Since the end of the 19th century, when factory manufacturing became widespread and the size of organisations increased, people have been looking for ways to motivate employees and improve productivity. A need for management ideas arise which lead to classical contributors such as Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol generating management theories such as Taylor’ Scientific Management and Fayol’s Administrative Management. In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s the Hawthorne studies were conducted where Elton Mayo was the predominate figure and contributed to the Behavioural viewpoint. This brought about a Human Relations Movement which included Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y approach. Similarities and differences can be found between the theories due to the relevant time period they were implemented, the motives or goal of the theory and how they view organisations. However the use of contingency theory can help negate the dissimilarities which occur as it allows the relevant elements from each theory to be applied to specific situations.
Frederick Taylor vs. Henri Fayol
Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol are both considered classical contributors to management theory. Both were developing and expression their viewpoints at similar time period with the aim of “raising standard of management in industry” (Brodie,1967, p7) in a period were very few publications and theories on management. While both theories were developed with the same influencing factors such as war, social struggles and industrial revolution (Urwick. 1951, p7) each developed quite different management theories. Frederick Taylor is considered the Father of Scientific management and he developed scientific principles of management, focusing on the individual, rather than the team and aimed to improve efficiency through production-line time studies, breaking each job down into its components and designing the quickest and best methods of performing each component. When implementing his ideas he looked individually at each worker to tailor to their intelligence, background and abilities. For example Taylor considered “the most important object of both the workmen and the management should be the training and development of each individual” (Taylor, 1947, p 12) and when applying his theory at Bethlehem Steel with the pig-iron handlers, “one man after another was picked out and trained” (Taylor,1947, p47) on and individual level. In contrast Henri Fayol’s Administrative theory “focused on the total organization rather than the individual worker, delineating the management functions of planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and controlling." (Daft, 2000, p.48). While Scientific management and Administrative management are both from the classical era Taylor focuses more on the individual then Fayol does.
Frederick Taylor vs. Elton Mayo
Elton Mayo is part of the Human Relation Movements and most of his work is based on a series of social experiments known as the Hawthorne Studies. Both Taylor and Mayo theories focus on the individual and have similar goals for their theory such as ways to motivate workers to increase efficiency. In order to achieve this they try to identify workers needs, which would then allow managers to "manipulate or influence these needs, making it easier for employees to improve their performance"(Miles,1975, p 45). However they differ greatly what an employee needs and what motivates them. Mayo focuses on work relationships as the key to improving workplace productivity, inspired by the Hawthorne studies. He studied the effects of physical working conditions on employee productivity and fatigue. These studies suggested that leaders are able to positively influence employee motivation and productivity by showing concern for employee relationships. What these studies also showed is that people desire to have good human relations in the work place, “Man's desire to be continuously associated in work with his fellows is a...
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