Term Paper: Nature and Science of Management

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Management Theory

Over America's history, views on what business management should entail have changed continuously along with the advancement of technology. In this paper, management is defined as those individuals who ensure that the strategy of the company is carried out. When industry first began in the 1890s during the Industrial Revolution, it was not surprising that the management style, known as "classical," was based on developing systems for inventory control, scheduling, production and human resources, since the managers at that time period were primarily engineers whose main goal was to keep order in the workplace for production purposes. Classical management theorists believed that the employees could make logical and rational decisions to optimize personal gains from their work situations (Miner, 2002, p. 65).

There were a number of problems with this style of management that was based on 1) a bureaucratic set of defined rules, hierarchy and a distinct division of labor; 2) a scientific approach with "one best way" to do each job; and 3) an administrative method that emphasized the flow of information from the standpoint of increasing production. This scientific method focused on the relationship between the worker and machine, where the machine came first in the equation. The belief was that productivity can be increased through the efficiency of production processes, where jobs were created solely to economize time, human energy, and other productive resources. Each worker had a specific and clearly defined task that had to be performed as instructed with no exceptions (Miner, 2002, p.56).

In this form of management, there is no room for human creativity, motivation, personal input, or teamwork. As Argyris (1957) pointed out: The subordinate and dependent workers had almost no control over their working lives and their conditions they were treated more as infants than competent human beings."..organizations are willing to pay high wages and provide adequate seniority if mature adults will, for eight hours a day, behave in a less than mature manner!"

Over the centuries, management evolved to give workers greater involvement and say. Today's contemporary theories of management are conducive to interpret and react to the rapidly changing nature organizational environments. In a flattened world where global competition continues to increase, knowledge is product and technology evolves at such a fast pace, an organization needs the resource of its people to succeed. The management style is therefore what they call "contingency," or it changes depending the particular need and situation. The management style for a company that has the federal government as its main customer, for example, may be managed differently than a dotcom organization run by several young entrepreneurs. Examples of contemporary theories range from systems, where management looks at overall patterns and integrates different production areas for a unified whole, to chaos theory that believes people are most productive on the fringe of instability and disorder (Statt, 1999,p.23).

The need for strong interpersonal skills either heads the list or is near the top of what is needed for companies to succeed in the 21st century. Effective managers need to be transformational or what is called "change agents" who, through the use of interpersonal skills and analytical application, can motivate others to follow an organizational wide strategy (Miner, 1999, p. 167).

It is very rare that in today's environment that a hierarchal organization, as those in the early days of production and management theory, would be "productive." Management can no longer see human beings as objects or cogs in a wheel that can be mechanized like machines. This approach is completely at variance with present-day management concepts with its stress on teamwork, crossfunctionalism, empowerment, and motivated performance. Naturally, some companies are much further ahead toward… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Nature and Science of Management.  (2007, July 15).  Retrieved December 7, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nature-science-management/70026

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"Nature and Science of Management."  15 July 2007.  Web.  7 December 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nature-science-management/70026>.

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"Nature and Science of Management."  Essaytown.com.  July 15, 2007.  Accessed December 7, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nature-science-management/70026.