Different Organisations and
businesses use different Management strategies and approaches in improving
their productivity, run the affairs of the Organisations, Companies and make
them grow and dominate the market. This article evaluates the influence of
classical and human relations approaches in Management today. To begin with,
the article analyses Management in respect of theories and principles of
Management which looks at management as 
a system that looks at all spheres of work and workplaces, it includes
planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling accessible resources to
realize the goal or target of an organisation (Skyway University, 2016). Different
theories that includes classical approach by Fredrick Taylor, Henri Fayol’s
administrative principles approach, Max weber’s bureaucratic approach. Further
theory X and Y by Douglass McGregor, Elton Mayo’s Hawthorne studies, Abraham
Maslow’s human needs theory. All these theories have influence in the way
modern businesses are managed. The discussion in this paper will look at the
significance and relevance of these theories to the modern way companies,
businesses and industries manages their businesses.

Most people and
organisations tend to refer management to specifically business environments
alone. Management theories and its principles is also applicable to
environments outside business such as Churches, Schools, Non-Governmental
Organisations (NGOs) and all other businesses that have workers in place.

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There are several theories
of management, despite looking at other theories of management in this
discussion, the paper will pay much attention to two management theories,
Classical and Human theories and how the influence modern environment.

Classical Management
theory looks and centres on the understanding
that workers or employees require and physical
and financial needs in their daily undertakings. These helps
workers to enjoy the work they do and concentrate on delivering and achieving
the needs and objectives of the business, organisation or industry. The Classical management
theory has three key elements and schools of thought; these are Logical Administration,
which recognizes the most significant and perfect way for the attainment
of set objectives, Bureaucratic Administration, which centres on
rules and technique/method, pecking order and clear division
of work; and Administrative management, which emphasizes
the circulation and flow stream of data and information
inside the organisation (www.lehren.org)

Frederick Taylor’s theory of
scientific management established systems for improving work process
efficiency. Centred on a systematic and organised study and investigation of
workers/people, tasks and work conduct, Taylor’s theory organised work process
into the smaller units, or sub-tasks, in an effort to decide the best effective
way for effecting a specific undertaking in any organisation/business, industry
or workplace.                                 

Taylor’s technique comprised of testing the culmination of different tasks to
decide the amount of work that can be effectively done within a certain amount
of time. Taylor’s theory states that organisations needs to come up with the
most ideal methodology for doing any job, and these include training of
workers/employees to manage each component of an organisation. Taylor’s theory
brought various changes to hierarchical administration amid a period when
autocratic administration style was the only way of managing businesses. In his
work experience, Taylor started working as an apprentice operator in
Philadelphia, USA. He worked and from a junior position to a senior position
where he became the chief engineer at the Midvale Engineering Works after that
he worked with the Bethlehem Works where he investigated his ideas which
contributed to the management theory. Frederick Taylor was the first to
identify and emphasize the need for accepting a scientific approach to the task
of controlling and managing a business. He identified the causes of low
efficiency in industry and concluded that much of waste and inefficiency is due
to the lack of order and system in the approaches of organisation. He
identified that the management was usually ignorant of the amount of work that
could be done by an employee in a day as also the best way of doing the job. As
a result, it remained largely at the discretion of the employees who
deliberately avoided work. He therefore, suggested that those responsible for
management should adopt a scientific approach in their work, and make use of
“scientific method” for achieving higher efficiency. The scientific
approach involved, Observation, Measurement, Experimentation and Inference
(Skyway University 2015).

Taylor’s theory and
principles were based on his own experiences at work where he worked as a
shop-floor worker and thereafter worked as a manager in a steel company. He
made an analysis of his work and observed that workers exerted little efforts
in their work and this produced little output. He unveiled the reason for this
inefficient work practices and related this to the concept of ‘soldiering” and
rule of thumb’.

Principles of scientific
management are being practiced in the modern business management, McDonald’s
the fast food chain uses the four principles of Fayol’s and Taylor’s scientific
theory in the administration and running the affairs of their business.
McDonald’s was founded originally as barbecue restaurant in 1940 and later
changed to chain of fast foods in 1955, the business follows corporate
standards (McDonald’s, 2016a) a typical example of application of Fayo’ls
management principles. The management of McDonalds implements Fayol’s division
of work, unity of command, Discipline, every employee does one job, and the
supervisors of the restaurant have powers to give disciplined orders and are
responsible for the affairs and running of the restaurant with one critical objective
which is inculcated in their slogan “Our Success depends on each of us
accepting personal responsibility for doing the right thing” (McDonald’s,
2016a, pp.8.).

McDonald’s fast food chain
has demonstrated a distinctive significance through the execution of well-organized
approaches influenced by classical and human relations theories.     

