Specific Objectives

By the end of this sub-module unit, the trainee should be able to:

  1. discuss the evolution of schools of management thought
  2. explain the systems approach to management
  3. explain the modern management approaches



Management is as old as civilization. Evidences of management exist in:-

  1. Management of antiquity (ancient history)
    1. Babylon

It has been shown that ancient Babylon practices management in various ways:-

  • i) They had financial control inform of stone tablets
  • ii) They had concepts of managerial responsibilities as evidenced in the code of Hammurabi. The code stipulated what was expected from the cities of Babylon


  1. Egypt

Ancient Egyptians practiced management in the following ways:-

  • They practiced some management in their skill of construction of pyramids. The building required a lot of planning and organization of both material and
  • They had well-organized systems of leadership i.e. the pharaoh, priests and common
  • They demonstrated some planning in their farming of the Nile valley and irrigating it through the


  1. The roman empire

The Roman Empire practiced management in: –

  • Keeping records; the empire was very large and thus required complex administration
  • Existence of the judiciary; the existence of magistrates created a system to control human

Roman Catholic Church

The existence of the Roman Catholic Church in Rome shows some degree of management:-

  • The existence of the popes seat at the Vatican as its headquarters whose some form of centralization of authority
  • The spreading of the gospel through missionary required some organization of human and physical resources
  • The existence of the pope as the head of the church (leadership)
  • Hierarchy of authority – the pope at the top the bishops and priests and the congregation at the bottom
  1. Military Organization

The success of the war generals in their conquest efforts was based in their ability to organize their men.

E.g.      Napoleon, Alexander the great, Hitler

  1. The Bible

Examples of the bible of existence of management include:-

  • In the book of exodus
    • Moses led his people form captive in Egypt (leadership)
    • He chose able men to be rulers over others (delegation of duty)
    • Rulers judged all seasons, but difficult/complex cases were taken to Moses (hierarchy of authority)
  1. Cameralites

These were a group of German and Austrian public administrators in the (16th to the 18th who held the believe that:-

  • To enhance the position of the state it was necessary to maximize material wealth.
  • The same qualities needed to acquired individual wealth have to be applied to the state and other departments
  • They emphasized specialization of functions that is a person to what he is best in
  • They advocated for simplification of administrative procedure (policies and procedures)
  • They called for control techniques – how well we have achieved what we planned to



The period around 18th century industrial revolution of management took a more defined direction as the study was geared towards maximizing production. Pioneers of this period include: –



He was a professor of mathematics at the Cambridge University. Through visiting industrial in UK and France. He found that manufacturers were unscientific and used guesswork in production.

He felt that science and mathematical methods should be used in operations of factories.

He advocated for

  • Factories should have data/information which is obtained through research
  • Determine the precise cost of every process
  • Paying workers fairly and bonus when the produce is high to motivate



They were sons of the distinguished inventor of the steam engine. They used the following management techniques:-

  • Market research and forecasting
  • Planned machine layout to facilitate better flow of work
  • Production planning and standardization of product components
  • Elaborate statistical records and advanced control
  • Maintenance of advanced reports and cost accounting data





He was a manager of textile firm in Scotland. He believed that workers performance is influenced by total environment/working conditions. He came up with the idea of human relation in management. He emphasized on:-

  • Short working hours
  • Better housing facilities
  • Training and workers hygiene
  • Education and scholarship for workers children
  • Provision of canteen and rest places in work place


N/B the extend to which these principles are practiced will depend on management perception, nature of competition, attitudes and employees perceptions, size of the business organization, rate of employee turnover, government policies and societal influenced.



Groups of assumptions have been formulated to explain productivity in business organizations. Due to forces such as technological forces, social forces, economical, political etc.

The study of theories enables managers to do the following:-

  • Avoid making mistakes of the past
  • Compare the past and present in order to make rational decisions
  • Approach problems systematically
  • Compare their business organization with other businesses
  • Come up with quality goods and survive the market competitions and retain their customers
  • It enables manager to maximize profit, which is the major aim of business organizations
  • Make predictions for better achievement of organizational goals



Over the last century management has evolved in several faces. They can be summarized as:-

  • The classical theory (1900s)
  • Human relations theory (developed 1930s)
  • Behavioural Science theory
  • Modern Management theories



The classical theory was based on the assumption that people are rational and economic oriented. According to this theory people consider the opportunities available and do anything necessary to achieve highest gains. It argues that an incentive given to the employee leads to better work.

This theory has three schools of thought

  • Scientific management theory
  • Administrative management theory
  • Bureaucratic management




The major advocate of scientific management is one Fredrick Taylor. He alleged that individuals could be programmed to be efficient as machines. The key to scientific management is the concept “man as a machine” Taylor believed that workers who were motivated by money and limited by physiology needed constant directions. He studied scientific management in four main areas.

