Theoretical Approaches in Management

Theoretical Approaches in Management
Different theoretical approaches are used by management teams to enhance
productivity of their organizations and human resource. Management
theories are constructed either on observation or mathematics to aid in
construction of appropriate models of business activities. This means
that case studies and individual experience are important aspects of
management practices that help the managers in adopting the most
effective models for their organizations. Most importantly, owners of
business enterprises and organizational managers have a duty to learn
best management practices using either the formal education or personal
experience (Nisbet, 2013). The purpose of this paper is to provide a
discussion of three theoretical approaches of management (including
human behavior approach, social system approach, and contingency
approach) and their application in the field of human resources
management. These approaches can result in the creation of business
models that can enhance employee productivity, increase retention, and
eliminate redundancy.
Human behavior approach
The human behavior approach view firms as an organization of human
beings. This means that human resource managers should understand
individual psychology (under the interpersonal behavior approach) and
organization behavior (under the group behavior approach) (Thenmozhi,
2012). The approach emphasizes on how managers can harness human
behavior to enhance employees’ effectiveness. This calls for an
understanding of attitude, cultural conflicts, and pressure of employees
within the organization. In addition, human resource managers can
utilize group dynamics, effective communication, participative
management, employee motivation, and leadership skills to improve
employee productivity. These aspects of management can only be exploited
if the managers have the capacity to understand human behavior and
develop good human relations. However, human resource managers should
avoid equating human resource managers to human behavior or considering
human behavior and groups’ behavior in vague terms, which will help
them in maximizing the assumptions of the human behavior approach.
Social system approach
The social system approach is based on the assumption that the
organization is made up of a cultural system where people work in
cooperation (Hamilton, 2005). This means that human resources managers
can only develop a cooperative system by comprehending human behavior as
individuals and as groups. Application of this approach is based on the
notion that human resource managers work in a social system and their
success depends on their ability to meet the demands of that society
(Thenmozhi, 2012). In addition, human resource managers enhance
productivity be establishing a sustainable link between relationships
that exist in the internal as well as external environment of the
organization. The capacity of the human resource managers to harmonize
organizational goals and goals of individuals and groups within the
organization results in effective management and achievement of
predetermined objectives of the organization.
Contingency approach
This is situational approach that holds that there is no standard
managerial approach that can be applied in all situations (Ehn, 2013).
The concept is similar to systematically approach, but it was widened by
the belief that the organization is an open system. This means that the
environment in which a given management concept is developed should be
considered. Although contingency perspective emphasizes on the use of
common sense in analyzing the managerial situation, managers should have
a clear understanding of different principles, managerial styles, and
techniques that are important in selecting the most suitable management
concept. The capacity of managers to establish the march between
management approach and managerial situation enhance effectiveness and
allows the management policies and practices to respond positively to
environmental. The contingency human resource management strategy
optimizes organizational performance by ensuring the human resource (HR)
practices are contingent on organizational strategy. This is
accomplished by establishing an external fit, which is the key concept
applied in contingency approach.
Resources used to find the schools of thought
The researcher relied on internet research to identify the schools of
thought that are most relevant to the field of human resource
management. Bookmaking is one of the useful internet research skills
applied where useful URL was temporarily stored and facilitated
reviewing of other relevant web links bookmarked in the past. Important
key words and phrases such as “theories of human resources
management”, “approaches to human resources management” and
“theoretical concepts of human resource management” were used to
ease the research exercise. In conductive a more exhaustive research, it
would be necessary to ensure that all the sources cited are peer
reviewed and contain empirical research findings. Such sources would
include pear reviewed journals, books, and other scholarly articles that
are published either online or in print form.
In conclusion, human behavior approach, social system approach, and a
contingency approach can result in the creation of business models that
can enhance employee productivity, increase retention, and eliminate
redundancy. Application of these concepts in human resource management
helps the human resource managers in establishing sustainable
relationship between individual employees and groups or workers. They
also enhance a good relationship between internal and external
environment of the organization, which improves organizational
performance and achievement of organizational goals. The contingency
approach differs from other concept in that it holds that management
concepts are contingent on situations. However, the three concepts can
be applied in different contexts to enhance human resource management.
Ehn, D. (2013). Human resource management. San Francisco: Scribd
Hamilton, C. (2005). What is the importance of studying management
theories and practice? Houston: Hearst Communication Incorporation.
Nisbet, A. (2013). Social science: Developmental. Encyclopedia.
Retrieved November 15, 2013, from
Thenmozhi, M. (2012). Approaches to management. Chennai: Indian
Institute of Technology.

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