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Classical Theory

Meaning: It focuses on structure, design and features of the organization like specialization, scalar chain, departmentation, span of control, centralization/decentralization etc. The structure is created and people are appointed to run the various departments. Human beings and their interaction as part of informal social groups are not considered important. It considers organizations as closed system with very little or no interaction with the environmental forces. It emphasizes on tasks more than people, Hierarchy of authority, division of work specialization, impersonal relations, narrow span of control etc. are the important factors of cosmically theories of organization.

Main contributions to classical theory has come from Taylor, Fayola, Weber, Oliver Sheldon, Chester Barnard etc.Based on the nature of authority, three types of organization are defined in the classical theory: Line organization, Line and Staff organization and Functional organization.

Features of the classical theory:

The features of the classical theory are as follows:
(a)    People work only if they are directed to work. They do not assume responsibilities on their own.
(b)    Formal plans, motivational factors and communication channels are designed to get the work done through subordinates.
(c)    It achieves efficiency at the cost of social dissatisfaction.
(d)    It emphasizes on division of work as a means to improve workers’ performance. It believes that higher degree of specialization in work performed by workers will lead to higher efficiency in organization’s performance.
(e)    It views unity of control as the basis for achieving coordination amongst varied vitiates of organizational members. One subordinate Southaven one boss is the basis of unity of control. Functional relationships are ignored.

This theory represents a static form of organizations that do not interact with the environment. In actual proactive, no organization can ignore the influence of environmental factors on its working. An organization actively influences and is influenced by environmental forces. It also ignores the behavioral organization. It considers people s resources rather than human beings. Informal groups, social interactions and group thinking are altogether ignored. It is, thus, not considered as and acceptable theory of organization.

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