Discuss How Management Theory and Practice Has Changed over Since the Early 1900’s

The evolution of management has been changed a lot since the early 1900’s. Many different management theories have been developed, the external factor also changing at the same time, such as the technology and the nature of career. Those changing influence the trend of management method. There are four major approaches in the past, classical approaches, behavioral approaches, quantitative approaches and modern approaches. At the past, efficiency is the most important in the earliest management theories. However, in 21st, these is no doubt that the globalize economy is performance-driven.

There is a huge change in the main theme of the management theories. Bartol, K (1998) states that before the classical approaches exist, there are some people to set up the foundations for the nature of management. Robert Owen, Charles Babbage and Henry P. Towne. Owen concerns for the working and living conditions of workers. Babbage builds the first practical mechanical calculator and a trial of modern computers, and suggested profit sharing. Towne call for studying management as a science and developed the principles of management.

All of their ideas are still affecting the development of management until the 21st. Campling (2008, p. 90) states that about classical approaches, there are three major theories: scientific management, administrative principles and bureaucratic organization. These three theories all sharing the same assumption, it expected the workers will rationally to consider opportunities that are available to them and doing something that can generate the greatest benefit. Bartol, K (1998) states that Frederick Winslow Taylor is known as ‘the father of scientific management’.

He developed specific principles of scientific management, such as time and motion studies and wage incentives. Kurt Reymers (1995) states that McDonald is the most famous company using scientific management. The company found that when workers followed the scientific management, they would work much more efficiently. It makes the worker become efficiency, predictability and calculability. Campling (2008, p. 92) states that Henry Fayol developed the administrative principle. He suggested that all organization’s activities can fit into six functions: technical, commercial, financial, security, accounting and managerial activities.

Also, he has 14 general principles of management: division of work, authority, discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, subordination of individual interest to general interest, remuneration, centralization, scalar chain, order, equity, stability of tenure, initiative and esprit de corps. Max Weber developed the bureaucratic management. This approach is highlighting the need of organizations to operate in a rational manner. He thinks his organization should have the following characteristics: specialization of labor, formal rules and procedures, impersonality, well-defined hierarchy and career advancement based on merit.

Bartol, K (1998) states that those principles also get some problem. Scientific management will make jobs overspecialized, low quality and turnover. Bureaucrat also has some problems. Such as excessive paperwork, slowness in handling problem, resistance to change and employee disgruntled. The different of classical theorists and behavioral approaches is classical theorists viewed people as a machine, find the way to use it more efficiently, but behavioral approaches are about the employee’s behavior being influenced by internal reactions to aspects of the job.

Campling (2008, p. 94) states that The behavioral approaches of management is assumed that why people are working is because they want to satisfy the social relationships, respond to group pressures and search for personal fulfillment. Campling (2008, p. 94) states that Abraham Maslow is famous for the hierarchy of Needs, it comprises five levels of needs: physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem and self-actualization. For example, Starbucks and SouthWest airlines in U. S. provided the best working place to the employees, treated their staffs as the most precious resource.

Douglas McGregor examined the basic assumptions about human behavior, based upon the early writings of Fayol. McGregor Theory X and Theory Y helped find the ways to interacting with workers. Theory X is use for the people who dislikes work and need to be controlled. Theory Y is for the people who willing to work and capable of self-control. Bartol, K (1998) states that these approaches must set the goals specific and measurable (‘We want to achieve 1000 output in this year’), rather than vague (‘I want to perform better in my job this year’).

Campling (2008, p. 99) states that the quantitative approaches focused on using mathematics, statistics and information to support management decision making and solve management problem. There are three main branches: management science, operations management and management information system. Management science uses mathematical techniques to analyze and solve management problem. Operations management is the function or field of expertise primarily responsible for managing production and delivery of an organization’s products and services.

Management information system is the field of management focusing on design and implementation of computer-based information systems management. Bartol, K (1988) states that the problem of quantitative approaches that human factor is not easy to quantify and this approach only concern the performance of the organization ignored the other part of the company, such as: employee’s living and working condition, happiness in the working place, technology changes, system reviews or the influence from any outside environment too. Campling (2008, p. 00) states that the modern approaches of management are developed by the classical, human resource and quantitative approaches. Modern management approaches assumed that people are complex and variable. They have many different needs that can change over time. The key of modern management approaches is the systems theory and contingency theory. Campling (2008, p. 101) states that system theory is based on the idea that an organization can be imagined as a system. A system is a set of interrelated parts operating as a unit toward to the common goal.

Contingency theory tries to match management practices with the demand of different situation. The previous theories such as Weber’s bureaucracy and Taylor’s scientific management had failed because they neglected that various environment influenced the management system and organizational structure. There could not be one best way for leadership or organization. This theory tries to identify contingency principles to actions, depending on the situation’s characteristics. Nowadays, the national boundaries of world business are rapidly disappearing. Campling (2008, p. ) states that the economy for the whole world is rely the resource flows and product markets on each other rather than only with the local. Globalization brings many opportunities to spread the businesses to reach around the world. Technology is the major component to make the world become globalize. Computer plays a very important role in our daily life. Internet and World Wide Web is the great invention in the world. It helps organizations to speed transactions and improve decision making. Computers and information technology is an indispensable part of everyday operation. The information technology makes communication easier.

It helps the people who working in different place and department can more easily communicate and share information with each other. It makes the organization more efficient and effective. Campling (2008, p. 6) states that the “E-commerce” is the biggest different with the past. “E-commerce” is the process of buying and selling goods and services by using the Internet and information technologies. It is not alike the tradition face-to-face transaction method, every thing is through the on line to complete. For example, eBay is one of the biggest online auction and shopping website in the world.

You can buy anything you wants without out of your home. You just need to use your computer wherever you are. There is totally different with the past transaction method. Earlier management theory may not suitable in this organization, such as classical and behavioral approaches. The contingency theory will fit to this organization, because in this rapidly changing period, everything changing all the time, especially anything about technology. Contingency theory can provide a suitable management method in different situation instead of using the universal method.

In conclusion, we can understand that the management theory is changing all the time. It’s always not absolute answers to the human related problem. Even thought different theory may have different problem and critique by some people, it still provided the foundation stone for the principles of management. Inspiring students to develop their own viewpoint. We have already review the past management theories, forecast the management theory will much different in the future of 21st. In the future, we possibly need to blend the approach with other successful example. It’s the way to secure the long terms prosperity of the workplace.

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