Here is a list of the most eminent contributors of management thought who have made enormous additions to the subject of management.
1. Contribution of Henri Fayol (1841 -1925) towards Management Thought:
He was considered as the “Father of Principles of Management”. He was a mining engineer by profession. At the age of 47 he was appointed as the General Manager of the company where he was working early as the mining engineer. At that time the financial position of the company was precarious and the firm was nearly bankrupt.
He was holding the post of General Manager for thirty years and at the time of his retirement he improved the financial position of the company and it became a company with long records of profits and dividends. He contributed to theory of management by writing a book in French by name Administration Industrielle et Generale in 1916.
In 1929 this was translated into English. It was published in 1949 in the name of General and Industrial Management. This book is considered to be one of the classics of management.
His contributions to management can be discussed in the following way:
He strongly advocated that management is an activity common to all undertakings which involve human activity.
All business organisations perform the following activities:
(1) Technical (means production or manufacture)
(2) Commercial (Buying, selling and exchange)
(3) Financial (Search for optimum use of capital)
(4) Security (Protection of property and persons)
(5) Accounting (Record maintenance costing and statistics)
(6) Managerial (Functions of management)
According to him Managerial activity (last in the list) is by far the most important and deserved attention.
He divided managerial activity into three parts known as:
(a) Managerial qualities and Training
(b) General Principles of Management
(c) Elements of management.
(a) Managerial Qualities and Training:
He advocated the acquisition of this ability first in schools and then in office. He was the first person to identify the various qualities of a manager.
The qualities identified by him are:
(i) Physical – health, vigour and address
(ii) Mental – ability to understand and learn judgement and ability to adopt
(iii) Moral – energy, firmness, willingness to accept responsibility, initiative loyalty, tact and dignity
(iv) General Education – general acquaintance with matters not belonging exclusively to the functions performed
(v) Special Knowledge – applicable to the function performed
(vi) Experience – knowledge arising from the work proper
(b) General Principles of Management:
He distilled fourteen principles of management. These principles have universal application. He cautioned that these principles are flexible guidelines and should not be considered as rigid rules.
These principles were are discussed briefly below:
(i) Division of Work:
This is the principle of specialisation to be applied in all spheres of activity with their limitations.
(ii) Authority and Responsibility:
They are co-related terms and they go together. They are co-extensive and co-terminus.
It is in essence obedience, application energy, behaviour and outward mark of respect. These can be effectively identified as good supervisors at all levels, clear and fair agreements and judicious application of penalties.
(iv) Unity of Command:
This principle suggests that an employee should receive orders from one superior only.
(v) Unity of Direction:
This principle enunciates that for the accomplishment of group performance with same objectives there must be one head and one plan.
(vi) Sub-Ordination of Individual Interest to Group Interest:
General interest is to prevail over individual interest and it is the duty of the management to reconcile them when they are in conflict.
Remuneration payable to staff must be fair and satisfactory and afford maximum satisfaction to both employers and employees.
According to him individual circumstances will determine the degree of centralisation that will give best overall yield.
(ix) Scapar Chain:
It is the line of authority from the highest executive to the lowest rank for the purpose of communication and a subordinate should ordinarily follow the line of authority by direct contact for swift action.
This is the principle of arrangement of things and persons. This requires the placement of the right thing or person in right place.
It is a combination of kindliness and justice on the managerial side which will secure devotion and loyalty from the subordinates.
(xii) Stability of Tenure:
Avoid unnecessary labour turnover as instability in both the cause and effect of bad management.
Fayol advocated that the firm should ensure an atmosphere that permits employees to exercise initiative freely.
(xiv) Esprit De Corps:
Meaning union is strength. This is the moving force of co-ordinated activity. This can be facilitated by team work and proper communication for the development of organisation.
(c) Elements of Management:
Fayol regarded the functions of management as the elements of management. They are planning, organising, commanding, co-ordinating and controlling.
The principles of management advocated by Fayol were criticised.
The main criticisms were:
(i) They are excessively related to rationality at the expense of organisational realities.
(ii) The principles lack flexibility and dynamism.
(iii) Many principles are not testable and empirically verifiable.
(iv) Some management principles conflict and contradict with each other.
(vi) Many principles cannot provide real guidance.
Evaluation of Fayol’s Work:
The significant contributions made by Fayol are:
(i) Universality of management which means that management is a separate body of knowledge is applicable to all forms of group activities.
(ii) He specified the functions of management by a systematic analysis of management process.
(iii) The concept of teaching and developing management curricula in colleges and universities.
(iv) His ideas paved the way for the development of the theory of management.
Thus he has made a unique and outstanding contribution to management.
Comparison of Taylor and Fayol:
Attempts have been made to compare and contrast the work of Taylor and Fayol. These two brilliant men were complementary to each other but they differ in their approach. Taylor was primarily concerned with the operative level at the shop floor while Fayol concentrated on management.
