Essay, 6 pages (1300 words)

Management approaches

A. Management:

“Management” (from Old French ménagement “the art of conducting, directing”, from Latin manu agere “to lead by the hand”) characterises the process of leading and directing all or part of an organization, often a business, through the deployment and manipulation of resources (human, financial, material, intellectual or intangible). …

Henri Fayol, analysed the process of management as “to forecast and plan, to organise, to command, to co-ordinate and to control.

In his comprehensive book ‘The Evolution of Management Thought’ Daniel A Wren writes: “Within the practices of the past there are lessons of history for tomorrow in a continuous stream. We occupy but one point in this stream. The purpose… is to present…the past as a prologue to the future.” Classical Approaches:

Scientific Management: F.W Taylor was the pioneer of this thought. Scientific management is the concept that by measuring the costs and efficiency of particularly production you can make decisions from the data that rearranges, reallocates, rearranges and so forth the units of production so that output is at the maximum size and operations for the lowest unit production cost in the long run. “The Principal object of management should be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for each employee” (Taylor, 1947) Human Relations:

The use of social relationship between workers as the prime motivator. Mayo found that it was fundamental to understand the human factor in a work situation. The need to understand the existence and importance of a group. The key function for a manager is to encourage open communications. Mayo’s case study at the Hawthorne plant in 1927 proves his theory works. Even after all the changes he implemented during the study were reversed the workers and supervisors still worked as a group and production continued to rise. The special treatment required by experimental participation convinced workers that management had a particular interest in them. This raised morale and led to increased productivity. Maslow’s Pyramid below show a clear view on how as each need is met we can progress to the next level/ need.

Maslow Pyramid of Needs: (Source: http://wiki.answers.com/)


Max Weber (1864-1920) believed that there was 6 main elements to succcesful management. Division of labour, hierachy, selection, career orientation, formalisation and imporsanality. He believed that in order for ans organisation to be sucessful we must think of it lke a machine. While Bureaucracy proves to be an excellent framwork it can be inflexable to the evironmental changes.

Administrative Management:

Is based on personal experiences of its key promoters. It focuses on senior managers and the policy issues faced by them. Henri Fayol was a practical manager. Fayols method of management is in my opinion is one of the most popular methods used in business today. His view on management is “to forecast and plan, to organise, to command, to coordinate and to control” Fayol’s Business Activities:

Contemporary Approaches

Quantitative Management: Is a more scientific approach to management used during World War II. Basically management make a decision based on a formal mathematical model of the problem. Organisational Behaviour: Roots from the human relations approach. Theorist believed that the human relations approach was too simplistic and required more sociology, psychology and anthropology to adequately explain human behaviour.

Systems Theory: Originated from the work of Barnard (1938). The table below shows how a system is a set of interdependent parts which function as a whole to achieve objectives.

Katz and Kahn found that in order to be successful management had to focus its attention on the entire organisation and not on individual components of it. They found organisations receive inputs in the form of people, materials and information. The importance of the environment in which the company exits and how effectively one adapts to its constant changes be that market, technology etc resulted in the quality of the end product. Feedback from the factory floor, customer etc would complete the cycle thus allowing a continued and constant improvement. Contingency Theory:

This state’s there is no best way to Manage. Joan Woodward found that although technology may explain differences in organisational behaviour and structure successful companies tended to be the ones which adopted the organisational characteristics indicated by their technology. Total Quality Management:

Deming and Juran believed that the most effective approach to management was to find out what the customer wanted. Design a product which exceeds the customer’s requirements. Get the job done right 1st time reducing costs. Keep track of performance and extending this approach to suppliers and distributors.

Organisational Culture: There is no single definition for organisational culture. The topic has been studied from a variety of perspectives ranging from disciplines such as anthropology and sociology, to the applied disciplines of organizational behaviour, management science, and organizational communication. Some of the definitions are listed below: A set of understandings shared by a group of people that are largely tacit among members and are clearly relevant and distinctive to the particular group which are also passed on to new members (Louis 1980). A system of knowledge, of standards for perceiving, believing, evaluating and acting . . . that serve to relate human communities to their environmental settings (Allaire and Firsirotu 1984).

B. In my opinion the modern workplace would benefit most using a combination of Total Quality Management and Henri Fayols Adminstrative Management.

Total quality management focuses on demands in the market. In finding out the customer’s needs management should design a product that exceeds the customer’s needs and also any product on the market. Through training and planning the product should be manufactured to the highest standard the first time thus ensuring deadlines are met and the company gains respect in their field for being able to produce and deliver the highest quality product in the quickest possible time.

Administrative management compliments Quality management in the sense that although it also focuses in producing a high spec product it also ties in the human element. Successful companies in my opinion should not focus only on the product but also on the workforce. In training staff the company are not only ensuring staff are highly trained in their field it also gives staff confidence that the employer believes in them. Staff training reduces staff turnover which in turn reduces the all the cost involved in recruitment. Advertising, interviewing, training etc.

Administrative management also has a clear management structure in the sense that each department/team has a supervisor who defines that task and distributes each part to the employee most qualified to complete it. The employee in turn has a clear understanding of what is expected of them and should any queries arise they can go directly to that supervisor. Producing high quality product can be fulfilled quicker when teams are established and everybody is working towards a common objective.

Where bonuses or rewards are offered for deadlines being met or for exceptional quality being produced this can motivate a team greatly. If one member of a team is struggling the other members will automatically help out in order to receive the reward thus the achieving the task. The reward system works best when based on a team performance rather than an individual performance in my opinion. Where a reward is offered on individual’s performance within a team, the team can suffer. If one person is excelling way beyond others, the rest of the team can give up thus reducing morale and production as a result.

Working in ABC there is a clear management structure in place.

Each department be it production, sales, despatch or accounts has a clear structure in place. Each shift of approximately 13 workers have a line supervisor and an assistant supervisor who distribute orders and are on hand for any problems which may arise. The supervisors are also available for any queries their team have be that work related or of a human resource nature. The supervisor will then take any queries to the production manager. This line of authority is also followed throughout the entire factory.

Companies are finding it more challenging to day in my opinion due the downturn in the economy sales have suffered, wages have been reduced and hours in many cases have been cut. In order for a company to be successful today they need to focus on increasing moral and encouraging teamwork. A happy workforce is the backbone to any company.

Thanks for your opinion!
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