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Evolution of Management

by Team Businesspedia

In this article, you’ll learn about Evolution of Management like Classical theory of management, Neoclassical theory of management, Modern theory of management and more.

Peter Ferdinand Drucker, one of the leading management gurus, said it best—“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”

Management theories help you study an organization, its corporate designs, structures and behavior of individuals or groups. By studying the impact of internal and external business environments, these theories provide a lens to address critical questions about how a business works or operates. Management theories can be grouped under three categories—classical theory, neoclassical theory and modern management theory. Let’s take a look at the individual theories in detail:

1. Classical theory of management

The theories that emerged under the classical evolution of management thought are:

  • Scientific Management

Fredrick Winslow Taylor, an engineer, proposed and developed the Scientific Management Theory. He is also known as the Father of Scientific Management and his school of thought came to be known as Taylorism. He introduced a scientific approach to productivity, which meant that an increase in efficiency can lead to higher productivity and profits. He believed that research-backed and standardized procedures were necessary for effective management.

  • Administrative Management

Henry Fayol, a French mining engineer, laid down five functions and 14 principles of management under the theory of Fayolism. This gave way to the school of administrative management. He believed that these functions and principles can guide managers to fulfill their responsibilities effectively and they should have the liberty to determine how to use them.

2. Neoclassical theory of management

The theories that emerged under the neoclassical evolution of management practices are:

  • Human Relations Management

Developed by Elton Mayo, an Australian psychologist, the Human Relations Theory of Management was proposed after a series of experiments, also known as Hawthorne Studies or Hawthorne Experiments. This theory emerged as a response to the criticism faced by the classical management theories, where social factors such as human behavior and attitudes weren’t considered important.

  • Behavioral Management

Behavioral approaches to management set the pace for how modern workplaces build an employee-friendly culture. Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist, proposed the hierarchy of need, where employee need and expectations were prioritized. The theory suggests that human relations and behavior are essential in driving efficiency in teams and managing the workforce successfully.

3. Modern theory of management

The theories that emerged with the modern evolution of management needs are:

  • Systems Approach

The Systems Theory of organization has its roots in biology and systems science. This concept broke away from classical management theory that viewed organizations as machines and moved toward a more holistic view that sees them as networks of people, procedures, and activities. Systems Theory allows for an understanding of the connections between various parts of the organization and how they interact with one another.

  • Contingency Approach

The Contingency Management Theory suggests that there isn’t any perfect way to organize a business or corporation. The optimal solution lies in the situation that an organization operates in. A business is a contingent (depends) upon internal or external environments.

Administrative Management

Father of Management — Henry Fayol (1841 — 1925)

Henry Fayol contributed 14 principles to Management which is widely applied in all the Organization

  1. Division of Work
  2. Authority and Responsibility
  3. Discipline
  4. Unity of Command
  5. Unity of Direction
  6. Subordination of individual interest to general interest
  7. Remuneration of personnel
  8. Centralization
  9. Scalar Chain
  10. Order
  11. Equity
  12. Stability of Tenure of Personnel
  13. Initiative
  14. Esprit-de-corps

Critical Evaluation

  • Too formal
  • Not pay adequate attention to workers
  • Vagueness
  • His principle hinted but did not elaborate that mgt can and should be taught.

– Despite these limitations, Fayol made a unique and outstanding contribution to Mgt theory.

Scientific Management

Father of Scientific Management F. W. Taylor (1856 —1915)

“The art of knowing exactly what you want men to do and see that they do it in the best and cheapest way.”

Management is Science-based upon certain clearly defined principles.

Principles of Scientific Management

  • Science not the rule of thumb
  • Harmony not discord
  • Corporation, not individualism
  • Maximum output in place of restricted output
  • Development of each individual to his greatest efficiency and prosperity

Mental Revolution — Workers and Management, Workmen towards their work, their fellowmen, and towards their employees. The mental attitude of the two parties.

Techniques of Scientific Management

  1. Time Study
  2. Motion Study
  3. Scientific task Planning
  4. Standardization and simplification
  5. Differential piece rate system
  6. Functional foremanship

According to Taylor, one supervisor cannot be an expert in all aspects of work supervision. In the system of Functional Foremanship in which eight supervisors supervise a worker’s job.

  1. Route Clerk
  2. instruction card clerk
  3. Time and cost clerk
  4. Shop disciplinarian
  5. Gang boss
  6. Speed boss
  7. Repair boss
  8. Inspector

Critical Evaluation

  • Mechanistic Approach
  • Umealistic Assumptions
  • Narrow View
  • Impracticable
  • Exploitation of Labour

Human Relations Management

George Elton Mayo (1880— 1949) Hawthrone Experiments

  1. Illumination Experiments ( illumination affected Productivity)
  2. Relay assembly Test room Experiments ( Working conditions and Productivity). piece work, rest pauses, shorter working hours,
  3. Mass interviewing Programme ( Direct Questions), Grievances, deep rooted disturbance, satifactory level


  • Workers working in a group develop bond of relationships
  • Behaviour at workplace depens on their mental state, emotions and prejudices
  • Emotional factors play an important role in determining
  • Human and liberal attitude of supervisor helps in improving performance.
  • Managerial skills and technical skills are not necessary to be a successful leader.


  • Contribution was famous, Gantt Chart, used for scheduling and control of work.
  • Task and Bonus plan ( Minimum wages is guaranteed to all workers irrespective of output, Extra wages are paid for extra work)


  • Motion study, time study
  • Fatigue Study
  • Work Simplification — 3 positional promotion plan ( present position, the position to be held before promotion to his present position and the next higher position)

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