Management Theories and MNCs

Management theories are usually subdivided into two groups: foundational and modern. Both foundational and modern management theories share the same philosophical roots and are divided into two perspectives: rationalism and humanism. Rationalism was supported by social theorists like Weber, Fayol, Hobbes, Saint-Simon, or Lenin who viewed organizations as economic, technological and efficient instruments. In contrast, thinkers such as Rousseau, Proudhon, Hegel, Marx, Burke, or Durkheim supported the humanism because they viewed organizations as communication, natural, nonrational, and organic systems.

Smiddy and Naum published in 1954 an evolution of what they called a “Science of managing” in America. The authors’ intention was to outline the gradual historical development of the search for the basic principles of a science of managing and thus scientific management. They noted that whenever people have gathered to pursue a common and desired end, there has been an inevitable necessity to organize minds, hands, materials and the use of time for efficient and constructive work. Man has learned that individual and personal rewards derive largely from a harmonious combination of individual work and teamwork in a soundly organized frame of reference. Corporate managers implement the practices, principles, and techniques developed through management philosophies to achieve this harmonious combination.


The literature on management philosophies contains many articles attempting to characterize and classify the different domains, segments, or sectors of an organization’s approach. Some researchers linked management theories to corporate culture, power or organizational theory. Others posited that the management of organizations is not a precise science but more of a creative and political process, owing much to the prevailing culture and tradition in that place at that time. They offered a classification of the internal philosophies and organizational cultures of management systems into four cultures: Zeus, Apollo, Athena, and Dionysus. Similarly, some other scholars argued that the idea that corporations have cultures is one of the most influential management concepts of the past quarter century.

The research question is the following: How these old and new theories can be applied to the different types of multinational corporations (MNCs)?

Our work on this subject is to explore the relationship between management and intrapreneurship. The research study is entitled: "Intrapreneurship: The Fifth Column."