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Which Classic Management Theorist Are You?

Sammi Caramela
Sammi Caramela

There are many styles of management, and one isn't necessarily better than the others. Although there are numerous theories about how to manage people, many modern leaders still align with the classic management theories established by Frederick Taylor and others in the early 1900s.

Based on information collected by our sister site,, we distilled the philosophies of four well-known management theorists and created this quiz to help you see which one your practices match up with. Track your answers and find your results below.

1. What is your overall outlook on management?

A. Managers should value efficiency above all else.

B. Managers should control and plan every process.

C. Managers should ensure organizational hierarchy is respected and no lines are blurred.

D. Managers should always acknowledge and show appreciation for their employees.

2. An employee approaches you with a pitch. What is your initial reaction?

A. To calculate the most efficient way to run with the pitch, if it's a competent plan to begin with.

B. To take control of the plan and schedule out tasks accordingly.

C. To scold the employee for crossing their designated role.

D. To praise your employee for thinking outside of the box and having the courage to propose an original idea.

3. What does an ideal employee look like to you?

A. Organized, resourceful and agile.

B. Cooperative, productive and eager to learn.

C. Humble, mindful and loyal.

D. Supportive, receptive and passionate.

4. A worker calls in sick. What do you do?

A. Ask them when they think they will be back, and figure out which of their projects need immediate attention while they're away.

B. Send them any missed work and delegate any timely tasks to other employees.

C. Check your records of their previous absences to keep tabs on them.

D. Allow them the proper time to recover.

5. How do you show appreciation to your team?

A. By rewarding them when they're most productive.

B. By scheduling and treating them to a team lunch.

C. By not firing them.

D. By vocalizing your gratitude for the little things.

A. That they must endure training so they can be as efficient as the other employees.

B. That they must be willing to work on a tight schedule and adjust quickly to any changes.

C. That they do not meet the exact qualifications.

D. That they would make a great addition to the team.

7. An employee misses a deadline on a project. What do you do?

A. Reprimand them and discuss the most effective solution.

B. Plan a meeting to discuss why they missed the deadline, and how they can reach it in a timely manner.

C. Give them a warning and keep a record of how often this is an issue for them.

D. Assure them that it's all right and you appreciate their effort.


Calculate the number of A's, B's, C's and D's you answered, and refer to the results below.

If you got:

Mostly A's

Your managing style is most like Frederick Taylor's. You believe that the work process should be broken down into small subtasks to determine the most efficient method possible for completing a particular job. You train your employees accordingly and believe they should be rewarded for improved productivity. Learn more about Taylor's management style here.

Mostly B's

You are most like Henri Fayol. To you, a manager should control, plan and schedule every part of their team's processes, and make sure all the necessary resources are available. You encourage teamwork under management's commands. Learn more about Fayol's management style here.

Mostly C's

You don't have time for nonsense, much like Max Weber. You think that employees are assigned roles for a reason and that they should never cross boundaries. As a manager, you believe you're responsible for keeping tabs on your workers and everything they do, and that only the most qualified employees should be hired. Learn more about Weber's management style here.

Mostly D's

You're a lot like Elton Mayo. You believe that employees are more motivated by social rewards than monetary rewards, and you make certain to vocalize your appreciation. You don't let any of your workers feel undervalued, even in just the little things they do to help the company. If any employees share traits, you leverage their strengths by grouping them together to encourage collaboration and individual success. Learn more about Mayo's management style here.

A mix of two or more

You are a well-rounded leader who values their employees and their company's success equally. However, there's always room for improvement. If you want to be an even better manager, follow these tips.

Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon.

Image Credit: SFIO CRACHO/Shutterstock
Sammi Caramela
Sammi Caramela
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Sammi Caramela has always loved words. When she isn't writing for and Business News Daily, she's writing (and furiously editing) her first novel, reading a YA book with a third cup of coffee, or attending local pop-punk concerts. She is also the content manager for Lightning Media Partners. Check out her short stories in "Night Light: Haunted Tales of Terror," which is sold on Amazon.