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Classical Approaches (document anglais)

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The main proponents of classical thinking – principally Taylor, Fayol and Urwick – derivedtheir theories from their own practical experience in industry (mainly in the engineering field)and observations. They argued that organisations should be structured in a logical andscientific manner. They maintained that there were a number of fundamental principles uponwhichorganisations are built:

There should be a blueprint of organisational structure which could be applieduniversally.

The structure of an organisation should be hierarchical, with clear levels of authority.

Each level of authority should have its own functions to perform.

Everyone in the organisation should know their place and what is expected of them.It was argued that the principles of organisation which derive from this would offer scientificguidance to managers on how to run an organisation.

Henri Fayol

Fayol was an early 20

th

-century mining engineer who developed an interest in managementprinciples. He realised the importance of structure and argued that every organisationneedsto be planned, organised and controlled. Fayol's notion of the ideal structure for allorganisations rested on the following principles.

(a) Division of Labour

Work is divided:

Between the levels of authority in an organisation, with each level having its ownduties and responsibilities from top management down.

Between departments and other groups, with each having its function to perform.HereFayol built on the work of earlier authors. As early as 1776, Adam Smithidentified the benefits of specialisation, or division of labour, in the production process.Fayol extended this to the study of management.

(b) Coordination

The various levels and departments must be coordinated so that all their efforts pull inthe same direction towards achieving the objectives of the organisation.

(c) Span of Control

Fayol stressed the importance of establishing the maximum number of subordinateswhich a superior can control. This is called the span of control.

(d) Economies of Scale

Wherever possible similar activities should be grouped together to avoid overlap and toobtain economies that accrue to larger Units: for example, bulk buying, spreadingoverheads, making better use of resources.

(e) Objectives

Every organisation must have clear objectives.

(f) Authority

There must be a clear line of authority.

(g) Responsibility

Where a person is given responsibility, he or she must also be given the authoritynecessary to carry out the task. Asuperior can be held responsible for the actions of his or her subordinates.

Specialisation

As far as possible people should specialise in order to be proficient.

(i) Definition of Tasks

Employees should know exactly what is expected of them.

(j) Unity of Effort

Everyone in the organisation should be working towards achieving the goals of theorganisation.

(k) Unity of Command

Each member of the organisation should have one clear superior to whom he or she isresponsible. The span of control should not be too wide; ideally no person shouldsupervise more than five or six subordinates.

LyndallUrwick

Urwick developed the ideas of Fayol and then put forward his own principles of management:

(a) Objectives

Achieving its objectives is the reason for the existence of any organisation.Organisations that fail to achieve their objectives should cease to exist.

(b) Specialisation

In an effective organisation there is the principle of 'one group, one function', i.e. everysection or department should do its own job well and not interfere in other activities.

(c) Coordination

Management should so structure the organisation that all the parts fit neatly together and work as a functional whole.

(d) Authority

There should be clear lines of authority in the organisation.

(e) Responsibility

Superiors are responsible for the actions of their subordinates.

(f) Job Definition

All jobs should be described precisely and duties defined.

(g) Correspondence

Authority and responsibility should go hand in hand.

(h) Span of Control

A superior should be responsible for up to six subordinates.

(i) Balance

The sections and departments of an organisation should be in balance; no onedepartment should dominate the organisation.

(j) Continuity

The organisation should be set up in such a way that it can continue to perform itsfunctions

F W Taylor: Scientific Management

Taylor acquired his practical experience in theAmerican steel industry and went on tobecome a management consultant. Taylor termed his key principle

scientific management

and he modelled his approach to management on those of scientists seeking the laws of nature.Taylor's principles are summarised below:

Managers

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