By definition, management is the process of acquiring and combining human, financial, informational and physical resources to attain the organisation’s primary goal. Over the years, there have been several management approaches that have been developed. Some involve tough and strict instruction while others are a little bit easier in terms of how the employees are handled. The debate about which approach works best has been there for a while, based on the output of work that is produced. Perhaps it depends on the specific context of the organization.
Here are the management approaches:
- Classical School Of Management
The classical approach is based on the belief that workers only have physical and economic needs. It does not account for social needs but instead, it advocates for the specialization of labour and centralized leadership. In other words, the primary motivation is money. This type of approach is out to make profits at all costs and does not consider the dynamics of the workers. It may sometimes be characterized by long working hours and overworking of the employees. However, this essential to a certain extent.
The main advantage of this particular method is that it is tried and tested and therefore bound to work. It has been used over a long period of time and people have corrected its shortcomings, thereby making it viable. The main disadvantage, on the other hand, is that it assumes that people are machines by ignoring their social needs. In the long run, employees may underperform due to a lack of motivation.
- The Behavioural School of Management
The behavioural approach draws attention to the key role played by the employees in the attainment of the organizational goals. It recognizes the emotions and mental state of these workers while they are at work, and how this influences their output. Therefore, it tends to focus on creating a conducive work environment. It recognizes that people management skills are fundamental in management. For this approach, you will often find that the manager is in close contact with the employees. He/She is concerned with their well-being and how it is affecting their work. In doing so, the manager learns the personality of each of his/her workers and treats them accordingly. Such a work environment is likely to be more casual and relaxed, although output is still a big deal.
The main advantage of the behavioural management approach is that it motivates the employees to work harder by catering for their emotional and social needs. It’s a work-friendly system. However, if you focus too much on the behavioural approach you may end up losing out as a manager. This is because the output might end up being ignored when there’s too much concentration on social and emotional needs.
- Modern Management Theory
This theory is broken down into three sub categories:
- Systems Theory
The systems theory focuses on the relationship between the organization and its external environment. This includes factors such as economic, socio-cultural, political, legal, technical, and environmental considerations. In this approach, the management monitors these external trends and makes sure that it keeps up with them. A good example of this is the rise of digital marketing. Since the audience is generally moving to the digital world, companies have taken their advertising online as well. It was important that this digital shift is detected as soon as possible and policies are created to adapt to this new trend.
The main downside of this approach is that the manager may sometimes forget to link the external factors with the internal ones. In the long run, these external factors do not profit the company if they are not in line with the company needs. On the other hand, this approach is advantageous in that it helps to reduce the instances of the business being “old-school” and following outdated approaches. It allows for adaptability.
- Total Quality Management Theory
The total quality management theory emphasizes the training of employees in new skills as an integral part of improving the quality of a product. It takes into account the constant changes that are taking place in an organization, both externally and internally. A manager who believes in this theory will constantly be in touch with the employees, holding training where they learn both hard and soft skills that are essential to that particular organization.
The main disadvantage of this theory is that it is expensive and time-consuming to constantly train employees. The organization will spend a lot of extra money on training. On the other hand, the advantage is that it keeps the employees on their toes by allowing them to learn the new soft and hard skills required by the market. This increases the output and chances of profitability.
- Contingency Theory
The contingency theory, perhaps the most advanced, states that different situations require different kind of knowledge and the person possessing the knowledge demanded by a certain situation tends to be the best choice for that situation. The theory implies a lot of dynamics in the recruitment of an employee. This is because each situation is extremely unique and cannot be compared to any other. In the same way, each employee, each job description is different. As a manager, you must not generalize this information. You have to break each situation down as much as you can.
The merit of this approach is that it is specific to the needs of the organization. However, it may in fact be impractical to assume that for every situation you will find a person suitable for that specif
In my opinion, these theories cannot be used exclusively in any organization. A manager cannot focus on the behavioural approach because we still need policies to govern an organization. If you let people to do what they want when they want, your organization may end up suffering in the end. Policies are essential. On the other hand, if you focus too much on the classical approach, you will end up ignoring the external factors and you will be unable to adapt to these changes that are taking place in the environment (Systems theory). The important thing is to learn where to apply which theory. Generalizing any of these theories may in the long run lead to an organization’s downfall.