In the modern world,
different organisations and businesses use classical approach to management. The
Active Youth Initiative for Social Enhancement (AYISE) is one best example of a
Non-Governmental Organisation which uses the classical Management approach. The
organisation rewards its workers by giving them incentives and bonuses for the
hard working spirit demonstrated in the achievement of the organisation’s
overall objectives. The organisation developed standards for every position
existing in it, employees on the same grade and position have same job
description and same take home package. Working conditions for the organisation
were standardized and brought uniformity among workers. All these are supported
by the procedure and processes the organisation use when recruiting its
employees, the criteria ensures that people with enough experience and right
expertise take up positions in line with their areas of competencies. All
employees are scrutinised fully before they are engaged for the position they
were interviewed for.

 

The Organisation has further
a very good staff training methodology, on the job training which has a hands
on kind of training where employees are exposed to the job they were recruited
for, secondly staff members are sent to different training workshops for
capacity building in line with their line of duties which contributes to the
attainment of the organisation objectives.

In the Modern management,
incentives and performance are interconnected, this is evidenced by the actions
of a G4 security company in Malawi which rewarded its employees during
Christmas festive season. The best performing employees were rewarded with
Christmas take home packages this motivated employees and felt part of the
company. Despite this motivation, those who were not recognised could easily
develop hatred towards those rewarded for best performance.

The other important element
in Organisation or businesses is the employee relation which brings together
workforce in achieving common goal. Different Organisations promotes and
advance the agenda of employee relations derived from the human relation theory
by Elton Mayo. The Human relation theory emphasises on human beings,
psychological motivation, and informal group behaviour.

The human relations movement
in industry originated through a research by Elton Mayo. He carried out a
research at the Hawthorne plant of the Western Electric Company between 1927
and 1932. The Hawthorne experiments provides a clear image of the evolution
from scientific management to the early human relations movement. The theory outlines
diverse thoughts, practices and policies. Employee relations deals with creating
a dynamic group in any workplace. The employee relation theory considers the
importance of implementing specific components of job satisfaction which
includes promotion of performing employees, creating a conducive work
environment where workers enjoy the atmosphere of work, development and
implementation of employee development initiatives, provision of bonuses and
incentives to workers. When performing employees are recognised it improves and
promotes employee relation and employees are encouraged to work extra hard,
this enables the business and organisation to easily achieve its objective.

 “Mayo
revealed that an organisation was more than a formal structure or arrangement
of functions. He wrote that an organisation is a social system, a system of
cliques, grapevines informal status systems rituals and a mixture of logical,
non-logical and illogical behaviour.” (Mayo, 1943).

The international Labour
Organisation is one such organisation that follows the principles of human
relation theory, the organisation ensures that its employees have the capacity
to deliver its objectives by training them in different fields. This is done
through offshore trainings, where staff members and government officials are
sent to its staff college in Turin -Italy for capacity building programmes. This
initiative increases the capacity and morale of its workers. Workers apply the
new knowledge and skills obtained from the trainings they participated in their
daily activities. This has enabled ILO to successfully achieve its set of
objectives in different countries (www.iloitc.org).

Edward Mcgregor’s theory X
and theory Y was influenced by the Hawthhorne studies and Maslows theory.
Macgregor believed that workers working under the management of Managers with Theory
X do not like work, lacks ambition, they are irresponsible and further to that,
they are resistant to change and prefer to be led rather than leading others.
This is opposed to Theory Y in which managers holding theory Y have workers who
are enthusiastic to work and have self-control and have accepts leadership
roles and responsibilities (Unicaf 2018). Theory X provides that employees need
to be controlled, guided to do the job and should be forced to toward the
attainment of organisation’s objectives. To the other hand theory Y is all
about people components that make people like to work, this also emphasizes
that workers work, learn and look for responsibilities under a conducive
working environment (Zilbert, 2000). Theory X and Y by Macgregor cements the
human relation theory, it promotes the strategy of managing people in an
organisation or business.

McGregor’s theory is
supported by Arygris theory of adult personality, in this Theory, Managers who
lead workers positively achieves maximum productivity.

In an effort to maximize
productivity and production in their industry, Japan Tobacco International
applies Theory Y of Management in which workers were trained to build their
capacity on fighting child labour. The training was conducted with the aim of
high production of tobacco produced without the involvement of children. After
the training Managers helped Workers/Leaf Technicians in coming up with work
plans towards the achievement of zero tolerance to child labour and production
of high quality tobacco. These workers implemented their plans without much
influence from their managers. This has resulted in the reduction of child
labour in the areas where the company buys tobacco from (ARISE 2016). Due to
high impact of the initiative, this has improved the image of the company,
increased relationship with farmers and employs of the company. The impact has
also cemented the relationship between the leadership of the company and its
workers.

