Managing People

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‘The essence of organizations has shifted and will continue to shift from focusing on structure to capability. Capability represents what the organization is able to do and how it does it rather than the more visible picture of who reports to whom and which rules govern work… Organizations will operate in the future to identify and nurture a handful of critical abilities’ (Ulrich, 2000). In the 21st century, organizations consists of a high level of complexity, flexibility, and a climate of constant change evolving constantly which technical-rational approaches are unable to keep up with. The assignment given desires a clear understanding of the importance and usefulness of scientific management for current managers. In the upcoming paragraphs I shall define the key points of the technical-rational approach of organizations in comparison with the social-human approach and how do they end up mixing together. To start with, technical-rational approach is defined by its perspective towards organizations and workers within it. While in the social-human environment employees are the heart of a company, for the other approach they are mere cogs, tools to be exploited. This is due to the classical school including scientific management and bureaucracy. Contributions to organisational theory at the start of twentieth century were focused on identifying principles which, if utilized, ensure success. The aim was that these simple laws would represent the single best way for managing and organizing. Most modern companies still incorporate a few ideas from the early works on organizational theory. Classical organizational and management theorists pointed that the principles could be applied to any organization no matter the size, environment, and nature of their outputs or the technology utilized. Writers like Henry Fayol and Lyndall Urwick, Frederick Taylor, James Mooney or Mary Follet were looking for a ‘one best way’ to organise and manage known as ‘structural universalism’ (Brooks, 2006). Most of the writers had their own set of principles such as the ones of Mooney who put a particular attention on the co-ordination, scalar and functional principle. Research studies have shown doubts on the performance of the principles when put in practice. However, the principles are still of relevance today due to the fact that they are a useful starting tool when trying to analyse organisation design effectiveness (Mullins, 2010). Henry Fayol is considered to be the inventor of the term management due to his achievements at the companies where he worked such as Commentary-Fourchambault combine or Commentary collieries in which he established financial stability (Huczynski and Buchanam, 2007). A main element of the classical school is the scientific management for the reason that the classical writers were interested in the development of the managers as a technique in continuously increasing the profit which was and still is the main goal for all of the approaches of organisations. The representative of this approach is Frederick Winslow Taylor considered the ‘father’ of scientific management. He considered the fact that if there is a machine destined for a specific job so can be a best working method for people that engage a job. He acknowledged that all of the work routine can be dispatched into separate tasks and with scientific methods it was achievable to find the ‘one best way’ to perform tasks. Individual jobs were sectioned into component tasks, each task being timed and the parts assembled with the most efficient movements (Mullins, 2010). This was achievable in behalf of the researches in the building industry held by the Gilbreths, Lillian Moller and Frank Bunker. Their contribution was to find the best fitted techniques for work measurement. As a result of their research was the motion study which refers to the observation and collocation for every basic body motion with immediate results in job simplifications....
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