Evolution of Management
American Public University
January 27, 2008
In this paper I will be explaining the evolution of management from the beginning of the industrial revolution to present which includes Classical School of Management, the Human Relations/ Behavioral School of Management, Theory X and Y, the Scientific Approach, Contingency Approach, and Theory Z. I will also be comparing the classical style and the present style to each other and to my and current work environment.
The Classical school of thought began during the Industrial Revolution around 1900 and continued into the 1920s when new problems related to the factory system began to appear. Managers were unsure of how to train employees (many of them non-English speaking immigrants) or deal with increased labor dissatisfaction, so they began to test solutions. Traditional or classical management focuses on efficiency and includes scientific, bureaucratic and administrative management. Bureaucratic management needs a rational set of structuring guidelines, such as rules and procedures, hierarchy, and a clear division of labor. Scientific management focuses on the "one best way" to do the job. Administrative management emphasizes the flow of information in the operation of the organization.
The first management theory approach to emerge was scientific management. It was introduced in an attempt to create a mental revolution in the workplace. It can be defined as the systematic study of work methods in order to improve efficiency. Frederick W. Taylor was its main contributor. Other major contributors were Frank Gilbreth, Lillian Gilbreth, and Henry Gantt.
Scientific management has several major principles. 1st - it calls for the application of the scientific method to work in order to determine the best method for accomplishing each task. 2nd - scientific management suggests that workers should be scientifically selected based on their qualifications and trained to perform their jobs in the optimal manner. 3rd - scientific management advocates genuine cooperation between workers and management based on mutual self-interest. 4th - scientific management suggests that management should take complete responsibility for planning the work and that workers' primary responsibility should be implementing management's plans. Other important characteristics of scientific management include the scientific development of difficult but fair performance standards and the implementation of a pay-for-performance incentive plan based on work standards.
Bureaucratic management focuses on the ideal of organization. Max Weber was the major contributor to bureaucratic management. Based on his observations, Weber concluded that many early organizations were inefficiently managed, with decisions based on personal relationships and loyalty. He proposed that a form of organization, called a bureaucracy, characterized by division of labor, hierarchy, formalized rules, impersonality, and the selection and promotion of employees based on ability, would lead to more efficient management. Weber also thought that managers' authority in an organization should be based not on tradition or charisma but on the position held by managers in the organizational hierarchy.
Administrative management focuses on the management process and principles of management. In contrast to scientific management, which deals largely with jobs and work at the individual level of analysis, administrative management provides a more general theory of management. Henry Fayol was the mail contributor to this type of management.
Fayol was a management practitioner who brought his experience to bear on the subject of management functions and principles. He argued that management was a universal process that consisting of functions, which he termed planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. Fayol believed that all managers performed these functions and that the functions distinguished management as a separate discipline of study apart from accounting, finance, and production.  Fayol also presented fourteen principles of management, which included; the division of work, authority and responsibility, unity of command and direction, centralization, subordinate initiative, team spirit/espirit de corps, initiative, stability of personnel, order, equity, discipline, unity of direction, remuneration/ fair compensation, scalar chain/chain of command.
Behavioral or Human Relations management emerged in the 1920s and dealt with the human aspects of organizations. It has been referred to as the neoclassical school because it was initially a reaction to the shortcomings of the classical approaches to management. The human relations movement began with the Hawthorne Studies which were conducted from 1924 to 1933 at the Hawthorne Plant of the Western Electric Company in Cicero, Illinois. One of the major conclusions of the Hawthorne studies was that workers' attitudes are associated with productivity. Another was that the workplace is a social system and informal group influence, could have a powerful effect on individual behavior. A third was that the style of supervision is an important factor in increasing workers' job satisfaction. The studies also found that organizations should take steps to help employees in adjusting to organizational life by encouraging collaborative systems between employees and management.
Douglas McGregor had two theories by which to view employee motivation, these theories are know as Theory X and Theory Y. Both assume that the manager's role is to organize resources, including people, to best benefit the company. However, beyond this commonality, they're quite different.
Theory X leadership assumes the following: work is inherently distasteful to most people and they will attempt to avoid work whenever possible, most people are not ambitious, have little desire for responsibility, and prefer to be directed, most people have little aptitude for creativity in solving organizational problems, motivation occurs only at the physiological and security levels of Maslow's Needs Hierarchy, and that most people are self-centered. As a result, they must be closely controlled and often pushed to achieve organizational objectives, most people resist change and that most people are gullible and unintelligent.
