Approaches of management

Schools of Management Thought

Koont Z, O’Donnell and Weichrich have identified different approaches of management.

Limitations

Since based on cases and past experiences, it has not contributed anything fundamental to the development of management as a discipline because of contradictions in various management experiences.

The proposition that a successful technique applied in the past will be good for future is untenable. 1) Management is not based on precedents 2) Situations can not be exactly identical.

Human Behaviour Approach

Terms

Human Relations, Leadership or Behavioural Science Approach.

Theme

It bears the existing and newly developed theories and methods of the relevant social sciences upon the study of human behavior ranging from personality dynamics of individuals to the relations of culture.

Divisions

Interpersonal B.A. => individual Psychology

Group B.A. => Social Psychology and Organizational Behaviour.

Features

  • As management is the process of getting things done by people, managers should understand human behaviour.
  • Emphasis is put on increasing productivity through motivation and good human relations.
  • Motivation, leadership, communication, participative management and group dynamics are the central core of this approach.

Uses

  • It suggests how the knowledge of human behaviour can be used in making people more effective in the organization. An individual’s behaviour is not determined by organization factors alone but also by his attitude, pressure, conflicts of cultural environment etc. Hence these factors must be taken into account.

Limitations

  • Managers can be better placed by understanding human behaviour but equating management with human behaviour is untenable.

Social System Approach

The real pioneer of this approach is Vilfredo Pareto, a sociologist and later Chester Barnard.

Theme

Organization is essentially a cultural system composed of people who work in cooperation. For achieving organization goals, a cooperative system of management can be developed only by understanding the behaviour of people in groups.

Features

  • Organization is a social system, a system of cultural relationships.
  • Relationships exist among the external as well as internal environment of the organization.
  • Cooperation among group members is necessary for the achievement of organization objectives.
  • For effective management, efforts should be made for establishing harmony between goals of the organization and the various groups therein.

Uses

  • It has real significance to the practising manager in the sense that managers operate in social system and the organization is likely to succeed if the demands of the society in which it operates are fully recognized.

Limitations

  • It spreads the boundary and application of management beyond the true concept of organization. For example, There may be many groups which may not be truly called organization and hence no question of management.
  • This approach is broader than management and in practice it tends to overlook many management concepts, principles and techniques that are important to management.

Socio-Technical Systems Approach

Contributors

The contributors are Trist,Saddam khan and Bamforth of Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, England and Emery

Features

  • The socio-technical systems approach of management views an organization as a combination of 2 systems – a social system and a technical system. The real pattern of behaviour in the organization is determined by the interaction of two.
  • Social systems of the organization is governed by social laws as well as by psychological forces.
  • Technical systems consists of technological forces operating in the organization like physical setting of work, rules, procedures etc.
  • Due to interaction of social and technical systems, technical aspects of the work are modified by social aspects. Thus organization of an organization situation within the framework of socio-technical system involves scrutinizing of the specific technology used, the way in which are organized, the formal structuring of interpersonal interactions and the informal patterns emerging in the work group.

Uses

  • While analysing management problems of getting things done by people, adequate consideration should be given to technology as well as informal interactions of people.

Limitations

Decision Theory Approach

Features

  • Management is essentially decision-making.
  • Members of the organization are decision-makers and problems solvers.
  • Organization can be treated as a combination of various decision centres. The level and importance of organization members are determined on the basis of importance of decisions, which they make.
  • Quality of decision affects the organization effectiveness.
  • All factors affecting decision-making are the subject matter of study of management. Besides processes and techniques in decision making factors affecting decisions are information systems, social and psychological aspects of decision-makers.

Uses

  • It demonstrates how managers can discharge their functions effectively and for this approach it provides various tools.
  • Decision theorists have grappled with decisions pertaining to diagnosis and the resulting prescriptions for improving communication, incentives, reactions of the individuals to group and analysis of human values write stated objectives.

Limitations

  • This approach does not take the total view of management. Decision-making is vital in every school of management. This vital aspect cannot be denied but management is more than mere decision-making.

Management Science Approach

  • It is known as Mathematical or Quantitative Measurement Approach.

Features

  • Management is regarded as the problem-solving mechanism with the help of mathematical tools and techniques.
  • Management problems can be described in terms of mathematical symbols and data. Thus every managerial activity can be quantified.
  • This approach covers decision-making, systems analysis and some aspects of human behaviour.

Operations research, mathematical tools, simulation, models etc. are the basic methodologies to solve managerial problems.

Uses

  • It has contributed significantly in developing orderly thinking in management which has provided exactness in management discipline.
  • Various Mathematical tools like sampling, linear programming, games theory, time series analysis, simulation, waiting line theory etc. have provided more exactness in solving managerial problems.
  • This approach is a fast developing area in analysing and understanding management.

Limitations

  • It is very difficult to call a separate school of management because it does not provide the answer for total managerial problems.
  • Managerial activities are not really capable of being quantified because of involvement of human beings who are governed by many irrational factors also.
  • more expertise and technical skills are required to formulate mathematical models

Systems Approach

System is defined as “An organized or complex whole; an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex unitary whole.

Features

  • A system is basically a combination of parts, subsystems. Each part may have various sub-parts.
  • An organization is a system of mutually dependent parts, each of which may include many subsystems.

Limitations

  • It is considered as an Abstract Approach and Lack of Universality in it.

Contingency or Situational Approach(based on conditions)

it is the most recent development in the field of management.This attempts to integrate all the management approaches.

Features

  • Management action is contingent on certain action outside the system or subsystem as the case may be.
  • Organizational action should be based on the behaviour of action outside the system so that organization should be integrated with the environment.
  • Because of the specific organization – environment relationship, no action can be universal.
  • It varies from situation to situation

Limitations

  • Inadequate literature.
  • Complex
  • Difficult emprical testing
  • Reactive not Proactive.

Operational Approaches

Also known as Management Process Approach

Features

  • Management is the study of what managers do. It emphasises on management functions and various concepts and principles involved in performing these functions.
  • Management functions are universal irrespective of the type of organizational or level of management in an organization, though there may be differences on emphasis on a particular function in a particular organization or at particular level.
  • The conceptual framework of management can be constructed on the basis of the analysis of management process and identification of management principles.
  • The central core of managing revolves around planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. This central core of management is unique and is not found in other activities.

Limitations

Criticisms of Operational Approach are as follows.

  • The basic tenets of operational management that is various managerial functions are not universally accepted. Management functions differ from author to author.
  • Various terms used in this approach are not commonly shared. Example, People substitute leading for directing.
  • It claims universality or management principles while management differs from organization to organization and from level to level.
  • Operational Approach emphasises static conditions whereas the organizations have to function in dynamic conditions.
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