Management Theories

Essay by vvasimmUniversity, Master'sA, February 2011

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Management Theories

Professional management positions in schools evolved after other approaches failed to administer effectively the growing, complex, urban systems of public education. There have been four major theoretical shifts in management thinking, the roots of educational administration.

Frederick Taylor was credited with founding the "scientific management" or "efficiency" movement; this was the first movement considered to have professionalized school superintendency. In his 1917 text, Scientific Management , Taylor stated that that the waste and inefficiency prevalent in most industries was rife in the educational system as well. He emphasized organization-including scientific analysis of all aspects of work, the necessity of job descriptions, and clarification regarding recruitment, training, appraisal, and employee rewards-as the solution for making operations leaner and more effective. Time study, price rate, separation of planning from performance, and scientific methods of work were Taylor's chief principles of management. When those principles were applied to education, organization and efficiency would increase, but Taylor's critics claimed that education was becoming a production process, with schools as factories and students as raw materials en route to becoming products-all under the guidance of teachers being closely monitored by managerial staff who specified production goals and controlled all methods of achieving those goals.

Influenced by Taylor's attitudes toward management and workers, Ellwood Cubberley concluded that the duties of the superintendent were to organize and direct the work of the schools, lead the school board and staff, arbitrate between the board and staff, and supervise instruction. In 1949, Henry Fayol described a set of common processes and principles adopted by educators as descriptive of the functions of administrators. The processes included planning, organization, commanding, coordination, and control. Thus Taylor and Fayol addressed the same efficiency and productivity concerns using the scientific method-Taylor for the bottom of the organization pyramid up and...