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SATIPO - 2018

To God. For allowing us to reach this point and have given our lives to achieve our goals, our

parents who gave education, support and advice to our teachers who in this walk through life,

influenced their lessons and experiences in form Arnos as a person of good and prepared for the

challenges that puts life.


To our creator, the most high whose influence is always present in all the good things that

human beings do. To our parents for their unconditional support impregnándonos enthusiasm

and desire to achieve our goals.


1. Introduction.

2. What are theories?

3. Why and why study administration and its theories?

4. Evolution of management theories.

5. Criticisms and limitations of management theories.

6. Searches and proposals.

7. Main conclusions

8. Bibliographic references.

According to specialists, those who run organizations are characterized by being practical
people, have little time and have to make decisions constantly, often guided more by experience
and intuition than by the analysis of systematized information.
Minztberg, in his "chronometer in hand" research on what five general managers did for two
weeks, which was the basis of the formulation of his theory on "managerial roles," found that
"... his activities are characterized by brevity, variety and discontinuity, are strongly oriented
towards action and do not like reflective activities ... "(Minztberg, 1991, p.10). Years later,
Kotter made a similar investigation reaching similar conclusions "... the work of those who
direct is characterized by a great variety, a lot of intensity and little time to think ...". (Kotter,
2000, pp.7-8).
Makridakis laments that "... the most important isolated task that is normally neglected in the
direction is to learn ...". (Makridakis, 1993, p.13). According to Stoner "... managers are
impatient to study theories, which they think are things of the past ...". (Stoner, 1989, p.30). For
these reasons, his reaction to theories is understandable. They are sincere in recognizing it,
when you are going to give them some program of managerial development they say to you:
"Profe, we do not want theory, what we need are practical things".
With great respect I try to explain to you that theories are not speculations of specialists to make
life difficult for the leaders. I refer to the quote that leads this work and I tell you that I was
struck by the coincidence of two thinkers of such different ideologies: Lenin, founder of the first
socialist state in the world and; Peter Drucker, the main ideologist of the "management" of
developed capitalism.

1. What are the theories ?.
Theories are no more than generalizations of practice, interpretations made by specialists about
what happens. With regard to management theories, Stoner offers the following definition: "A
coherent group of assumptions that are presented to explain the relationship between two or
more observable facts and provide a solid basis for predicting future events." (Stoner, 1989,
In this, and in any other definition, three aspects can be highlighted: the "assumptions", which is
the "theoretical framework", the conceptual systems from which the one who formulates the
theory for the interpretation of what he has observed (or studied); the "observable facts", which
are the events that any other person can verify and; finally, the "predictions", which expresses
the possibility that the theory helps us to predict what may happen in the future.
Theories do not always meet all these "requirements". Sometimes, "assumptions" are not
convincing or shared by all; the "facts" that have been taken as a basis are not easily
"observable". The possibility that it serves to "predict the future" is the most questionable
aspect, in a world characterized by the speed of change.
In the case of theories about administration, in the text of Koontz-Weirich, the most widespread
in the teaching of administration in Latin America, it is noted that until the 1950s the main
contributions came not from academics but from empirical specialists.
Only in the last four or five decades has there been "... a true deluge of research and work from
academic sites ...". (Koontz-Weirich, l 2004, p.14). They lament the enormous variety of
approaches to administrative analysis, the large amount of research and the considerable number
of divergent opinions that have resulted in "... a terrible confusion about what is administration,
what are the theory and science of the administration…".
In spite of this, that Koontz called "the jungle of administrative theories", all the specialists
consider that the administration is a mixture of science and art. Art is given in the ability to do
the right things, depending on a specific situation and time. "Even so," says Weirich,
"administrators will work better if they use organized knowledge about administration, which is
what constitutes science." (Same as above).

