Classical approach

Definition (1):

The classical approach emphasized rationality and making organizations and workers as efficient as possible. Two major theories comprise the classical approach: scientific management and general administrative.

Definition (2):

The classical approach is also called Management Process, Functional, and Empirical Approach.

“The classical theory represents the traditional thoughts about organizations. It is based on the prototype industrial and military organization. The theory concentrates on organization structure and their management.”

Fayol, Taylor, Gullick, Weber, Urwick, Reiley, and Mooney and others are the classical writers. They emphasized principles of management, work planning, formal structure, technical requirements, and the assumption of logical and rational behavior.

This theory consists of 3 viewpoints:

  1. a) Fayol’s Administrative theory,
  2. b) Taylor’s viewpoint,
  3. c) Weber’s Bureaucracy.

The above writers focused on structure and so, sometimes, their approach is characterized as a structural framework of the organization. Taylor emphasized applying scientific methods for solving management problems. Fayol suggested 14 management principles and their universal application. Weber initiated rationality in the organization, characterized by structure, specialization, personnel competency, division of labor, etc.

So, the classical approach has 3 main points:

  1. Scientific management
  2. Administrative and
  3. Bureaucratic theory.
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