Classical Theory: Meaning and Characteristics

Meaning Classical Theory

Classical theory is a traditional theory which pays more attention on organization instead of individuals working therein. This theory is concerned with anatomy of formal organizations and is considered crucial for doing systematic organizational study. As per the classical theory, an organization is termed as machine whereas different peoples working in it are parts of this machine. For enhancing the overall productivity of organization, it must be ensured that all individuals working in it must be efficient. Classical theory analyzes the whole organization for finding out any errors and take corrective steps for overcoming them.

Characteristics of Classical Theory

Various characteristics of classical theory are as discussed below: –

  1. Accounting model is considered for building classical theory.
  2. Classical theory focuses on identifying errors and efforts are made for overcoming them once they occur.
  3. This theory treats human beings as homogenous and unmodifiable. Labor need not to be divided on the basis of distinct role to be carry out with the organization.
  4. Amount of output generated by organization is given more emphasis rather than human beings.
  5. Employees are assumed to be stable in respect to changes taking place within the organization.
  6. A centralized and integrated system should be maintained within organization by providing control and authority in the hands of central authority. 

Few writers of classical theory focuses on organizational technical aspects and manner in which efficiency of individuals can be enhanced. Whereas, some emphasize on structural aspects of organization with a view to improve the efficiency of individuals in a collective manner. Two distinct streams were formed as a result of purview differences among writers that are: – Administrative management stream and Scientific management stream.