Scientific Management

Topics: Management, Organizational studies and human resource management, Scientific management Pages: 7 (2105 words) Published: December 5, 2012
For thousands of years, managers faced the same issues and problems confronting executives today. Around 1100 B.C., the Chinese practiced the four management functions—planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Between 400 B.C. and 350 B.C., the Greeks recognized management as a separate art and advocated a scientific approach to work. The Romans decentralized the management of their vast empire before the birth of Christ. During the Medieval Period, the Venetians standardized production through building warehouses and using an inventory system to monitor the contents.

But throughout history, most managers operated strictly on a trial-and-error basis. Communication and transportation constraints hindered the growth of earlier businesses. Improvements in management techniques did not improve performance. However, the Industrial Revolution changed that. As companies grew and became more complex, minor improvements in management tactics produced impressive increases in production quantity and quality.

The evolution of management thought is divided into two major sections: classical approaches and contemporary approaches. All the approaches attempted to explain the real issues that the managers are facing and provide them with tools to solve future problems.

This lesson might be more appropriately called “The Revolutions of Management,” because it documents the wide swings in management approaches over the last 100 years. Out of the great variety of ideas about how to improve management, parts of each approach have survived and been incorporated into modern perspectives on management. Thus, the legacy of past efforts, triumphs, and failures has become our guide to future management practice.

The classical period extended from the mid-19th century through the early 1950’s. The major approaches that emerged during the period were systematic management, scientific management, administrative management, human relations, and bureaucracy. 1.SYSTEMATIC MANAGEMENT APPROACH

This approach attempted to build specific procedures and processes into operations to ensure coordination of effort. It emphasized economical operations, adequate staffing, maintenance of inventories to meet consumer demand, and organizational control. It also emphasized internal operations because managers were concerned primarily with meeting the explosive growth in demand brought about by the Industrial Revolution. In addition, managers were free to focus on internal issues of efficiency, in part because the government did not constrain business practices significantly. Labor was poorly organized. As a result, many managers were oriented more toward things than toward people.

This approach analyzed and synthesized workflows through the application of scientific methods to determine how to complete production tasks efficiently. Its main objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. Its development began with Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1880s and 1890s within the manufacturing industries. Other contributors for this approach include Henry Gantt and Frank and Lillian Gilbreth. PRINCIPLES OF SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT

The Principles of Scientific Management is a monograph published by Frederick Winslow Taylor in 1911. It is a seminal text of modern organization and decision theory and has motivated administrators and students of managerial technique. Taylor's scientific management consisted of four principles: 1.They develop a science for each element of a man's work, which replaces the old rule-of-thumb method. 2.They scientifically select and then train, teach, and develop the workman, whereas in the past he chose his own work and trained himself as best he could. 3.They heartily cooperate with the men so as to insure all of the work being done in accordance with the principles of the science which has been developed. 4.There...
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