The Ideas of the Classical Theorists Particularly Those of Bureaucracy and Scientific Management, Are Generally Considered as Rather Old Fashioned and Out of Date, and of Little Relevance to Organisations Today.

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Management has been studied by a lot of theorists who then learning from their own experiences came out with different theories and styles of management, explaining how to manage. The classical school has proven to be one of the most influential of all the schools. (Brooks 2009). Due to the success of the bureaucratic and scientific management style of managing, this essay will look into the bureaucratic style of management and then the scientific style of management and show that although these theories were developed during the turn of the twentieth century, they are still present in organisations today and are still very relevant to this day and age. Fredrick W Taylor, who came out with the scientific management theory, believed that all organisation irrespective of their production, size or location need management and managers (Brunnson, 2008). He focuses his attention on the lower levels of the hierarchy, which are the individuals in the work force. Pearson (1947) explains how Taylor defined the art of management as knowing exactly what you want your men to do and achieving that in the cheapest, best way possible. Considering my job as a call centre representative, for six months, two years ago back home in India, and looking at Taylor’s principles on how to achieve maximum efficiency, I can with the help of my experiences explain the presence of his principles still in organisations today. Taylor (1911) in his scientific management theory explains his 4 basic principles, on how to manage. Firstly the manager needs to know what to do and how to do it in order to achieve maximum efficiency. The manager then needs to recruit his employees and train them so as to achieve greater results in the quickest time. He also explains on how the manager will need to keep his employees in check, and reward them with benefits for good performance. Also the manager needs to divide the work responsibility amongst the workforce and take some responsibility himself. Looking at Taylor’s principles as given to us by him, and considering my job in India the similarities are surprising. I was recruited after a round of two interviews, one a telephone interview and the other a personal interview with the manager. My skills weren’t even looked upon other than the fact that I could speak English. I was then hired and put through training for six weeks. We were trained on how to talk to customers and what kind of answers to give to what questions. All of us were given a script with possible answers to every possible question we could have been faced with. Post the training we were put in the field to make calls to the customers. I was always kept in check like the other employees by the manager, our calls were over heard by him and we were every week given a target to sell ‘n’ number of products and if we crossed the target by a certain extent we would get a paid day off. This whole process of recruiting, training, being told what exactly to do, performance related benefits is so similar to Taylor’s principles that the style of management is obviously still returning results and is still relevant in certain industries. Taylor's principles have been criticised, as Grey (2009) puts it, that following Taylor’s principles does not help in the professional growth of the employees and leads to further deskilling. I agree to the criticism and also left my job for the same reason, as I was learning nothing. But what needs to be understood is my peers in the job, quite enjoyed the pay and the work environment, as they possessed no proper skills other than speaking mediocre English but were being paid well than any other place and holding conversations in English wasn’t a problem as everything went according to the script that was given to them. So maybe Taylor’s principles are criticised for a reason but there are still people out there, in maybe the less fortunate economies of the world who need to earn money but possess no skills and factories like...
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