Essay on the Limitations of Classical Organisations Theory

1. The motivational assumptions are incomplete and inaccurate.

2. Intra-organisational conflict is generally ignored.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

3. Constraints placed on the human as a complex information-processing system are given little consideration.

4. Little attention is given to the role of cognition in task identification and decision.

5. The phenomenon of programme elaboration receives little emphasis.

In other words, the classical organisation theories are much too simplistic and too mechanistic to handle the complex human element properly.

The classical theories, moreover, are no longer relevant to many modern organisation. For the most part, these theories were predicated on the environment of the industrial revolution today’s technological and social environment is quite different. Classical, bureaucratic solutions to contemporary human organizational problems are no longer appropriate or sufficient.

A major weakness of the behavioural theorists, with the possible exception of Likert and his linking pin model, is that they are very long on criticism but very short on positive, workable solutions. They readily point out the numerous deficiencies of classical theory but seldom offer constructive alternatives.

In both theories, the goals remain the same viz., economy efficiency and the use of scientific methods in management. The former’s conceptualization was based on the recognition of the motivation of a “social man” who was emotional while the latter’s focus was on the needs of an “economic man”, who was rational and logical.

The classicists focused on the motivation of workers, while human relationists examined the needs and aspirations of workers as well as managers. The former’s prescription of organisational change lay in the realm of formal structure while the latter recognized that it is the informal group in an organization which primarily determines the nature of change. Despite these differences both have played a major role in developing administrative thought and practice.

The classical theory played a notable role in rationalizing and stimulating the quantity of production. By formulating certain principles of organisation and concepts in administration it evolved a base for subsequent research in organisational theory.

The human relation theorists started where the former left off their emphasis on the variables of leadership, morale, motivation information groups and the external as well as the internal environment of workers paved the way for a new orientation in administrative studies, based on the empirical and behavioral approach.