From a framework (a map) describing the developments in Western Management Theory over the last hundred years or more, focus on the period from Taylor to Fayol and Weber explaining the context of their work. Individual Components Each member of the team choose one of the management theorists listed below and give specific examples of the portions of their theory still in use in the modern world
The work on the general framework is the responsibility of each team member· The work on the individual components is the responsibility of the individual choosing that· component. However, that individual can be helped by other group members who in turn also can help other team members.
The primary aim of this paper is thus to discuss the relevance of different traditional theories on the concept of management and how they are applied in the modern workplaces. The paper focuses on analyzing Fredrick Taylor’s theory, Fayol theory, and Weber Max theory and example concepts of their contributions that are adopted in the current business environment.
According to Suojanen (2003), the concept of the western management control originated from the development of the early management theories. The same study denotes that these theories involved the development of classic management and pure control ideas that resulted to the firm theoretical foundation to organizational management. In other words, the early management led to the provision of beneficial conditions for the generational management control in the early days. In a systematic review on the history of western management theories, Rosser (2009) denotes that several individuals come up with management frameworks that in one way of the other were considered at different facets.
For instance, Babbage Charles pushed forward its development hence positively contributing to the management theory improvement. In his framework, he was much concerned with the improvement of the manufacturing processes as well as the production systems, aspect that are up to date considered essential for the success in the operation of an organization. He is the theorist behind the importance of division of labor in increasing the productivity in an organization as well as profit sharing profit system that aims at motivating employees. Wrong (1970) points out that Babbege put forward constructive ideas and recommendations for managers to implement control management tool as an essential organizational framework.
In her study on organizational management, Parker Follet’s let the development of an ideological essence of a coming management control as pointed out by Evans, Peter and James (2001, p. 49). She is up to date considered a classical management theorist who often focused on management control problems and proposed an enlightening idea of modern control issues. In her theory, she postulated that it is the complicated relationship of interaction of what a manager suggests to control rather than just a material element. In other words, the theory suggests that the control of a management process is based on the implementation of individuals who are self-directed or self-regulated but as well have a common goal and interest. Even though she was considered to be very idealistic on the consistency of the goals of the organization, she further coordinated an interactive relationship concept of all the relevant functions within a framework involving a direct contact among all the related personnel within the organization as pointed out by Wedeman (2012, p. 8).
In a systematic study, Rosser (2009) denotes that Taylor then came in with a principle of scientific management as a cornerstone of the management control process of an organization. The same study denotes that the theory was adopted in the early 20th century where scientific management was adopted as the cornerstone of control in management. The theorist postulated many ideas with the aim of improving the efficiency of employees in the organization as he believed that improving labor productivity was the most basic and central issue of scientific management. Later, Fayol and Weber Max made significant contributions to the theory on its control and fucntions. For Fayol, control determines the consistence, an organizational plan and real execution as well as the principles and orders of management operations. However, Weber advocated for establishing a highly formulated, structures, and impersonalized organizational system as the most effective way of measuring the achievements of goals as well as labor productivity improvement.
Discussion and analysis
According to Guerci and Shani (2015), management is the primary determinant of the performance of the organization as it determines the essential processes of the organization such as decision-making, controlling, leading, and planning all facets of the activities. As a result, it is considered the most vital department for an organization that determines to achieve the set goals in an effective and efficient manner. It is as well essential in the designing and maintenance of an environment where people working together ensure they accomplish the expected objectives within every department of the organization. In a systematic review, Wrong (1970) points out that from the moment human beings started forming social organizations with the aim of achieving objectives that could not be attained by individuals, the management has been adopted as an essential aspect in ensuring effective coordination of individual efforts. The same study denotes that the responsibilities of managers have increased in complexity and importance as the community continues to rely on group efforts while organized groups are becoming larger. As a result, the management theory is developed to be very crucial in analyzing the strategies adopted by managers in different industries that are as well becoming more complex.
