Administrative Management Theory

  • Docx File 33.60KByte



Administrative Management TheoryMichelle N. ThomasBall State UniversityAbstractThis paper will examine the literature representing the administrative management theory, which emphasizes the historical era of the 1910s to 1930s. An introduction regarding the background and main points of the theory will be analyzed. It will discuss both the practical application of the theory and general theoretical ideas present in the literature. Commonalities between the literature will be identified. The implications of this theory will be addressed. The administrative management theory’s direct application to the practice of adult and community education programs will be analyzed. The primary scholars of this theory, Henri Fayol, James D. Mooney, Alan C. Reiley, and Luther Gulick, will be discussed according to their primary theoretical contributions. Administrative Management Theory IntroductionWhen analyzing the organization and management of adult/community education programs, it is essential to understand the theoretical background upon which these programs are developed. According to Tompkins (2005), having an understanding of theoretical perspectives can assist individuals in determining the factors that influence organizational performance, find out how these factors are interrelated, and determine how to effectively overcome problems, while achieving organizational goals. Understanding organizational theories can help one find new approaches for looking at organizational challenges and determining effective methods for pursuing change within an organization (Tompkins, 2005). The purpose of this paper is to explore the administrative management theory in relation to the primary points of the theory, the historical background of the theory’s development, the general themes identified in literature, and the practical implications of how this theory can be applied to adult and community education programs. Administrative Management Theory’s Primary PurposeThe primary purpose of the administrative management theory is to find a good balance between the structure of the administration and the mission of the organization. It emphasizes the importance of organizational effectiveness. According to this theory, administrative efficiency is improved when defined lines of authority are present and those at the top of administration have the most responsibility for the organization. Administrative efficiency is correlated with departments being divided by a clear separation of labor and administrators with the most responsibilities serving as organizational authority figures (Tompkins, 2005). The four primary scholars associated with the administrative management theory include Henri Fayol, James D. Mooney, Alan C. Reiley and Luther Gulick. Each of these important individuals have had a strong influence on the development of this theory. Rather than focusing on the “human factor,” these theorists emphasized structural variables. They thought that in order to obtain individual and organizational objectives, a well-developed administrative structure must be present (Tompkins, 2005). Historical BackgroundIt is important to examine the background of the administrative management theory to gain a historical perspective on how it has developed over time. According to Pindur and Rogers (1995), the oldest and most widely accepted school of thought in the field of management is called the “classical management movement.” Between 1885 and 1940, this movement evolved in order to provide a scientific and rational foundation for managing organizations. It originated when the Industrial Revolution caused individuals to come from working in small shops or homes to factories. Industrialization led to the need for efficiency in planning, organizing, and controlling/impacting work tasks (Pindur & Rogers, 1995). The classical management movement incorporated scientific management and general administrative management. While scientific management focused on employees as individuals and their specific work assignments, general administrative management emphasized total management organization. General administrative management is “considered the forerunner of modern organization theory” (p. 62). The general administrative management theory was created to develop a broader theory associated with administrative management functions (Pindur & Rogers, 1995). Administrative Management TheoristsHenri Fayol’s Theory of General Management Fayol’s idea of establishing the first general theory of management was developed as a result of his belief that it was essential for managers to have a set of principles to guide their management. He developed his ideas when public and private institutions were growing, which led to a need for management positions. Research-based knowledge was needed to help the field of management develop. His primary piece of literature entitled, General and Industrial Management, was published in French in 1916 and in English in 1949. His theory incorporates four components which include organizational activities, management functions, administrative principles, and methods for putting principles into operation (Tompkins, 2005). Fayol distinguished a difference between “governing” and “managing” an organization. He established six types of activities within governing an organization. Managerial activities incorporate only one of these six aspects. Five other activities relate to industrial concerns. Technical activities involve the production of goods and services, while the commercial activities pertain to buying and selling. Financial activities are associated with raising and expending capital, while the security activities relate to the protection of property and individuals. Accounting activities