  • Standardization
  • Time and task study
  • Systematic selection and training
  • Pay incentives 5)


  1. Financial incentives

High pay should be tied to successful completion of work. Loss incase of failure should be personally costly. No work no pay

  1. Standard conditions

A worker should be given standard conditions and appliances in order to accomplish the task with certainty

  1. Workers must be scientifically selected and trained so as to be more productive
  2. Separation between planning and doing.

There should be specialization of task whereby the management does all the planning and workers are only instructed what to do.

  1. Each task must be scientifically designed so as to replace the old rule of thumb method each person should have a clearly designed daily task which should require a full day’s effort to
  2. Bringing scientifically designed jobs and workers together so that there will be a match between


  1. Bilateral mental revolution. There should be a complete mental revolution on both management and workers to effect that they must take their eyes off the profits and together concentrate on increasing productions so that profits were so large that didn’t have quarrels about sharing



  • Promotes Expertise in the
  • Enabled workers to be paid by result and take the advantage of incentive payments.
  • Contributed towards standardization of tools equipments, materials and work method. Thus work could be accomplished with a higher degree of certainty
  • Minimized wastage of time, material and energy thus advocated for better se of resources
  • Its emphasis of scientific selection and training enabled the right people to occupy the right jobs
  • It has established harmonious relationships between worker and managers through the advocating of elimination of rule of
  • It has led to proper achievement of equal division of responsibilities between workers and management.
  • It gives detailed instruction and constraint guidelines for worker which management


  • It reduces workers to mere role of rigid adherence to methods (mindless machines)
  • It puts planning and control in the hand of management and ignores worker thus lowering their morale
  • It assumes that everything can be scientifically be
  • It rules out any realistic bargain on wages rates, since every job was measured, timed and
  • There is no room for initiative
  • Scientific methods overlooks human desire for job satisfaction (job conditions are often the cause of strikes)
  • It overlooked the social needs of workers since it assumed that people are rational and therefore motivated by material gains.



Around the same time when scientific management theory was in action, a similar view of classical organization theory evolved. This new theory was referred to as administrative organizational theory.

It concentrated on the broad problem of departmentation, division of labour and coordination.

For Taylor and the scientific managers concentrated on individual worker upwards, the administrative manager worked from the managing director downwards.


Henry Fayol was the main advocate of this view.

He first divided industrial undertaking into six separate activities: –

  1. Technical (production and manufacturing)
  2. Commercial (buying and selling)
  3. Financial (search for capital)
  4. Security (protection of properties and persons)
  5. Accounting (stocktaking, balance sheets etc)
  6. Managerial (planning, organizing etc)

According to Fayol managerial activities were the most important and deserved the most attention. He divided his approach of studying management into three parts.

  • Managerial qualities and training
  • Principles of management
  • Element of management Managerial qualities and training

The following are managerial qualities according to Fayol.

  1. Good physical health
  2. Good mental health – ability to understand and learn, make sound judgment (intelligence and wisdom)
  3. Upright morals – willing to accept responsibilities with initiative, loyalty, tact and dignity.

Moral qualities help the manger to respect him/herself, his decision and also others

  1. General education – a manager should have general acquaintance with matter not belong to the function
  2. Special knowledge – that is knowledge peculiar to the function
  3. That is knowledge arising from work itself. Fayol held that managerial abilities should be acquired in the same way one acquires technical ability. That is first in school and later in the workshop.



Fayol’s principles of administrative management may be summarized as:-

  1. Division of work

According to this principle, work should be divided at every stage and employees assigned particular task to perform and in the essence become specialized. This will lead in turn to efficient labour utilization.


  1. Authority and responsibility

Fayol suggested that there should be parity between authority and responsibility. The right to give orders should be accompanied by authority.


  1. Discipline

Workers should have respect to both fellow workers and to the management. There should also be respect for agreements between employees and employers


  1. Unity of command

An employee should receive commands form one superior only


  1. Unity of direction

Activities of the same nature aimed at achieving same goals should be put under one command. That is on leader.


  1. Remuneration of personnel

Remunerations should be fair and satisfactory to both the employees and the employer. Workers should be paid for wages to motivate them in their work.


  1. Centralization

The decision for centralization or decentralization depends on interest of organizational purpose, quality of workers, size of the organization and nature of work to be accomplished.


  1. Scalar chain

Taylor suggests that there should be clear lines of authority from the top to bottom of the organization, and employees should be encouraged to follow the proper hierarchy of command. However this can be short circuited when strictly following it would be detrimental.