1. Why and why study administration and its theories ?.

To the question Why study administration? Robbins (1994) responds:.
First, because we all have a permanent interest in improving the way in which organizations are
managed, because we interact with them every day of our lives. Well-managed organizations
better serve their customers and we are all customers, Robbins says.
Second, because when you start your career, at some point you may have to administer
something or it will be administered by someone.
In summary, we are interested in knowing these things:

1st As clients of the organizations;
2nd. As potential subjects of the administrative process. (direct people)
3rd. As possible objects (be directed).
In these simple answers you can identify the administration as, the processes through which
resources and people are organized and directed to produce goods and services, in which we are
all involved in some way.
The factors that intervene, the processes that are executed, the interrelationships that are
established and the possible effects of all this are the things that are expressed in the theories of
administration that, of course, are influenced by the interpretation of the one who formulates it.
On the need for direction, Karl Marx, in Capital, said:
"Any direct social or collective work on a large scale requires, to a greater or lesser extent, an
address that establishes a harmonic link between the various individual activities and executes
the general functions that spring from the movements of the total productive organism, unlike
those performed by the individual organs. A violinist only He directs himself, but an orchestra
needs a director. " (Marx, 1962, p.286).
To the question Why study theory of administration? Stoner responds that, at least, for four
reasons, which are summarized below.
Theories guide administrative decisions.
The study of theory contributes to the understanding of the processes on which the director
works. With this knowledge, you can choose the most appropriate course of action. Theories, as
generalizations of practice, allow predicting what will happen in certain situations. "With this
knowledge - concludes Stoner - we can apply different theories to different situations ...".
(Stoner, 1989, p.30).
Theories make up our management concept.
The study of management theories allows us to identify where the ideas about the organizations
and the people that integrate them come from. The theory of scientific administration, which
was the basis of the organization of chain production, on the first floor of the Ford, where man
was virtually an extension of the machine, was based on considering that the worker was one
more piece, that his function was limited to the use of his physical energies.
Later studies, which gave rise to the theories of behavioral sciences, recognized that
productivity was influenced by the interaction between people and that their participation in the
production process could be increased if, in addition to their physical energies, they applied
their minds and they participated in the decision processes.
Theories help to understand the field of business.
When you study the evolution of management theories you understand how they are the product
of the changes that have occurred in the environment in which organizations move, influenced
by technological, economic, social and political factors.

This knowledge helps to understand why certain theories are suitable for certain circumstances.
This explains why the Taylorist approach, which prevailed in the early years of the twentieth
century, was valid in a situation where qualified labor was scarce. But, that would be
counterproductive, in conditions of a work force with higher qualification levels and
Theories are a source of new ideas.
The theories give the opportunity to consider different ways of seeing and doing things. They
must be assumed, therefore, as stimuli to thought. Stoner warns us that no theory predominates
in this field. On the contrary, the eclectic approach, the habit of taking principles from different
theories as circumstances require, is very common in administrative theory and practice.
Therefore, concludes Stoner, it is necessary to keep an open mind and become familiar with
each of the main theories that currently coexist.
Koontz-Weirich, base the need for these studies on the following:
"Unless the practitioners of the administration, as of any other field, learn by force of" trial and
error "(it has been said that the errors of the administrators are the tests of the subordinates),
they will not find a meaningful orientation in another part that is not the accumulated
knowledge underlying their practice ". (Koontz-Weirich, 2004, p.14)
Regardless of the limitations that a theory may present, it always offers us the possibility of
understanding phenomena, interpreting events and processes that, if the theory did not exist, it
would be more difficult for us to explain ourselves
Two of the subjects that I work in programs of managerial development, motivation and
leadership, are the most prolific in the amount of theories that have been generated. Some, with
a broad base of evidence and research, others with less "scientific consistency". However, it is
difficult to do without some when studying these topics. Maslow is criticized that his theory
about the "Pyramid of Needs" does not have enough empirical evidence to support it. However,
nobody who works on the subject of motivation can do without analyzing it.
When I work on one of these two topics, after analyzing the formulations of the main theories,
the groups try to identify what can be useful for each of these theories in our environment? We
always come to two conclusions:
1-None of the theories helps us to interpret, in a complete way, our realities.
2-In all theories there is "something that serves us." None of the theories, including Maslow's, is
completely discarded.

