Essays on Management Theories and Validity of Benniss Statement Coursework

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "Management Theories and Validity of Bennis’ s Statement" is an outstanding example of management coursework.   Management is considered as a young science since most of its literature can be dated back to 100 years. Management approaches that are in use today can be dated back to thousands of years; however, much evidence can be found after the industrial revolution. Consequently, theorists have argued that companies realize benefits by capitalizing on either modern or traditional management approaches. For instance, Fayol, Weber, and Taylor advocated the use of traditional management. As Mullins (2007) asserts, they are the founders of organizational theories, coined in the 20th century, and focused on rules, competencies, technical aspects, and discipline in the management discipline.

However, different approaches to management differ in the manner in which the manager manages his people. For instance, according to Warren Bennis, "managing people is like herding cats and cats won't allow themselves to be herded". This current paper analyzes the validity of this statement and investigates whether this approach to management is helpful. For this reason, various management theories will be used to analyze this statement put forth by Bennis. Management Theories and Validity of Bennis’ s Statement The management literature differentiates two types of organizational management, which translates to two types of organizations, those which follow the traditional approach and those which utilize modern management approaches.

The traditional approach to management is whereby an organization capitalizes on performance, explicit control and coordination, extrinsic sanctions and rewards, push managerial qualities, problem-solving, as well as seeing the intangible and tangible organizational assets as the core resources (De Wit and Meyer, 2004). On the other hand, modern management encompasses the focus of long-term performance, pull managerial options, implicit coordination, and control, recognition of employees, opportunity recognition, as well as the view that psychological and social capital are the main resources for the organization (De Wit and Meyer, 2004). Classical management theory was put forward by Henri Fayol, Fredrick Taylor, and Max Weber.

For instance, the scientific management theory, which falls within the precincts of classical management, was developed by Frederick Taylor, which was popular between 1890 and 1940 following the onset of the industrial revolution, espoused the careful measurement and specification of tasks within the workplace environment (House and Aditya, 1997).

For this reason, as the writers assert, it encompassed the careful selection and training of the employees. This was in turn supported by the supervisory support. It has four guiding principles, which entail the development of a job science which entails the inclusion of standardized work processes coupled with appropriate working conditions. In turn, the selection of workers with the right qualities is done, and they are trained and rewarded using incentives while also supporting them as they complete the various tasks by carefully planning the work.

The theory, as Bratton and Gold (2012) emphasized, more on the speed of production, availability of unskilled labor, and low-cost production. It also encouraged the use of efficient and standardized products, procedures, as well as quality. Analyzing Bennis’ s statement, this management theory is not inclined to the statement, where people are considered as cats, and managing them is like herding them, but they do not want to be herded. In essence, as the theory asserts, people are supervised and follow clearly the directives.

They are trained so that they may follow the processes that have been dictated and set. For them to follow directives and the supervisor’ s directions, the theory asserts that careful selection should be followed, and they have to be trained. For this reason, the selection and training ensure that the right set of employees who can be “ herded” or controlled are selected (House and Aditya, 1997). Once they meet the criteria, they cannot oppose the directives, and therefore, they can be considered as “ cats” which can be herded and will allow themselves to be herded.

It can be derived that the scientific management theory presented by Frederick does not support Bennis’ s statement.


Adler, P. S. and Borys, B., 1996, Two Types of Bureaucracy: Enabling and Coercive.

Administrative Science Quarterly, 41(1), pp. 61-89.

Bratton, J. and Gold, J., 2012. Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave


De Wit, B., Meyer, R., 2004, Strategy: Process, Content, Context, 3rd ed, International

Thompson, London.

Hatch, M.J. and Cunliffe, A.L., 2013. Organization theory: modern, symbolic and postmodern

perspectives. Oxford university press.

House and Aditya, 1997. The social scientific study of leadership: Quo vadis? Journal of

Management, 23, 409-473.

Jones, G. and George, J., 2015, Contemporary management. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Lin, H. F., 2007, Effects of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation on employee knowledge sharing

intentions, Journal of Information Science, 33(2), pp. 135.

Mullins, L.J., 2007, Management and organizational behavior(8th Ed.), Harlow: Financial

Times/Prentice Hall

Nhema, A.G., 2015. Relevance of Classical Management Theories to Modern Public

Administration: A Review. Journal of Public Administration and Governance, 5(3), pp.165-179.

Novak, W.J., 2015. Beyond Max Weber: The need for a democratic (not aristocratic) theory of

the modern state. The Tocqueville Review/La Revue Tocqueville, 36(1), pp.43-91.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us