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Scientific Management Theory by Fred Taylor

Discuss About The Management Function In Every Organization.

Different management theorists came up with various management theories all with the aim of discussing the various factors they thought to be more effective in ensuring that organization succeed in the achievement of their goals. A combination of the different theories makes managers more efficient in facilitating success and even more in improving their organizations’ productivity. Among the major and most common theorists include Fred Taylor, Henry Fayol and Max Weber. To start with, Fred Taylor raised management arguments and came up with the theory of scientific management. To come with this theory, he carried out a number of practices such as pig iron experiment and standardized shovels (Durai, 2015). Fred Taylor carried out these different experiments while he was trying to figure out a way through which employees’ efficiency could be improved and consequently lead to the organization’s success. Taylor recognized the great role played by the employees and overall workforce in an organization. Human capital is an important asset to any organization. It is the human capital that gets all the other functions in an organization working. It is the major determinant to the success of any organization. Taylor, in his experiments, puts up scientific techniques in the places of work. Taylor wanted to observe the reaction of the employees towards the application of the various techniques he applied.

On the other hand, Henry Fayol’s administrative management theory classified management into definite principles that seek to design the composition of an effective organization as a whole. In his theory, Henry Fayol requires business organizations to have formalized and highly specialized administrative structures that can clearly be able to divide labour effectively among their employees and power can be easily delegated from the senior staff to their subordinates so as to instil management skills and knowledge to such lower-ranked workers. Today, administrative management theory is still highly applicable especially in bigger organizations that exhibit well distinctive business levels and departments (Fayol, 2016). The major elements of effective management as explained by Henry in his theory assist managers today to solve the various problems that persist in their organizations more creatively and tactically, thus making the whole problem-solving process easier and highly effective. Planning, as defined by Henry Fayol, involves forecasting and making predictions about the future and therefore making the necessary arrangements that enable such an organization to curb the possible problems even before their actual occurrence. The organization, on the other hand, helps to collect together the various human and non-human existing assets and resources together for their easy application in the organization to help the organization to achieve its defined key goals and objectives. Other aspects addressed by Fayol include coordination of the various divisions as they might exist in an organization as well as integrating and directing their efforts into solely solving a company’s needs.

Principles of Scientific Management Theory

In Max Weber’s bureaucratic theory of management, the three key frameworks addressed include the traditional authority, charismatic and rational authority. Like Fayol, Weber also came up with basic bureaucratic principles that focus on improving the management of different organizations and subsequently improve the productivity of such business companies and assist them to achieve their set objectives. Weber defined bureaucracy as an organizational structure characterized by numerous and well-structured rules and regulations, procedures and requirements. The structure also included clear hierarchies and least human interactions among the employees of an organization. This theory is highly applied today by those organizations that exhibit large organizational structures as well as higher numbers of employees. These structures are therefore characterized by high formality and official duties, where the top management possesses the overall authority to set and implement rules, as well as impose punishments to the breakers of such set rules. Below is an in-depth analysis of the three early management theories that are still relevant to the modern day general management framework.

Fredrick Taylor was an American engineer who in his management, extensively applied his acquired engineering and scientific skills and knowledge, and consequently came up with a management theory by the name Taylor’s Scientific Management theory (Durai, 2015). Today, this theory is explicitly used by organizations in their various production levels such as planning levels and a number of production control levels such as quality and cost control. This theory embraces the use of quantitative analysis in the overall improvement of production efficiency (Shafritz, Ott & Jang, 2015).

