An empirical teaching in scientific management

The fifties of the twentieth century are a period of pragmatism and complexity in scientific management. McGregor, with his theories X and W, outlines the two extremes in relation to the people contained in the developments of the classical school from absolute authoritarianism to the absolutization of the priority of the human factor over organizational principles.

In the specific cases, however, different authors, no matter what school they or we think they belong to, are never in pure black and white.

Just as the representatives of the classical school have never completely ignored the role of the human being, so have the representatives of the PSC absolutely denied the need to observe the basic organizational principles. The post-industrial era in the US and other developed countries marks a new stage in the development of scientific management. It is very difficult to delineate the specific content of this new stage. Reference: Administrative School Of Management

In all their diversity, these concepts, theories, schools, directions, currents, etc. carry, to one degree or another, the imprints of the two primary schools.

What is common to them is the authors’ beliefs that their developments must be subordinate to actual social practice (business, public administration, public organizations and other social communities). In other words, regardless of their starting positions and subject orientation, they pursue pragmatic goals. In this setting, the ambition to build a consistent system of principles that legitimize a school remains in the background. Eclectic pragmatism is increasingly prevalent and it sounds increasingly non-aphoristic that the color of a cat does not matter if it really catches mice.

The pragmatic orientation of management in the second half of the twentieth century

The pragmatic orientation of management in the second half of the twentieth century is most clearly illustrated in the so-called. An empirical school, also called Management.

These include the names of James Lincoln, Pierre Dupont, Alfred Sloan, Peter Drucker and others.

Pursuant to their pragmatic orientation, on the basis of a study of practice, they aim to develop specific recommendations for immediate practical application.

Without neglecting the achievements of mathematics, cybernetics and other sciences, they tend to attach decisive importance to practical management experience. Reference: Strategic management and strategic planning

They believe that management remains, to a large extent, an art that is taught not so much by theory as by practice.

Alfred Sloan leaves an indelible mark on management theory and practice.

As president of General Motors in the 1920s, he practiced the famous decentralization.

He has been known for decades as the company’s permanent president, founder and sponsor of the renowned Slovene School of Management. A. Sloan belongs to the development and practical implementation of:

  • The divisional organizational structure of management;
  • Transformation of units freed from direct supervision of senior management into semi-autonomous profit centers.
  • The centralized office deals only with the general policy of the company.

Management Practice, Effective Manager, Management for the Future

An undisputed authority among management professionals is Peter Drucker (born 1909 in Vienna, and since 1937 lives and works in the United States). His most famous books are The End of the Economic Man (1939), The Practice of Management (1954), The Effective Manager (1967), Management for the Future (1992). Characteristics of Dracker is his encyclopedic readiness not only in management problems but also in economics, philosophy, sociology, social psychology, marketing, informatics and many other areas of human knowledge. Because of this, he has a diverse view of management realities, which protects him from the one-sidedness that characterizes the early representatives of both the classical school and the MSE. For more than seven decades, he has been closely following the realities of economics and business, and has not been caught unprepared to meet the surprises of the development of science and practice. His summaries and projections are ahead, but very accurately characterize what will happen in a more or less distant future. This is precisely what gives him the confidence and reason to write in the New Realities: This book is not about what we will have to do tomorrow, but about what we have to do today, in anticipation of tomorrow.

Draker acknowledges the existence of common organizational principles, but views governance more as an art.

Emphasizes on the creative, constructive side of the manager’s activities, striving to prove that it is the basis of every business enterprise.

Drucker belongs to such ideas as goal-oriented leadership, situation-specific management, and more. Drucker is for the professionalism of management, but stresses that he will never become an exact science and the criterion for its quality will always be the practical success in business.