Essentially, theory x assumes that the primary source of most employee motivation is financial, with security as a strong second.
Theory Y leadership makes the following general assumptions: work can be as natural as play if the conditions are favorable, people will be self-directed and creative to meet their work and organizational objectives if they are committed to them, people will be committed to the quality and productivity objectives if rewarded (the rewards must address higher needs such as self-fulfillment the capacity for creativity spreads throughout organizations), most people can handle responsibility because creativity and ingenuity are common in the population, under these conditions, people will seek responsibility.
Under these assumptions, there is an opportunity to align personal goals with organizational goals by using the employee's own need to succeed as the motivator.
McGregor recognized that some people may not have reached the level of maturity assumed by Theory Y and therefore may need tighter controls that can be relaxed as the employee develops.
The Scientific Approach uses the scientific method to create maximum
output, minimum strain, elimination of waste, and reduction of inefficiency.
Where human involvement is required, rules, laws, and formulae replace individual judgment. Individual behavior is recorded and analyzed so that it can be used for future rules or decisions. Scientific research is used to try to discover the best way to do a job. Workers are scientifically selected and trained to ensure that work is done as efficiently as possible. Work is studied so that managers are given the work for which they are best fitted, as are the employees they supervise. In the Scientific Approach automation is strongly encouraged.
The Contingency Approach to management focuses on applying management principles and processes as dictated by the unique characteristics of each situation. This approach arose out of the observation that the three earlier approaches to management - the Classical, the Behavioral, and the Operations Research - did not always lead to an acceptable solution. The contingency approach believes that there is no one best way to manage and that it depends on various situational factors, such as the external environment, technology, organizational characteristics, characteristics of the manager, and characteristics of the subordinates. Contingency theorists often criticize the classical school for its emphasis on the universality of management principles; however, most classical writers recognized the need to consider aspects of the situation when applying management principles.
According to Dr. William Ouchi, Theory Z focused on increasing employee loyalty to the company by providing a job for life with a strong focus on the well-being of the employee, both on and off the job. Theory Z management promote stable employment, high productivity, and high employee morale and satisfaction. Theory Z is a form of management where workers are involved in the work process on a daily basis. Employees are given the power to do schedules, division of labor, work assignments, and other aspects of the labor process. More important decisions such as investment policies, wages, fringe benefits and product decisions are still made by management.
As a manager in todayâ€™s market and having attended numerous managerial courses I see that present day management style is a combination of all the styles and theories I have explained in this paper. I have worked in large companies where it is very structured with strict rules and systems for everything with little or no flexibility. I have also worked in environments where management gives so much leeway and freedom that some employees have no direction. The companies that I see are most successful are the ones that can find a good balance between structure and flexibility. I currently work in a small company that has this balance and is currently striving.
I myself as a manager can relate very well with the Behavioral School/Human Relations Management Theory and Contingency style, I have always believed that if you have happy employees, they are more productive. I also tend to use the Contingency style and manage different situations according to the situation.
I conclusion, while studying all the different theories and methods of management which included; Classical School of Management, the Human Relations/ Behavioral School of Management, Theory X and Y, the Scientific Approach, Contingency Approach, and Theory Z, I have found that present day management uses aspects of all or many of the theories and methods. As time goes on and we learn more and more about human nature and what makes people tick new theories and methods will be adopted and introduced, but these are the foundation of modern day management.
 â€œThe first management theory approach to emerge was scientific management.â€ (Patrick J. Montana and Bruce H Charnov, Management, Third Edition, page 14)
 â€œFayol was a management practitioner who brought his experience to bear on the subject of management functions and principles. He argued that management was a universal process consisting of functions, which he termed planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. Fayol believed that all managers performed these functions and that the functions distinguished management as a separate discipline of study apart from accounting, finance, and production.â€
(Online - http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Log-Mar/Management
 â€œMcGregor recognized that some people may not have reached the level of maturity assumed by Theory Y and therefore may need tighter controls that can be relaxed as the employee develops.â€
(Online - http://www.envisionsoftware.com/articles/Theory_X.html)
 â€œThis approach arose out of the observation that the three earlier approaches to management - the Classical, the Behavioral, and the Operations Research - did not always lead to an acceptable solutionâ€
(Patrick J. Montana and Bruce H Charnov, Management, Third Edition, page 30)