Fayol observed management from the top to down but Taylor looked at management from the bottom up. Taylor advocated on improving the management of jobs whereas Fayol’s main concern was to improve the management of the total organisation. So Fayol’s administrative theory has a wider application than Taylor’s scientific management.
A list of comparison given below provides a better understanding:
(i) Taylor focused on shop floor but Fayol focused on Top management.
(ii) Taylor concentrated on improving productivity through simplification and standardisation while Fayol wanted to improve overall administration.
(iii) Approach wise Taylor wanted to use scientific observation and measurement but Fayol wanted to develop universal truths from personal experiences.
(iv) Taylor wanted to develop science of industrial management whereas Fayol developed a systematic theory of management.
In short both were giants and both were pioneers. Modern management owes a tremendous debt to each.
2. Contribution of Mary Parker Follet towards Management Thought:
Mary Parker Follet was a Boston-born social worker who becomes eminent as a political and social philosopher. She was a “modest spinster lady who has never managed a business in her life”. She deserves special mention for her keen penetration into situations in industry and the application of psychological and sociological concepts to resolve them. She was consulted by many successful business administrators for help in their immediate difficulties involving group and personal relationships.
Her ideas on leadership, constructive conflict, power, co-ordination, control, responsibility, conciliation and arbitration, consent and participation were coloured with realism and conviction.
Her important contributions are:
(a) On Consent:
She analysed the nature of consent and its influence on democratic group by examining its psychological foundations. She suggested that the consent was not static but a continuing process and it generates new and living group ideas through interpretation of individual ideas which is a factor of social relationships.
In this regard, she advocated that conflict can be resolved by integration wherein the parties to the conflict can examine together new ways of achieving the conflicting desires. The managers are not to use compromise or arrive at a settlement by domination.
(b) On Authority:
She showed that authority and subordination offends human beings. So she advocated of the concept of final authority by personal power. This means each individual has final authority for his own allocated task. By this means personal power gives place to ‘Law of the situation’.
(c) On Leadership:
The leader should be capable of securing interpenetration within the group of the best ideas of both leader and the followers. He should have foresight to meet next situation and make it successful. She is of the view that leaders are not only born but can also be made through training in the understanding of human behaviour.
(d) Principles of Co-Ordination:
She advocated four important principles of co-ordination as the basis of good management.
(i) Co-ordination by direct contact by the responsible people concerned.
(ii) Co-ordination in the early stages.
(iii) Co-ordination as a reciprocal relation of all features in a situation.
(iv) Co-ordination is a continuous process.
3. Contributions of Chester I towards Management Thought:
Barnard Chester I. Barnard developed the concept of social system. He viewed organisation as a social system consisting of people who work in co-operation. His publication the Function of Executive is a highly significant work. He wrote this book with two objectives.
(i) To set forth a theory of co-operation and organisation
(ii) To present a description of the executive process.
The main features of the social system are as follows:
(a) Organisation is treated as a social system.
(b) Relationships exist between the external and internal environment of the organisation.
(c) Co-operation among group members is necessary for the achievement of organisational goals.
(d) For effective and successful management there should be no conflict between organisational objectives and those of various groups.
Secondly, regarding the functions of an executive he has identified:
(a) Maintenance of organisational communication.
(b) Securing essential services from individuals in the organisation.
(c) Formulating and defining the purpose.
According to him by performing these functions executives can achieve good human relations in the organisation.
Thirdly, he developed a new concept known as acceptance authority.
He advocated, to make communication effective and make it acceptable as authoritative the following conditions are to be satisfied:
(a) Make the communication under-stable.
(b) Employees are to believe that the communication is consistent with organisational objectives.
(c) Employees believe that it is compatible with their own personal interests.
(d) He can mentally and physically able to comply with it.
Finally, Barnard is often remembered for his views on social responsibility of management. The term social responsibility means management should provide fair wages and security to employees and the management must create an atmosphere to the growth and development of the worker as an employee and as a citizen.
Chester Barnard is considered as the founding father of social system school. His definition of the formal organisation is considered as a major contribution to the field of management. An organisation as a social system is affected by the socio-cultural environment and different types of pressures.
The concept of informal organisation is also a contribution of social system school. The analysis of social and group behaviour in the context social system has enriched the knowledge of management. Finally the important advocation of this school is to achieve harmony between the objectives of the organisation and the objectives of the groups and individuals.
4. Contributions of Peter F. Drucker towards Management Thought:
He was born and brought up in Austria and then migrated to U.S.A. He started his career as a reporter in a newspaper. He has written several books on management of which “The practice of management” is a celebrated one. He is referred to as experts expert. He is well known for his practicality and sophistication of his views. His unique writing style has earned him wide attention in management circles.
His important advocations were:
(a) His works have contributed a great deal in publicizing decentralization.
(b) He is well known for advocating enthusiasm and initiative throughout the organization which can be achieved by granting sufficient autonomy to managerial positions at various levels and wider scope to make their jobs interesting and challenging.
