Towards a New Theory in School Management: The Theory of Positive Containment

Article excerpt

Introduction to Theory:

A Historical Perspective of the Evolution of the Management Theory:

Basically, it can be said that the primary function of management in any organization including school as an organization is determined by the proper use of the production elements, i.e., the manpower and the material elements; to achieve its objectives as efficiently as possible. Several research studies confirm that the individual; based on his possessed skills, capabilities and motives, is considered a key element in achieving the productive efficiency of business organizations including schools. It should be noted that many studies have tried to search in-depth the concept of management as a way of reaching an understanding of the management phenomenon. Literature reviews indicate that Charles Papenj published in 1832 the first thesis on the theoretical concepts of management under the title "The Economics of Machinery and Factory Owners," in which he stressed on the importance of labor division between workers and the consideration of their humanity based on justice and equity, and establishing a system of incentives between workers by involving them in the profits (Cited in Abdeen, 2003: 17).

In 1858, Captain Henry Metcalf published his book "The Production Cost and the Management of Private and Public Workshop". Metcalf identified that the science of management depends on a set of principles that can be applied to different situations. It could be said that these principles could be obtained by recording both observations and experiences and then drawing a comparison between them

(Younis, 1988: 261). However, the scientific management theory was pioneered by Fredrick Taylor in his book "The Principles of the Scientific Theory" which was published prior the mid of the twentieth century. This theory developed the first practical principles of the operating method which management should follow based on the integration of individuals in the work environment to achieve an abundance of production as a specific goal. However, Taylor's theory had been attacked by several sociologists and psychologist claiming that it did not take into account the human factors in the production process. Such attacks had affected the theory and made it lose its logic.

Based on the above it is very important to clarify the concept of the theory of management by raising the following questions: what is the progress of theory in management?, and what are the main aspects of the theory in management?

In general, the management theories can be classified into three different groups: the classical theories, the human relations movement, and contemporary management. Light will be shed on each one of these three theories briefly.

First: The Classical Theories:

Such theories are also referred to as closed theories as they concentrate mostly on the concept of formal organization as a tool to increase the productivity at work. It looks at the human element as a severe inferiority tools or even cogs in machines. In addition, the human element receives strict instructions and is subject to firm and specific rules and regulations, and is never considered among the influential factors in the organizational behavior. Based on literature, the classical theories include the following models: the bureaucratic model, the scientific management model, and the administrative management model which is known as the principles management model.

Second: The Human Relations Movement:

The Human Relations Movement came as a reaction to the classical theories which neglected the behavioral aspects associated with the human element. Therefore, the human relations movement focused on the individuals and working in a collective environment, taking into account studying and analyzing the behavior of managers and workers/employees through what is known as group dynamics. Hugo Munsterberg is a pioneer founder of this important movement in the evolution of management theory. …