concern the tracking of profit and losses. These activities may vary in how they are addressed according to the specific type of organization. Fayol believed that although all of these activities are essential, management serves as the foundation open which all of the other activities are implemented to achieve organizational objectives (Tompkins, 2005). According to Fayol, five functions are incorporated into management. The first is “planning,” which is predicting future events/trends that could influence the organization and utilizing this information to impact the organization’s action plan. It involves effectively using resources to meet the organizational objectives. The next function, “organizing,” incorporates both material and human structural components. It involves aspects such as establishing a hierarchy or authority and dividing tasks among workers. “Commanding” is another component that involves providing direction to the organization to emphasize organizational objectives. It includes components such as communicating goals and discharging workers who are incompetent. “Coordinating,” another function, involves “unifying and harmonizing all activity and effort” (p.99). This means that every worker is assigned a task, every area has a specific function, and the contributions of each individual and unit work together to meet the objectives of the organization. “Controlling” involves ensuring that conformity is present in relation to established plans, rules, schedules, and directives. According to Fayol, any supervisor, no matter what their level, should strive to encourage these functional responsibilities in order to achieve organizational success (Tompkins, 2005). Fayol developed 14 administrative principles to provide a form of guidance for managers in any type of organization. The purpose was not to provide universal solutions to managerial issues. He emphasized flexibility and adaptation in relation to each of these principles based on the specific situation. According to Sheldrake (1996), the principles are as follows: Division of work-“to produce more and better work with the same effort” (p.48)Authority-“the right to give orders and the power to exact obedience” (p.49)Discipline-“in essence, obedience, application, energy, behavior and outward marks of respect observed in accordance with standing agreements between the firm and its employers” (p.49) Unity of command-“an employee should receive orders from one superior only” (p.49)Unity of direction-“one head and one plan for a group of activities having the same objective” (p.50)Subordination of individual interest to general interest-“calls to mind the fact that in a business, the interest of one employee or group of employees should not prevail over that of the concern” (p.50)Remuneration of Personnel-“the price of services rendered” (p.50)Centralization-“like division of work…belongs to the natural order” (p.51)Scalar chain-“the chain of superiors ranging from the ultimate authority to the lowest ranks” (p.51)Order-“a place for everything and everything in its place” (p.51)Equity-“the combination of justice and kindliness” (p.52)Stability of tenure of personnel-“personnel planning, management development, and labour turnover” (p.52)Initiative-“power to conceive a plan and ensure its success” (p.52)Esprit de corps-“building and maintain of harmony among the workforce” (p.52) Fayol’s administrative methods emphasize managers creating an administrative apparatus to develop administrative principles. The purpose is to keep the organization focused on its mission and continuous improvements. He valued a survey to determine the organization’s history, resources/needs, and political/economic/cultural circumstances that could influence the future of the organization. Surveys also predict future events that could influence the various areas of the organization. The action plan is developed to direct the organization and its objectives, including how these objectives plan to be met. According to Fayol, statistical reports, minutes, and the organization chart are all beneficial. Statistical reports allow managers to decide whether the plan is being successfully implemented and its defined objectives met. Minutes serve as the record keeping system of meetings in order to establish coordination. The organization chart develops a hierarchy of units, defining the functions responsible for each unit, and specifying who reports to whom (Tompkins, 2005). James D. Mooney and Alan C. Reiley’s Theory of Organization James D. Mooney and Alan C. Reiley are also contributors to the administrative management theory. Although Fayol’s 14 principles dealt with psychological, behavioral, and structural issues, the primary focus in the U.S. needed to focused more specifically on organizational structure. Their primary piece of literature is entitled Onward Industry! The Principles of Organization and Their Significance to Modern Industry, which was published in 1931. They emphasized the importance of organizational structure being governed by universal principles. According to Mooney and Reiley, orderly correlation of these principles would lead to more efficient applicability to all areas of collective human effort. They created three universal principles: coordinative, scalar, and functional (Tompkins, 2005). The coordinative principle, known as the master principle, involves an organization coordinating the tasks of multiple workers in order to accomplish their organizational objectives. According to Mooney and Reiley, authority figures should be responsible for coordinating power. This is done by managing formal authority up and down the chain of command (Tompkins, 2005). The scalar principle refers to the principle of hierarchy, which was a term first utilized by Fayol. Tasks are