Evolution of Management:
This paper will focus on four major management theories; the classical approach, the behavioral approach, the systems approach and the contingency approach. These theories will be described and then explained how they differ from one another. Upon completion of analyzing these theories, reason will be given as to why I believe the systems approach is the most important.
Evolution of Management:
Management is defined as the process of working with people and resources to accomplish organizational goals. Managing has become increasingly important over the years; it ensures the coordination of individual efforts to achieve an organized goal that one would not be able to accomplish alone. Throughout the years, theoretical knowledge has constantly changed and has played a crucial role in effectively and efficiently managing an organization. Four major management theories include the classical approach, the behavioral approach, the systems approach and the contingency approach. Once a manager is educated in theory, he or she will then have the capacity to forestall future problems in their organization.
The classical approach focuses mainly on the tasks, machines and systems needed to perform the task efficiently (Fagan). The classical theory has two areas of concentration; scientific management and administrative management. Scientific management was an approach where the aim was to scientifically determine the best methods for performing any task, then select, train and motivate workers. Frederick Taylor made several contributions in this particular field. The second part of the classical approach is administrative management and this approach focuses on the coordination of the workers collectively, instead of focusing on an individual.
The behavioral approach is a view of management that stresses understanding the importance of people??™s needs and attitudes within formal organizations (Fagan). Elton Mayo and the Hawthorne studies proved that purely mechanistic and economic incentives were not related to worker motivation compared to social relationships, that could be great motivators.
The systems approach to management theory views organizations as sets of interrelated parts to be managed as a whole with the purpose of achieving a common goal (Fagan). The effect of systems theory in management is that it helps managers to look at the organization more broadly. It has also enabled managers to interpret patterns and events in the organization particularly by being able to see how the parts of the system interact (Olum 2004).
The contingency approach asserts that when a manager makes a decision, they must take into account all aspects of the current situation and act on those aspects that are key to the situation at hand. It is also known as the ???it depends??? approach.
Managing is an essential activity at all organizational levels. There are several different theories of management which all contribute something to the knowledge of this practiced art. Even though each theory has its own characteristics and advantages, I believe that the systems approach is the most important. Throughout the years, the theories of management have evolved and improved. I believe the systems approach was an efficient and effective way of looking into an organization. A system is a collection of parts unified to accomplish an overall goal. A system can be looked at as having inputs, transformations, processes, outputs and feedback. Deming was able to resurrect Japan??™s economy after the war using this theory, which was created by integrating the theories that came earlier to adapt to modern life. Even though the contingency theory is considered more modern, it is an outgrowth of the systems approach, which is why I believe the systems approach is the most important management theory.
Fagan, P. D.. (, ). Evolution of management. Retrieved from http://extmedia.kaplan.edu/business/MT140/MT140_2/extra_evolution_of_management.html.
Olum, Y.. (2004). Modern management theories and practices. Retrieved (2011, July 18) from http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/AAPAM/UNPAN025765.pdf