Management theories may be described as a set of principles that are used to guide the management of resources and personnel within an organization. Thus, understanding different theories should greatly help managers better understand how to lead their teams and organizations in achieving set goals.
So here are four management theories explained.
Scientific Management Theory
This theory was developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor in the late 19th century.
The scientific management theory focuses on increasing efficiency and productivity by designing tasks for employees in a way that helps them to work faster and with fewer errors- emphasizing the use of scientific techniques to measure performance, such as time-and-motion studies.
Practical application: Say the manager of a dementia care facility seeks to reduce the time staff spend per visit on each resident. Using the scientific management theory as a guide, they would break down the tasks into smaller steps and then measure how long each task takes so that they can identify which processes are taking too much time and need to be changed.
This theory was developed by Max Weber.
It emphasizes creating a system of rules and regulations that are applied to all employees consistently, to increase efficiency and control, stressing clear lines of authority and division of labor within an organization.
Practical application: A manager of a health care clinic may use the bureaucratic theory to develop standard operating procedures for each job role so that employees know exactly what is expected of them. This way division of labor and a hierarchy of authority is established to streamline the working day.
Theory X and Theory Y
This theory was developed by Douglas McGregor.
Theory X and Theory Y are two different approaches to management. Theory X managers tend to focus on controlling employees. Theory Y managers take a more positive approach, focusing on empowering employees and motivating them to perform better.
Practical application: A manager of a retail store may either use Theory X to develop a system of punishments for lacking employee performance, or Theory Y to create an environment of open communication and shared goals.
Human Relations Theory
This theory was developed by Elton Mayo.
The theory focuses on understanding the psychological and social needs of employees and using this knowledge to motivate them. It emphasizes communication between managers and their teams, as well as creating a sense of team spirit to increase employee satisfaction and performance.
Practical application: A manager of a manufacturing plant may use human relations theory to understand the needs of their employees and find ways to make their workplace more satisfying. For example, they may arrange for a free lunch service, or create a makeshift map room.
By understanding these four theories, managers can gain a better insight into how to lead their teams and organizations in achieving their goals. Through careful consideration of each theory, managers can create an environment that is conducive to a more productive, motivated, and satisfied workforce.
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