Last updated: March 27, 2019
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Management Theory Taxonomy

There are many approaches when it comes to management. This is in order to come up with the best way to handle and control a group of people, as well as improve their performance and productivity. These management approaches are strengthened and structured in management theories by their respective proponents. The following is an attempt to create a list of these management theories, their proponents, and their significance.

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Frederick Herzberg and the Two Factor Theory

Frederick Herzberg conceptualized of the Two Factor Theory of management, wherein he determined that people are being influenced by two factors which are the motivation factors and hygiene factors. The motivation factors are needed so that employees are motivated to perform better. On the other hand, the hygiene factors are necessary so that there is no dissatisfaction on the employees’ part. Some examples of hygiene factors are the working conditions, the quality of supervision, security, and the company policies and administration. Some examples of the motivation factors include achievements, the recognition for achievements, and the advancement to higher level tasks. High hygiene factors and high motivation factors are the ideal combination for a certain work setting (, 2007j).

Douglas McGregor and Theory X Theory Y

Douglas McGregor’s Theory X Theory Y assumes that people can be classified into types of worker: in Theory X, people naturally dislike working; in Theory Y, people are born workers, who find work satisfying and make it an important part of their lives. The importance of McGregor’s Theory X Theory Y is that it classifies what type of management should be employed to what type of people: either hard or soft management. Through this, one could easily determine what type of management should be done (, 2007h).

Eliyahu Goldratt and the Theory of Constraints

Eliyahu “Eli” Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints tells us that in a certain organization, there are a few variables wherein if it could cause a significant improvement in a local performance which could lead to significant improvements in the global performance. Goldratt points out that variable serve as the weakest link in a chain, and that’s the point where the organization should concentrate. That part is known as the Constraint; this theory is greatly significant in determining where the organization should focus on in order to improve their performance and productivity (, 2007f).

Michael Porter and the Value Chain Framework

Michael Porter’s Value Chain Framework is an important model of management because it helps the organization to analyze specific activities that would enable them to create value and competitive advantage. This includes various processes that could lead value creation, like inbound and outbound logistics, operations, sales and marketing, service, procurement, and firm infrastructure (, 2007d).

Edward Deming and Total Quality Management (TQM)

Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management is an important theory in management because it lists down various ways in which a firm or an organization could improve their performance and productivity. With Total Quality Management, the heads of these firms have a guideline to follow when it comes to management practices. Some of these guidelines include adopting the new philosophy, institute training, driving out of fear, breaking the barriers between staff areas, and eliminating numerical quotas (, 2007i).

Daniel Goleman and Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman utilized the concept of Emotional Intelligence and applied it in management. This is important because the non-cognitive aspects of a person’s intelligence is being addressed, like the person’s emotions and feelings. Knowing this would enable you to properly interact with the employees, being able to address the important aspects that could help in improving their working attitude (, 2007a).

Clayton P. Alderfer and the Existence, Relatedness, Growth (ERG) Theory

Clayton Alderfer’s Existence, Relatedness, Growth Theory is an important management concept because it addresses the various needs of human beings. It is a reaction to Maslow’s famous Hierarchy of Needs. In this concept, the author determined three categories of human needs which greatly affect a worker’s behavior. These are the Existence Needs, the Relatedness Needs, and the Growth Needs (, 2007b).

Victor Vroom and the Expectancy Theory

Victor Vroom developed the Expectancy Theory, which deals with concerns in the motivation and management of the employees. Victor Vroom assumes that the ways employees behave are all based on their conscious choices which aim to maximize the pleasures and further minimize the pain. Vroom acknowledged the complexities between the relationships of human behaviors at work and their goals. This is important because Vroom determined that the performance of an employee is normally based on individual factors like personality, skills, knowledge, experience and abilities (, 2007c).

Tom Burns and G.M. Stalker, and the Theory of Mechanistic and Organic Systems

Burns and Stalker’s Theory of Mechanistic and Organic Systems is an important concept in management because it provides a good way to know and understand which organization forms would fit to specific situations and circumstances, depending on the changes in that happen in the organization, or its stability. It determined the difference between mechanistic organizations and organic organization form, like the appropriate conditions, distribution of tasks, and the nature of these individual tasks (, 2007g).

Robert House and the Path-Goal Method Theory on Leadership

Robert House’s Path-Goal Theory is an important management concept because it points out on how a leader can influence the performance, satisfaction, and motivation of a group. This is through the rewards being offered for achieving performance goals, clarifying the paths which the employees should take, and finally removing these obstacles to their performance. There are four different types of leadership styles identified in the Path-Goal Theory. These include directive leadership, supportive leadership, participative leadership, and achievement oriented leadership (, 2007e).

No matter how hard we try to determine the best management theory to ever be created, we will not be able to pinpoint a specific concept. This is because of the fact that management is a case to case basis. No single theory could be applied to all, and it all depends on the structure of the organization it has to be applied to. There is no best theory that could fit all the requirements of management concerns.


References: (2007a). Emotional Intelligence – Goleman.   Retrieved November 7, 2007, from (2007b). ERG Theory – Clayton P. Alderfer.   Retrieved November 7, 2007, from (2007c). Expectancy Theory – Victor Vroom.   Retrieved November 7, 2007, from (2007d). Michael Porter Value Chain model framework.   Retrieved November 7, 2007, from (2007e). Path-Goal Theory – Robert House.   Retrieved November 7, 2007, from (2007f). Theory of Constraints – Goldratt, Eliyahu.   Retrieved November 7, 2007, from (2007g). Theory of Mechanistic and Organic Systems – Burns, Stalker.   Retrieved November 7, 2007, from (2007h). Theory X Theory Y – McGregor.   Retrieved November 7, 2007, from (2007i). TQM – Fourteen Points of Management – Deming.   Retrieved November 7, 2007, from (2007j). Two Factor Theory – Herzberg, Frederick.   Retrieved November 7, 2007, from