The Contingency Management theory evolved out of the Systems Approach to managing organization. The Systems approach advocates that managers recognize that organizations are systems comprising independent parts and that a change in one part affects the other parts, too.
This insight is important. However, over and above this, managers should also see how the parts fit together to be more effective. The Contingency Approach can help one better understand their interdependence.
Contingency approach for management safety
According to the Contingency Approach, management is situational; no one best approach to management exists because each situation the manager faces is too different.
They are, however, of the view that situations are often similar to the extent that some principles of management can be effectively applied. But for that appropriate principles are to be identified. This can be done first by identifying the relevant contingency variables in the situation and then evaluating those variables.
According to the Contingency approach, management is circumstantial.
The major contributors to this school of thought are
- Mary Parker Foller
- James Rosensweig
- Robert Kahn
- Tom burns
- G.M. Stalker
- Robert Lawrence
- Richard Lawrence
This is perhaps the best approach as it encourages management to search for the correct situational factors for applying appropriate management principles effectively.
To quote Ivancevich et al., “In essence, the contingency approach to management involves identifying the important contingency variables in different situations, evaluating the variables and then applying appropriate management knowledge and principles in selecting an effective approach to the situation.”
This is by far the best method for analysis as it encourages the manager to find out the situational factors most appropriate for effective management in all situations.
Different scholars from different disciplines at different periods of time in the history of industrial revolution, growth, and development have contributed to the different schools of management. Each scholar has taken great pains to stress on his/her own point of view and point out the weaknesses of other schools.
This has created a lot of confusion and has given rise to a situation that has been term end by Harold Koontz as “the Management Theory Jungle.’ However, every theory or approach highlights a particular aspect of management and helps managers address their tasks with particular insight.
As a relatively young and growing discipline, management has been undoubtedly benefiting from the contributions of all these schools of thought.
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