Generally, this theory incorporates the industrial engineering principles into organization management that aims at ensuring that the waste resulting from the production activity is minimized, the overall methods applied in the production process are improved and the goods produced are fairly distributed as required by the organization. This theory aims to suit the interests of all the stakeholders of an organization including its employers and owners, the workers employed in such an organization and the overall external society at large. This theory is normally broken down into distinctive categories namely development of scientific approaches to work, scientific selection and recruitment of an organization’s workforce, scientific training and development of the workforce and creation of an intimately cohesive and cooperative environment between both the employees and their employers (Simon, 2013). Tylor, in his theory, discarded the ancient management style and replaced it with a timed observation leading. He further encouraged systematic and organized training of an organization’s human resource so as to equip them with the necessary skills they require to carry out their daily responsibilities effectively. The division of labour and workload among all the workers in an organization helps to make tasks simpler and thus easier to solve.

Henry Fayol’s Administrative Management Theory

Taylor, in his theory, believes that scientific skills and instructions assists workers to carry their allocated work effectively. He encourages organization management teams to break loads and tasks into smaller bits of tasks that can be easily performed by employees with much more productivity. The scientific theory has been employed by the managers of organizations to offer monetary rewards to their workers as well incorporating scientific training of employees in attempts to improve their productivity. The application of scientific management theory in the handling of pig iron helped to ensure that both organization managers and workers strictly followed rules and regulations while carrying out the duties assigned to them. For instance, there were distinctive times when workers were instructed to and not to pick the pig iron, and they were therefore supposed to take rests when not taking the pig iron and vice versa. The resulting effect was that productivity in terms of output was greatly improved. Other aspects considered by Taylor included ensuring that workers were trained the ways in which they could handle the pig iron and subsequently enjoy a pay increase.

Fayol worked in a mining company where he was employed to raise and implement a management theory. In his theory Administrative Management Theory, Fayol emphasizes the roles of management in an organization. He believes that there are five key roles the improve the management of any organization. Among these roles include forecasting and planning, organizing and controlling (Geisler & Wickramasinghe, 2015).  Other key roles that Fayol addressed include coordinating and commanding. Fayol developed a number of principles that compliment the key roles identified, such as proper division of labour among employees. In his theory, Fayol argues that the organization workload is supposed to be shared and distributed among the available employees on the basis of their passion and expertise. He further believes that division and specialization of labour improve the total productivity among organizations. Additionally, the theorist defined authority as the right to give orders and make other people obey (Koontz, 2010). Organizations bestow managers with the authority and managers are therefore responsible for giving orders and getting things done. Discipline interprets to improved profitability.

The principle of unity of command gives a senior officer to issue orders to other junior officers while the principle of direction ensures that there is a common source of orders and authority. Teamwork and cooperation among the workers in a common organization help to boost production as well as fostering employee relations. Managers in modern organizations employ Fayol’s roles and principles to boost productivity and relations among the workers in their organizations and consequently boost the overall company’s output. Organizations enable managers to give orders to their subordinates. They are given the authority to sack those employees who do not obey the organization's rules and also promote those workers that exhibit distinctive leading and performance skills. However, the principles of unity of command and unity of direction are not observed in many organizations. The increased complexity in organizational structures has led to the creation of more posts and workers now receive orders from more than one managers. The Fayol’s theory has helped to foster the relationships between managers and the personnel, which helps to improve interactions within the organization. Moreover, workers are more engaged and produce better output in terms of quality and quantity when they are more engaged than when they are not.

Max Weber’s Bureaucratic Theory of Management

In his theory, Weber was concerned with inspecting the effect of authority towards the achievement of an organization’s goals. He identified that organizations were more effective and productive when authority was bestowed on those people who were more qualified, competent and efficient. This counteracted the impacts that issuing authority to those people that one knew brought to the organizations. Weber developed various characteristics of bureaucracy, which he believed would result in increased efficiency in organizations if properly employed. The bureaucratic structure facilitated the senior positions to execute authority over the lower positions (Niskanen, 2017). Such positions continuously and consistently supervised the activities as carried out in the lower positions. The principle of the pain of command ensured that there was total control in the organization’s activities and also made sure that law and order were maintained at every time in the organization. Maintenance of law and order made sure that workers in an organization mutually respected each other and thus there was a peaceful coexistence between different personnel in the company (Weber, 2015).