assigned based on levels of authority arranged vertically in the organization. It is created by delegating, which entails authority from a higher official to a lower official. According to these two theorists, a true leader should be distinguished based on their method of delegation. According to Mooney and Reiley, “The subordinate is always responsible to his immediate supervisor for doing the job, the superior remains responsible for getting it done, and this same relationship, based on coordinated responsibility, is repeated up to the top leader, whose authority makes him responsible for the whole” (p. 104). These theorists emphasized a principle governing the superior-subordinate relationship identified as the “exception principle.” It states, “Subordinates should refer only the few unusual and difficult problems to their superiors while handling all easy and routine problems themselves” (p. 105). Frederick Taylor, another theorist, is associated with favoring this exception principle (Tompkins, 2005). According to Mooney and Reiley, the functional principle focuses on horizontal differences based on types of tasks. It identifies the method of each individual’s work duties and how they contribute to the organization’s goals. One area of functional differentiation is the line and staff principle, which “refers to the creation of staff units to advise or support line authorities in the performance of their duties” (p.105). They emphasized that staff units should not be delegated to command authority over the line units. Although they were not familiar with Fayol’s work, they developed some similar ideas. They both believed that “coordination, hierarchy, and functional differentiation may be universal principles but their application is not” (p.106). These theorists emphasized how principles should never be responsible for solving all of the issues present in an organization (Tompkins, 2005). Luther Gulick’s Administrative Management Theory Luther Gulick is known for applying administrative principles to government. In the early 1900s, the movement to reform the government structure and utilize business methods in public administration was initiated, which had a great influence on Gulick’s role. Although Fayol, Mooney, and Reiley had some great theoretical contributions, Gulick expand upon their basic theoretical framework and added his own conceptual distinctions. One example is his idea that government agencies can be departmentalized based on the process, individuals, place, or purpose. He emphasized the importance of chief executives implementing closer supervision over administrative departments than the heads of holding companies. He also saw a larger need for coordinating due to a greater level of interaction between government departments than between corporate divisions. According to Gulick, all organizations should divide labor no matter what their size or level of complexity. He analyzed how coordination can be accomplished through applying the functional and scalar principle. He emphasized departmentalization, which describes the scalar principle. It is presented by an organization chart demonstrating the level of control each manager has and describes reporting within the organizational hierarchy (Tompkins, 2005). Gulick thought that an organization’s design should be developed by various principles. The span of control principle states, “The number of individuals reporting to a superior should be limited to the number he or she can supervise effectively, given limited time and energy” (p. 110). He pointed out that there is not one correct span of control for all superior-subordinate relationships. Gulick also valued the unity of command principle, which is when each worker takes orders from one superior. He emphasized the homogeneity principle which states, “Work should be divided so that the work of a single organizational unit is as homogeneous in character as possible” (p.110). He valued he line-staff principle; however, he disagreed with the traditional definition that staff agencies are made to guide line agencies and are never allowed to give commands (Tompkins, 2005). Administrative Management Principles: Practical Application in Literature“Forum: New Perspectives in Public Administration” Two practical applications of the administrative management theory will be presented, which will analyze how theory can be applied to practice. General theoretical ideas from literature will also be discussed. It will follow with some general themes present in the literature both in relation to practical application and theoretical components. In this first article related to a practical application of the administrative management theory, Pablo Freire’s ideas of education were applied to public administration leadership. They emphasized deliberation, dialogue, and humanization through conflict. Community mediation was a topic of focus. One of Freire’s main points emphasized in this article is equity, which aligns with Fayol’s principle of equity (Salm & Ordway, 2010). The authors discussed how Freire emphasized the importance of leaders in the public sector facilitating a community of peace, democracy, and true equity (Salm & Ordway, 2010). Equity refers to the influence of being treated kind and fair, leading to the retention of dedicated and honest employees (Tompkins, 2005). Freire valued collaboration between individuals to overcome workplace conflicts (Salm & Ordway, 2010). The administrative management theory emphasizes a scalar chain where communication takes place from the highest to lowest levels of authority. Therefore, superiors in an organization are going to be primary decision makers, according to the administrative management theory (Tompkins, 2005). However, according to Freire, collaboration should take place