The Classical (Structural) Organizational Theory was introduced in the early 1900s, with an emphasis on the efficiency of the work process. Within this theory there are three schools of thought that include scientific management, bureaucratic management, and administrative management.
Scientific Management looks at the best way to perform a job. Frederick Taylor is credited for the development of this principal. Taylor’s approach emphasized increasing productivity by focusing on the efficiency of the production process. Taylor believed that the only way to expand productivity was to raise the efficiency of the workers. He believed that doing this would create more work for more workers ...view middle of the document...
Weber’s key elements of a bureaucracy included:
1. A well-defined hierarchy with a clear chain of command where higher positions have the authority to control the lower positions.
2. A division of labor and specialization of skills, where each employee will have the necessary expertise and authority to complete a particular task.
3. Rules and regulations to govern all activities, decisions and situations.
4. Impersonal relationships between managers and employees, with clear statements of the rights and duties of personnel.
5. Technical competence is the basis for all decisions regarding recruitment, selection and promotion (Shafritz & Ott, 2001).
Administrative management emphasizes the flow of information within the organization. Henry Fayol was the first to outline principals of this approach. He believed that management was a skill that could be taught once its principals were understood. Fayol developed general principals of management that consisted of: unity of command, hierarchy, functional specialization, narrow span of control, authority parallel with responsibility, and rational organizational arrangement just to name a few (Shafritz & Ott, 2001). Unity of command is the direction an organization takes and is given by one individual. Hierarchy supports Weber’s thinking and reflects a clear chain of command. The functional specialization principle again relates to Weber, as individuals need to be assigned tasks according to their specialties or qualifications. Narrow span of control is when a specific manager is in charge of a limited number of individuals in an assigned area. Authority parallel with responsibilities means that each individual in a managerial position holds the same responsibilities of operations than other managers. Finally, rational organizational arrangement is when an organization is properly planning tasks or achievements according to geographical location, the processes they perform and their functions or purposes of the organization (Shafritz & Ott, 2001).
There can be strengths to structuring and managing an organization like I have outlined above, particularly in organizations with a large number of employees. It can provide a framework to help organizations and employees achieve goals and do their jobs efficiently. It can make it easier to delegate responsibility and effect change. It can assist a company in presenting a unified front to consumers. It can assist in preparing for the next generation of leadership within the organization. Especially if that leadership is going to come from qualified employees who move up through the organization. It can provide a better focus on a single set of goals instead of each group working toward separate agendas. Lastly is can assist in making the decision making process more efficient.
With all of that being said the principles of a classic organizational theory cannot be applied uniformly across all organizations because all organizations...