Critically Discuss the Key Ideas of Both the Systems Rationalism Era and the Organisational Culture Era. Examine How These Ideas Were Shaped by Earlier Strands of Management and Reflect on Their Enduring Impact on Contemporary Management Ideas.

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Essay Title:

Critically discuss the key ideas of both the Systems Rationalism Era and the Organisational Culture Era. Examine how these ideas were shaped by earlier strands of management and reflect on their enduring impact on Contemporary Management ideas.

Essay Plan/Outline

* Introduction – Basic outline of emergence of Systems Rationalism and Organisational Culture Eras. Outline of years covered by particular eras.

* Outline the key ideas of the Systems Rationalism Era.

* Link the key ideas of the Systems Rationalism Era back to influences from earlier strands of management thought such as the Scientific Era and the Human Relations.

* Comment on enduring impacts on contemporary management stemming from Systems Rationalism Era.

* Outline the key idea of the Organisational Culture Era.

* Link the key ideas of the Organisational Culture Era back to influences from earlier strands of management thought such as the Industrial Relations Era and the Scientific Management Era.

* Comment on the enduring impacts on contemporary management stemming from the Organisational Culture Era.

* Conclusion – Sum up the essay briefly. Include personal feelings and thoughts.

Both the Systems Rationalism Era and the Organisational Culture Era brought about their own new ideas and perspectives on the practice of management. The Systems Rationalism Era ranged from about 1955 up to 1980. It was followed by the Organisational Culture Era which ranges from about 1980 up to present day. The movement from The Human Relations Era into the Systems Rationalism Era came about for a number of reasons. There was a growing criticism of the human relations rhetoric and practices. There was a feeling that the human relations strategies in relation to observation of workers were too costly and results were poor. This is what led to the new interest and emphasis on science and maths that is clearly seen in the Systems rationalism Era. This along with the emergence of computers brought about many changes in the management of organisations.

The Systems Rationalism Era had a large focus on structured systems of rational rules and calculations. It was believed that such techniques and principles would make manager planning and decision making more effective. I will focus on such techniques as time management, elimination of judgement, organisational research and the use of economics in management. It was widely accepted that one of the factors behind the allied victory of World War 2 was the industrial power which the allies were able to harness to the war effort. Science had played an important role in the victory (Witzel 2012). It is clear from this outlook that the allied victory in 1945 had a substantial effect on the management era that followed. It was observed that the allied success had been closely linked with science and programmatic techniques. This led managers to experiment and try to use similar techniques in their businesses or organisations. It is clear that in this aspect, the Systems Rationalism Era had been somewhat influenced by the Human Relations Era.

One new technique for scientifically managing production was time measurement (MTM). It was like an improved and updated version of the Hawthorne Studies which was seen in the Human Relations Era. Just like the Hawthorne Studies the goal of MTM was to accurately observe time and motion study. One of the outcomes of the Hawthorne studies was the realisation that workers would perform more efficiently when they were aware of manager observation. This had left managers with a problem. How could they monitor worker performance realistically without the workers being aware of managerial observation? MTM was the answer. Managers would determine the average time that it should take to perform a task and then compare this to employee performance. It would be clear whether or not employees were working to...
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