Industrialization brought people from different backgrounds to work in ‘factories’ as opposed to the handicraft system under which they had worked previously in small shops or in homes (Kim et al, 1995). It was felt, therefore at the time, a strong need for efficient planning, organizing and controlling of all work related activities, a need that was the main stimulant in the formation of the principals of “Scientific Management” and “Administrative Management”.
Scientific management, in its essence was based upon the improvement of productivity, while Administrative management dealt, on the whole, with the organization as an entity and primarily focused on its overall effectiveness and improvement. The implications and results of the application of these two theories were immense and profound in their times, however, with the passage of time, the debate over the productivity of the classical theory of management became heated. As newer theories, principles and model’s emerged, the number of people who were un-sure of the effectiveness of this school of thought increased in number, and while it has not yet lost all credibility, there are a significant number of people who do not believe in the principles of scientific management and administrative management anymore.
This paper deals with the applicability of the classical management theory in today’s age and discusses its usefulness for the management of the modern organization. The paper presents a review of the applications of the theory in the days of its infancy and follows that with a discussion about how relevant those applications are in today’s world.
As mentioned before, a product of the Industrial Revolution, the classical management theory had two major components which were scientific management and administrative management. During that era, efficiency had become a