Is Classical Management Theory Outdated And Obsolete?

1831 words - 7 pages

Management and leadership are two separate ideas. Management is planning, organising, leading and controlling an organisation (Meyer et al., 2007). Leadership is a process in which a leader influences others to set and achieve goals (Allen et al., 2013). There are several theories that imply that leadership is a quality that cannot be taught, whereas managing can be (Ackoff, 2005). Classical management theory is focused around improving efficiency while visionary leadership is more focused on empowering workers. Visionary leadership and classical management theory both aim to motivate and inspire workers; however, the intentions and outcomes are different. One theory is not better than the other especially since most of the time the two theories are intertwined. Classical management theory is not outdated or obsolete; however, visionary leadership should become more interwoven with the classical management theory in order to use the best parts of both theories to create a more efficient managing style.
Classical management theory is about improving efficiency and this is divided into scientific and administrative theory. It focuses on production efficiency which makes all jobs small and simple in order to make them easily taught (Meyer et al., 2007). This theory minimizes skill requirements and job learning time so that people, who do not speak the same language, can easily learn how to do the job as well as making training less time-consuming. This increases production and efficiency. Fredrick Taylor is known as the father of scientific management. He introduced this idea in the early 20th century. The scientific approach is intended to motivate workers to be more effective. Instead of having a worker be paid by the hour, Taylor suggested that workers be paid based on efficiency (Khurana, 2009). This would increase motivation for workers and increase productivity in the company (Boddy, 2011). Taylorism is relevant for mass production, gives job opportunities for uneducated people and increases productivity. There are several different theories that are based on Taylor’s method such as Fordism; this includes division of labour and assembly/production lines that is meant to make workers more efficient (Amin, 2003). Ford believed that workers should be paid higher wages, so they could afford to buy the products they make. After introducing the assembly line to his company, he realised that workers worked too hard for little reward; so he began doubling wages in 1914 and fought for wages to be higher (Raff, 1987). The scientific approach is not outdated or obsolete for some companies. It can be applied to most large companies; however, this theory would be inefficient in some smaller firms. When mass production is needed and when companies are very large the scientific theory can be used to make the company run more effectively (Khurana, 2009). In smaller businesses that do not need to mass produce the theory is not as relevant. Smaller...

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