Unit 1 Written Assignment, University of the People
In this unit, we reviewed four theoretical contributions which are central to the understanding of today's organizations. Offer a brief analysis of all four theoretical concepts and then pick the one you feel is the most influential from both historical and managerial perspectives. Explain. Now, consider how these concepts impacted the development of the current organizational theories.
Grade: 81.68/90 (303 words)
The Review of Four theoretical contributions
Four theoretical contributions are central to the understanding of today’s organizations: Scientific Management, Administrative Theory, Bureaucracy and Organizational Structure, and Administrative Behavior. These theories have many things in common: focusing on task performance, formalized structure, top-down management, and rational behavior, and so on (Lægaard, 2006). Here is a brief analysis to define the difference between these concepts.
Taylor’s Scientific Management
Scientific management is the idea of systematization to enhance the efficiency of procedures to best effect via scientific analyses and experiments” (Lægaard, 2006). Also, it focuses on the individual work process, establishing a staff of specialists and a bottom up approach (Lægaard, 2006).
Fayol’s Administrative Theory,
Fayol identified the main elements or functions of management as planning, organization, command, coordination, and control. Fayol believed that management could be taught. (Gale, 2009). Fayol’s administrative theory can be founded in military organizations today (Talbot, 2003).
Weber’s Bureaucracy and Organizational Structure
Taylor and Fayol developed their organizational theories based on their own experiences. In contrast to them, Weber has a broader approach to organizations as he includes the social and historical perspective, and he developed a normative ideal for bureaucracy (Lægaard, 2006). The bureaucratic model is on a legal and authority-based system (Sashkin & Sashkin, 2003).
Simon’s Administrative Behavior
Simon developed Administrative Behavior in his book, and he insisted the process of the decision is crucial for comprehending the organizational theory (Lægaard, 2006).
In my opinion, Simon’s Theory of Administrative Behavior is the most influential from both historical and managerial perspectives. Before Simon’s theory, Taylor, Fayol, and Weber developed their concepts based on rational action. They thought all people are “Economic man” and all people always have “clear and constant objectives, full knowledge/information, and optimize utility value.” Simon criticized those classical theories which ignored human characteristics. Simon emphasized the importance of practical and realistic. He thought all people are “Administrative man” and people take limited rational action. This idea influenced managerial perspectives (Lægaard, 2006).
Although Simon denied classical theories in terms of rationality, the three classical theories are the roots of current theories. Simon could start to develop his theory by criticizing “rational action” and “economic man”. According to Lægaard, “Companies will experience even greater challenges in terms of creating learning among employees and promoting a feeling of ownership about the work” (Lægaard, 2006). Most of the companies have to move away from the traditional, hierarchical organization. At this point, Simon already explained to us the importance of understanding the human characteristic and reviewing the decision making processes. These four theories developed current organizational theories.
Laegaard, J., and M. Bindslev, 2006. Organizational theory. Ventus Publishing Retrieved from http://iaear.weebly.com/uploads/2/6/2/5/26257106/organizational-theory.pdf
Pioneers of Management. (2009). In Encyclopedia of Management (6th ed., pp. 693-699). Gale. Retrieved from https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX3273100229/GVRL?u=lirn17237&sid=GVRL&xid=6cf2baba
Sashkin, M., & Sashkin, M. G. (2003). Leadership that matters: the critical factors for making a difference in people’s lives and organizations’ success. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.