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Behavioural Science Approach To Management

square Behavioural Science Approach or School

Behavioural Science Approach is an extension of the Human Relations Approach. Elton Mayo and his team used simple research methods. However, researchers, like Abraham Maslow, Douglas McGregor, etc., used more complex research methods. Thus are called "Behavioural scientists."

behavioural science approach to management

Image Credits © Iain Farrell.

The behavioural science approach is also called "Human Resource Approach". It gave importance to attitudes, behaviour and performance of individuals and groups in the organisations.

Behavioural scientists brought two new aspects to the study of management.

  1. They gave a more complex view of human beings and their needs and motives. For e.g. Abraham Maslow, gave importance to Self-actualization need of human beings.
  2. They used scientific methods to study the group behaviour in organisations.

square Assumptions of Behavioural Science Approach

Basic assumptions and propositions of Behavioural Science Approach are :-

  1. Organisations are socio-technical systems. The management must integrate both the systems.
  2. Work and interpersonal behaviour of people in the organisation is influenced by many factors.
  3. Employees are motivated not only by physiological needs but also by social and psychological needs.
  4. Different people have different perceptions, attitudes, needs and values. These differences must be found out and recognised by management.
  5. In an organisation conflicts are unavoidable.
  6. Personal goals and Organisational goals must be joined together.

square Contributions of Behavioural Scientists

Abraham Maslow, James March and Herbert Simon, Douglas McGregor, Victor Vroom, Fredrick Herzberg, Chestar Barnard, etc., made important contributions to the behavioural science approach.

The main contributions made by above Behavioural Scientists are :-

  1. Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory : Human beings have many needs. Some are lower-level needs like physiological needs, safety and security needs, and social needs, These needs must be satisfied first. The higher level needs are ego needs, and self-actualisation needs. These needs are satisfied after satisfying lower-level needs.
  2. James March and Herbert Simon : There are many types of communication in an organisation. This is essential for the performance of the organisation.
  3. Douglas McGregor's Theory X and Y : Different managers have different assumptions about people. This depends on the situation. Managers may have negative assumptions about people. That is, human beings hate to work and therefore, they must be forced, controlled, directed, and threatened with punishment to make them work. (Theory X). Managers may have positive assumptions about people, i.e. people love to work, and that people have self-control and self-direction. (Theory Y).
  4. Victor Vroom's Expectancy Theory of Motivation : People will be motivated to reach a goal, if they believe (i) in the worth of the goal, and (ii) in the steps taken to reach that goal.
  5. Fredrick Herzberg's Two Factor Theory : There are many factors that influence behaviour and work of people in an organisation. One group of factors is called "hygiene factors". They are salary, working conditions. Supervision, etc. If these factors exist in the organisation then there will be no dissatisfaction. However, these factors will not motivate the workers. The second group of factors is called "motivators". They are recognition, achievement, challenging work, etc. These factors bring satisfaction and motivation.
  6. Chester Barnard : The managers must maintain a system of co-operation in the organisation.


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