Every Good Story Requires Its Villains, Heroes and Heroines. the Study of Management Is No Different and a Perusal of Organisational Textbooks, More Often Than Not, Depicts F. W. Taylor’s Scientific Management Theory as

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BOLTON UNIVERSITY
FACULTY OF WELLBEING AND SOCIAL SCIENCE
BUSINESS SCHOOL

Module Name and number:Managing Organisational Behaviour. (BAM2002)

Tutor:Tony CARDEN

Assignment Number:1 of 2 (50%)

Assignment Length:2500 words

Submission Deadline:Monday 19th March 2012 (Week 7)

Assignment Title:
Every good story requires its villains, heroes and heroines. The study of management is no different and a perusal of Organisational Textbooks, more often than not, depicts F. W. Taylor’s Scientific Management theory as the villain of the story and the Human Relations Movement as the hero or heroine. The Human Relations Movement is portrayed as the proverbial knight in shining white armour whose arrival, via enlightened managerial practices, will enable employees to commit themselves, readily, to organisational effectiveness and efficiency.

Critically discuss the validity of this observation.

Every good story requires its villains, heroes and heroines. The study of management is no different and a perusal of Organisational Textbooks, more often than not, depicts F. W. Taylor’s Scientific Management theory as the villain of the story and the Human Relations Movement as the hero or heroine. The Human Relations Movement is portrayed as the proverbial knight in shining white armour whose arrival, via enlightened managerial practices, will enable employees to commit themselves, readily, to organisational effectiveness and efficiency.

Critically discuss the validity of this observation.

Introduction

Today as in the past, Frederick Winslow Taylor is still fuelling controversy in management history. His revolutionary innovations in industrial engineering, which moulded the Scientific Management theory, generated dramatic enhancements in terms of productivity. Although on the one hand some critics applauded Taylor for his inventive and ground-breaking theory focusing on scientific methods of managing factories; on the other hand some other voices accredited him of destructing and fundamentally altering the soul of work, degrading and dehumanizing factories, reducing and transforming men into robots. Albeit Taylorism didn’t completely ignore the human factor, the Human Relations Movement, another major phase in management history, came after the Scientific Management theory, emphasising on the human aspect of business and its importance. It focused directly on the prominence of the human beings at work. The movement was based on the belief that work efficiency can drastically improve if human relations are effective. Its innovation was mainly how to utilize humans as a valuable resource.

The aim of this assignment is to scrutinise both management theories and size up their respective contribution, their tangible impact in terms of job management. I will have to look at the real legacy of both Taylorism and the Human Relations Movement. Although management historians will ever totally agree, I will underline their endemic duality, portraying “The Good and The Evil” and come up with decisive arguments to pillory the Scientific Management Theory as the “villain of the story”. But it depends of which side someone analyses both concepts. Definitely managers and workers points of view would diverge when it comes to vaunt the merits of both theories. I will take into account different opinions and approaches of the management theoreticians and historians. For the purpose of conceptual clarity, this paper will define and highlight some phases of the management history to set the scene of both theories, which became mythical theories.

Definition and history of management principles
Management is one of the most essential human activities. Since the dawn of organised life, human beings started to form social organizations to achieve aims and objectives they could not undertake as individuals. Managing became essential to ensure the coordination of individual efforts. Considering that society...
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