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Essay on Classical Management Theory


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Classical Management Theory


The management theory of choice is classical management theory that was introduced back in the late 19th century. The organizations attempted to address issues such as, industrial management, efficiency, cost minimization and higher quality among others. In spite, of the emergence of new management theories classical management theory has remained relevant up to today (Plunkett, Allen & Attner, 2013). The theory is beneficial in that it mainly focuses on the division of labor since once tasks are subdivided they are accomplished quickly. The theory is known to have originated during the England’s industrial revolution. The theory was used to finding the best way to perform a specific, as well as, manage a task. The foundation elements of this theory are division of labor in order to minimize the span of attention for a person or group. Authority is the next element of foundation that is the right to give an order. Unity of direction is the next important element which is one plan and one head for a group of operations.

The classical management theory recommends that all managers should continue striving in order to increase the efficiency of the organization. This is advocated in order to enhance production of the organization. Further, the role of managers is identified as to present convenient framework for training and education for the future managers. Also, the role of managers is identified as coming up with ways to enhance organization’s productivity through focusing on employees. The role of management as identified by the theory is to analyze t human resources in order to precisely identify those staffs who can generate more profit (Kiechel, 2012).The role of the manager is also identified as harmonizing, as well as, coordinating activities and people towards attaining organizational goals efficiently. Decision making is the next identified role of managers in classical management theory since ideas and information are cascaded down the company. Moreover, the role of managers as per the theory is that they act as a communication channel for the entire organization. A manager is also considered to support organization in its operations.

Management Skills Necessary for the Effective Management of an Organization

Management skills are important in ensuring that employees remain engaged and motivated. Therefore, the following management skills are necessary for effective management of an organization; First, a manager need to have good decision-making skills in situations that need him or her to make quick decisions. The manager should be able to achieve this without neglecting to assess the entire situation, as well as, possible consequences of his or her action. Therefore, each manager needs to be a quick thinker and who can come up with advantages and disadvantages of his or her decision. For example, a manager should be able to make a decision regarding whether the performance appraisals should be eliminated in order to minimize the damage it causes (Lawler, 2014). This particular skill will help the manager to do away with problems created by performance appraisal among employees. The skill will further help the manager to weigh the pros and cons of the same. Managers might utilize Executive Information System (EIS) to access necessary information in making comprehensive decision (Leidner & Elam, 1994).

Secondly, effective communication is the next management skill that is important. A manager needs to express his or her plans, as well as, goals effectively as possible to his subordinates. This enables the subordinates to undertake their tasks correctly with minimal mistakes. Also, the management should learn how to accept criticism that is constructive and integrate inputs, ideas, and suggestions. Further, a manager should have good listening skills that would enable him to comprehend the requirements of his subordinates and enable him or her to do away with obstacles.

Another crucial skill that management should possess is motivation techniques of employees. Managers should be in a position to understand the needs and expectation of their subordinates (Maslow, 1943). Once the management achieves this it would be easier for them to instill teamwork across the organization. Furthermore, this skill enables management to identify some of the hidden strengths of their subordinates and motivate them to apply some of these strengths for the success of the company. Once the basic needs of the subordinates are taken care of, it is likely that they will become more motivated. Therefore, this approach is considered to be an important skill in management of any organization.

Management Roles in Relation to the Management of People and Organizational Processes

One of the primary roles of management is to come up with a strategic plan to ensure that the leadership of the organization is effective. This function enables the management to deal comprehensively with risks to make sure the projects being undertaken are sustainable. The strategic plan identified by the management indicates vision, goals and direction of the organization (Job, 2012). Further, this role focus on operational planning that ensures that the workflow of each day is as expected. Strategic plan ensures that all organizational processes are carried out effectively.

Moreover, the management plays a great role in ensuring that shifts that lead to organizational transitions are less costly and painful (Quinn & Cameron, 1983). Again, the management has the role of ensuring that the company responds to the external environment effectively during varying life cycle stages. In other words, the management is in charge of overseeing the organizational process that might affect the performance of the organization. Further, this role played by management ensures that the organization can accommodate the changing needs and expectations of consumers.

Monitoring is considered to be the next third important role of management. Management is required to seek crucial information that is related to the organization, as well as, industry. Further, they identify important changes in the environment that might influence the peoples and organizational processes. They also monitor people in terms of their performance and their well-being. Monitoring of organizational processes ensures operations runs as strategically planned.


It is, therefore, evident that classical management theory has played a great role in enhancing management of organizations. Some of the elements that forms the foundation of this theory is; division of labor, unity of direction and authority among others. The theory identifies the role of management as means of enhancing productivity. The role of the manager is further identified as harmonizing and coordinating activities and people towards attaining organizational goals. The skills are identified as capability to communicate effectively to ensure a smooth flow of information. On the other hand, the necessary management skills are decision-making, communication, and motivation skills. Role of management in relation to people and organizational processes are to come up with a strategic plan, ensure smooth shift during transition and to monitor the ongoing organizational processes.


Job, A. (2012). Operational plan. Entrepreneur. Retrieved on 11th December, 2014 from

Kiechel, W., III. (2012, November). The management century. Harvard Business Review, 90(11) 63-75.

Lawler III, E. E. (2014). Eliminating performance appraisals. Forbes. Retrieved on 11th December, 2014 from

Leidner, D.E., & Elam, J.J. (1994). Executive information systems: Their impact on executive decision making. Journal of Management Information Systems, 10(3), 139-155.

Quinn, R.E., & Cameron, K. (1983). Organizational life cycles and shifting criteria of effectiveness: Some preliminary evidence. Management Science, 29(1), 33-51.

Plunkett, W. R., Allen, G. S., & Attner, R.F (2013). Management: Meeting and exceeding customer expectations (10th ed.). Mason, OH : South-Western Cengage Learning.