The field of management was shaped by the classical management theories of Henri Fayol, Fredrick Taylor, and Max Weber. Each contributed a different dimension to the administration of people and business processes.
Henri Fayol (1841-1925)
Fayol was a French engineer working in the mining industry. Fayol proposed that there are five primary functions in management: Planning, Organizing, Commanding, Coordinating, and Controlling. All five functions rely upon effective communication and feedback.
Fayol went on to propose 14 Principles of Management
· Specialization of labor - Specialization promotes ongoing skills development and training.
· Authority - The influence to give orders and expect compliance
· Discipline - Conformity to the rules
· Unity of command - Each employee must understand the power structure
· Unity of direction - A single plan or vision
· Subordination of Individual Interests - Only work things should be pursued or thought about at work
· Remuneration- Employees receive fair payment for services, not what the company can get away with.
· Centralization – Decisions are made at the top
· Scalar Chain (line of authority) - Formal chain of command running from top to bottom
· Order - All materials and personnel have a prescribed place
· Equity - Equality of treatment
· Personnel Tenure – Limit the turnover of good employees
· Initiative – Implement planning
· Esprit de corps – Promote harmony and cohesion within the organization
Fredrick Taylor (1856-1915)
Taylor was an American mechanical engineer. He is known as the “father of scientific management.” Taylor developed his management theories while working at Midvale Steel Works. His ideas were honed while teaching at Dartmouth College. Taylor’s scientific management or Taylorism promoted four principles.
· Rely upon work methods that are based on scientific evidence
· Commit to employee selection and training based upon scientific criteria
· Provide detailed instruction and supervision of employee performance
· Divide tasks equally between management and employees
Taylor’s view of management contributed to new ideas about management that included a clear hierarchy, detailed responsibilities, separation of processes such as planning from operations, incentive programs for workers, and task specialization. Taylor’s assumption was the improve design in the workplace would foster continuous production.
Other concerns discussed by Taylor include “soldiering” and time studies. Soldiering was the tendency of workers to work below capacity because they were concerned that higher production might cost jobs, non-incentive wage systems were used, or by rely on non-scientifically proven methods.
Time studies were used to determine the best ways to perform tasks in terms of time. Taylor noted that people increase productivity when provided incentive programs. The second component of time studies involved timing employees as they performed tasks and experimenting with new methods to determine if they save time.
Max Weber (1864 -1920)
Weber was a German sociologists and the founder of modern sociology. Weber focused on bureaucracy in business. His bureaucratic management theory followed Fredrick Taylor’s scientific management concepts. Weber agreed with Taylor’s emphasis on standardized procedures and especially a clear chain of command. Scientific methods were assumed to promote efficiency. Weber recognized that Western organizations were in a process of change with modernization during the 19th century. He proposed the change was good and bad.
Weber called for:
· Clearly defined job roles (e.g., job descriptions)
· Standardized and scientifically based procedures
· Precise record-keeping
· Selecting employees based upon specific job-related criteria.
All three men offered important concepts in understand modern management theory. Ironically, the theories did not address the collaborative corporate environments that seek to nurture interpersonal relationships. Their top-down, performance-driven approaches served the needs of the early years of the Industrial Revolution. The post-Industrial Revolution era has witnessed the new criteria of nurture social factors that contribute to cohesion as well as task cohesion.