Classical management theory was a combination of Taylor's scientific management principles, Weber's bureaucratic management concepts, and Mooney & Reiley's universal administrative management theory. Classical theory was based on the premise that people are motivated primarily by economic rewards. It was heavily mechanical in nature and attempted to establish hierarchies and impose a high degree of specialization into individual jobs. Its primary drawback was its rigid nature.
Neoclassical management theory attempted to allow for creativity and individual personal growth by addressing human needs. The most famous study on neoclassical management principles described the Hawthorne effect, that simply paying attention to employees in a positive manner increased productivity. The most significant drawback to neoclassical management theory was that it led many managers to focus on "feel-good" measures that may not have had any impact on productivity.