FORDISM, SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT AND THE LESSONS FOR CONTEMPORARY ORGANISATIONS Fordism and Scientific Management are terms used to describe management that had application to practical situations with extremely dramatic effects. Fordism takes its name from the mass production units of Henry Ford, and is identified by an involved technical division of labour within companies and their production units. Other characteristics of Fordism include strong hierarchical control, with workers in a production line often restricted to the one single task, usually specialised and unskilled. Scientific management, on the other hand, “originated” through Fredrick Winslow Taylor in 1911, and in very basic terms described the one best way work could be done and that the best way to improve output was to improve the techniques or methods used by the workers. (Robbins p.38) Many comparisons can be made between the two theories, such as the mechanisation, fragmentation and specialisation of work and that a lack of intellectual or skilled content will speed up the work at hand. Fordism's mechanisation of mass production further emphasised many of Taylor’s popular beliefs about management being divorced from human affairs and emotions, using ‘humans as instruments or machines to be manipulated by their leaders’ (Hersey p.84). Fordism fused and emphasised the scientific methods to get things done by Ford’s successful mass-production processes. Contrasts also exist between the two theories. Fordism dehumanisied the worker whereas scientific management convinced the workers that their goals could be readily achieved along with their employers goals, therefore they should all work together in this direction. Fordism suited industrial companies participating in mass production, whereas Scientific Management could be used in many types of organisation. Large companies such as Ford Motors, The Reichskuratorium fur Wirtschaftkichkeit (RKW) in Germany examples... [continues]
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