1. Evolution of theories about administration.

The knowledge about administration is very old. Since man had to organize to relate to nature it
was necessary to make a division of functions and tasks, establish hierarchies and structures,
among other administrative activities. In the Bible references are collected about administration

processes. In the theme "Delegation" is used as "bibliography" the passage in which Jethro,
Moses' father-in-law, suggests how to proceed to multiply the attention of parishioners, from
which arises the "Appointment of Judges". (Book Exodus, verse 18).
This primitive knowledge came to be systematized with the creation and functioning of the
states, the armies and the church. The creation of the first large companies: automotive, steel,
and commercial in the US at the end of the nineteenth century were formed with this knowledge
and experience.
For these reasons, Hammer and Champy, in their book "Reengineering," lament that "... the
problem of American business is that they will enter the 21st century, with companies designed
with 19th century bosses ...". (Hammer-Champy, 1902, pp.93-94).
Despite this background, the "theories of administration" begin to be formulated and recognized
as such at the beginning of the twentieth century. From that moment, these theories have had an
evolution that, in an effort of synthesis, can be summarized in the following stages or main
-The Scientific Administration.
It began with Taylor's time and movement studies, about which Lenin said, in the 1920s, "...
brings together all the refined ferocity of bourgeois exploitation and many invaluable scientific
conquests on the study of movements during the work, the suppression of superfluous and
clumsy movements, the development of more rational methods ... The Soviet Republic must
adopt the most valuable achievements of science and technology in this domain .. ". (Lenin,
1963, p 254).
Contributed to this school by other specialists: Gantt, establishing mechanisms of stimulation
for supervisors; the Gilbreth spouses, in the studies on movements and fatigue; Fayol,
establishing the "14 principles of administration"; Weber, with the bureaucratic administration,
which proposes hierarchies, norms and guidelines of authority; among others. (Stoner, 1989).
-School of Behavioral Sciences.
The limitations of "Taylorism," which analyzed man as an extension of the machine, began to
be questioned. Chaplin ridiculed him in the movie "Modern Times." Psychologists and
sociologists became interested in the problems of productivity. A series of studies were carried
out that revealed that productivity was not an exclusive problem of engineering, but that the
boss-subordinate relationships, the dynamics of the groups, among other social factors,
influenced this. According to Stoner, "... attention was focused more and more on teaching
administrative skills and less technical skills ...". (Stoner, 1989, p.48).
-The Quantitative School: operations research and administrative sciences.
It arises from the experiences of the Second World War in which economic-mathematical
techniques were developed for the military industry (operations research, the Critical Route,
among others). At the end of the war these tools were "released" for use in the civil sphere and,

with the advent of the first computers, they were incorporated into the arsenal of approaches and
tools for the management of organizations. With this, what is called "school of administrative
sciences" was constituted.
These are the three main schools of administrative thought, which continue to maintain their
influence on theory and administrative practices, with subsequent evolutions. But, as Stoner
recognizes, the limits of the various schools are becoming increasingly diluted.
After these schools, the three main perspectives that are identified in the bibliography are the
-the "systems approach", which analyzes organizations as an integrated system that
incorporates concepts such as: sub-systems, synergy, open and closed systems and feedback,
among others;
-the "contingency approach", which starts from "there is no optimal management system", but
rather, the most appropriate approaches and techniques depend on the specific circumstances
and situation at a specific time, which can be good in a particular time or place is not necessarily
in others;
-finally, the so-called "new movement of human relations", which incorporates the concepts of
culture, organizational values, among other things, to the components that should be addressed
in the management processes.

1. Criticisms and limitations of management theories.

Until the 1970s, management theories, like the environment in which organizations moved,
remained in a "relative calm". The specialists did not question their ability to interpret
administrative processes, nor to guide the practical work of administrators and organizations.
With the changes that began to take place in the environment in which organizations move from
the seventies of the last century many specialists began to question the capacity of the
approaches that had been prevailing in the theory and practice of the administration since Early
century. Peter Drucker, the main guru of "contemporary management", recently deceased, said:

"Towards the end of the sixties, or the beginning of the seventies, it was beginning to become
clear that the knowledge on which the boom of administration was based was no longer enough.
Even in most of the basic areas there was a need for new knowledge ... Scientific management
could no longer provide greater productivity ... managers will have to forget the things they
know as quickly as they learn the new things that should to know..."". (Drucker, 1973, p.20).