between all individuals in an organization (Salm & Ordway, 2010). “The Changing Attitude of The National Coal Board to Line and Staff”According to Tompkins (2005), Mooney and Reiley’s line and staff principle refers to “the creation of staff units to advise or support line authorities in the performance of their duties” (p. 105). The National Coal Board utilized the line and staff principle and took the initiative to analyze how it was being implemented in practice (Nelson, 1966). The author emphasized the importance of implementing something as it was designed to be implemented. Although they were facing some issues regarding this principle in practice when this article was published; the author concluded two areas of focus upon which to move forward in the future. The first was both line and staff officials must occupy the key posts. Second, the character of the line and staff principle must be clearly understood (Nelson, 1966). The author analyzed how this principle in practice is more difficult and problem-raising than one would think. He attributed this to human deficiencies rather than the principle itself. He emphasized the importance of utilizing command authority, which is another primary component of the administrative management theory. A few additional issues addressed include issues in an organization related to a mutual lack of understanding, not enough real cooperation, and preoccupation with status. There was an emphasis on how too many individuals are focused on their own specialties and not the business as a whole (Nelson, 1966). This has a direct relationship with Fayol’s principle of subornation of individual interest to general interest. He believed that the interests of individuals in the organization cannot prevail over the interests of the organization as a whole. When addressing the line and staff principle, the unity of command is important to address (Tompkins, 2005). According to Nelson (1966), it is easy to violate the unity of command principle. It is difficult for an individual to have only one boss while also initiating the line and staff principle (Nelson, 1966). Administrative Management Principles: Theoretical Ideas in LiteratureAccepted Administrative Principles According to Simon (1997), there are four general principles that are present in the literature pertaining to the administrative management theory. They include administrative efficiency being increased when members of the organization are grouped (based on purpose, process, clientele, or place), specialize in a task, establish a hierarchy of authority, and create a limited span of control. The author emphasized how the primary purpose of the administrative theory is how an organization should be created and operated to work efficiently. There is a focus on meeting the most administrative objectives while also utilizing the least expenditures. Due to this, there is an association present in the literature that relates the administrative theory to the economic theory (Simon, 1997). Fayol and Administration Sheldrake (1996) incorporated various theoretical ideas in his work that are associated with Fayol. An analysis of the six types of activities (technical, commercial, financial, security, account, and managerial) are discussed that are addressed repeatedly in the literature associated with Fayol. Sheldrake (1996) gave an in-depth explanation of Fayol’s 14 principles. He included further details pertaining to each principle in comparison to most of the other literature that gives a basic description of each principle. Much of his detail is related to the historical perspective on how the principle was established. For example, when addressing the discipline principle, the author addressed elements of state intervention as a result of World War 1, which influenced the background on which this principle was founded. Finally, the elements of management (planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling) and their descriptions were addressed, which aligned well with the other literature. Gulick’s “Notes on the Theory of Organization” According to Fitch (1996), Gulick is well-known for his essay entitled, “Notes on the Theory of Organization.” Gulick wrote this briefing paper, and then he and Lyndall Urwick included this paper in a collection of articles published under that well-known report entitled Papers on the Science of Administration. This collection included other theorists’ work such as Henri Fayol and Mary Parker Follett (Tompkins, 2005). In this essay, Gulick covered many important topics that are prevalent in literature pertaining to the administrative management theory. One of the primary ideas he incorporated that is fairly consistent across literature is the idea that specialized efforts need planning and coordination. Another commonality in the literature he presents is the emphasis on the importance of proper reporting. The last main consistency was his idea related to aggregating the work units and how they should be organized effectively so it does not disrupt the principle of homogeneity.General Themes from LiteratureWhen incorporating the practical application and the general theoretical ideas present in the literature, three primary themes can be identified. The first is the importance of the 14 principles established by Fayol and their practical applicability to management settings. The main point in the literature present with these 14 points is that the organization must be flexible and adaptable. They must utilize these principles in a way that helps them to best meet their unique organizational needs and goals. It is essential that mangers know that principles are not designed to help organizations overcome all of their issues. Their managerial style, organizational resources, etc. are all going to make