Different Approaches to Management

Different Approaches to Management

Different Approaches to Management

There are many approaches in management thought where each approach tries to explain the nature and content of management separately with different beliefs and views. Few important management approaches are as discussed below:
Systems Approach
Systems approach was developed some time after 1950’s and initially developed by Weiner and later many significant
contributions were made by other people as well.
System “is a set of inter-connected and inter-related elements which are arranged in order and operate together
to achieve certain goals.”
The parts of a system are:
• Input
• Process
• Output

Types of Systems

There are four types of systems. They are as discussed below:

Closed System
This system works without any external requirement and interference and works on the principles of unity of command span of control and equal authority and responsibility
Open System
This system is dependent upon the outside environment for feedback and resources and for the disposal of finished products
General System
This approach to management has a relation with formal organisation
Specialised System
This system includes the areas of organisation structure, job design and computerized information.

Features of Management as System:

The systems approach has the following features:
• Social system
• Open system
• Adaptive
• Multidisciplinary
• Dynamic
• Integrated Approach
• Multidimensional
• Multivariable
• Probability

Contingency or Situational Approach

This approach was developed on the basic theme that there is no single best solution to the problems arisen in all situations. It was developed by J.W.Lorsch and P.R.Lawrence in the 1970’s which states that “behaviour of one sub-unit is dependent on its environment and relationship to other units or sub-units that have some control over the sequences desired by the sub-unit”.

Features of Contingency Approach
• There is no best way of doing things
• Management action is situational and is susceptible to outside the system or sub-system
• Management policies and practices are subject to change as per the changes in the outside world
• No action is universal that varies with situation
• Human relations skill is necessary for managers to accommodate and stabilize change
Advantages of Contingency Approach

• It improves the diagnostics skills
• It discloses the role and the performance of managers in an organisation
• A manager is expected to know all the alternative course of action before taking any action
• The managerial principles and functions to be followed as per the discretion of the situation

Difference between System Approach and Contingency Approach

Systems Approach Contingency Approach
• It treats all organisations as same and has no unique nature
• The contributors of systems approach are social psychologists
• Systems approach is the pioneer to the contingency approach
• Systems approach may specify situations under which a particular type of organisation can function well
• It provides a global theoretical model for understanding organisations
• Systems approach is vague and unspecific
The main concepts are input, output process, open system, system boundary, synergy, dynamic equilibrium, entropy and equifinality.
• Systems approach emphasises interactions and inter relationships among systems and subsystems
• It appears to be neutral and non-committal on the universality of classical principles
• Systems approach suggests definite solutions of problems to a specified organisation
• It focuses the internal environment of an organisation
Contingency Approach
• It treats each organisation as unique
• The contributors of contingency approach are sociologists
• Contingency system has been built over systems approach
• Management action is situational and no situation is predicted accurately
• It provides operational tools and techniques for analyzing and solving problems
• Contingency approach is pragmatic, specific and action oriented
• There are no specific concepts
• Contingency approach emphasises interrelationships and interdependencies and their influence on organisational design and managerial style
• It rejects the universality of principles; there is no one best way of managing
• Contingency approach suggests probable and flexile approach to problems
• It focuses the external environment of an organisation