Relevance of Management Theories to organisations today

Since the development of scientific theory of management by Frederick W. Taylor, there have been several developments in management thought. Such advances have included the Bureaucratic theory championed by Weber, behavioral theories such as those by Mary Parker Follet, human relations movement introduced by Elton Mayo, and contemporary theories such as theory systems theory and theory Z.  Accompanying these developments in management thought have however been changes in the organisations’ operational environment. Forces such as globalization, technological advancement, and multicultural phenomenon in work place have challenged the applicability of some of the management theories in modern organisations. Added to such changes, as Hofstede (1993) argued, continued observation of cultural differences across nations makes it impossible for application of a single management approach across the board. While these changes may have attenuated the influence of management theories on organization of work, this paper argues that various theories are still relevant in informing management practice even in contemporary times.

In this paper, three theories were considered by evaluating their applicability in a globalized, multicultural workplace. As the paper highlights, while some of the theories have reduced application, other theories continue to be relevant in managing employees even in contemporary organisations. Specifically, specific situations where the management theories may offer guidance are given.


Hofstede, G. (1993). Culctural constraints inn management theories. Academy of Management Perspectives, 7(1), 81-94. doi: 10.5465/AME.1993.9409142061

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