Contribution of various scholars to Management/Work of Various Management Scholars/Researchers

9. Chester Irving Barnard

i. An American business executive, public administrator, and the author of pioneering work in management theory and organizational studies.

ii. According to Barnard, organizations are generally not long-lived because they do not meet the two criteria necessary for survival: effectiveness and efficiency.

iii. Barnard summarized the functions of the executive as follows:

  • Establishing and maintaining a system of communication;
  • Securing essential services from other members;
  • Formulating organizational purposes and objectives.
  • To manage people and make sure they do their jobs.

iv. Barnard gave a theory of formal organisation. He defined it as “a system of consciously co-ordinated activities of forces of two or more persons.”

v. According to him, organisation consisted of human beings whose activities were co-ordinated and therefore becomes a system : According to Barnard initial existence of organisation depends upon three elements :

  • the willingness of persons to contribute efforts to the co-operative system
  • there should be an objective of co-operation and
  • proper communication system is necessary.

vi. Barnard suggested an equilibrium model to describe the balance achieved between the contributions of the members of an organisation and return contribution made by the organisation to the fulfilment of private goals of the members.

vii. Barnard treated organisation as separate from the environment where it works.

viii. The persons working in the organisation have two roles—a personal role and an organisational role. There should be a balance between what employees get out of the organisation (money, status, recognition, etc.) and what they contribute in form of time, knowledge, discomfort, production, etc.

ix. Barnard did not agree with the classical concept of authority where it comes from top to bottom. He said that authority comes from bottom. Barnard’s view, if a subordinate does not accept his manager’s authority, it does not exist.

x. According to him a person will accept authority under following conditions’:

  • He can and does understand the communication;
  • At the time of his decision he believes that it is not inconsistent with the purpose of the organisation.
  • At the time of his decision, he believes it to be compatible with his personal interest as a whole; and
  • He is able (mentally and physically) to comply with it.

xi. Barnard postulated three types of functions for the executives in forma! organisational set up. These functions are:

  • Maintaining proper communication in the organization
  • Obtaining essential services from individuals for achieving organisational goals
  • Formulating purposes and objectives at all levels.

xii. Barnard was of the opinion that both formal and informal organisations co-exist in every enterprise.

xiii. Barnard formulated two interesting theories: one of authority and the other of incentives. Both are seen in the context of a communication system grounded in seven essential rules:

  • The channels of communication should be definite;
  • Everyone should know of the channels of communication;
  • Everyone should have access to the formal channels of communication;
  • Lines of communication should be as short and as direct as possible;
  • Competence of persons serving as communication centers should be adequate;
  • The line of communication should not be interrupted when the organization is functioning;
  • Every communication should be authenticated.

ix. As for incentives, he proposed two ways of convincing subordinates to cooperate: tangible incentives and persuasion. Barnard gives great importance to persuasion, much more than to economic incentives. He described four general, and four specific incentives. The specific incentives were:

  • Money and other material inducements;
  • Personal non-material opportunities for distinction;
  • Desirable physical conditions of work;
  • Ideal benefactions, such as pride of workmanship

x. The general incentives were:

  • Associated attractiveness (based upon compatibility with associates)
  • Adaptation of working conditions to habitual methods and attitudes
  • The opportunity for the feeling of enlarged participation in the course of events
  • The condition of communing with others (personal comfort with social relations, opportunity for comradeship etc., )

xi. Books

  • The Functions of the Executive (1938)
  • Dilemmas of Leadership in the Democratic Process (1939)

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