Henri Fayol, one the greatest thinkers of his time developed philosophical ideologies, ideas, and approaches on how to manage organization core activities. Some still consider him the pioneer of administrative techniques and theories as he came up with crucial components on the management of an organization and its workers. Born in Istanbul 1842, he is still seen as an important contributor to the modern theories of management as he articulated all the important issues while developing his ideas on how to deal with issue. During his time few organizations heads,Suojanen (2003) points out that leaders and managers had not received the right information and education on managing organization, due to this he came up with discoveries that would assist them dealing with the complexities that were beginning to crop in. Fayol came up with a management theory and principles to handle top management issues that were facing the then organization and still facing the modern ones today.
In his organizational theory, he came up with 14 principles that would guide business leaders and its workers. Division of work is one of the principles of the theory; this means assigning duties to individuals in the area of their specialization, this occasionally seen in big organizations where people are rotated through positions so as to improve their abilities (McLean, 2011). Fayol sees authority as a significant value where the managers and leaders have the final say about issues, however, this is not the case in many organizations as democracy and employee voice remains critical in the modern organization. Managers still have the final say and decision though well consulted and engaged process with all employees or their representatives.
Any business enterprise without order or laws will have a huge problem in attaining their ultimate goals. Discipline ensures that people and workers in a modern organization understand there is order, responsibilities, and consequences for not upholding particular rules. Fayol explained that institution must have a chain or unity of directions and command where employees would have to report to (Flippo, 2008). In a big organization, this is practiced as they have the personnel to do it, in small organizations this not possible as they do not have enough staff that allows for one employee, one supervisor situation. Modern organizations are always devising techniques to improve teamwork and spirits. A spirited team will remain focused and motivated to the prime objective and goals as proposed by Fayol in his theory. Modern companies have developed a trend where they are building child playing areas around their field of operation. The trend can be attributed to the Fayol believe that remuneration should go beyond financial reward to other forms of compensation like allowing workers in an organization feel the safety of their kids is guaranteed. An employee who feels psychologically safe is more likely to yield impressive results and output that will ultimately benefit the organization. Such kind of remuneration will prove to be helpful as it will assist develop employee loyalty to the company and this will eventually assist in retaining them. Present organizations cannot afford to allow individual personal interest come before organization goals and objectives. Fayol had a vision on this issue, as the brand name, reputation and equity cannot be compromised or undermined to favor of a single individual since the costs of doing this can be too much.
Henri Fayol Theory Application
Fayol advised for a scalar chain where staff members were to be aware of their position in the protocol of authority as pointed out by Ehrenberg and Stupak (2004, p. 8). This may not be the case as most of the organizations are running on flat structures where individuals are assigned their assignments and responsibilities without necessarily knowing where they stand in a chain of command. It is also essential to understand that people are still made aware of protocols that exist in an institution. Fayol advocated for equity and fairness in institutions, where managers must practice fairness without favoritism. In their study, Dale and Van Der Wiele(2011) organizations have handled this issue by setting up systems that allow for staff to forward their problems in an efficient manner.
Complaints and suggestions are also given attention and priority to ensure that the workers are in right frame of mind to undertake their duties effectively. Esprit de corps is a statement that explain that teamwork, motivation and the right spirit will be critical if any institution has an intention of having productive workers. Developing team spirit, attitude and the right atmosphere is typically designed by planning team groups, workshops, and leisure activities. This strategy of building team spirit has been integrated into modern companies and has yielded significant results (Crainer 2003, p. 67).
For the above principles to work, Fayol came up with functions that earlier and contemporary company’s management must practice. These management functions include the following
- Planning every detail of the whole process and scheduling of actions and activities to take place.
- Organizing where the management must provide all the resources that are needed for the production process. People are also assigned duties and responsibilities they have to undertake for the whole process.
- Commanding must take place as personnel are given directions on what to do and the output expected.
- Coordination and cooperation of activities between individual and departments is fundamental for the whole production process to be efficient.
- Controlling, this is the stage where business or institution leaders follow up to ensure that direction and command given were implemented effectively (Carter, 2006).
Several critique scholars have described Fayol work as bureaucratic with the aim of controlling workers and of forcing them to work like machines. His work cannot be limited only to those beliefs as it has proven that it is still applicable to our organizations today. An individual wishing to learn about top modern management must understand most of the issues that Fayol has provided in his work. His theory and principles are clearly reflected in current working models as there must be delegation and monitoring of duties. Large enterprises today also understand that employee’s issues will significantly affect the overall output hence explaining reasons they are investing a lot of time and money to ensure their satisfaction (Brunsson, 2008). Fayol can be described as an advanced thinker who saw gaps in a traditional institution and filled them with his research. However, this has proved to very helpful even for today managers and leaders both in public and private sectors.
