Relevance of Classical Management Theories to Modern Public Administration: A Review

Alfred G. Nhema




This study focuses on the analysis of management theories of the 19th and early 20th centuries that are commonly referred to as classical organization theories. These ideas are contrasted with the human relations school of thought that achieved great popularity in the 1930s and 1940s. The study asserts that there are valuable lessons that modern public bureaucracies and other public institutions can draw from these early theoretical frameworks. Public organizations molded on the classical organizational management theoretical perspectives have proven remarkably stable in different circumstances around the world. However, they are now increasingly expected to adapt to new and unforeseen circumstances by integrating the foundations inherited from the past and the lessons learnt over the past three decades. Such an approach will enable public institutions to adapt to rapid changing circumstances and in the process be well equipped to meet the demands of their citizens at the levels of theory and practice.

 Key words: classical organization theory, human relations perspectives, rationality, rule of law, public administration.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Journal of Public Administration and Governance

Journal of Public Administration and Governance  ISSN 2161-7104


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