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One of the schools of management thought involves a principle known as the behavioral management theory. This theory is the school of thought that focuses on the way people work, and how employers could manage their employees. During the development of the behavioral management theory, a scientist named Elton Mayo developed an experiment that showed that increasing human motivation and satisfaction would have a concurrent role in increasing productivity. By making employees feel like they had a valued role in business operations, Mayo and his group of colleagues observed that psychological needs and wants had as much a role in the success of the workplace.
Classical versus Behavioral Management Theory
The classical theory is a school of thought that preceded the behavioral management theory, different on a number of fundamental aspects. One of the main characteristics of the classical management theory is that it was devised to increase productivity and efficiency. In order to find the best way to manage workers, employers would develop almost scientific solutions, such as standardizing methods and training employees on a single task. In addition, the classical management theory also produced new administrative methods geared towards efficiency, such as creating records and competence standards.
The classical method focused mainly on achieving results, ignoring the motivations and the will of the workers. However, the behavioral management theory addresses this dynamic, taking into account employee behavior and expectations. One of the main characteristics of the behavioral management theory is that in order to more adequately achieve success, it is critical to recognize the human relations behind a company. Studies during this period showed that employees, when given attention and privileges, would perform better, thus allowing the company to achieve higher results.
Lasting Effects of the Behavioral Management Theory
The development of the behavioral management theory has had a number of lasting effects on everyday business operations. One of the main benefits of the behavioral management theory is the human relations movement, in which researches would study the behavior of groups in workplace settings. These researchers determined that it was important to nurture communication and interpersonal relations within a workplace, instead of focusing solely on mindless production.
In almost every company today exists a human relations department, designed for addressing the needs of the workers. One of the main goals of the human relations movement was to create an efficient workplace without sacrificing the motivations of the employees. Satisfaction played a role in productivity, and thus companies addressed this by implementing incentives programs and other benefits. However, the behavioral management theory is flawed in that it ignored external elements, assuming that the outside environment was static. In addition, future studies would show that satisfaction only plays a role in certain situations. Nonetheless, the lasting effects of the behavioral management theory can be seen in the implementation of human relations practices in many businesses today.