The classical management approach is the theory of management that focuses on the productivity, output and efficiency of workers, rather than the differences in behavior that exist among them. This approach merges bureaucratic, administrative and scientific theories of management.
According to the Workforce Magazine, the classical management approach seeks to maximize the benefits of consumers and investors in consistent and fair levels. The classical management approach is advantageous because it is based on a hierarchical organization structure, which defines the responsibilities and objectives of managers within each level of management. Additionally, the classical management approach proposes the division of labor, which increases employee performance and reduces expenses.
The Houston Chronicle adds that the classical management approach is effective because it leads to efficiency in decision making. One critic states, however, that the classical management approach is disadvantageous because it reduces employee motivation, growth and creativity and discourages teamwork. It also ignores the needs and desires of workers, and therefore is not suitable for modern organizations, which are diverse.
The classical management theory was proposed during the Industrial Revolution, based on the works of Henri Fayol, Max Weber and Fredrick Taylor. The neoclassical organizational theory was proposed to overcome the challenges of the classical management approach.