Duties and activities in a bureaucratic system were highly divided and specialized on the basis of workers qualification and passion. Duties are only allocated to the most competent and qualified personnel in terms of skills and passion. Workers are assigned those duties that they are passionate about so as to boost their engagement in the workplace (Niskanen, 2017). Moreover, division and specialization of labour help to build positive mental attitude among workers which in turn improves their overall performance. The set standards, rules and regulations in bureaucratic systems ensure that employees do not go beyond the set limits and discipline is highly maintained at all levels of the organization. Managers to whom power is bestowed are supposed to hire people without discrimination, only hiring the most qualified and competent workers to fill the organization’s vacancies. Promotions are also supposed to be given fairly basing on the employee’s level of competence where the most competent workers are supposed to be promoted (Weber, 2013).

 Organization’s in the modern world have improved systems as explained in the bureaucratic theory. Managers are able to organize, supervise and control employees and all the activities taking place in the places of work. Managers who have effectively incorporated bureaucratic systems have been able to get better results than those who haven’t. This has been mainly contributed by the fact that workers are able to coordinate and work together as a team and more technical and complex tasks can be solved efficiently (Williams, 2015). In addition, the increased employee engagement has resulted in improved perf0mances and higher productivity levels. Managers maintaining law and order facilitate improved employee relations and as a result, employees are able to work together as a teamwork to achieve the organization’s set goals and targets. Most of the organizations that have not embraced this system seem to have followed the various critics as subjected to the system. Among the critics include the lack of flexibility which affects the delivery of organization services, especially owing to the fact that tasks and duties are fully specialized and therefore employees only stick to those tasks in which they are assigned (Hatch, 2018).

Conclusion

Conclusively, early management theories still hold critical relevance to the modern management practices. early theorists such as Henry Fayol, Max Weber and Fred Taylor have continued to make great impacts especially in the management practices where their theoretical concepts are applied by managers in modern organizations to promote production in their organizations. Some of the management concepts that are highly adored in the modern management activities such as division of labour and specialization of labour, cooperation and teamwork among employees and other aspects such as enforcement of law and order at places of work had been developed by the named early theorists. Application of these concepts has currently seen the growth and development of many modern organizations. Managers who are well equipped with knowledge from the early management theories are now able to effectively lead and manage their organizations, often driving them into success and enabling them to achieve their goals and objectives.

Similarly, modern managers who are unable to incorporate such knowledge as found in these early management theories have often found trouble in running their organizations smoothly, which has often resulted to failure and inability of such organizations from attaining their targets. The knowledge about teamwork and the need for cooperation helps to keep all the workers in business organizations to remain united, and in turn well interactive at the places of work. Failure of organizational managers to note nor appreciate the role played by such knowledge means that the organizations in which such managers lead are more likely to face chaos and differences among the workers which in turn reflects reduced productivity and unlikeliness to achieve their stated targets and objectives altogether.

References

Durai, P. (2015). Principles of Management. Pearson India.

Fayol, H., 2016. General and industrial management. Ravenio Books.

Geisler, E. and Wickramasinghe, N., 2015. Principles of knowledge management: Theory, practice, and cases. Routledge.

Hatch, M.J., 2018. Organization theory: Modern, symbolic, and postmodern perspectives. Oxford university press.

Koontz, H., 2010. Essentials of management. Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Niskanen, J., 2017. Bureaucracy and representative government. Routledge.

Schön, D.A., 2017. The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. Routledge.

Shafritz, J.M., Ott, J.S. and Jang, Y.S., 2015. Classics of organization theory. Cengage Learning.

Simon, H.A., 2013. Administrative behavior. Simon and Schuster.

Weber, C., 2015. Effective management. Cengage Learning.

Weber, M., 2013. From Max Weber: essays in sociology. Routledge.

Weber, M., 2015. Bureaucracy. In Working in America (pp. 29-34). Routledge.

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