IN THE 19TH AND 20TH
INDIVIDUALS IN ORDER
MANAGEMENT CAN BE
FORMULATED. MANY OF
DIRECTLY TO THE
FREDERICK W. TAYLOR
1. SCIENTIFIC THEORY
Short Definition: “Simplify Tasks, divide work equally and use
This theory states that goals can be easily achieved with the correct
combination of labour and management. The aims are to increase
production efficiency, lower costs, raise profits and increase the
workers’ salaries through increased productivity.
2. BUREAUCRATIC THEORY
Short Definition: “A Hierarchical structure adhering to strict rules.”
Weber’s theory describes how management should be led from top to
bottom, in the sense that every “level” in the hierarchy has to answer
to the “level” that is above it. The importance of having a structured
hierarchy is essential for a business to run smoothly according to
Weber. Another part of the bureaucratic theory is that the organisation
and its members are governed by predefined rational-legal decision-
making rules, which is a set of objective policies and procedures that
governs exactly how an organisation should function.
LUDWIG VON BERTALANFFY
3. SYSTEMS THEORY
Short Definition: “System-wide coordination between every
The systems theory is one widely used across different fields of study
(philosophy, economy, mathematics, social sciences, etc.) which tries
to look at the nature of complex systems. For example, many different
subsystems form together in the human body to form one system. In
business terms, an organisation is a system because it is formed by
many different subsystems, such as the stakeholders, initiatives,
departments, etc. This theory essentially explains how the bigger
picture functions by looking at every small element which makes up
the bigger picture.
4. ADMINISTRATIVE THEORY
Short Definition: “Upper management controls and commands.”
Henri published his “14 Principles of Management” in 1916, it was one of the earliest
theories of management that was created and it is still considered to be comprehensive,
even to this day.
3 of the top 14 principles of management are as follows:
Division of work - Employee output increases as the skill level and efficiency increases.
Authority - Managers must have the authority
Discipline - This is, by all means, is not an exhaustive list.
5. HUMAN RELATIONS THEORY
Short Definition: “The promotion of social interactions within an
This theory states how people are more likely to join a team that is
supportive of their growth and development. If employees were to be treated
highly and encouraged to participate in activities, they would believe their
work to be of significance and are more likely to be more efficient and
productive, which leads to higher quality work.
Elton Mayo’s results from his Hawthorne studies also stated how the factor
that influences productivity the most are relationships, this proved that
working in a supportive team did yield better results for an employee.
6. X & Y THEORY
Short Definition: “The unmotivated (x) are controlled and the motivated (y) are
This famous theory was developed by Douglas McGregor in the 1960s, it still remains a valid principle from which to develop
positive management styles and techniques. It states the basic rules as to which managers should aim to follow in everyday pe ople
Theory X - The main idea of this theory is that employees must be forced with the threat of punishment in order for them to work
effectively, this is based off the idea that the average person dislikes work and will tend to avoid it if possible. Douglas McGregor
said that people like this must be directed because of how unambitious and non pro active they can be.
Theory Y - This is called the ‘participative management’ style and assumes the opposite to that of theory X, it believes people are
self motivated to work as hard as they can, have the self-control and self-direction to guide them to work towards organisation and
personal goals and that these people are the ones that tend to seek and accept responsibility.
These theories were devised in order to illustrate how important it is to correctly understand your assumptions about the motivation
level in employees in order to manage more effectively. A book that we recommend which dwells deeper into this subject is
“Douglas McGregor, Revisited: Managing the Human Side of the Enterprise” by Gary Heil.