Classical Management Theories – Relevance in Modern World

After Industrial Revolution saw the light of the day, there have been many theories as to how to manage the employees in order to get the maximum value out of them. Frederik W. Taylor, the first management consultant in the industrial history came up with “The Principles of Scientific Management” where he considered employees as mechanical and only motivated by money. We have come a long way from that and today’s scenario do not completely support that.


So why do Top MBA Colleges in Hyderabad, still teach these Classical theories. Because in today’s Startup Environment, where students from best MBA colleges in Hyderabad would end up becoming a part of the vibrant team where decisions need to be taken swiftly and implementation has to be as smooth as possible, these theories have become all the more important and there is something or the other to learn from each of the theory.

Here are some lessons you need to inculcate immediately in your management practices :

Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management

The primary tasks of managers are :

  1. Planning the task in advance and breaking it into various jobs.
  2. Assigning the jobs to right person.
  3. Giving him all the guidance and training throughout for the best outcome.

Fayol’s Principle of Administration

Remuneration is the inevitable part of management. Till the time you do not appreciate the performance of an individual, his motivation will go on declining leading to a robotic employee with zero productivity.

Gulick and Urwick’s Coherent Set of Principles of Administration

Decentralisation or what we call a flat organisation nowadays was coined by these two individuals. They believed that maximum performance can be ensured if the managers/administrators ensure clarity of role in their team with decision making power dispersed throughout the organisation.

Max Weber’s Concept of Bureaucracy

Every individual in the organisation should be roles and responsibilities on the basis of his ability, skill and competence. A beautiful concept indeed, it says that any person can be a box full of surprises and a true manager would break the hierarchical chains and would bring such individual to the forefront and make the most out of his potential.

Mary Parker Follet

The last among the Classical Thinkers gave the most important principle of all. She said that “Leadership by Function” is the most successful kind of leadership where a manager get into the iterative process with his team and come to a collective decision which is not imposed but decided by everyone equally.

More or less, manager since time immemorial needs to be judged more on his EQ rather than IQ. The ability to take adhoc decisions no matter how difficult and tough they are and getting people on board with them is what makes a good manager, something that books won’t teach you.


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