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Theoretical Foundations. Classical Theories of Organizations. PREVIEW. Review Chapter One Theoretical Relevancy Minimizing Misunderstandings Classical Theories of Organizations Taylor’s Theory of Scientific Management Fayol’s Administrative Theory Weber’s Theory of Bureaucracy.

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Theoretical Foundations

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theoretical foundations

Theoretical Foundations

Classical Theories of Organizations

  • Review Chapter One
  • Theoretical Relevancy
  • Minimizing Misunderstandings
  • Classical Theories of Organizations
    • Taylor’s Theory of Scientific Management
    • Fayol’s Administrative Theory
    • Weber’s Theory of Bureaucracy
organizational communication foundations review
Organizational CommunicationFoundations REVIEW
  • “…the process of creating, exchanging, interpreting (correctly or incorrectly), and storing oral, nonverbal, and written messages within (and across the boundaries of) a system of interrelated and interdependent people working to accomplish common tasks and goals within an organization.”
assumptions and features
Assumptions and Features
  • Communication is central to the existence of the organization
  • Organizational communication is a complex process (creating, exchanging, interpreting, and storing messages)
  • Misunderstandings occur

“Instances in which people who are communicating don’t share meanings as well as situations in which features of organizational life serve to impinge upon the efficient and effective functioning of organizational members.”

three important constructs
Three Important Constructs
  • Organizational Identification(process & product)
    • An active process by which individuals link themselves to elements (people, policies, products, services, customers, values) in the social scene.
    • Involves an individual’s sense of membership in and connection with an organization.
  • Job Satisfaction
    • The degree to which employees feel fulfilled by their job and related experiences.
    • A pleasurable or positive emotional state from the appraisal of one’s job or experiences
    • Linked to absenteeism and turnover
  • Communication Satisfaction
    • The degree to which employees feel that communication is appropriate and satisfies their need for information and work relationships
communication satisfaction csq
Communication Satisfaction (CSQ)
  • Eight Factors concerned with communication information, relationships, channels, and climate
    • Communication Climate
    • Relationship to Supervisors
    • Organizational Integration
    • Media Quality
    • Horizontal and Informal Communication
    • Organizational Perspective
    • Relationship with Subordinates
    • Personal Feedback
  • Communication satisfaction is often considered the “sum” of an individual’s satisfaction with the above dimensions.
primary goal
Primary Goal

Reduce misunderstandings through communication.


An explanation for how or why something occurs. . .

Question: What is the most efficient and effective means of running an organization?

functions of theory
Functions of Theory
  • Describe
  • Explain
  • Predict
  • Control
  • Classical approaches to organizational management and early organizational theories were designed to predict and control behavior in organizations.
classical theories of organizations
Classical Theories of Organizations
  • Emerged in early part of the twentieth century.
  • Models were military and the Catholic Church.
  • Features
    • Strict CONTROL of workers
    • Absolute CHAINS of COMMAND
    • PREDICTABILITY of behavior
    • UNIDIRECTIONAL downward influence
classical theories of organizations relevancy and metaphor
Classical Theories of Organizations:Relevancy and Metaphor
  • How and why does studying classical theory help us to understand how modern organizations function and particularly the role that communication plays in effective organizing?
  • What is the metaphor which characterizes the classical approach to organizations?
the metaphor of the machine
The Metaphor of the Machine
  • Organizations are viewed as if they are machines.
    • Managerial principles
    • Modes of operation
    • Treatment of workers
    • Communication in the organization
  • Properties of Machines
    • Very predictable
    • Rarely deviates from the norm
    • Replace defective parts with other “standard” parts
    • Specific rules exist regarding repair and specific roles
  • Organizational Application
    • Workers behave predictably-management knows what to expect
    • Workers operating outside expectations are replaced
minimizing misunderstandings
Minimizing Misunderstandings
  • STRICT RULES & REGULATIONS regarding . . .
    • how work is accomplished,
    • who could speak to whom and when, and
    • managing through fear.
    • Creativity and intelligence are underutilized
    • Increased dissatisfaction
    • Decreased motivation and commitment to task and organization
    • Decreased communication effectiveness and satisfaction
distinguishing classical theories
Distinguishing Classical Theories
  • “Creative Application Skit”
    • Theory “Matchbook Definition”
      • Describe the theory “in a nutshell”
    • Principles of Management
    • Major Elements of the Theory
    • Application in the Modern Workplace
    • Personal Example(s)
    • How are misunderstandings minimized?
    • What new forms of misunderstandings are created?
      • Unintentional by-products
      • Contributions to occurrences of different problems
taylor s theory of scientific management
Taylor’s Theory of Scientific Management
  • Frederick Taylor (1856-1915)
    • “The Father of Scientific Management”
    • Maximize worker capacity and profits
    • PROBLEM: Get employees to work at their maximum capacity
  • Systematic Soldiering
    • Deliberately working slowly as to avoid expanding more effort than deemed necessary
    • Reasons
      • Reduction in workforce due to decreased need
      • Piecework system of remuneration - raise production requirements without increasing pay
      • Rule of thumb training methods - inefficient
taylor s theory of scientific management1
Taylor’s Theory of Scientific Management
  • Elements of Scientific Management
    • Scientific design of every aspect of every task
      • Time and Motion Studies
    • Careful selection and training of every task
    • Proper remuneration for fast and high-quality work
      • Maximize output - increase pay
    • Equal division of work and responsibility between worker and manager
  • Underlying Themes
    • Managers are intelligent; workers are and should be ignorant
    • Provide opportunities for workers to achieve greater financial rewards
    • Workers are motivated almost solely by wages
    • Maximum effort = Higher wages
    • Manager is responsible for planning, training, and evaluating
taylor s theory of scientific management2
Taylor’s Theory of Scientific Management
  • Application in the Modern Workplace
    • Assembly Line Plants as Prototypical Examples
    • “Prisoners of Taylorism”
    • System of Remuneration (quotas - commission)
    • Re-Design - Reengineering
    • Benchmarking
    • Data are used to refine, improve, change, modify, and eliminate organizational processes
    • Lean Manufacturing
fayol s administrative theory
Fayol’s Administrative Theory
  • Henri Fayol (1841-1925)
    • General and Industrial Management
    • Principles and Elements of Management - how managers should accomplish their managerial duties
    • PRIMARY FOCUS: Management

