Major Schools of Management Thought

May 27, 2019 | By Jonny | Filed in: Management Principles.

What are the major schools of management thought and how do they differ? Management theory, like all philosophy, involves theories and issues that have been formulated over time.

Theory has different lines of communication that are trying to get across to different individuals and groups. What is the view that a group should take towards an issue? What can groups accomplish and what will it mean for the organization to take a different approach?

Different approaches to a problem are very similar. The difference is where the various theories have to come from and how they are applied. There is the conventional view that says the company is in control, there is a theory that says everyone needs to have autonomy and there is a team concept that says all people working together have a better chance of success.

Each of these different schools of thought might not really be correct; each may be applying it incorrectly. A theory is what a group decides and how it applies to the situation and that is the application.

Most organizations really have their own perspectives that result in a particular style of organization. They have to be able to view each other and their environment as part of an organization. This is where the major schools of management theory come in.

If a company thinks about its culture changes in order to evolve it must also think about all of the different schools of thought in their organization. Some management schools of thought are negative and some positive.

Managers who are also sometimes called “anthropologists” do great research about their employees, leaders, and other management elements and work to create a “well rounded” company. Managers who are also in organizations, such as executive coaches, as well as designers, are also considered “anthropologists.”

But what is the key factor that differentiates the schools of thought? What brings them together is the group itself, where the attitude is put into practice and where the values are being applied.

Different perspectives on the business environment, work ethics, and attitudes in the workplace will need to be put into place. Managers who are able to discern between the various schools of thought in their organization are able to apply the necessary training and management concepts to change or develop an effective team.

Successful teams require for communication to take place between all members of the team. When a team works together efficiently and collaboratively the problems that are being addressed are solved more efficiently. It is not only the individual members that make this happen, but it is the team itself.

In modern management theory the main objective is that a team is able to work effectively. A good team is the product of a healthy, strong, and healthy work environment. When this occurs, every employee is giving their best and helping the others to achieve success.

Why does the word “process” bring to mind “Scientific Methods?” How many times do you think the term “process” has been used in this context? How many times has your mind bounced from Business Process Improvement (BPI) to Scientific Management?

Consider two processes. You could use one for internal purposes and another for external ones. Think about how you would classify them. Now consider a process that has a third method: the scientific method.

You can see now that the word “process” could be applied to the scientific BPI process as well as to a process that are currently referred to as Scientific Management. How would you rate the scientific process? Would it be better than the BPI process? The three are not mutually exclusive.

I use the term “Scientific Management” for a process that I have studied for thirty years. It has served my company with consistency and accuracy. It produces reliable results. I used it for the first time in my book, The Seven Steps of Customer Satisfaction (book), in order to introduce the concept of the “system”process.”

The term “process” makes logical sense only if there is no other means of doing business. But the process is a secondary choice when it comes to running your business. In fact, the only way to gain anything from the process is by eliminating it.

We must also understand that the process is a means, but not an end in itself in the most effective and systematic manner. When we talk about the process of elimination, we must make sure that we are not talking about the elimination of processes or persons, but rather the elimination of issues.

The major schools of thought in this situation are those that create frameworks. These frameworks give structure to the processes that you decide to use for the achievement of your goals.

The Scientific Management Framework presents a process that is both accurate and precise in its approach. This approach to solving problems focuses not on singular solutions, but rather on the many aspects of every issue, whether internal or external.

The process is structured around seven steps: identify, recognize, differentiate, discover, plan, implement and evaluate. For more than thirty years, this framework has proven to work for us as a means of creating the processes we have for resolving many of our business problems.

If you can identify the source of your problem and find a way to solve it through a system that has been developed and refined by those who have spent years trying to solve problems, then you have developed the ability to answer certain questions with certainty. You are on the path to process wisdom.

A process should never be considered finished until it has produced the outcome that you seek. When you can write a program that tells you precisely what is wrong with a company and how to correct it, you have built your process system. This shows that you are approaching the “process” from the right perspective.

Until you approach your processes from this perspective, you are simply wasting your time trying to achieve a result that is not achievable. It is time to stop wasting your time and begin to work toward the results you want.


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