According to Taylor, his theory sought to overthrow management by the thumb rule while replacing it with the actual timed observations leading to a simple best practice. The author of the theory as well advocated for a systematic training of the workforce as a best practice instead of just allowing them to adopt personal discretion in the tasks they posses. He further postulated that the work needs to be equally shared between the management and the workers with the management given the responsibility of instruction and performing the scientific roles while the other employees perform the laborious duties. In his study, Crainer (2003) points out that Taylor’s theory of management can easily be recognized in the modern day working environments. For instance, the computer and the car manufacturing plants, the restaurants we eat in, hospitals we visit when we are sick, the work environment- almost every facet function more efficiently as a result of the scientific management application.
Fredrick Taylor, the inventor of scientific management theory that he developed in the late nineteenth century. Born in 1856, Taylor has been recognized as one of the brightest minds of his time for solving managerial problems through his theories and knowledge about management. During his days, industries were facing complex phenomena and challenges on organizing, controlling and promoting human resource factors. Industries began to grow, populations increasing and workforce issues becoming more complicated, as firms started to understand the importance of human power productivity for organizations. In these dilemmas and trends, Taylor came up with scientific management theory that advocated for principles to be used in organizations. However, these ideas are still maintained and implemented by modern enterprises and institution (Freeland, 2004).
Scientific management can be described as thoughtful ways and ideas of handling and dealing with human resource problems, inefficiency, and control of employees. The theory can be described and narrowed to the following principles.
- Replacement of “rule of the thumb” and common way of assigning responsibilities, and there should a systematic and consulted manner of assigning duties to workers.
- Have an involved way of selecting workers for certain tasks and training them. Matching individual employee abilities to his or her interests and then providing them with the necessary training so as to carry out those duties with maximum productivity.
- Monitoring stage where performance of worker should be closely followed so as to ensure he follows the directions and instructions given. The principle typically means an employee work under the clear guidelines provided (Stoller, 2015).
- Division and allocation of duties and responsibilities between organization leaders and staff should be handled in a way that allows for managers to delegate and train assignments to workers.
In modern corporations, managers are modifying and using these principles with the aim of improving employees output in those respective institutions. The first principle was to break the rule of the thumb where activities were being organized in a conventional method. Thus there was a need to integrate a systematic way of assigning duties. In modern organizations, managers coordinate processes from the start to end where output is controlled. Overhauls and transitions of processes are evident nowadays where institutions try to manage and improve customer satisfaction, reduce cost, expenses and improve revenues. Payment systems were also developed under these guidelines where the most performing individuals were paid higher and given top management posts. This has significantly promoted the efficiency of workers today who feel motivated to perform and produce results for their company.
The second principle advocated for a scientific organization and assigning of responsibility, where people would be assigned responsibilities according to their skills, abilities, and experience (Shenhav 2002, p.56). Training and improvements of those individual workers is a fundamental component in this principle so as to assure quality output. Modern technology corporations are famous for implementing this policy, where the most talented in the field of informatics are assigned to their area of specialization so as to assure productivity. Institutions have realized the drawbacks of placing a staff member in the wrong positions thus investing a lot of time and resources to discover one's abilities, skills, and area of their interest. Companies like Google are also seen investing a lot of resources in employee training with aim to develop their expertise and abilities in the ever-changing technological world. According to GuerciandShani, (2015), it is essential to understand that giving people task that match their abilities, skills, and giving them the right training will ultimately lead to creativity and innovation.
Nowadays workers are accorded democracy and free working space. However, this has not reduced the significance of supervision and control of output. The third principle of controlling performance is seen in most corporations today where workers are answerable to given their supervisor. The monitoring method has proven to be working in many organizations as they ensure that employees develop a culture and attitude that nothing less than their best is acceptable. Traditional supervision methods were somehow dictatorial, however, modern human resource leaders have modified ways of controlling staff performance in a more democratic way.
