Many of the first individuals to study and write about management thought and approach were practicing managers . Such practioner describe thier own experience and tried to generalize principles they believed could be applied in similar situation. Other theories came from educationist, engineers, sociologist, psychologist,political scientist, economist etc. At the present time we find the following approach to the study of management science and theory.

Approaches to management thought
Approaches to management thoughts

Approaches to management thought

The empirical or case approach

The members of the following school of thought study management by analysing experience usauly through cases. The work on the premise that practitioners will understand the feild of management and some now come to know how to manage effectively by studying managerial such and failure in various individuals cases. The importance of analysing past experience of management cannot be over stressed in management, unlike law, is one a science based on precedent at future situations exactly resembles those of the part can unlikely occur. The empiricists believe in drawing certain generalization application as useful goes for future thought or action.

The interpersonal behaviour approach

This management thought approach is based on the thess that managing involves getting things done through people and therefore, that the study of management should be centered in interpersonal relation. Thier focus as an individual and his motivation as a socio-psychological being. 

The contribution if this approach is the recognition of the organised enterprises as a social organism made at many society organization within it's subject matter to all the attitude, habit, presure, and conflict if the cultural environment if the people. Another helpful aspect is the awareness of the influence of the informal organizations.

The socio-technical system approach

This approach views an organization as two system, there fore social system and a technologicak system . It claimed that organizational effectiveness. And therefore managerial effectiveness depends not only in the people and their interaction but also at the technical environment in which they operate.

The decision theory approach

This approach is the study and analysis of management thought. A system is essentially a set of things inter connected. System also play an important part within the area of managing itself. There are such as planning system, organizational systems can affect all other system.

The contingencies or situational approach

This approach emphasis that what managers do in practice depend upon a given set of circumstances or the situation. It implies that managerial practices require that manager take into account the realities of a given situation when they apply theory or techniques.
Essentially, this thought and approach emphasis the fact that what managers do in practice depends upon a given set of circumstances or the situation.

The managerial roles approach (classical approach)

Essentially, this thought and approach is to observe what managers actually do and from such observations comes to conclusions as to what managerial activities are. For the research of mintzbery he observed that managers really fill a series of ten roles. They as follows;

Interpersonal roles:

1. The figure- head (performing ceremonial and social duties as the organization representative)
2. The leader role . (Influence living,trianing, and motivating of subordinate)
3. The liason role.( Interacts with peers and other individuals in different enterprises to gain favour and knowledge).

Informational roles:

1. Receiving information about the operation of an enterprise.
2. The dissemination role (passing information to subordinate).
3. The spokesperson role ( transmitting information outside the organization).

Decision roles:

1. The enterprenuerial role. (Initiate changes to improve enterprises performance)
2. The disturbance handlers role. (Deals with unforseen events or crisis)
3. The resources allocation role. (Decides how an Enterprise will expand it's resources.
4. The negotiator role( bargains with individuals, representative of other enterprises).

The operational approach:

This approach tries to put together for the field of management thought the concept , principles,theories and techniques which underpin the actual practice of management. It is believed that managerial functions essentially include planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling.


These approach discussed above and others clearly show the universality viewpoints about management thought and approach theory. The Essence of this approach is that , organizational mistakes are very costly, and management needs a clear vision for how it should proceed to aviod them for the progress of the organisatios.


There are a variety of management thoughts or approaches that can be taken in order to manage a business or organization. The most common ones are scientific management, classical management, human relations management, and contingency management.

Scientific management is based on the idea that there is a science to work and that work can be analyzed and measured in order to improve efficiency. This approach was popularized by Frederick Taylor in the early 20th century.

Classical management is based on the ideas of Henri Fayol and is focused on creating a hierarchy within an organization and having clear lines of authority. This approach is still used in many businesses today.

Human relations management is based on the idea that employees are motivated by more than just money and that there is a need to focus on creating a positive work environment. This approach was popularized by Elton Mayo in the 1930s.

Contingency management is based on the idea that there is no one best way to manage and that the approach that should be used.

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