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Scientific management theory and principles

Compare and contrast the contributions of scientific management and the human relations movement to modern management theory and practice
 

Number of management theories and practices has been brought in twentieth century which has contributed in giving shape to present business environment. These theories not only aided managements but also created new ways for managing people and organising work places. Two theories that are been compared and contrasted in this essay are scientific management and Human relations movement in relation to modern management theory and practice. Both the theories ensure contemporary management’s with productivity and effective work place. Scientific management theory of Fayol and human relations movement of Mayo are both considered by management of organisations while controlling and handling workforce as well as during application of different ways through which things can be done through people effectively (Nagy et al., 2015). The aim of this essay is to bring differences and similarities between both the theories to verify the reasons behind implementation of these thoughts. Lastly, this essay will make consideration of each theories position in modern management business environment to agree or disagree on the extent whether they work effectively and conceded efficiently or not.

The founder of scientific management theory (SM) is Frederick Winslow Taylor and his theory is also acknowledged as Taylorism. The main aim of Taylor was to implement human resource and optimise operational practice as effectively as possible (Taylor, 1911). Hence, it became necessary in changing the proposition between existing management and employees who are responsible for the work management. Earlier, people used to perform their duties according to the work principles laid by former generations or sometimes worked out themselves. Moreover, there was no guarantee whether the work done by they were effective or not. In order to fix these issues, Taylor introduced four management principles to bring more profits in enterprises. First principle laid by Taylor was development of science for each factor related to work in which Taylor summarised the complete knowledge of employees and the enterprise. He created rules for each process and further divided them in small parts for analysis in the course of the movement. The second principle followed making references of workers. Earlier there were no training or development programs in organisations and workers performed and improved working skills out of their own. Now, scientific base in selection and training process informs the management with what kind of work employees needs to do and who to delegate work according to the expertise.

Human relations theory and principles

 Taylor also reflected upon motivation behaviour among employees and implemented incentive payments and reward systems to motivate workers. Third principle stated cooperation between workers and management to ensure work is carried according to science. According to this theory, company can become profitable only if company as well as its staff are aware of ultimate organisational goals and become determined to translate present businesses into scientific management approach into practice. Work sharing was the last principle laid by Taylor in which management and employees suffered change in regards to work sharing. Earlier people were responsible for their part of jobs but this new principle created new rules in which every process was duty of every individual (Dogan, 2011). This attitude change the work climate where sharing and caring was introduced and thus resulted in sensation of scientific management.

Human relations (HRT) theory was introduced between 1920 and 1930 with the study made by Elton Mayo at Hawthorne plants. This theory reflected upon the ways through which enterprise could maximise its outputs by making changes to the employment conditions in work place (Worren et al., 2002). Mayo focused on making two groups that exposed various clarification levels. However many researchers believe that these groups further depends upon clarification conditions. This theory majorly reflects upon productivity level and observes workers for increasing the work productivity. This theory demonstrates that workforce can be stimulated by non economical factors also. The non economical factors are the main idea of human relation practice which aims and wishes to enhance employee’s interest towards their work. 

 Mayo’s theory supported team improvement and cooperation between workforce and management as well as social relationships through internal and external communication. This theory was based on performing work in friendly and social business environment to motivate the entire crew. The employees shall also get connected with each other to achieve peace in work for bringing work effectiveness to organisations. Integration and development of workforce instead of domination was the key elements of human relation movement in which employees get additional deep relationship with organisations through humanitarian work atmosphere. This theory was however more difficult to bring into practice as managements had to alter their view from the core. Needs of worker became the focal point after making assumption about productivity levels. Managers received trainings in relation to human management that enabled change in predominant environment of businesses. According to this theory, the standard change in management and work conditions shall be brought in alignment to bring effectiveness to the organisational needs as a whole (Rose, 2005).

Differences and similarities between the two theories

There are some difference found in between Taylor’s SM and HRT of Mayo. SM theory treats people as robots while Mayo treats employees as human beings and therefore shall be given more consideration in relation to work.  Secondly, Taylor believed that incentives can motivate employees but Mayo stated that organisational output can be determined by human relationships and not through economic and technological motivations. According to it, co-relation between workplace and employee is the reason behind workers motivation and production can be enhanced if employee’s interests are given more priority. Third difference found was that SM theory tied workers to adhere with rules while HRT encouraged employee’s involvement in decision making to make their participation with management and work place. Under this point, SM was much closer to employees while HRT was open to employees by involving them in decision making. Lastly, Taylor’s SM theory encouraged working individually where employees are being given a specific work to perform under certain criteria’s. On the other hand, Mayo’s HRT encouraged group performance for building sound relationship within work environment. Here scientific management and human relation theories proved to be contradictory to each other as HRT tried covering the problem faced through SM (Tanuja, n.d.).

