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The classical management approach is one of the most commonly used management approaches in organizations. It is a management approach that has been around since the twentieth century and is still being used to date. It can be integrated with other approaches such as human relations and human resources in an organization. The idea behind it is that an organization runs like a machine hence it focuses on maximizing efficiency, increasing sales and productivity. Discussed below is how this theory is reflect busines in an organization, its advantages, disadvantages and the possible solutions.
The classical management theory entails Henri Fayol’s five elements which include, planning, organizing, commanding or goal setting, coordinating and controlling and evaluating. This theory does not work in all environments but when implemented correctly, it may be advantageous to the organization. The classical approach is defined by three theories; administrative, bureaucracy and scientific management theory. Frederick Taylor is known for the scientific management theory. He believed that by optimizing and simplifying jobs, there would be an increase in productivity. The pros to this theory include an increase in efficiency of production and the use of standard operating procedures. On the other hand, the cons include employee dissatisfaction due to monotonous tasks.
The Weber’s bureaucratic theory focuses on a clearly defined hierarchy and closed communication systems. It also focuses on the division of labour and centralization of decision-making. Some of the advantages of this theory include increased effectiveness in the organization since the role of the management is clearly defined. It also leads to an increase in efficiency of the organizational structures. The disadvantage of this theory is that managers are able to interpret their roles in different ways without considering the employees’ needs and well being. The administrative theory focuses on the management and basic managerial functions.
The classical management is still relevant in today’s world. An example of a company where the classical management approach was introduced is Creamy Creations (Miller, 2014). This was an ice cream sundae shop that was run and managed by its owner and founder Bob Peterson. It had loyal customers who loved the sundaes, as they were made by their favorite “creamy creator” the way they wanted it. The business was mainly aimed at customer satisfaction and viewed the employees as humans with needs rather than machines. It also focused on worker recognition and consideration of the employees’ well being.
Later on, Peterson sold the shop to the fast food chain, Burger Barn. The management was pleased with Creamy Creations business since it had a solid customer base and it was profitable. However, the classical management approach was immediately implemented since the executives disliked the current flow of operations in the shop as it lacked efficiency. They wanted to expedite the sundae making process so that they could get a large number of customers in and out of the shop in a shorter period of time, therefore making more profit (Miller, 2014).
They were able to achieve this by getting rid of the sundae line and introducing workstations and then allocating one worker to each station. They also ensured that the employees followed the new system in order to improve efficiency. Moreover, the flow of communication between the employees and the executives was vertical and the employees had to perform the specific tasks allocated to them. This new system reflected the five elements of management in Fayol’s theory such as command, control and coordination.
The business made profits but there was an increased employee turnover rate. This however was not a problem since there was a large labour market capable for the unskilled work and who could be trained easily. Weber’s bureaucratic theory is reflected in Creamy Creations new system whereby there are hierarchical systems of authority, centralization ofdecision-makingand closed systems (Shockley-Zalabak, 2014). In addition, the division of labour in the bureaucratic theory is evidently seen when they decide to implement the use of three workstations. In addition, Taylor’s scientific management theory of “one best way to do the job” is also seen when workstations are the only best way for the customers to purchase the sundaes (Hatch, 2018).
However, as much as Creamy Creations is still making profits, there may be risks that it may face in the future which the executives fail to see. Since the business was still relatively new, it got a lot of praise from the clientele that was the local community around. It got a reputation from the customers due to its good quality ice cream and they felt that the wait for the “creamy creator” was worth the quality of the ice cream and the customer service. However, when the workstations were introduced, it killed the friendly culture and atmosphere that was there before. Therefore, there is a risk of losing the customer fun base.
This approach may have helped the business to make profit and ensure efficiency but the executive of Burgers Barn should have also considered using the human relations approach. This approach would help reduce the employee turnover since it considers the welfare of employees and helps to build a relationship between the workers and managers. Burger Barn should also decide whether they want to continue using the original brand or rebrand. If they decide to continue with the Creamy Creations brand which had a friendly culture, then they will have to adapt to the human relations approach where both profit and employee’s objectives are met. According to the Hawthorne effect, attention paid to workers increases productivity (Cunliffe, 2008). The advantages of implementation of the classical approach include less chaos since it is systematic. Furthermore, the decision making process is faster because of the one way channel. Nevertheless, the approach results to lack of creativity and dissatisfaction by the employees since employees are viewed as machines (Stokes, 2016).
The classical management theory does not work in all environments but when implemented in the correct environment, it may have an added advantage to an organization. While the approach may have some benefits to some organizations and businesses, it does not have the same advantages it had in the workplace years ago. In today’s world, organizations are more focused on employees’ welfare and their input when it comes to decision making. Besides that, employees need to be heard and appreciated in order to reach their full potential.
1.Cu nliffe, A. L. (2008). Organization Theory: SAGE Course Companion Series. Carlifornia: SAGE.
2. Hatch, M. J. (2018). Organization Theory: Modern, Symbolic and Postmodern Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
3. Miller, K. (2014). Organizational Communication: Approaches and Processes. Boston: Cengage Learning.
4. Shockley-Zalabak, P. S. (2014). Fundamentals of Organizational Communication. London: Pearson Education.
5. Stokes, P et al. (2016). Organizational Management: Approaches and Solutions. London: Kogan Page.