Social interface in the
organisation brings together workers who work as a team. One of the main
characteristic of the human relations approach is the group of employee taken
as the main unit of analysis instead of individual employee. This theory is
paramount and plays a significant role in all industries. The theory generates
ideas emphasizing the significance of team work and leadership, good
communication, motivation, and work design (Mullins, 2005).

The conducive work
environment in any organisation and business is tantamount to high productivity
hence great need to be established and implemented because it promotes employee
performance which Leeds into high productivity in the organisation and
achievement of the business objective. Teamwork which is one element of work
environment is still being considered one best strategy for advancing the
agenda of several organisations and businesses in the world. In Malawi the best
example is Airtel Malawi which promotes team work in promoting the overall
business objective. Another company is Shoprite Malawi which motivates its
staff and promotes team work. Shoprite rewards the best performing staff and
gives them incentives. Team work is the best in any workplace because it brings
Positive impact and it leads to high productivity, continuous improvement and
expanding market share in its business environment and competes well with other
businesses. This is why Airtel Malawi has expanded in Malawi.

Team work is also promoted
through the implementation of team building workshops. Circle for Integrated
Community Development (CICOD) is a local Non-Governmental Organisation in
Malawi. In 2015, the organisation recently conducted a team building workshop,
the purpose was to train all workers on how they should work together and
accomplish the objectives of different projects the organisation is
implementing. This was done as a measure to promote team work. The workshop
covered topics and sessions which were theories and principles of management.
The training strengthened the relationship between the management and workers
of the organisation which in the end helped the organisation achieve overall
objectives of the several projects which includes the project on the
elimination of worst forms of child labour in two districts in Malawi. The
project managed to achieve all the targets set for the project. Further to the
workshop, the Organisation rewarded the best performing employees with a
certificates of recognition for the best performing employee. This has not just
strengthened the winner but created competition among workers so they can also
be recognised at the end of the year. The competition is to the advantage of
the organisation as it will achieve the objectives of its existence. (CICOD
2017)

 

Theories of Management is
not totally different from the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM)
which seeks companies and business to continuously improve their products and
meet customer satisfaction.

TQM is considered a
standalone model of discipline in as far as management and customer
satisfaction is concerned, TQM gurus,  Phillip
Crosby, Edward Deming and Joseph Juran have advanced the model for the
advancement of total quality management and emphasized on  customer focus, process orientation and
teamwork. Total quality management advances team work approach in which it
emphasizes that for the attainment of quality products, workers must believe in
team work, it believes that “two heads are better than one”, The use of
different methodologies such as brainstorming, discussion and quality control
tools, team work correct problems and challenges. The success of any business
lies in team work. Companies regularly have team meetings every week for
workers to discuss and plan for the work ahead of that week (Crosby 1979).
Every good example of this team work meetings is the International Labour
Organisation in Malawi which meets every Monday to plan and prioritize work for
the week.

 

The connection between modern
management approaches and those of the past period are the main aspects of
management; leadership, control and developing the organisation business. While
great weight is on effective leadership to motivate and building the capacity
of workers through coaching, one can’t reject the other aspects for effective
management; to control and manage business efficiency and to advance the
business, strategize application of decision making, policies and practices to
insure future business success (Karlof & Loevingsson, 2005, pp.4).

 

The Human Relations Approach
emphasizes the significance of the informal organisation that involves the
formal structure of the organisation (Mullins, 2005). This informal
organisation influences the behaviours of workers and employees of the business.

The Human Relations approach
sees the organisation as an open system where people’s needs and values should
be managed in order to attain goals of the organisation (Unicaf 2017).

 

(Mainul and Addul, 2009,
p35) states that Human relation theory identifies the social and physiological
elements which can be observed in these days with its ability to provide more
benefits to the organisations/businesses and workers themselves. These benefits
include Team management (Coordinated team), Motivated and charged employees,
all these advances, promotes and increases business productivity in any
workplace. Different Non-Governmental Organisations have recruited the cream of
employees due to how they motivate their employees. People have left their
previous jobs either from the public sector (government) and joined the private
sector and Non-Governmental Organisations.

 

Though the classical and
human relation theories have become absolute, the analysis and management style
in different organisations shows that they are critical and important in
running the affairs and management of the workforce in all the businesses and organisations.
Though business, companies and industries do not use all theories at once, the
application of one or two theories of management in the modern business sector
has proved to be a tool for business expansion. Several Organisation have used theories
of management in advancing their agenda, work relationships, inspiring
employees through rewarding best performers while promoting the agenda of their
businesses.

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