During the 19th century, the world was witnessing an industrial revolution which shifted agrian and artisanal societies towards towards commercial and industrial societies and established new manufacturing processes. This resulted in an increasing pace of industry, large groups of people working together, people working alongside machinery and companies started looking for more effective ways to face these new challenges and improve their productivity. They started wondering how to organize all of these people effectively and manage their different resources in a way that leads to maximizing profits.
As a reaction to all of these changes taking part in the world back then, the classical management theory has emerged.
Max Weber, Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol These three men are considered as the founding fathers of the classical management theory. They tried to answer the questions generated by the industrial revolution, concerning the organizational and and managerial side, each one from his own vision .
The German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920) is mostly known for the term Bureaucracy. According to this thesis, the organization should be based on a legal-rational approach conforming to which the corporation must be highly structured, formalized and impersonal, in addition to a clearly defined rules to govern the performance.
The American mechanical engineer Frederick Taylor (1856-1915) promoted another approach called “scientific management” that was against customized self-styled work, he saw this as an impede to increasing productivity. Instead, he called for “applying science to work ” by studying every task and finding out how much time and emotions does it take to be done and then come up with one standardized right way to perform every task.
The French mining engineer Henri Fayol (1841-1923) in his book ” General And Industrial Management ” developed an Administrative Management approach which argued that there are some managerial activities that every manager should be good at. These activities include: planning, organizing, commanding, coordination, and control. To master these skills he wanted managers to be trained in a more systematic approach .
In addition to all of above, Weber, Taylor and Fayol all agreed about some common ideas. These ideas constituted the main principles of the classical management theory:
. The organization needs to have a clearly defined hierarchy.
. Division of labor.
. Standardized approach to work
. Formalization and separation between personal life and work life.
. Choosing the best employees: the best people in the rught jobs, for higher performance and effectiveness.
. They wanted people to be paid fairly.
The ideas of Max Weber, Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol all came together to form a foundation of what’s called today classical management theory which is actually considered as the basis of all the other managerial theories that came later.
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