(c) He advocated management by objectives. In this regard he stressed the setting up of objectives for each member of the organisation, the distribution of all necessary information to each member so that he can make his own change with a view to meet his objective and self-control of each unit in the organisation. He is of the opinion that control, as a domination of a superior over a subordinate is inappropriate in management.
(d) Fourthly, he has recommended creation of departments on the basis of products as he feels they are more conducive for autonomy while functional departments are almost necessarily parts of larger whole.
(e) For organisation structures he has recommended flat or horizontal structures. He is of the view that the organiser should assure that specialists remain in their place and do not interfere with the functioning of the line managers.
(f) In his writings he has highlighted that managerial function of entrepreneurship which he states is the task of making effective every small core of worth-while activities of an undertaking that have a promise of becoming effective and of yielding new and greater economic results from the available resources.
Drucker therefore reminds managers to bring out an awareness of their entrepreneurial function in the discharge of their responsibilities and to run the organisation efficiently. He advocates a periodical dispassionate reappraisal of all activities of existing organisations, and to discontinue activities wherever necessary. He concludes by saying that it is essential for management to concentrate more on planning function for the realisation of future business potentials.
5. Contribution of Max Weber Contribution towards Management Thought:
Max Weber was a German sociologist. He contributed the theory of bureaucracy to management thought. He considered bureaucracy as a universal social phenomenon. He used the word bureaucracy to refer to a specific kind of administrative organisation. He is of the opinion that bureaucracy is the most efficient form of organisation because it is handled by experts with experience, qualification and competence. They are expected to perform in a disciplined way and achieve organisational objectives.
The factors which influenced his organisational design were:
(a) Amazing growth of industrial organisation achieved by Industrial Revolution.
(b) His military experience.
(c) Lack of trust in human judgement and emotion.
Weber’s primary contribution to management is his theory of authority structure and any organisation based on this will function effectively. Secondly, he has identified three types of legitimate authority.
They are as follows:
(a) Rational-Legal Authority:
In this case the obedience to authority is established in all organisations due to a legally established position or rank within the organisation.
(b) Traditional Authority:
In this case obedience to authority is established as the person belongs to a certain class or occupies a position traditionally recognised as possessing authority like a royal family. Leaders are not chosen due to competence.
(c) Charismatic Authority:
Here obedience to authority is developed on the followers’ belief that a person has some special power or appeal. This authority is too emotional and irrational.
Weber’s theory has recognised only rational-legal authority as the most important type in organisation.
Characteristics of Bureaucracy:
According to Weber’s the characteristics of bureaucracy are:
(i) There is high degree of work at both administrative and operative levels of an organisation. This results in specialisation of work.
(ii) Bureaucratic structure is hierarchical in nature. It is like a pyramid in which quantity of authority increases as one moves up the ladder in the organisation.
(iii) Thirdly, hierarchy of authority in the bureaucratic organisation ensures unity of command throughout the organisation.
(iv) The top administration establishes clearly the rules, regulations and procedures. This results in standardization of performance. The performance serves as receptacles of past learning and they protect the incumbents and ensure quality of treatment.
(v) The essence of bureaucracy is total depersonalization which guides the employee’s rules and regulations and ensures friction-free and unbiased performance
(vi) The terms and conditions of employment is well laid and well established. So this improves the morale of employees.
(vii) In bureaucratic organisations the selection is based on technical competence. Similarly the promotion is based on qualification and performance.
(viii) The filing system in bureaucratic organisation is excellent. The decisions and activities are formally recorded and preserved safely for future reference. The official records are considered as the encyclopedia of the various activities of the organisation and serve as the memory of the organisation.
Evaluation of Bureaucracy:
Weber’s ideal bureaucracy has been designed to achieve rationality and predictability of behaviour in organisations. The chief characteristics of this organisation are division of work, impersonality of relationships. Primacy of rules, employment and promotion on the basis of technical competence etc. contribute to efficiency in organisations.
Bureaucracy is an administrative device that helps in achieving the following merits:
a) There is proper delegation of authority which ensures smooth performance.
b) There is fair and just treatment to employees which ensures just and equitable performance.
c) The behaviour of employees will be rational and there is no room from personal bias.
d) Their performance is predictable as they are guided by well-established rules and regulations.
e) Efficiency in performance is ensured as there is specialisation of work at all levels.
Bureaucracy is subject to criticisms as it is not free from flaws:
(a) Rules may not be followed in letter and not in spirit. Rules may become a source of inefficiency. Rules may be misused and misinterpreted at the time of implementation. This may lead to red tapism and technicalism.
(b) A bureaucratic organisation requires strict adherence to rules and regulations. There is every possibility of stifling individual initiative and there may be a clash between individual goals and organisational goals.
(c) Bureaucracy does not consider informal organisation and interpersonal difficulties.
(d) Bureaucratic structure is not effective under turbulent or dynamic conditions. It lacks flexibility in its operations.
(e) Communication flow from top to bottom may not be effective and complete as it has to pass through several layers.