Current organizations have significantly applied Taylor fourth principle where there has been a clear division of workers and managers assignments. The principle advocates for management to plan for activities while the staff is given the duty to implement those plans (Rubin & Rimer 2003, p. 78). Modern enterprises have adopted this principle where leaders of organizations are given the role of creativity, innovation, forecasting, planning, organizing and controlling activities (Fitzgerald 2002, p. 9). The workers are given the mantle to carry out those plans under the instructions the managers, thus proving to be an effective way of ensuring process goals and objectives are realized promptly. Several types of research were carried out on the efficiency of this principle among factories where it was found out that productivity was increased three times if duties were divided from top to bottom.
Contemporary organizations are nowadays faced with two problems; reduce costs and increase productivity as pointed out by (DiPrete 2011, p. 78). The two issues are clearly addressed under Taylor principles, as he has significantly explained that scientific selection of staff, placing them in their best positions, train them, monitor them and labor divided then the two problems will be solved. Today the scientific management theory has significantly influenced two departments namely; human resource and accounting department. Modern human resource scholars have also derived new models from the Taylor principles as it forms the framework for management to manage activities. Other than laying a platform for researchers and scholars the theory has also promoted production processes of given companies all over the world. In Japan, Toyota implemented the methods over the years, and this has led to massive improvement in their human resource structure. Despite Taylorism theory criticism and controversy, managers have understood the main components of the theory still hold relevance today. Human resources departments in the central organizations are being structured and redesigned to meet the needs and trends that have evolved in managing human resource activities (Freeland, 2004).
Weber, who some thought was the “universal genius of the social sciences”, Wrong (1970 p.76), made groundbreaking input to advances in education, politics, history, economics, religion, law and most importantly in management. His life spanned from 1864 to 1920, a time during which Germany his country was compacting politically and increasing its industrial and military capabilities. Weber being one of the most esteemed academicians in Germany at that time was in full support of the revolution experienced in his country. However, Weber also thought about the behavior of Europe’s rapidly changing societies and pondered what was in store for states that kept in line and were focused on economic success, military awareness and managerial prowess through good governance. Proper management, unrelenting focuses towards goal achievement, and hands on approach to technical aspects could be paramount to any organization or country focusing in establishing their position in an industrializing planet. However, thought should be given on whether through these pursuits; it would be worth it to deny the members of these entities the joys of living.
Weberian bureaucracy is a set of principles that were advanced by Max Weber in his recorded theories. These theories have a major component i.e. the centrality of the power of the rule of law with the aim of achieving a state capacity. In other words, for states and industries to flourish, management has to be based on the liberalization of individual rights and rule of law must be established. This model is widely in use currently in the Western world and great benefits and development have been experienced from the same. This could explain the reason why bulks of developed nations are situated in the west. The Weberian model was first advanced by Evans and Rauch (2000, p. 453).
However, today’s scholars have identified a peculiar scenario in a one country- China. Despite the perfect nature in which the Weberian model works in the west, China presents a unique case of a country that defies the proponents of this model. More questions than answers can be raised from this scenario but efforts will be made to dissect this issue. China has been shown to score low compared to its peers in Asia in all widely used parameters of corruption levels and quality of government (QoG) institutions; which in our case would be quality of management according to Fukuyama (2013 p. 256).
It can be ascertained that despite governance in China not being perfect, still a lot has been achieved. Some of these achievements include poverty alleviation for most of the population, increased literacy levels among the population, increased life expectancy and also generation of arguably the largest middle-class generation in the planet. The strides made to achieve these milestones by the Chinese government have not been recorded by any other government in history which is quite commendable. This situation is viewed as paradoxical and the most difficult current occurrence that comparative policy makers must decipher. To assess institutional quality, Wedeman (2012) proposes the use of the Corruption Perception Index as described by Transparency International’s as a standard measure. If this is applied to the Chinese situation, it shows that compared to other states with high corruption levels as China, it experiences higher annual growth rates and the economy is doing relatively very well. Despite the perceived insane corruption levels and inhibited democracy, the Chinese state has shown great capabilities in improving its tax collection strategies making it better placed to finance large ventures in public delivery such as infrastructure, health facilitation and education. According to Rothstein (2015 p.534), it is common knowledge today that china is doing better than its communist peers in Asia despite its perceived low quality of management. Rothstein, (2015) attempts to explain this unusual occurrence in three ways;
First, the notion advanced that QoG is the most crucial determinant of economic success is misguided in regards to the triggers of economic development as well as betterment of social conditions. Seemingly, there is a possibility that the generality of the model is not as accurate as the proponents put it. The effect is that certain social segments are left out in the socio-economic development. Maybe the poor management practices in the public administration in China are compensated for by the efficiency in private institutions.
