The Classical Organisation Theory
The term “classical” in the English language refers to something traditionally accepted or long established. The beginning of the classical organisation theory can be traced back to the heydeys of industrial transformation in the second half of the nineteenth century when some perceptive observers felt obsessed with the problem of growing size of the industries. In the beginning, the large scale operations were carried out by the organisations with the help of unskilled and semi-skilled people but later on, the technological development changed the industrial scene completely. Many new economic, social and technical problems sprang up. The need for solving these problems called for the development of organisational forms and management practices which were quite different from the traditional ones. This phenomenon changed the individualistic nature of organisation and management into mechanical nature. This view was current through the first half of the twentieth century.
The classical writers viewed the organisation as a machine and human beings as different components of that machine. Their approach has focused on input-output mediators and given less attention to constraining and facilitating factors in the external environment. Workers were considered to be driven by economic considerations who could be solely motivated by economic rewards. While managers were regarded as kind-hearted, rational, intelligent and qualified people. Because an organisation was treated as a machine, it was felt that its efficiency could be increased by making each individual efficient, so that both the organisation’s and the workers’ interests might be served. Increased human productivity would facilitate the organisation in achieving its goals and objectives while on the other hand workers would get higher wages in return for their increased
productivity. Thus, management is to emphasise on the improvement of the machine in order to get higher productivity from the people at the minimum expense. The emphasis was on the specialisation of performance and co-ordination of various activities.