School of Management Thought: an Introductory Overview

School of Management Thought: an Introductory Overview

1. What are the features of the major management thought schools?
The major schools of management theory can be, according to the author Koontz, classified into six main groups:
1) The Management Process School: which deals with management as being a process of getting things done through and with people operating in organized groups. This school is also called the “traditional” or “universalist” school, and is fathered by Henri Fayol. It views management theory as a way of organizing experience for practice, research and teaching. It begins by defining the functions of managers.
2) The Empirical School: which deals with management as being a study of experience that has to be taught and transferred to the practitioner or student. Koontz mentions Ernest Dale's comparative approach as an example which involves the study and analysis of cases. The general idea is that generalizations can be drawn from cases that can be applied as guides in similar situations.
3) The Human Behavior School: which believes that since managing involves getting things done with and through people, then the study of management must be centered on interpersonal relations. It’s also called the “human relations”, “leadership”, or “behavioral sciences” approach. Its theory focuses on the motivation of the individual viewed as a socio-psychological being.
4) The Social System School: which identifies the nature of the cultural relationships of various social groups and attempts to show these as a related, and usually integrated system. The spiritual father of this school is Chester Barnard.
5) The Decision Theory School: which concentrates on rational approach to decision – the selection from among possible alternatives of a course of action or of an idea. This school is believed to have grown from the theory of consumer's choice associated with Jeremy Bentham. Its basic approach is to deal with the decision itself, or to the persons or organizational group making the decision, or to an...

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