Wednesday, June 12, 2013


The foremost proponents of the classical theory of organization have been Henry Fayol, Luther Gullick, L F Urwick, J D Mooney, A C Reiley, Mary Parker Follet and R Shelton. This theory is also called structural theory. According to these scholars certain universal principles of organization could be enunciated which are equally applicable to the organizations of all types whether for government or for profit or for social purposes. The objectives to be achieved by the organizations according to this approach are economy and efficiency. The structuralists were mainly concerned about devising the proper structure of organizations and giving some principles to divide the work efficiently so that economy and efficiency could be achieved. Classical theory is also called "administrative management" approach.

In the previous article we have studied about the scientific management approach and the views of F. W. Taylor. While Taylor was concerned about the shop management the structuralists considered the organization as a whole. Further Taylor was considered with worker & floor level activities and did not take supervisory levels into account while management thinkers such as Gullick and Urwick took into consideration the supervisory levels.


Major Premises of Classical Theory

The major premises of classical theory on which it is based are:

  1. It gives emphasis on the structure of organization/management and the effectiveness of organization depends on its structure.

  2. It believes that there are certain principles of organization which are universally valid. These principles have been derived from the experience of industrial & military organizations.

  3. It believes that the principles enunciated by classical theory are scientific in nature and a science of administration could be found based on such principles.

  4. Economy and efficiency are virtues to be achieved by the organizations.


So this everything about the classical theory. Many Scholars like Henry Fayol, Luther Gulick and Lyndall Urwick have largely contributed to this theory.


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