Theories * management theories : * allow an organised way of thinking about something * help define concepts and insights about the thing * are able to organise facts, definitions etc. about the thing so they do not contradict one another * try to explain and predict features or behaviour of the thing * may lead to a more objective rather than subjective consideration of the thing * However, our belief in a theory may often be more subjective than objective, e.g. global warming.
Also called Taylorism, was a theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. Its main objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes and to management. Its development began with Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1880s and 1890s within the manufacturing industries. Although scientific management as a distinct theory or school of thought was obsolete by the 1930s, most of its themes are still important parts of industrial engineering and management today. These include: analysis; synthesis; logic; rationality; empiricism; work ethic; efficiency and elimination of waste; standardization of best practices; disdain for tradition preserved merely for its own sake or merely to protect the social status of particular workers with particular skill sets; the transformation of craft production into mass production; and knowledge transfer between workers and from workers into tools, processes, and documentation.
Scientific management's application was contingent on a high level of managerial control over employee work practices. This necessitated a higher ratio of managerial workers to laborers than previous management methods. The great difficulty in accurately differentiating any such intelligent, detail-oriented management from mere misguided management also caused interpersonal friction between workers and managers.
While the terms "scientific management" and "Taylorism" are often treated as synonymous, an alternative view considers Taylorism as the first form of scientific management, which was followed by new iterations; thus in today's management theory, Taylorism is sometimes called (or considered a subset of) the classical perspective (meaning a perspective that's still respected for its seminal influence although it is no longer state-of-the-art). Taylor's own early names for his approach included "shop management" and "process management". When Louis Brandeis popularized the term "scientific management" in 1910, Taylor recognized it as another good name for the concept, and he used it himself in his 1911 monograph.
However, many aspects of scientific management have never stopped being part of later management efforts called by other names. There is no simple dividing line demarcating the time when management as a modern profession (blending art, academic science, and applied science) diverged from Taylorism proper. It was a gradual process that began as soon as Taylor published (as evidenced by, for example, Hartness's motivation to publish his Human Factor, or the Gilbreths' work), and each subsequent decade brought further evolution.
General administrative theory
Developed at same time as scientific management, Scott notes that administrative theory "emphasized management functions and attempted to generate broad administrative principles that would serve as guidelines for the rationalization of organizational activities".
While Taylor reorganized from "bottom up", administrative theorists looked at productivity improvements from the "top down".
Administrative theorists developed general guidelines of how to formalize organizational structures and relationships. They viewed the job as antecedent to the worker. Primarily these principles were broad guidelines for decision making.