a great impact on how issues will be resolved effectively and efficiently. The next primary theme identified in the literature pertaining to administrative management theory is the importance of a hierarchical authority system in an organization, which is a component within Fayol’s 14 principles. This theory emphasizes the benefits of knowing exactly who reports to whom within an organization and having clear defined lines of authority. In the literature, it is reiterated that authority figures in an organization have great responsibility over the organization as a whole. They are responsible for taking care of situations where workers are not completing their assigned duties; therefore, influencing effectiveness and efficiency. Finally, Fayols’ management functions (planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling) were present in every piece of literature analyzed pertaining to this theory. Multiple pieces of literature place high value on these management functions. There was a consistent emphasis on how these functions can contribute to finding a good fit between administrative structure and organizational purpose. Although this paper analyzed this theory from an historical perspective, these functions are still present in organizations today. They serve as the foundation upon which the organization is structured. ImplicationsIt is important to incorporate theory into practice. Theories serve as the foundation upon which individuals generate new knowledge and ways of thinking about the world. The two articles discussed earlier identified specific practical applications of the administrative management theory in practice. The following section will analyze how the administrative management theory can be applied to the practice of organizing adult and community education programs. The administrative management theory has direct practical applicability to adult and community education programs, whether they are large or small, private or non-profit, simple or complex, etc. Every type of organization is going to need a governing body of administrators that coordinate the program. Even if it is a non-profit agency, for example, they typically have a board of directors that serve as administrators, holding roles such as making decisions pertaining to the budget. Every adult and community education program values reaching their organizational goals; therefore, incorporating administrative theoretical components will help each unique program achieve their purpose. Every adult and community education program values efficiency and effectiveness; therefore, representing goals of the administrative management theory. Utilizing this theory can help each program be effective and efficient, while still seeking to reach their organizational goals. There are many important decisions that take place in adult and community education settings; therefore, having a clear defined line of authority figures contributes to decisions being made efficiently and in an organized manner. According to Tompkins (2005), this theory helps to generate ideas including “how to centralize administrative direction and oversight without unduly constraining managerial discretion, how to delegate authority and responsibility to subordinates without losing control over their actions, whether reliance on formal authority provides an adequate basis for engaging and motivating employees, and to what extent managers should insist upon strict adherence to the formal chain of command” (p.123). This theory helps to promote coordination and control while also ensuring political accountability, which is a practical concern in present-day society. This theory has directly applicability to publish administration which is founded on the basis of law; therefore, structure is essential in holding those responsible for carrying out the law accountable for each of their actions (Tompkins, 2005). ConclusionThis paper has illustrated the great importance of theory and the practical application of theory in relation to the administrative management theory. Historical events, as well as theorists in the field, have contributed to the development of this theory over time. Through utilizing literature to understand the primary points of this theory, its practical application, and how it can be applied to adult and community education, it is evident that the administrative management theory has great value in its foundation upon which it was developed. Theories can serve as a powerful guide to action if effectively utilized by administrators. The administrative management theory has been effectively utilized by many organizations in order to help structure the organization for the purpose of obtaining organizational goals. ReferencesFitch, L.C.(1996). Making democracy work: The life and letters of Luther Halsey Gulick, 1892-1993. Berkeley, CA: Institute of Governmental Studies Press. Nelson, J.R. (1966). The changing attitude of The National Coal Board to ‘line and staff.’Journal of Management Studies, 3(1), 49-61. Retrieved from Pindur, F., Rogers, S.E., & Kim, P.S. (1995). The history of management: A global perspective. Journal of Management History, 1(1). 59-77. doi: , J., & Ordway, J.L. (2010). Forum: New perspectives in public administration. Administrative Theory & Praxis (M.E. Sharpe), 32(3), 438-444. doi: 10.2753/ATP1084-1806320310Sheldrake, J.(1996). Management theory: From Taylorism to Japanization. Boston, MA: International Thomson Business Press. Simon, H.A.(1997). Administrative behavior. New York, NY: The Free Press. Tompkins, J.R.(2005). Organization theory and public management. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. ................
................

In order to avoid copyright disputes, this page is only a partial summary.

Online Preview   Download