  1. Order

There should be a place for everything and everything in its place. The right man in the right place is also part of this principle. Order should be maintained all through the organization


  1. Subordination of individual interests to the general interest

According to this principle, the interest of the organization should super side that of the individual. The interests of an individual or one group in the organization should not prevail over the general interests of the organization.


This principle states that management should exercise a combination of justice and fairness towards employees (kindness)


  1. Stability of tenure of personnel

A worker should not feel threatened in his/her position. They should be given time to settle in their jobs.


  1. Initiative

This principles state that mangers should allow workers to exercise initiative by scarifying personal vanity (within the limits of authority and discipline)


  1. Esprit de corps

This is the principles that in “union there is strength” in other words harmony is a great strength to an organization and team work should be encouraged. This principles emphasizes the need for team work in the organization



Elements of management

Fayol regards elements of management as the managerial functions i.e.

  • Planning – looking ahead and making provisions
  • Organizing – arrangement of resources
  • Coordination – harmonizing efforts
  • Commanding – giving orders and instruction
  • Control – verifying whether the result conform to the plan



Max Weber formulated this theory. He was a German Sociologist who was very sensitive to the abuse of power by people in managerial positions.

In order to reduce these abuses Weber proposed an organizational system that had a hierarchal structure based on formal authority.

From the above analysis, bureaucracy can be defined as a photo type form of organization that emphasizes order, systems rationality, uniformity and consistence.

According to Weber consistent performance can be achieved because organizational members are guided by a set of rational rules and regulations rather than the actions of position holders.



  1. Clear Division of Labour. (By Functional Specialization)

Job responsibilities and levels of authority are clearly defined for each employee thus there are no overlaps of responsibilities between jobs.


  1. A Well Defined Hierarchy Of Authority

Each position in the organization is controlled by and reports to a single position one level up in the hierarchy.


  1. Maintenance of Written Records

There should be a written record of organization activities that keeps rules and regulations visible to all participants. It also allows for evaluation of past decision and activities and adds to the organizational memory.


  1. A System of Rules And Regulations

There should be laid down rules and regulations to ensure rational and consistent organization behaviors.

Rules and regulations allow organizations activities to be performed in a predictable and routine manner.


  1. Impersonal Approach to all Interpersonal

This principle emphasizes equality in dealing with employees, customers or clients so as to eliminate favourism.


  1. Merit Based Employment

Selection and promotion within the organization should be based on qualification, ability and performance (technical competence and not family relationships, friendship or political reasons.

  1. Autonomous Decisions by Office

Employees must not use their rights and privileges of their jobs to enrich themselves. Power dos not belong to an individual but its part of the office.


  1. Centralization of Authority

For bureaucracy to operate, efficiently authority should be centralized so as to coordinate the different specialized functions.



  1. Leads to consistent employees’ behaviour. This makes management
  2. Assists managers to achieve and maintain quality because of strict adherence to procedures.
  3. It eliminates conflicting job duties because duties and responsibilities are clearly defined.
  4. Lead to maximum utilization of human resource (clear division of labour)
  5. It minimizes dissatisfaction because promotion is based on merit and
  6. Division of labour leads to specialization which in turn may increase production
  7. Helps to minimize wastage of the organization scarce resources
  8. Maintenance of written records makes planning
  9. Organizational goals may be achieved with DISADVANTAGES OF BUREAUCRACY
  10. Rules and procedures when many affects efficiency
  11. Bureaucracy makes organization rigid especially as concerns decision making
  12. Its very expensive as it involves a lot of paperwork
  13. Its time consuming especially when decisions are needed urgently. (Tall organizational structure)
  14. Does not give room to participative management thus kill initiative?
  15. It’s likely to cause resistance and dissatisfaction on the part of the employees because of its lack of



  • It ignores the psychological aspects as man is seen to be motivated purely by economical incentives and nothing else
  • Much emphasis has been drawn to structures and attainment of organizational goals. While peoples needs are
  • There is no room for participative management, which may cause poor morale among the
  • The theory has been criticized as a case of the past when organizations were relatively stable and environment being predictable
  • Social aspects and group dynamics receive very little attention
  • The classical theory principles are too general for today’s complex




This movement developed as a reaction to the classical models. It’s associated with people like Mary Follet and Elton Mayo.

Mary believed that the fundamental problem in all organizations was in developing and maintaining dynamic and harmonious relationships she believed that conflicts in organizations were not necessarily wasteful outbreak of incompatibility but a normal process through which socially valuable differences register for the enrichment of all concerned.

Elton Mayo and the Hawthorne Studies

These studies were carried out in several stages over several years.

The emphasis was on the worker rather than work itself. The studies were concerned with studying people in terms of their social relations at work. The conclusions gave rise to the ideal of social man and to the importance of human relationships.