Hammer and Champy (1992) are more traumatic when, on the cover of their book
Reengineering, they put it as a subtitle, "Forget what you know about how a business should
work. Almost everything is wrong. "

The main limitations that are pointed to the theories that guided the thinking and practice of
administration until the 1970s can be summarized as follows:
-They were focused "inside" the organization.
-Addressed specific aspects of management work.
-They were very skewed by conjunctural situations from the moment
they were formulated.
-The central concern was to optimize the internal management processes.
-Little consideration of the influence of the environment, or consider it as something relatively
stable and predictable.
Makridakis presents what he calls "... important mistakes (committed both in the field of
management and in others), which we must avoid if we want to make progress in the field of
management". (1993, pp.13-16). Here is a summary of what it raises:
1-Theories are transient.
According to this author, it has been shown that the vast majority of management theories do
not last long. Recommend to those who direct that they assume them to guide their ideas and
facilitate or improve their decision making, but do not take anything for granted, to be selective
and look carefully to find the theory that may be more convenient in a given situation.
2-Extreme simplicity of theories.
The purpose of management theories is to contribute to create models of reality (as reality is too
complex to deal with), which can lead the thought process to improve decision making. For this,
they can not be so complex that it makes their assimilation difficult. But, also not so simple that
they offer easy explanations of reality. As an example, the "behaviorism" that was very popular
for twenty-five years is pointed out, and still attracts some, but it explains human behavior in
very simple terms. It also includes among its critics the Portfolio Matrix, the Director in a
Minute, the Entrepreneurial Grid, among others.
3-Basic principles or assumptions not appropriate or incorrect.
The dissatisfaction with a theory appears when the observation does not agree with the
theoretical predictions. This requires a new theory to explain and correct the discrepancies. For
Makridakis, a serious problem that complicates the evaluation of management theories is that
their assumptions are rarely stated explicitly, even those that are in the mind of the author.
Therefore, the "user" of the theory is limited to assess its consistency.
4-The demand creates its own offer.
The demand for theories creates a broad offer, not necessarily motivated by the desire for more
advanced knowledge or management improvement, but by economic compensation, for those
who "sell" the theory. ironizes this author. Nowadays, management theories are at the same
point as medical theories were before the 20th century, which means that a critical evaluation of
the concrete advantages of the theory is needed before deciding to use it, concludes Makridakis.

5-General truths against detailed predictions.
The fact that a theory is valid does not automatically mean that it can be used to arrive at precise
predictions. Even in "exact" sciences such as physics and chemistry
this is absolutely not valid. In the field of direction, with more reason, the theories can not
establish trajectories in a precise way, because they influence many factors, such as
organization, resources, leadership. Makridakis does not mention it, but another aspect that
expresses the limitations of management theories in their predictive possibilities is that many
experiences show that what has yielded results in a specific environment (company) is not
successful in a different one.
6-The changing morning.
Unlike what happens with physics, or other "exact" sciences, the business world is characterized
by accelerated changes, which quickly change the environment in which organizations move.
What gave results in the past, will not necessarily give it, in a difficult future to predict. Drucker
has said that when God wants to punish a company, he gives him thirty years of success.
Despite his "irreverent" criticisms of the limitations of management theories, Makridakis
concludes that "Management theories are indispensable. Practice without theory is a dangerous
exercise, no less risky than an inadequate theory. " (Makridakis, 1993, p.17).

