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Classical and Scientific Management Theory Education and Training

Lesley Graybeal

Learn more about classical management theory and its uses for your business

Classical and scientific management theory grew out of Frederick Taylor's turn-of-the-century work evaluating and improving worker productivity. Scientific management theory focuses on studying individual tasks and the workers who do them, and is typically associated with assembly-line production. If your business uses an assembly line or involves highly specialized discrete tasks, classical management may be a good choice for you.

The management structure in the classical school of management is highly hierarchical, so if your business has a similar structure you may find it useful for managers and employees at all levels to have some training in classical management. While obtaining a degree or certification is one way to learn about the theories of classical and scientific management, you can also obtain a working knowledge of classical theory of management principles from workshops, guides or overviews.

Learn more about classical management theory from the following sources:

  1. Enroll in management theory coursework to obtain degrees or certification.
  2. Learn how to apply classical management theories with the help of consultants.
  3. Find free overviews of scientific management theory online.

Get classical and scientific management theory education and training from colleges and universities

A number of colleges and universities provide classical and scientific management theory coursework as part of management and organizational theory degrees or certificate programs. While some programs require on-campus coursework, others can be completed entirely online. Management and organizational theory courses typically cover classical management theorists as well as other, more recent schools of thought.
Stanford University, or an online certificate in Management Productivity from Cornell's eCornell online program. You can also find information about taking a course or getting a degree in management theory from the University of Phoenix online at

Get guidance in classical management through consulting or government assistance programs

Private consulting firms and government assistance programs can help your business become more familiar with management theories and how to implement them in your workplace. If you are interested in classical and scientific management theory education and training, but want practical solutions for all levels of business rather than theoretical knowledge for those at the top, consider seeking outside assistance for achieving concrete results in management and productivity.
U.S. Office of Personnel Management has a Training and Management Assistance program that can help train your business in the use of classical management principles to enhance productivity.

Find free overviews of scientific management theory online for training in the basics

If you want to provide your management personnel with basic training in classical management theory, consider getting a free overview of management theory online. Sharing and implementing classical and scientific management ideas may make more sense to your employees when placed in the broader context of management as a field of study.
  • If you decide to implement ideas from the classical theory of management, be aware that the focus on worker productivity may place an increased burden on employees. Provide a basic level of training to employees at all levels, not just management, to make sure that everyone understands and is on board with the shift in management philosophy.
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Lesley Graybeal