Many current management concepts and practices can be traced to early 20th century management theories. Some of the main approaches to management were the scientific management approach, the general administrative approach and the human relations approach. Some of the exponents of the early theories were Frederick Taylor, Max Weber, Elton Mayo, Chester Barnard, Mary Parker Follett and Henri Fayol. .
Taylor was one of the proponents of scientific management, which is defined as the use of scientific methods of research to determine the "one best way" to get a job done.
While working at Midvale Steel Company in Pennsylvania, Taylor was often shocked by workers" inefficiencies, which motivated his interest in improving productivity by finding the "best method" to get jobs done. His work at Midvale led him to define four scientific guidelines for maximizing efficiency:.
i. Develop one best way to do each job.
ii. Scientifically select the best individual for the job.
iii. Close co-operation between management and workers and implementation of incentives to ensure that the job was being carried out in the prescribed method .
iv. Division of work equally between managers and workers so that activities such as planning, organizing and controlling were the responsibility of managers and not workers.
These practices have been developing in many well-run factories today. Analysis of basic work tasks, hiring the best worker for a job and incentives based on productivity are all principles of Scientific Management which are incorporated into modern organizations.
While Taylor was concerned with the individual worker and his job, general administrative theorists were concerned with the total organization. They developed more general theories of how to combine jobs and people into an efficient organization. The two most prominent theorists behind that approach were Henri Fayol and Max Weber.
Fayol was concerned with the activities of all managers.