1. Searches and proposals.

In response to these dissatisfactions with the theories of "management" that had prevailed since
the early twentieth century, theories and proposals began to proliferate.
Among those that had more diffusion at the time, which generated books that were "bestsellers"
(some of which still retain influence, both in academic and business), are: Theory Z, William
Ouchi (1982); the Excellence approach, by Tom Peters, Waterman and Austin (1987, 1992);
Advantages and Competitive Strategies ", by Michael Porter (1990, 1991); the "Theory of
Constraints (TOC)", by Goldratt, presented in different "novel" books.
More recently, Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People"; the "Emotional
Intelligence", by Goleman; the "V Discipline and Organizations that learn", from Senge; the
"Management by Values", of Dolan and Blanchard; "Process Management"; the "Management
by Competencies", among others. In addition, management tools, such as Reengineering,
Benchmarking, Outsourcing (outsourcing), Empowerment and Coaching, among others.
The eighties and nineties of the last century have been the most prolific in the generation of
theories and tools on management. But, as raised by a leading Latin American specialist,
Enrique Sarabia (1991
"The speed of technological innovation leads to the rapid obsolescence of knowledge. The
scientific and technical findings are quickly overcome. This also occurs with current knowledge

in the field of administration. The "life cycle" of organizational idioms is getting shorter and
shorter ... ".

Faced with dissatisfaction with the "management theories" that arise and lose topicality so
quickly, many specialists in "contemporary management" propose seeking answers to new
challenges in other "more mature" disciplines. Nothing new, many concepts, theories and tools
of "management" have been imported from other disciplines such as military science,
engineering, economics, psychology, sociology, to name a few.
Among the critics to those who deal with the "theories of administration" is the indication that
they are opportunistic and pragmatic. Indeed, as economists, engineers, psychologists or
specialists of any other profile, formulate some theory, knowledge system or tools that can be
used in management, they immediately incorporate it into the conceptual "arsenal" of
On this search in more mature sciences Makridakis raises:
"The administration is a very young field, in relation to other disciplines, it is exaggerating a lot
about its contribution to increasing efficiency in organizations and quality in business decisions.
Both the constraints and the advantages of the management environment must be understood
and accepted ... we must look for other more mature disciplines (for example, the military
strategy) for those significant knowledge that we can then apply to the field of management ... ".
(Makridakis, 1993, p.162).

Other authors agree with this. There has been a proliferation of works and books that go to
classics of the military sciences or to the analysis of campaigns and military battles to extract
principles and teachings that can be applied to the field of administration. Among the military
classics most "cited" by "management" specialists are: Alexander the Great, Clausewitz and Sun
Tzu. Following are references to some examples.
J.B. Quinn (1991), in his work Strategies for Change, highlights what can be found in the
"teachings" of Sun Tzu, Napoleon, Clausewitz, Marshall, or Montgomery emphasizing that "...
the basic principles of the strategy were recorded much earlier of the Christian era .. "
Consistent with this, analyzes in detail battles of the Macedonians Philip and his son Alexander
the Great (student of Aristotle) in 339 a.c., draws conclusions and makes proposals for business
Ries and Trout (1985), in the introduction of their book "The war of marketing", which was a
bestseller when it was published in the early eighties, pose: "The best book on marketing, to our
knowledge, is not the work of a Harvard professor, or of a distinguished collaborator of General
Motors ... is the one written in 1832 by a Prussian general in his retirement days Karl von
Clausewitz entitled "On War" which describes the strategic principles observed in all wars

triumph ... "In all the chapters of the book, its authors use profusely references to the work of
this military classic, draw conclusions and propose strategies to apply in the Marketing War" ..
The author of military issues most "cited" in recent years, is Sun Tzu, Chinese philosopher and
military of the years 400-320 BC, which are being edited versions of his masterpiece "The Art
of War" (Sun Tzu , 2001). There are also many books that apply their teachings in specific
spheres of "management". Among others that are reported on the internet are "Sun Tzu and Art
Business" by Mark NcNeilly. In "Sun Tzu: The Art of War for Directors", the publisher presents
its author Gerald Michaelson as "... world leader in Sun Tzu strategies for modern business ..".
In 2004 an International Symposium was held "The Art of War. Applications of Sun Tzu
strategies in business ". In the movie Wall Street, the main character, who plays Michael
Douglas, refers to his teachings.
It is also going to the "managerial" experiences of successful sports coaches, to find experiences
that can be extended to the management of companies. Pat Riley, (1995) famous coach of the
NBA, in "Forjador de Exitos. How to optimize teamwork ", he recounts approaches and
practices that led to the success of the teams he coached, including quotes from famous players
like Magic Johnson, when he said" Do not ask what your teammates can do for you. Ask what
you can do for them .. "

