical activities
  2. Commercial activities
  3. Financial activities
  4. Security activities
  5. Account activities
  6. Managerial activities

Principle of Administrative Management Theory

  1. Division of work
  2. Authority and responsibility
  3. Discipline
  4. Unity of command
  5. Unity of direction
  6. Subordination of individual interest to general interest
  7. Remuneration
  8. Centralization
  9. Scalar chain
  10. Order

Max Weber’s Bureaucracy Theory

A bureaucracy is a theory of management. It was developed by Max Weber. A bureaucratic organization is one with rigid and tight procedures, policies and constraints and the company reacts with strict controls as well as a unwillingness to adapt or change. Individuals are valued by the tasks they perform, and these tasks are specific and detailed in bureaucratic organization.Max Weber was a German Sociologist, Administrative, Scholar, and Political Economist. He was born in 1864 and passed away in 1920. Weber belongs to the Scientific School of Thought, who discussed such topics as specialization of job -scope, merit system, uniform principles, structure, and hierarchy. He described an ideal type of organization which he called a bureaucracy. The term bureauc racy was derived from the French word bureau, meaning desk or office and the Greek kratos, meaning rule or political power.A bureaucracy is a body of non elective government officials and/or an administrative policy making group. Bureaucrat can enjoy traditional power or charismatic power or legal power in an organization.

In conclusion, a bureaucracy is the most efficient form of management style. The organization has well defined line of authority. It has clear rules and regulations which are strictly followed by the employees.

Features of Bureaucracy Theory

  1. Red-tapism
  2. Inflexibility
  3. Division of labor
  4. Authority hierarchy
  5. Clearly defined and consistent rules
  6. Impersonal relationship
  7. Formal selection
  8. Functional specialty

Principle of Bureaucracy Theory

  1. A formal hierarchical structure
  2. Management by rules
  3. FUnctional specialty
  4. Mission
  5. Imoersonal relationship
  6. Employment based on technical qualification

Contribution of classical theories

  1. Basis for the development
  2. Identification

Limitation of Classical Theories

  1. Less useful for dynamic and complicated organization
  2. Mismatch with environment
  3. One best way of doing job
  4. Mechanistic
  5. Neglects human aspect of worker
  6. No right to raise voice

Read more about Human Relation and Behavioral Science Theories.

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Karina Shakya