There is the conformation of Taylor’s SM and Mayo’s HRT in modern management theory and practices that they both contributes to the schools of management practices. Major similarities recognised in them are also a point of consideration that makes difficult in making choices between them. Both the theories try to find best ways through which productivity in enhanced and the workplaces receives motivated and efficient workers (Tirintetaake, 2017).They tried to make workers more dedicated towards their organisations so that organisational outputs can be realised to its maximum. According to Taylor’s idea, technical division of workers meant to divide tasks for making allocation of employees according to their skill for performing that task. It also gives incentive to the workers for bringing motivation in them. In Mayo’s idea, employees are encouraged for working in groups and bring social relation into practice to recognise their social needs as well as appreciate the workplace idea so that they are happier with their job (Sirdhar, n.d.). Here both the theories play a significant role in bringing organisational accomplishment and objectives. The enhanced motivations of employees will automatically increase production and result effective organisational outputs under modern management practice and theory.

The success of organisations depends largely upon employee’s management. As discussed in the essay, scientific management and human relation theory are both equally applicable in modern management styles depending upon the requirements in work cultures of organisations. The feature of scientific management is systematic, abandon of traditional method, adherence with strict rules and improvement of work efficiency. While human relation movements main highlight are individual treatment of employees, informal work atmosphere, and workers participation in management. However few differences are found between two theories, the differences only shows the ways of treatment of employees along with the methods workers are being motivated. One theory suggests allocation of work according to the expertise while their suggest involvement of workers in management (Xpert Researchers, 2014). Basic similarity found between the two was that they tried to increase productivity while motivating employees. Therefore, it becomes difficult to decide upon making a choice between two theories as both of them contributed equally in modern management practice and theory (Olum, 2004).

Modern management no longer focuses entirely on organisational needs but demands improvement in living standards of employees also so that they are less concerned about job losses. If employee’s requirements are not met, changing jobs becomes apparent for them and leaving the enterprise can take potential employees out of it. Therefore, belief that motivation alone cannot stop employees from leaving jobs is not practical as well as productivity can be depended on forceful management and direction also. Employees nowadays seek rewards within their job and fulfilment of their core needs shall be designed according to it. There are many successful organisations present that have strategically implemented human relation movement in their work culture but, it is not the sole reason behind their success. Since human relations do not allow systematic approach, its principle does not satisfy organisational needs completely whereas scientific management had more scientific base for providing motivation in the workforce. From these it can be concluded that Human relation theory has contributed more in managing people and designing of work while managing of work is contributed by scientific management principles.

References

Dogan, M.C.a.E., 2011. A Theoretical Approach to the Science of Management. [Online] Available at: https://www.ijhssnet.com/journals/Vol._1_No._3;_March_2011/10.pdf [Accessed 17 May 2018].

Nagy, Z., Józsa, G. & Kis-Tóth, R., 2015. MANAGEMENT. [Online] Available at: https://p2014-26.palyazat.ektf.hu/public/uploads/05-menedzsment-eng_55e9c2b77ad24.pdf [Accessed 17 May 2018].

Olum, Y., 2004. MODERN MANAGEMENT THEORIES AND PRACTICES. [Online] Available at: https://www.sawaedy.com/pic/pdf/8807-UNPAN025765.pdf [Accessed 17 May 2018].

Rose, N., 2005. Human Relations Theory and People Management. [Online] Available at: https://www.corwin.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/9805_039184ch02.pdf [Accessed 17 May 2018].

Sirdhar, M.S., n.d. SCHOOLS OF MANAGEMENT THOUGHT. [Online] Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/224952289_Schools_of_Management_Thought [Accessed 17 May 2018].

Tanuja, n.d. Classification of Management Theories: 4 Schools of Thought. [Online] Available at: https://www.businessmanagementideas.com/management/theories-management/classification-of-management-theories-4-schools-of-thought/4679 [Accessed 17 May 2018].

Taylor, F.W., 1911. The Principles of Scientific Management. [Online] Available at: https://la.utexas.edu/users/hcleaver/330T/350kPEETaylorSciManTable.pdf [Accessed 17 May 2018].

Tirintetaake, I., 2017. Scientific Management Theory vs Human Relation Theory. [Online] Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316464967_Scientific_Management_Theory_vs_Human_Relation_Theory [Accessed 17 May 2018].

Worren, N., Moore, K. & Elliot, R., 2002. Human Relations. [Online] Available at: https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.137.9041&rep=rep1&type=pdf [Accessed 17 May 2018].

Xpert Researchers, 2014. How Modern approaches to Management compare with the traditional approaches of the Scientific Management and Human Relations thought. [Online] Available at: https://expertresearchers.blogspot.in/2014/01/how-modern-approaches-to-management.html [Accessed 17 May 2018].

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