The 10 Important Theories of Management [Explained]

Theories of Management

Management theories are the concepts, principles, and general rules that give ideas and methods and guide the managers for the effective management of the business. There are many theories of management from them a manager can choose one theory that’s suitable for his business environment.

The top 10 theories of management include:

  1. Scientific management theory
  2. Administrative management theory
  3. Bureaucratic theory
  4. Human relation approach
  5. Need hierarchy theory
  6. Theory X and Theory Y
  7. Two-factor theory
  8. Management science theory
  9. System approach
  10. Contingency approach

These theories also are classified on the idea of their nature as classical, behavioral, and modern theories of management. Let’s shortly describe these management theories:

Classical Theories of Management

Classical management theories include the idea of F.W. Taylor, Henri Fayol, and Max Weber. Classical management theory simply can be defined as the management theory which is aimed at increasing the productivity and efficiency of the organization.

Related: Classical Management Theory: Definition, Features, Theories, and Pros/Cons

Classical management theories are characterized by focusing on more production and are focused on universally accepted management practices.

Scientific Management Theory

The concept of scientific management is introduced to exchange the normal method of management. Scientific management is an attitude and philosophy, which discards the normal method of, hit and miss, rule of thumb, trial and error of managing work and workers.

It was F.W. Taylor, who introduced the scientific management theory and was also referred to as the daddy of scientific management.

He believed there was science for doing every job. He focused on reducing wastage in operations, introduced a good pay system to workers, put incentives within the works, and emphasized using scientific applications in doing the work.

Administrative Management Theory

It is Henri Fayol, who introduced the administrative management theory and was referred to as the father of modern management. He emphasized managing the whole functioning of the organization in other to maximize productivity. He emphasized proper managing management functions like forecasting and planning, organizing, command, coordination, and control.

He introduced universally applicable management principles including division of work, authority, and responsibility, discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, the subordination of individual interest to the general interest, remuneration of personnel, centralization, and decentralization, scalar chain, order, equity, the stability of tenure, initiative, esprit de corps.

Bureaucratic Theory

The bureaucratic theory of management is introduced by Max Weber, a German Sociologist, in the 19th century. It is one of the aggressive theories of management.

He argued within the organization there should be a strict structure that each employee should need to follow. His theory is applicable in large and sophisticated organizations. His theory is characterized by the division of labor, a clearly defined hierarchy, detailed rules and regulations, and impersonal relations.

Related: 6 Principles of Bureaucratic Theory of Management

Behavioral Theories of Management

These theories include the idea of Elton Mayo, Abraham Maslow, Douglas McGregor, and Frederick Herzberg.

Human Relation Approach

As its name suggests, it’s concerned with human relations within the organization. Elton Mayo introduced the “human relation approach” in management practice.

He suggested within the organization there should be mutual affection between managers and workers. He argued the simplest thanks to achieve the organizational goals and objectives is through the employee’s quality of labor life. A manager must need to motivate employees and make an environment to try to add their absolute best way.

Need Hierarchy Theory

One of the favored theories of management and motivation is the need hierarchy theory. Abraham Maslow, a person’s psychologist introduced this theory mainly for motivation purposes.

Consistent with him, people have unlimited needs, and when one need is fulfilled, another need takes place in sequential order. He categorized human needs into five physiological needs, security needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs.

He sequenced the requirements from basic to complex needs. And, said initially people attempt to fulfill most elementary needs, and until most elementary needs aren’t fulfilled, they do not go for other higher needs.

Related: What is Motivation? Definition, Features, Process, and Types

Theory X and Theory Y

Douglas McGregor introduced a motivation theory called “Theory X and Theory Y“. He identified attributes as two types called X theory negative and the theory Y positive.

Agreeing with him, theory X people inherently dislike doing work and have negative intentions towards work. To manage these sorts of employees a manager has got to introduce incentives also as punishment, if necessary.

Whereas theory Y people are self-directed, they take work as a lifestyle activity and seek their responsibilities. As they’re self-directed managers easily convenience them to the completion of work.

Two Factor Theory

Frederick Herzberg introduced the “two-factor theory” in motivation. He found two factors that affect human behaviors viz. hygiene factor and motivating factors.

Hygiene factors are dissatisfiers. Their presence of them can’t motivate employees but thanks to their absence employees may dissatisfy. It includes salary, job security, status, etc. Whereas motivating factors also are called motivators.

The presence of those factors leads to high motivation for employees but their absence doesn’t cause a high amount of dissatisfaction. Like recognition and private growth.

Modern Theories of Management

These theories include management science theory, contingency theory, and system theory.

Management Science Theory

Management science theory focuses on using quantitative tools for decision-making. Quantitative tools involve mathematics and statistics to solve management problems.

After the Second World War, to unravel the military problems of the U.K. and the U.S.A. it was developed. It focuses on solving technical problems rather the human behavior problems.

System Approach

The system approach to management focuses on building interrelated systems and subsystems within the organization. it’s the new thinking within the management practice. It suggests to urge the simplest output, the input must have quality, and therefore the processing function must be objective-oriented.

The system consists of input, process, and output. The input includes human, finance, physical, and knowledge. the method includes planning, deciding, leadership, and control. And, the output includes goods or services, profit or loss, and employee behavior.

Contingency Approach

The contingency approach is additionally referred to as the situational approach/theory of management. It believes that there’s probably no single thanks to solving all managerial problems. It argued to unravel the managerial problems a manager must be situational, meaning that, he must have the power to regulate things that arises within the course of functioning.

A manager is named effective when he adjusts easily the uncertain situations. This theory suggested four variables that a manager has got to specialize in, organization size, routines of technology, environmental uncertainty, and individual differences.

5 thoughts on “The 10 Important Theories of Management [Explained]”

  1. It is very much helpful for management professionals. I have been motivated to have this resourceful management information.


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