A Review Article Comparing Four Distinct Management Theories

A Comparison of Management Theories

A comparison review paper for four different management theories will be investigated as a topic. The goal of this research is to determine which management philosophy is best for any organization to pursue, and it will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each. Books written by various scholars will be the source of information on the aforementioned topic. The study will conclude with a claim on how the two management theories of classical and human resources influence the management of various firms. The theory of human relations and classical management are a reflection of two assertions about the form of management in different organizations. One of the assertions concentrates on the motivation and behaviors of workers, while the other concentrates on employees as a way to get duties done. However, most organizations blend the two theories for the achievement of better results.

Classical Management Theory

The Theory of Management

Theory of Management

The theory of management deals with the development and organization of management approach. There is a change in real behavior dynamics when the theory of management is applied. Organizations which have had access to the literature of management theory are able to make rational conclusions and what course of action their organizations should adopt. the application of management theory is paramount for various reasons mainly; theories of management evolve and interpret organizational changes in various settings, there is integration of conclusions and ideas during the application of management theories, helping in identifying areas of focus with the application of past experiences, comprehension of management principles that underlie the theories of management, and finally it helps in establishment of management practices, organizational behaviors and a correlation between the two factors. Whereas Human Relations Theory is the shifting of focus from issues like process and procedures and rules to more important issues like employees in business is termed as the behavioral theory of management or the human relations theory. This theory is so unique in a way that it creates an enabling environment for communicating between managers and workers for designing of better processes instead of management sending orders and expecting them to be followed. There are mechanisms that are created for the exposition of emotional and motivational techniques required for production increment in the business. This will be the case if employees are not given processes and quotas for production and management purposes.

Scientific Management

The improvement of productivity in an organization by various levels of employees is termed as the theory of classical management. The chain of command starts from the lowest employee up to the top managers who is responsible for supervising the activities of the organization. Moreover, it has been noted that at different levels of management, there specific guidelines that are designed to be followed by the worker to perform his or her duties to the maximum. Furthermore, impersonal relationships are not tolerated at workplaces and managers and workers must perform their tasks according to the set guidelines. In addition, the firing and hiring of workers should also be based on what they can deliver at different levels of production of the organization. Whereas Human Relations Movement is the human relation movement is one of the scenarios of how the human relations theory was developed. The above movement came into existence as a result of the publications of research that were documented between the year 1932 and year 1924, experiments that were famous at the plant of Hawthorne of the western electric company in America near the Chicago state in the period between 1932 and 1924. In addition to the above assertion, Elton Mayo who existed between 1949 and 1888 is believed to be one of the people who documented the experiments of Hawthorne and he was said to be the head of these studies. However, later on in the new discoveries, it was contested whether Elton was the head of such movement and whether he had any hand in the creation of the said movement (Ridderstrale, 2001).

Bureaucratic Organizations

Under the classical theory of management, tendencies of bureaucratic organizations should be introduced to establish how the methods of production being applied can affect the entire operation of the organization. In addition, there would be the creation of effective structures after there has been a proper clarification of responsibilities and purposes termed as the objectives of the business. With the application of the above principle, the emphasis is put on coordination and maintenance of specialization, responsibilities, and tasks to be performed, and the entire division of duties in the organization. The above factors are also integrated with more recommendation on formal relationships of the organization and the management hierarchy. Whereas Human Resources Perspective is the human resources approach has been contested for various reasons ranging from failures and methodology by the people who were carrying out this research failing to factor in the issues which were affecting the Hawthorne experiments despite the fact that the approach holds some importance in the management practices. The groups of researchers who oppose this approach argue that it contains a narrow perspective and scientific in general. Moreover, it does not factor in the organizational role in the way communities work (Crainer and Dearlove, 2001).

Administrative Principles

When it came to the improvement of efficiency in an organization, researchers who based their views on the classic theory believed that there was a need to change the entire structures of the organization or business. With the above assertion, they came up with principles that were to be applied in different structures for improvement in the entire business. Moreover, while developing these principles, they based them on some kind of rules which were to be applied for the elimination of conflicts in management and organization of the business. The principles developed were; the functional principle that dealt with differences and specialization among various types of tasks, the scalar principle that dealt with the process of delegation, classification of tasks, and the entire organizational structure. Finally, the last principle was the coordination that illustrated the importance of discipline, authority exercising, and a spirit of togetherness during times of action execution. Whereas Behavioral Sciences Approach is the last approach under the human relations management theoryis the behavioral sciences approach which deals with studying the behaviors of employees in a business. One of the proponents of this argues that is a given number of employees are gathered in an organization and their traits are studied, it would lead to the improvement in management processes. The above approach was based on three principles and these were; changes in meaning after traits have been studied, with consistent repetition of processes, meanings of processes will stick in the heads of employees and finally sociology deals with both the meaning and behaviors that may shape the actions of the management (Hamel, 2007).

Cons and Pros of Classical Management Theory

It has been noted that the theory of classical management theory is applied by different organizations because of the way it eliminates personal differences out of business and different processes that are used by the theory during production. However, some people who oppose this theory argue that the theory does not factor in the worker's differences in the organization. The researchers who were anti this theory argue that there will be a high turnover of workers as employees try to look for tasks that factor in their opinions and feelings. Hence, this may end up affecting the entire growth of the organization because if any business is to grow, workers must stay long doing their tasks, learning and loving the objectives of the business. Whereas Pros and Cons of Human Relations Theory states that the human relations management approach is crucial in a way that it increases productivity and improves the retention of workers in an organization. Moreover, this approach has been adopted by many companies despite the fact that it has challenges like it's hard to terminate and punish workers when they have committed a wrong in an organization because it has invested a lot in them. This may also be combined with workers' failures to perform their tasks because they are ever taken up by private feelings instead of information that is used in different processes of management.


In conclusion, basing on the assertions made by different scholars, it would be ideal if any organization or business adopted the Human Relations Theory in their operations. This is because of the way it attaches importance to human capital. Moreover, with the advancement in technology, organizations need to shift their focus to see how they can make their employees efficient instead of focusing on only means or methods used for production. Unlike the classical approach, the Humans Relations Theory breads an environment that is favorable for innovations and inventions in an organization because managers are ever interacting with their employees.

However, the classical management theory should not be underestimated because there might be other organizations or businesses that are still using it. This is because in any business, the efficiency of employees and effective production might be determined by other factors which are inherent. Hence the application of human relation theory with a poor history of the company may not necessarily guarantee good management practices. Whereas the classical management theory may be applied by an organization that is already successful because of the history they have been having with that approach.

Furthermore, it has been noted that the organization's challenges cannot be eliminated by a single approach because of the complexity of the settings in which these organizations are operating that are changing daily. However, during evaluation of management theories in organizations, the above approaches should not be skipped because they help in shaping organizational and management behaviors of the employees. The above was backed up by some scholars like Stern who argued that management integrates both art and science which is applied in the differentiation of bad and good and setting parameters of artful and being scientific (Stern, 2001).


Hamel, G. (2007) the Future of Management, Harvard Business School Press, p. 13

Crainer, S. and Dearlove, D. (2001) Financial Times Handbook of Management, second edition, Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Stern, S. (2001)Management Today‘Guru Guide’, October, pp. 83–4

Ridderstrale, J. (2001) ‘Business Moves Beyond Bureaucracy’, in Pickford, J. (ed.) Financial Times Mastering Management 2.0, Financial Times Prentice Hall, pp. 217–20.

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