  1. The first stage of the experiment was to study the effect of lighting on output.

Two groups of workers were selected for study. One group has a consistent level of light while the experimental group had its light varied form better to worse.

The significant result was that the output increased in both groups. Obviously some factors other than pure physical conditions were at work in the situation. Thus Elton Mayo was invited at this stage to carry on the studies.


  1. The next stage was the Relay assembly test

The objective of this study was to determine the effect of the physical conditions on productivity.

Six women form the relay assembly section were segregated and segmented to numerous changes in the working conditions e.g.

  • Rest pauses were introduced and varied
  • Lunch breaks were varied in length and timing
  • Alteration of the working week

Once again regardless of whether the conditions were improved or worsened, productivity always increased.

At the end of the experiment the researchers realized that they were not only studying the relationship between physical working conditions fatigue, monotony and productivity but had entered into the study of employee attitudes and values.

The women were responding to the attention of the researchers and saw themselves as a special group. These behaviors has been called the Hawthorne’s effect

  1. Third stage consisted of interview programs to establish employees’ attitudes towards working conditions, job and

The interviews were first structured and lasted 30 min eventually the pattern became relatively unstructured and lasted longer.

The conclusion made was that relationships with people were in important factors in attitudes of employees.

  1. The forth stage was referred to as the Bank Wiring observation

Fourteen men from the Bank working plant were moved to a separate room with more less the same working conditions as those in the main wiring room.


It was discovered that the group was developing its own rules, standards and behaviors. They restricted production according to their norms and protect its own interests against those of the company. The group had developed its own un official organization/informal organization.

  1. Final stage took the form of personnel counseling in which employees were able to discuss their work problems. The result was improved relationships between workers, supervisors and the management and general personal

Main conclusion of Hawthorne studies

  • Organization is a social system. This social system defines individual roles and establishes norms that may differ from those of the formal
  • Social and psychological factors exercise a greater influence on the behaviour of workers. Therefore managers should adopt a sound human approach to all organizational
  • Informal groups at work exercises strong influence over behaviors of workers


  • There is emergence of informal leadership in the organization. This informal leadership enforces group
  • Group dynamics – in organization members do not react as individuals but as members of a
  • Money is not the only motivator of human behaviour, social and psychological need of workers is very strong. E.g. praise, status etc.
  • Conflicts can arise between group goals and organizational goals. Conflicts should be handled properly so as not to harm the interests of



This approach emphasizes on behaviors of individuals and people in groups. It draws its concepts from psychology and sociology.

According to this approach, management is getting things done through people hence managers should understand human behaviors and relationships. It is concerned with human relationships and how managers can utilize the relationships for the good of the organization, the manager as a leader and the leadership style, group dynamics and motivation in management and how to improve employee’s morale. The approach focuses on how the understanding of individual behaviors and relationship influences the leadership style and general motivation at work.

Proponents of this approach include people like Abram Maslow, Mc Gregor, Fiedler, Herzburg, and Chaster Barnard.

Theories that explain human behaviors and motivation will be discussed in later chapters.



The approach is based on the generalization that an organization is a system and its components are interrelated and interdependent.

A system is a set of interrelated items, which work together for a common goal. The basis of systems theory in management is the limitations of the classical theory. Each


system may comprise of subsystems and each sub system may be further composed of smaller units.

The systems approach recognizes variety and offers a way of interacting differences by reconciling them within the organization; this is an approach which emphasizes theory and conformity.

An organization is a system because it has the following characteristics;

  • It is goal oriented meaning that every organization exists to achieve certain objectives and goals
  • An organization consists of sub systems inform of departments and sections, which are interdependent and inter
  • An organization transforms inputs (raw materials) to outputs (finished products).


Contingency approach

Appropriate management depends on situations prevailing at that time. According to this approach, there are no ready made universal answers to management rather the decision that a manager will make will depend on the situation.

Contingency refers to immediate circumstances that are normally uncertain. The managers as to try systematically to identify which technique or approaches in a particular situation/context best contributes to the attainment of the goals.

An example of this is the recurrent problem of how to increase productivity. The expert would prescribe as following.

  1. Contingency approach- Examines both ideas and how any fits the goals, structure resources of the
  2. Behavioral scientists- Create an environment which is psychologically motivation.
  3. Classical approach- Create incentive

The contingency approach seeks to apply real life situation. The ideas are drown from various school of management. Different problems and situations require different approaches and no particular approach is universally applicable.



  1. Explain the meaning of system approach to
  2. Highlight the characteristics of management as a
  • Outline the benefits of system approach in
  1. Describe the conclusions drawn from the hawthorns studies at the western electrical plant
  2. Explain Fayols principles of administrative
  3. Describe the principles of scientific
  • Explain the short comings of bureaucratic
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