1. Main conclusions:
1-As with other social sciences, most theories of administration have not anticipated events, but
have been the result of them. They have had a more empirical than predictive character.
2-No theory, at any time of the evolution of this process, has been able to integrate in an
absolute manner all the phenomena and processes of administration.
3-The theoretical interpretation of management processes has been more fragmented and
dispersed than integrated into a coherent conceptual body. This is what led Koontz to talk about
"the jungle of administrative theories". Einstein's great aspiration, which he failed to fulfill, to
be able to express in a single formulation the movement of nature, is also a subject that is
pending in the theories of administration.
4-The theories of administration are in deep questioning, but still they are still useful, at least
they make us reflect on the problems that we have to deal with.
5-The administration is a complex, integrating and universal activity, which can and should
continue going to other disciplines "more mature", to draw on approaches and experiences that
may be useful, both for the theoretical interpretation of some phenomena and for the
formulation of strategies and decision making and practical actions.
The main conclusion that can be drawn from all this is that, regardless of the limitations they
may present and the dissatisfaction with which they leave us to understand some things, the
theories about administration are not "abstractions or things from the past". They are
interpretations about the administration processes that help to understand many things. In the
worst case, they contribute to developing the professional culture about one of the most
important activities in any society.

8. Bibliographic references:
-Drucker, Peter. (1973). THE MANAGEMENT. Tasks, responsibilities and practice. Ed. The
Ateneo, Buenos Aires.
-Hammer, Michael; Champy, James. (1992). REENGINEERING Norma Editorial Group,
-Koontz, Harold, Weirich, Heinz. (2004). ADMINISTRATION. A global perspective 12th.
Edition. Mc Graw Hill, Mexico.
-Kotter, John P. (2000). What do the leaders do? Editions Management 2000. Barcelona.
-Lenin, Vladimir I. (1960). Complete Works, Volume 27, pp. 254-255.
-Makridakis, Spyros G. (1993). PROGNOSTICS. Strategies and Planning for the XXI Century.
Editorial Díaz de Santos S.A. Madrid.
-Marx, Karl. (1962). THE CAPITAL. National Editor of Cuba. Havana. T-1
-Mintzberg, Henry. (1991). The Directive Work: folklore and reality. In: "Minztberg and the
Direction". Ed. Diaz de Santos, Madrid. (pp 5-25).
-Ouchi, William. (1992). THEORY Z. How companies can cope with the Japanese challenge.
Inter-American Educational Fund. Mexico.
-Peters, Thomas J .; Waterman Jr, Robert H. (1992). IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE. Lessons
from the best managed companies in the United States. Editorial Folio. Barcelona.
- "". Austin, Nancy. (1987). PASSION FOR EXCELLENCE. Differential Characteristics of
Leading Companies. Editorial of Social Sciences. Havana.
- Porter, Michael. (1990). COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE. Creation and sustenance of a
superior performance. Editorial Continental, S.A. Mexico.
- "". (1991). COMPETITIVE STRATEGY. Techniques for the analysis of the industrial and
competition sectors. Editorial Continental, S.A. Mexico DF.
-Quinn, James B. (1991). STRATEGY FOR CHANGE. In "The Strategy Process. Concepts,
Context, Cases. Prentice Hall. New Jersey (pp 3-19).
- Ries, Al; Trout, Jack. (1985). The war of marketing. Mc Graw Hill Hispanoamericana,
- Riley, Pat. (nineteen ninety five). FORGER OF SUCCESS. How to optimize teamwork. "
Editorial Grijalbo. Mexico.
-Robbins, Stephen P. (1994). ADMINISTRATION. Theory and practice. Prentice Hall
Hispanoamericana, S.A. Mexico.
-Saravia, Enrique. (1991). Conference notes given in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
-Stoner, James. (1989). ADMINISTRATION. Ed. Prentice Hall Hispanoamericana S.A. Mexico.
- Sun Tzu. (2001). The Art of War. Panamericana Editorial. Colombia.