Evaluate the Contribution of the Hawthorne Studies to the Develop...

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Evaluate the Contribution of the Hawthorne Studies to the Development of Management Theory and Practice

By | December 2008
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This paper is an overview of four important areas of management theory: Frederick Taylor's Scientific Management, Elton Mayo's Hawthorne Works experiments and the human relations movement, Max Weber's idealized bureaucracy, and Henri Fayol's views on administration. It will provide a general description of each of these management theories together with observations on the environment in which these theories were applied and the successes that they achieved.

Frederick Taylor - Scientific Management

Description

Frederick Taylor, with his theories of Scientific Management, started the era of modern management. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Frederick Taylor was decrying the " awkward, inefficient, or ill-directed movements of men" as a national loss. He advocated a change from the old system of personal management to a new system of scientific management. Under personal management, a captain of industry was expected to be personally brilliant. Taylor claimed that a group of ordinary men, following a scientific method would out perform the older "personally brilliant" captains of industry.

Taylor consistently sought to overthrow management "by rule of thumb" and replace it with actual timed observations leading to "the one best" practice. Following this philosophy he also advocated the systematic training of workers in "the one best practice" rather than allowing them personal discretion in their tasks. He believed that " a spirit of hearty cooperation" would develop between workers and management and that cooperation would ensure that the workers would follow the "one best practice." Under these philosophies Taylor further believed that the workload would be evenly shared between the workers and management with management performing the science and instruction and the workers performing the labor, each group doing "the work for which it was best suited."

Taylor's strongest positive legacy was the concept of breaking a complex...