Is Scientific Management Still Relevant in a Predominantly Service Economy? Discusss.

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Is ‘Scientific Management’ still relevant in a predominantly service economy? Discuss.

To investigate whether or not scientific management is still relevant in a predominantly service economy, it is important to explore and analyze the principles of scientific management, and subsequently evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the theory in order to prove that scientific management is, in fact, not relevant in a modern service economy. Scientific management can be defined as “the systematic study of relationships between people and tasks for the purpose of redesigning the work process to increase efficiency”. The instigation of the theory of scientific management propounded by Frederick W. Taylor was radical for that era and represented the advance in traditional method to management process. However, as theories in management progressed, Taylor’s theory was harshly critiqued and its role reduced radically to the extent that presently, scientific management in organizations is rare. In today’s service economy, scientific management is not relevant, as the principles behind scientific management are flawed, and organizations operating under scientific management don’t allow their employees to think creatively and freely, resulting, overall, in lower productivity rates and therefore profit. In determining whether or not scientific management is still relevant in a service economy, it is important to explore the four main principles associated with scientific management and to explore and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages correlated with scientific management.

“The essence of Taylor system is minute division of labour, repetition of simple movement, predetermined methods of work, minimum training requested, incentive of a merely monetary nature and time optimization for each operation.” (Calder 2007, pp. 57). Taylor proposed the idea of scientific management in the late 19th century due to a lack of systematic management present in...
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