(Functions of Administration)

    • More Respect for Worker than Taylor
      • Workers are motivated by more than money
      • Equity in worker treatment
fayol s administrative theory1
Fayol’s Administrative Theory
  • Five Elements of Management -- Managerial Objectives
    • Planning
    • Organizing
    • Command
    • Coordination
    • Control
  • Keep machine functioning effectively and efficiently
  • Replace quickly and efficiently any part or process that did not contribute to the objectives
fayol s administrative theory2
Fayol’s Administrative Theory
  • Fourteen Principles of Management (Tools for Accomplishing Objectives)
    • Division of work - limited set of tasks
    • Authority and Responsibility - right to give orders
    • Discipline - agreements and sanctions
    • Unity of Command - only one supervisor
    • Unity of Direction - one manager per set of activities
    • Subordination of Individual Interest to General Interest
    • Remuneration of Personnel - fair price for services
    • Centralization - reduce importance of subordinate’s role
    • Scalar Chain - Fayol’s bridge
    • Order - effective and efficient operations
    • Equity - kindliness and justice
    • Stability of Tenure of Personnel - sufficient time for familiarity
    • Initiative - managers should rely on workers’ initiative
    • Esprit de corps - “union is strength” “loyal members”
fayol s administrative theory3
Fayol’s Administrative Theory
  • Positioned communication as a necessary ingredient to successful management
  • Application in the Modern Workplace
    • Fayol’s elements of management are recognized as the main objectives of modern managers
    • Planning - more participatory
    • Organizing - human relationships and communication
    • IMPORTANT TABLE 2.1 Comparison of Managerial Skills (p. 32)
    • Especially applicable for large organizations (military)
weber s theory of bureaucracy
Weber’s Theory of Bureaucracy
  • Max Weber (1864-1920)
    • German Sociologist
    • Theory of Social and Economic Organization (1947)
    • Principles and Elements of Management - describe an ideal or pure form of organizational structure (general policy and specific commands
    • PRIMARY FOCUS: Organizational Structure
    • Worker should respect the “right” of managers to direct activities dictated by organizational rules and procedures
weber s theory of bureaucracy1
Weber’s Theory of Bureaucracy
  • Bureaucracy allows for the optimal form of authority - “rational authority”
  • Three types of Legitimate Authority
    • Traditional Authority - past customs; personal loyalty
    • Charismatic Authority - personal trust in character and skills
    • Rational Authority - rational application of rules or laws
weber s theory of bureaucracy2
Weber’s Theory of Bureaucracy
  • Tenets of Bureaucracy
    • Rules
    • Specified sphere of competence
    • Hierarchy
    • Specialized Training
    • Workers do not own technology
    • No entitlement to “official position” by incumbent
    • Everything written down
    • Maintenance of “ideal type” - bureaucracy
weber s theory of bureaucracy3
Weber’s Theory of Bureaucracy
  • Concerned with describing the ideal structure of an organization
  • Cornerstone: existence of written rules
  • The rational application of written rules ensures the promotion of legitimate authority and the effective and efficient functioning of the organization.
weber s theory of bureaucracy4
Weber’s Theory of Bureaucracy
  • Application in the Modern Workplace
    • Large organizations guided by countless rules are bureaucracies
    • Linked with inefficient, slow-moving organizations
    • Organizations have several characteristics of bureaucracies
  • Classical Theories of Organizations (p. 36)
    • Taylor’s Theory of Scientific Management
    • Fayol’s Administrative Theory
    • Weber’s Theory of Bureaucracy
  • All 3 theories attempt to enhance management’s ability to predict and control the behavior of their workers
  • Considered only the task function of communication (ignored relational and maintenance functions of communication)
  • Designed to predict and control behavior in organizations
next week
  • Read CHAPTER 3: Humanistic Theories of Organizations

(pp. 39-62)

    • Human Relations Theory
      • The Hawthorne Studies
      • McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y
    • Human Resources Theory
      • Likert’s Systems Theory (Four Systems of Management)
      • Blake and Mouton’s (a.k.a. Blake and McCanse) Managerial Grid