Classical Management Theory (1900-1930): Definition

Start Your Free Trial To Continue Watching
As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 8,500 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.
Free 5-day trial
It only takes a minute. You can cancel at any time.
Already registered? Login here for access.
Start your free trial to take this quiz
As a premium member, you can take this quiz and also access over 8,500 fun and engaging lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Get access today with a FREE trial!
Free 5-day trial
It only takes a minute to get started. You can cancel at any time.
Already registered? Login here for access.
  1. 0:10 Classical Management Theory Evolution
  2. 1:34 The Typical Classical Manager
  3. 2:40 Expansion of Classical Management
  4. 3:23 Lesson Summary
Show Timeline
Taught by

Sherri Hartzell

Sherri has taught college business and communication courses. She also holds three degrees including communications, business, educational leadership/technology.

It was the rise of the Industrial Revolution and factories were becoming more common. Inside these factories, managers were constantly look for ways to improve productivity and efficiency. As time moved on, it became apparent that searching for the single best way to do things was the most important thing for managers to do. Thus, classical management theory was born. This lesson will discuss the evolution of classical management theory.

The Evolution of Classical Management Theory

The Industrial Revolution was a time where innovation really began to change the way that products were produced and sold. The invention of machines to produce goods in the 19th century drastically improved productivity, which in turn lowered the cost to the consumer. The lower price resulted in a greater demand for products and thus a greater need for more factories and workers.

As factories increased in number, managers continued to search for ways to improve productivity, lower cost, increase quality of their products, improve employee/manager relationships and increase efficiency. The focus shifted from using machines to increase productivity to how they could increase employee productivity and efficiency. When they did this, they began to notice some new problems inside their factory systems. Employees were dissatisfied with their current working conditions, and many lacked the necessary training for how to do their work efficiently. Managers then began to formulate and test possible solutions, one of which was to find the best possible way for workers to perform and manage their tasks. The research resulted in the development of classical management theory.

The Classical Manager

To better understand classical management theory, let's take a peek into this 19th century factory and see what's going on. Ahh, there he is: Calvin the Classical Manager. Let's look a bit closer and see what he's up to. It looks like Calvin is working on a work-flow chart. It seems he's trying to figure out the best possible way to complete work at his factory.

As a classical manager, Calvin must have a good understanding of business functions at his factory so that he can structure the organization according to task and assign workers in view of that. For example, I can see that Calvin has broken down the process for producing the product this factory makes into three stages. In each stage, he has listed out what work needs to be completed and the type of skills a worker will need to complete that work. Now all Calvin has left to do is assess his current workforce for the appropriate individuals and place them in the suitable job role. If training is needed, Calvin will need to identify that so that he can ensure his workers understand the manner in which the work should be completed.

Unlock Content Over 8,500 lessons in all major subjects

Get FREE access for 5 days,
just create an account.

Start a FREE trial

No obligation, cancel anytime.

Want to learn more?

Select a subject to preview related courses:

People are saying…

"This just saved me about $2,000 and 1 year of my life." — Student

"I learned in 20 minutes what it took 3 months to learn in class." — Student

See more testimonials

Did you like this?
Yes No

Thanks for your feedback!

What didn't you like?

What didn't you like?

Next Video
Create your Account

Sign up now for your account. Get unlimited access to 8,500 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.

Meet Our Instructors

Meet all 53 of our instructors