We explain what administration is and the different schools it focuses on. Also, what are its general characteristics and evolution?

What is the Administration?

Management is the social science that studies human organizations and the possible techniques and procedures to plan, organize, direct and control their resources with the aim of obtaining the greatest possible benefit from them.

There are many possible definitions of management and various perspectives from which to study it, but it is generally described as an organizational analysis of social groups that has a specific focus on a goal and pays attention to efficiency and productivity performance. .

Four specific objectives are traditionally assigned to it:

  • Planning . The conceptual arrangement of the elements that constitute the organization to fulfill a previous mission and vision in the best possible way.
  • Organization. Coordinate and synchronize the parties involved in the construction of the social organism to establish their tasks and their execution sequences.
  • Address . The management and leadership of the organization at a tactical, operational or strategic level.
  • Control. The capacity of diagnosis and feedback of the system, in view of its needs and operation.

Management Story Features :

Origin of administration

Origin of administration

The word administration comes from the Latin word minister , made up of minis (“less”) and ter (comparison suffix), together with the particle ad – (towards). Therefore, it can be translated as “towards subordination” or “towards control”.

This implies that the administration has been present since there was a need to rank or coordinate human activities , that is, from the very beginning of life in society , when human groups were forced to organize their efforts for mutual cooperation and benefit.

The importance of this discipline began to be studied formally after the Industrial Revolution , when large companies emerged that required professionals in the design of resource planning and management models.

Historical background

The administration occupied man since ancient times , and evidence of this is the history of work and coordination rules that accompanied his great timeless works.

Some examples are the construction of great monuments (for which contingents of slaves and construction materials had to be coordinated ), or the maintenance of extensive territories that included distant colonies (such as the territory of the Roman Empire or the Spanish Colonies in America ) that raised need for regulations, plans and a staff to execute them as established.

Early theorists

early theorists

Although the first academic postulates regarding the theory of administration date back to the nineteenth century (the first class on the subject was given in a tertiary school by Joseph Wharton in 1881), it should be said that since the remote times of Ancient China (the "Rules" of Confucius), Ancient Greece (the political reflections of Plato and Aristotle ) and Ancient Rome, there were already theoretical concerns about the best way to allocate resources and coordinate efforts to achieve a purpose in the most efficient way possible.

All these experiences and the literature they produced would lay the foundations so that, after the emergence of globalization and the mercantile society, the administration would be imposed as an academic, professional and social necessity .

Classical Approach Schools

Classical Approach Schools

The so-called School of Classical Administration Theory was born in the United States in the 20th century , during the governments of Roosevelt and Wilson. This school was divided into four main currents:

  • School of scientific administration. He tried to give administrative theories a scientific basis, helping himself with other social sciences .
  • Classic management school. Founded by Henry Fayol around 1916, it sought to systematize managerial knowledge based on the 14 fundamental principles of administration:

    • Subordination of particular interests
    • command unit
    • Centralization
    • Hierarchy
    • division of labor
    • authority and responsibility
    • Discipline
    • personal remuneration
    • Order
    • Equity
    • Stability and duration of a person in office
    • Initiative
    • Team spirit

  • Empirological school of Ernest Dale. It states that administration should be taught through real cases and not abstractions, since each particular case deserves its own detailed analysis.
  • School of human relations. Opposed to classical theory, this school arose in the United States at the hands of Elton Mayo and his collaborators, who focused on human processes and the social needs of workers, instead of more technical aspects.

Schools with a humanistic approach

Schools with a humanistic approach

A true revolution underwent the field of management studies when the humanistic approach emerged, which put the worker and their needs at the center of the analysis instead of theoretical or organizational aspects. This approach produced the emergence of two schools:

  • Structuralist-bureaucratic school. He focused his interest on organizational relationships between staff, both at a formal and informal level. The aim was to balance the company 's resources , balancing human and structural resources.
  • Behavioral (psychological) school. Based on the assumption that people live complex lives and that they want much more than instant gratification, this school turned to psychology to study the possible organization of human relations in a company to enhance its performance.

Systemic school of administration

Making use of cybernetics, mathematics (mathematical theory of administration) and other conceptual resources (such as systems theory), this school proposes a new way of understanding the organization of companies, paying attention to the importance of the parts that constitute a whole .

One of the theories supported by this school is the anthropomorphic one, which raises the similarities between the functioning of the human body and that of the administrative body of the company, so that its failures would be diseases or pathologies with which to deal .

School of decision making

School of decision making

This school was organized around the theory that every organizational model depends on a decision-making mode that can be studied and conducted through logical processes, highlighted by algorithms and other conceptual tools.

Contingency school

It is also called "situational school" since it performs its analyzes based on the specific situation facing the administrator and the circumstances that surround it according to its possibility of feedback: a successful administrative decision will influence the context as much as it does in the company.

Strategic Management School

Strategic Management School

One of the most contemporary trends, which emerged after 1980. It bases its analysis on a double approach : normative, from the hand of experts and those who handle the "should be" and another descriptive, which focuses on how they are formulated and applied. administrative strategies. In this school, diagnosis is essential for an effective approach to the company.

Evolution of the administration

As the history of administration evolves, more and more steps are taken towards the composition of a general theory of organizations, which seems to be the definitive task of this succession of schools and theoretical-practical approaches around the way of understanding the organizations. human organizations.

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring to reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


She has pursued her studies in The United States, where she has graduated in Business and Economics and is currently finishing her Master studies in International Economics and Finance. Miss. Amputee is fluent in three languages: English, Spanish and Russian and has elementary knowledge of French and Italian. She love exploring how Collaborative Research Group can become the best tool to achieve the (necessary) educational change. .

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