Classic Management

 

 

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Image via blog

 

When you think of classical theory of management, what are your first thoughts? After reading about the theories of Fredrick Taylor, Henri Fayol, and Max Weber, what came to my mind was the classic management of my employer, Verizon Wireless. As well as how Verizon Wireless compares to other companies, such as Home Depot.

To get a clear understanding of what classical management is, classical management approaches share the underlying metaphors of organizations as efficient machines (Eisenberg, Goodall, & Trethewey, 2010, pg. 61). Classical Theory of Management is a division of labor and hierarchy.

The main question is whether or not classic management is a viable business model. In my opinion, from working at a place of employment that uses classic management, it is a beneficial business model because it not only keeps a business running smoothly, but it also brings in revenue to the business.

 

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Image via Customer Care

 

Verizon Wireless is the number one wireless telecommunication company in the world that focuses on excellent customer service. Verizon Wireless has millions of employees in their warehouses, retail stores, and call centers all around the world. Of course, just like every company, Verizon Wireless chain of command starts with a CEO. Under the CEO, you have the Vice Presidents, after the Vice Presidents, you have individuals who are in charge of the warehouse, retail stores, and call centers. Today, I will take the time to focus on Verizon Wireless call centers.

Frederick Taylor believed management is a true science resting on clearly defined laws, rules, and principles (Eisenberg, Goodall, & Trethewey, 2010, pg. 65). In Verizon Wireless call center, the center’s directors relay changes to the assistant directors, while the assistant directors relay information to the supervisors. Then, the supervisors relay the information to the employees on their team. Scientific management created a firm division between  managers, who plans and controls, and employees, who implement the plans (Eisenberg, Goodall, & Trethewey, 2010, pg. 65). In the article, Renovating Home Depot, CEO Bob Nardelli is described to believe that major decisions and goals should flow from his office (Bloomberg, 2006). Scientific management is very important in Home Depot because Nardelli believes business depends on leaders.

While Fredrick Taylor has his personal beliefs,  Henri Fayol believes in the five elements of  classical management: planning, organizing, goal setting, coordinating, and controlling (Eisenberg, Goodall, & Trethewey, 2010, pg. 68). Verizon Wireless call centers uses coaching to build positive employee morale and improve customer’s experiences. Coaching is when the supervisor and their employee sit together and analysis a previous call with a Verizon Wireless customer.  After listening to the call, the supervisor and the employee then focus on ways to improve at one’s job and gain advancement to a certain situation. Just like Verizon Wireless, Home Depot also uses performance metrics to ensure their customers are meeting the needs of their company (Bloomberg, 2006).

Max Weber is a strong advocate for equal treatment according to ability (Eisenberg, Goodall, & Trethewey, 2010, pg. 70). Verizon Wireless call centers hires human beings with or without disabilities. I have many co-workers who are vision impaired, but they are accommodated, therefore they can perform their job to the fullest.

In my opinion, classical theory of management is a perfect model for Verizon Wireless. With the classic management, Verizon Wireless often sets the bar high for not only the employees, but also the customers. With this model, the customers are assured that they are the most important part of Verizon Wireless. The  pros of this approach is increased revenue and job security. While the cons of this of this approach is employees feeling responsible when customers are not satisfied.

As stated before, with classical theory of management, customer expectations are set at an all-time high. With customer expectations being at a high, business increases, which means revenue increases. What are your thoughts on how classical theory of management is improving today’s businesses?

 

References

Bloomberg Business Week. (2006, March 6). Renovating Home Depot. Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2006-03-05/renovating-home-depot

Eisenberg, E.M., Goodall, H.L., Jr., & Trethewey, A. (2010). Organizational communication: Balancing creativity and constraint (6th Edition). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

 

 

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Author: Dekira Hemingway

Twenty-three | Travel Addict | Queens University of Charlotte graduate student

4 thoughts on “Classic Management”

  1. Having worked in a customer service role for several years I really enjoyed reading your blog Dekira. When you reported on the large number of employees spread out around the globe I instantly thought how important a classical management style must be for your industry.

    I work for a power company. Customer service in a utility that most people view as a necessity can be quite challenging sometimes when customers feel your service is a right and not something that they should pay extra for. My company is quite small compared to Verizon. We maintain only 16,000 meters spread across four counties. Our customers can pay their bill in one of three offices. We also have a centralized call center at our main headquarters. Our customers sometimes feel their bill is to high or they were disconnected unfairly if they didn’t pay on time. I’m sure you can relate! It’s always interesting to us when a customer, frustrated with one representative makes multiple attempts to visit the different offices and call our center to try and get a different answer. Classical management techniques are vital here to ensure the same message and information is sent to that customer no matter how much they argue.

    It’s clear the bar is set high for Verizon employees to adhere to that management style through your review of them.

    In our text, Fayol’s stance involves “unity of command and centralization.” (Eisenberg, et. al., 2014, p. 74). Any industry engaged in such a large scale customer service operation like Verizon must use a management style like this to maintain uniformity and a high standard for their customers.

    References

    Eisenberg, E. M., Goodall Jr., H. L., & Trethewey, A. (2014) Organizational communication: Balancing creativity and constraint (7th Edition). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

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  2. Dekira: It is very interesting to read about your experience at work in a widely known company as it is Verizon. I agree that from the business perspective, the classical management approach seems to offer the perfect recipe for good use of resources and minimization of waste.
    In one part of your post, you mention job security as an advantage of the classical approach management model, but with the continuous development of new technology, the search of efficiency takes industries to opt for better solutions than the one offered by human-beings. For example, I have noticed in many supermarkets there are fewer cashiers working because clients can check out themselves.
    Your description mentioning different principles of the theories of classical management gave us a very good idea of its application nowadays. It is great to know experiences from first hand!

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  3. Hey Dekira!

    Thank you so much for your perspective! I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts on how Classical Management puts customer service first. One of the things that I think is interesting is that given my background (largely Supply Chain and Manufacturing), I had never thought as customer service being a primary output of a classical management style. The environments I’ve surrounded myself with have used Classical Management to emphasize efficiency and output of a physical product. With that said, I think we can agree that Classical Management focuses on output, the difference in lense here is what the output is. In the case of manufacturing, output is a physical product. In the case of customers like Verizon, it may be customer service. I would also agree that in modern times, most companies utilize some combination of Fayol’s principals of classical management, which in my opinion differ from Taylor’s original meaning of the term. With that said, I can see how this is the most effective. Thanks again!

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  4. Dekira,
    Classic Management offers a timeless uniform approach in regards to business and marketing. Every business needs some degree of organization so they can head in the right direction. Organizations are in business to make money and guidelines and policies are put in place to ensure the success of the company. Like the government, organizations have to implement employee and HR policies to prevent chaos, lawsuits and minimize loss. People who work in customer service and sales are often expected to provide quality solutions to their clients. The Classic Management model is perfect for an industry giant like Verizon. Great post! I enjoyed reading.
    Nicola

    Like

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