Following are main six classes of schools of management thought specified by Frank P. Carraecioto: 1. Process School or Traditional School 2. Empirical School 3. Human Behaviour School 4. Social System School 5. Decision Theory School 6. Mathematical or Quantitative Management School.

1. Process School or Traditional School:

This approach is also known as operational approach, universal approach or classical school. According to this school of management thought, Management can best be studied in terms of the process that it follows.

The management process consists, planning, organising, directing and controlling in all the situations. Therefore, the subscribers of this school are of the view that management principles are universally applicable, i.e. they can be equally well applied to the government, business or to any other type of organisation.

Main contributors to this school of thought are:


Henri Fayol, Lyndall Urwick, Harold Kootz, etc.

Main Features:

1. Study of Management should be done by focusing the process (i.e. functions) it fol­lows.

2. Managers have more or less some functions irrespective of type of organisation.


3. Main functions like planning, organising, directing and controlling are the core of the management.

2. Empirical School:

This school is also termed as management by customs school. This school believes that the management can learn about applying the most effective techniques by the experience of suc­cessful manager or the mistakes of unsuccessful manager. This school recommends case studies for drawing general conclusion and forming the principles.

This school of thought has, however, not found general approval as not only the approach of different research projects in manage­ment is different but also the circumstances of different industries in different countries are different. This does not find a uniform application and their conclusion cannot be accepted as universally.

The main contributors of this school of thought are the Harvard Business School, and Ear­nest Dale American Manager Association.


Main Features:

(i) Management is the study of experience.

(ii) Success and the failure of management in the process of decision making can provide guidance in future for similar situations.

(iii) Practical experience must be a base for future researches.

3. Human Behaviour School:


This school is also known as Human Relations School. This school of thought suggests the application of existing and newly developed theories, methods and techniques of the relevant social science to the study of human relations from personality dynamics or cultural heritage.

This school puts more attention to the motivation of the individual and on human psychology and sociology. Whenever this school has suggested something, in general its application is not universally adopted as the nature of application is not universally adopted as the nature of circumstances of the workers in different countries as well as different industries is not the same.

The management scholars criticises generally empirical school as well as Human Behaviour School due to above facts.

This school emphasises that productivity depends heavily upon the satisfaction of the em­ployees in work situations. Subscribers of this school of thought are of the view that the effec­tiveness of any organisation depends upon the quality of relationship among the people work­ing in the organisation.


The main subscribers to this school are Elton Mayo, Roethlisberger, and Robert Owen.

Main Features:

(i) Since work is being got done through and with people, manager must have basic understanding of human behaviour and psychology.

(ii) Personnel relations amongst people must be studied by the management.


(iii) Higher production can be achieved only through good human relations.

4. Social System School:

This school is also known as social behaviour school. This school of thought is bounded by C. Bernard who went into the co-operative, biological, physical and social aspect of the individual environment. This theory emphasises of formal organisation concept which consists of a co­operative system in which individuals not only communicate with each other but also willing to contribute action to achieve common purpose.

In socialistic societies, this theory is popular, and management is prepared to perform highly effective functions. The meaning of socialistic soci­eties is where workers are motivated by a determination to show results are hired with the zeal to achieve common purpose.

The main thinkers and subscribers to this school of thought are Chester Barnard, Max Webber etc.:


Main Features:

(i) An organisation is a special system.

(ii) Co-operation of the persons working is the case of good management.

(iii) Management must establish harmony between the goals of the organisation and the needs, aims and aspiration of the people in the organisation.

5. Decision Theory School:

This is also known as Decision school or Decision management school. This school of thought emphasises on rational approach to decision making by the selection of best course of action from various possible alternatives.

Further, this theory can be expanded to examine the follow­ing to achieve the basis of decision:


(a) Nature of organisation.

(b) Organisation structure,

(c) Psychological and social reactions of individuals or a group.

Main Features:

(i) Decision making field is the essence of management theory field.

(ii) Managers are essentially decision makers and problem solvers.


(iii) Whatever a manager does, is the outcome of the decision taken by him. This decision is made out of a set of alternatives available to him.

The main contributors belonging to this school are Chester Bernard, Herbert Simon, Forrestor etc.

6. Mathematical or Quantitative Management School:

Harold Koov is the originator of this thought who says Mathematicians have provided the people in management the means of viewing many problems more clearly, the need to estab­lishing goals and measures of effectiveness.

They have helped in getting people to view the management areas as a logical system of relationships and they have caused people in manage­ment to review and occasionally reorganise information system so that mathematics can be given sensible quantitative meaning. Quantitative analysis includes linear programming, sta­tistical methods and other mathematical models.

The importance of this school of thought has generally expanded because of involvement of Operation Research technique in business with the help of computer technology.

Main contributors and pioneers belonging to this school are Frederick W. Taylor, Gilbreth, Gantt, New Mann, Ackoff and Hicks.