Importance of Management Theories

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Importance of Management Theories

For an organization to run efficiently, the management needs to be aware of the needs of the organization. Some managers go ahead and change the running of the organization when this is not what the organization needs. Attempts to try out alternative managerial strategies should be guided by analysis of the organization that hints at possible improvements that the organization may enjoy if it changes its managerial strategy. Therefore, efficiency in an organization is dependent on the proper selection and implementation of management theories. There are three popular theories that organizations can employ; the human relations theory, theory XY and the bureaucratic theory of management (Waddell, Jones & George, 2013). The paper discusses the three theories and it shows that the proper employment of management theories is imperative for increased productivity and efficiency in the organization.

The human relations management theory was developed by Professor Elton Mayo. During its development, organizations focused on increasing productivity. As mayo developed the theory he sort to prove that human beings are more important than machines when it comes to improving productivity (Waddell, Jones & George, 2013). The human relations theory proposes that workers in an organization wish to receive special attention and feel as part of a supportive team that is willing to support them in their growth (Williams, 2013). When employees receive such special attention they are motivated to be productive resulting in high quality work from the workers. The basic tenet of this theory is that motivation of workers is imperative for improved productivity and quality of work of employees. For example, in organizations where this theory is the backbone of the management employees derive job satisfaction from their work and makes them desire to give more to the organization.

The human relations theory is as useful in organizations today as it was in the 20’s. Organizations employ the theory to improve efficiency and productivity in the workplace. By employing the basic tenets of the theory managers ensure that employees have a conducive work environment that motivates workers to put all their efforts towards the achievement of organizational goals. The theory is important because it emphasizes the need to cater for the individual needs of employees. An employee who has a family back home would, for example, be highly motivated to perform better at work if they are offered longer vacation time as an incentive. The emphasis on human relations in organizations helps realize greater productivity (Şahin, 2012). For example, employees in Google are highly productive because the company creates a conducive working environment for its employees (Human Resource MBA, 2015).

The Bureaucratic theory of management is built on principles developed by Max Weber and Fredrick Taylor. The two theorists emphasized on the importance of standardized procedures in improving efficiency at the workplace. The principles that guide the bureaucratic theory include having clearly defined roles for workers. This ensures that every employee knows what is expected of them and consequently they are able to complete their tasks faster. According to the theory organizations should also have a clearly defined hierarchy of authority and standardized procedures (Waddell, Jones & George, 2013). An organization should also ensure that it has an efficient way of maintaining records. Finally, an organization should only employ workers if they meet all the qualification requirements for a certain position in the organization (Van der Voet, 2014). Proper implementation of these principles ensures increased efficiency in the organization.

The Bureaucratic theory is especially important in increasing efficiency in large organizations that have several different departments. The usefulness of the theory is that it allows workers to perform their role in the organization efficiently because they know what is expected of them. With a clearly defined job description a worker is able to complete tasks faster and more efficiently. Meticulous record keeping ensures that there is transparency in the organization which is important for efficient running of the organization. The theory also recommends that only qualified employees are awarded positions in the organizations which helps avoid practices such as nepotism in the organization (Van der Voet, 2014). Therefore, the bureaucratic theory is useful for increasing efficiency in large organizations. An example of an organization where the bureaucratic system is well implemented is a university such as Harvard. In such an institution everything runs smoothly because the system has been implemented well.

Theory XY was proposed by Douglas McGregor. McGregor proposed that there are two approaches that managers can use to deal with their workers. Managers who use theory X achieve less desirable results as compared to those who use theory Y (Waddell, Jones & George, 2013). Theory X proposes an authoritarian approach to organizational management. It suggests that workers are unambitious and generally try to avoid work so they need to be threatened with punishment for them to perform. Theory Y proposes that people are capable of pursuing organizational goals but their commitment to these goals is dependent on the rewards they get from such commitment. Theory Y proposes that people enjoy work and their capacity to come up with innovative solutions to problems within the organization is widely distributed in the worker population (Şahin, 2012).

The relevance of theory XY in organizations today is that it emphasizes the importance of using a participative approach to management. Rather than striving to control workers the manager should trust them to make decisions that steer the organization towards success. The theory gives a guide on the efficient way of achieving increasing productivity and efficiency in the organization which is by using the reward system and avoiding the use of punitive measures (Şahin, 2012). By giving a comparison of different ways to approach management the theory clearly shows the need to use one approach as opposed to the other. In a company such as twitter the company employs theory Y and because employees are well catered for their productivity is very high (Human Resource MBA, 2015).

In summary, management theory is central to the success of an organization. Therefore, the success of an organization is dependent on the proper implementation of management theory. Before deciding to implement changes in the leadership of an organization the manager needs to consider the prevailing status of the organization and whether the organization needs change (Waddell, Jones & George, 2013). It is only after careful consideration of the needs of the organization that the management can settle on the combination of management theories that serve the organization best.


Human Resource MBA. (2015). The world’s 30 most innovative corporate human resources department. Retrieved 19 August 2016, From

Şahin, F. (2012). The mediating effect of leader–member exchange on the relationship between Theory X and Y management styles and affective commitment: A multilevel analysis. Journal of Management & Organization, 18(02), 159-174.

Van der Voet, J. (2014). The effectiveness and specificity of change management in a public organization: Transformational leadership and a bureaucratic organizational structure. European Management Journal, 32(3), 373-382.

Waddell, D., Jones, G. R., & George, J. M. (2013). Contemporary management (Third ed.). North Ryde, NSW: McGraw-Hill Education.

Williams, C. (2013). Principles of management. Boston: South-Western Cengage Learning.