Classical perspective

Classical perspective

the empirical school seeks to generalize the nature of management based on the experience of successful managers. The basic theme of this assumption is that if a particular business operation is successful, or if a particular problem was effectively tackled by application of a particular strategy, then the methods or strategies through which success was achieved by the managers could be equally effectively used by the others in the case of similar business situations in future. The main exponent of the empirical school is Ernest Dale. In a sense, the empirical theory of management may be said to be similar to the principals laid down by Taylor and Fayol, both of whom were successful managers in their own right. The only difference is that while Taylor and Fayol, propounded their principals on the basis of their own experiences, dale did so on the basis of experiences of others. The basic principals laid down by the classical school may be summed up as follows:

1.       Scalar chain: it is the fore -runner of the hierarchy principal under which the authority flows from the top to the bottom level managerial positions.

2.       Unity of command: it lays down that each individual should only receive orders from one hierarchical superior.

3.       Exception: it emphasizes maximum delegation of authority such that the superior is required to intervene only in the case of non routine, exceptional tasks.

4.       Span of control: it advocates that each superior should only have a manageable number of subordinates to the direct and control.

5.       Specialization: it emphasized differentiation of the organizational activities based on the objectives, processes, location, clients etc.

6.       Scientific method: it advocates the use of experimental methods to develop sound organizational and management methods.               

Assessment: the classical school has prescribed a number of principals, rules, hints and believes some prescriptive others and still others exhortative. One often comes across words such as "ought to" must should etc. in the enunciation of these principals. The main points of criticism against the classical school are as follows:

1.       It does not give much attention to interaction between people.

2.       It does not adequately take into account the effects of conflict.

3.       It does not give much through to the capacity of the individual workers to possess information.

4.       It has prescribed naïve principals and most of its propositions are ambiguous, even contradictory.

5.       It takes for granted the manager's rights to manage without visualizing situations in which the right may be challenged.     

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