What Is the Classical Management Approach?

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The classical management approach in business focuses on worker productivity, increased output and the efficiency of lower-level workers.

Classical Management in the Workplace Introduced in the late 19th century, the classical management approach to business addresses many issues in industrial management. The approach generally focuses on specialization and efficiency. The approach also places an emphasis on higher quality, cost reduction and better management and worker relationships.

Advantages of Classical Management The classical management approach does not work in all business environments. However, if it is implemented in the right type of environment, there can be many advantages to the theory. Once such advantage is the placement of an organizational hierarchy that is made up of three levels. The top level of the hierarchy is the board of directors and the chief executives. This level is generally responsible for making the long-term goals of the organization. The second level is the middle management. The middle management oversees supervisors and sets departmental goals according to an approved budget from the top level. The bottom level is the supervisors who oversee the day-to-day operation and activities of the workers. The supervisors provide training for employees as well as address employee issues that arise.

Another advantage of the classical management approach is that it provides clear divisions of labor. This approach sees projects that are broken into smaller tasks and are easier to complete. Generally, the same workers do the same task so they learn to do it very well. This creates higher output and efficiency. This also ensures that workers have clear expectations and responsibility. Increased productivity and cost efficiency is a direct result of this practice.

The classic management approach often offers employees monetary rewards for jobs well done. This is beneficial as it gives management easier control of the workforce. It also helps keep employees motivated by giving them a goal to work toward and a reward to look forward to. It helps employees to feel appreciated when they are rewarded for hard work and, in return, they will continue to be productive.

Disadvantages of the Classical Management Approach As with any business structures, there are many flaws in the classical management approach. Many feel as if this approach places workers on the same levels as machines. This creates an assembly-line environment that many workers feel hinders the workplace creativity. This system also often overlooks the importance of human relations and does not place enough importance on the morale of the workforce. With workers often hired to do a single task, there is no room for growth and workers do not feel challenged to move up within an organization.

Classical Management in Today’s Workplace The classical management theory is not often used in the workplace today. While the approach is beneficial to small companies where leaders can make decisions without waiting for approval from a board of directors, it does not create the same benefits in the workplace that it once did.

The workplace today generally places more emphasis on employee morale and human relations in the workplace. Employers tend to lean more toward environments that allow more input on decisions from the employees as well as increased creativity