Early Approaches to Management
Contributions of Robert Owen
Andrew Ure and Charles Dupin
Henry Robinson Towne
Assessing Preclassical Contributions
Contributions of Mary Parker Follet
Management Information Systems
Modern Approaches to Management
The Industrial Revolution provided the impetus for
developing various management theories and principles. Preclassical theorists
like Robert Owen, Charles Babbage, Andrew Ure, Charles Dupin, and Henry R.
Towne made some initial contributions that eventually led to the
identification of management as an important field of inquiry. This led to
the emergence of approaches to management: classical, behavioral,
quantitative and modern.
The classical management approach had three major branches: scientific
management, administrative theory and bureaucratic management. Scientific
management emphasized the scientific study of work methods to improve worker
efficiency. Bureaucratic management dealt with the characteristics of an
ideal organization, which operates on a rational basis. Administrative theory
explored principles that could be used by managers to coordinate the internal
activities of organizations.
The behavioral approach emerged primarily as an outcome of the Hawthorne
studies. Mary Parker Follet, Elton Mayo and his associates, Abraham Maslow,
Douglas McGregor and Chris Argyris were the major contributors to this
school. They emphasized the importance of the human element which was ignored
by classical theorists in the management of organizations. They formulated
theories that centered on the behavior of employees in organizations. These
theories could easily be applied to the management of organizations.
The quantitative approach to management focuses on the use of mathematical
tools to support managerial decision-making. The systems theory looks at
organizations as a set of interrelated parts. According to the contingency
theory, managerial action depends on the particular parameters of a given
situation. One important emerging approach to management thought is Theory Z.
This approach combines the positive aspects of American and Japanese
management styles. All these views on management have contributed
significantly to the development of management thought.