A second argument could be that something must be terribly wrong with how most academicians who are involved in this discourse perceive the QoG institutions. The effect of this is by large detrimental to the situation in China. Of importance still is the matter of choice; universalism would has its merits and demerits, so does cultural relativism. Relativism would advance that issues such as corruption, good governance or the QoG are solely built on ideals that are foreign to the Chinese culture and as such do not have a place in China.
Thirdly, there is some kind of management component in the Chinese set that has been overlooked. It is possible that some features of the Chinese institutional system have been left out in this conversation. In the event that this is the case, it could mean that there are other ways of arriving at QoG and state capacity rather than the liberal Weberian model which is based on the rule of law as argued by Evans and Rauch (2000, p.53).
Efforts to decipher what makes the management system in China successful have conceived the principle of the Cadre as an organizational model. In this model, the logic that informs operations is different in principle from the Weberian Model. Additionally, this model holds potential of yielding greatly compromised outcomes and consequently affecting positively the system’s overall political legitimacy. While this model has notably been ignored in several research works that has attempted to look into public administration, political science and development, it has survived not only in China but also in some countries in the West. Although the model may be lacking in representative democracy it is better suited to handled elegation issues in organizations as opposed to the more beaureacratic Weberian Model. Conversely, the Cadre system’s major demerit is its incompatibility with representative democracy. In representative democracy the policies to be implemented need to change when there is a change in the political bearing. However, this problem doesn’t seem to manifest in modern China.
One could argue that from the above pointers, Weberian Model which is based on the rule of law has failed in China although fact is it has worked sufficiently well in the western world, specifically in the USA. The above pointers also broaden our perspective and open our minds to new principles of management like the Cadre. There are prospects that China could sooner than later fail thanks to non-inclusivity issues and the absence of institutions that observe the rule of law. Acemogluand Robinson (2012). It will be interesting to wait for time to tell.
The theory advocates for management to plan for activities while the staff is given the duty to implement those plans as denoted by Rubin and Rimer (2003, p. 78) in their review. Modern enterprises have adopted this principle where leaders of organizations are given the role of creativity, innovation, forecasting, planning, organizing and controlling activities as pointed out by Fitzgerald (2002, p. 9). The workers are given the mantle to carry out those plans under the instructions the managers, thus proving to be an effective way of ensuring process goals and objectives are realized promptly. Several types of research were carried out on the efficiency of this principle among factories where it was found out that productivity was increased three times if duties were divided from top to bottom.
While management is the administration of an organization, whether it be a business, a not-for-profit organization, or government body, it contemporarily would share context with bureaucracy. Systems that employ bureaucracy include civil service, government, directorates and many more. Weber‘s academic sociology among American scientists after World War II reinforced the classical principles of public administration advanced by such early American writers as Woodrow Wilson. From the western management theory analysis presented in the report, it is evident that most theorists were much focused on the real or practical problems in the early stages of the management theory. It is also evident that each theorist has a strong desire of offering a positive contribution to the challenges that were facing the application of the theories in different organizations. As a result, the early ideas presented by the theorists helped significantly in laying an effective foundation for any future development of the western management theory. However, it is as well evident that even though the ideas and thoughts of the theorists with their practical experiences were beneficial and popular, later research shows that they are very rational.
In conclusion, every theorist postulated great underlying management principles that are still adopted in different management concepts of different organization. According to Taylor, there is a need for developing a science of work with the aim of replacing the old thumb rule, using other pay and rewards to promote improvement of the organizational optimum goals, and measurement of work output. From the analysis, it is also evident that most of the support from different research work support that idea postulated by Taylor. As a result, most of the studies recommend that workers needs to be scientifically selected since the global business environment is scientifically changing with aspects such as technology, competition, and globalization are drastically transforming the dynamics in business.
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