Scientific Management Was the Product of 19th Century Industrial Practices and Has No Relevance to the Present Day. Discuss.

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Topics: Management

In the late nineteenth century, the United States has experienced a rapid growth in industry and business, followed by historical background of ‘the Civil War’ (1861-1865); during that period, the government had huge expenditures on industrial necessities in order to maintain a large army. In 1890, the United States for the first time produced a larger proportion of industrial products than agricultural and therefore, the country in an unprecedented case, had undergone complex forms of organisation with new technologies leading to significant decline in efficiency and output.
Frederic Taylor and Henri Fayol notably began theorising about managing the body with solutions, which are known as scientific management and became communicable and teachable discipline for large organisation managers. In this essay, I will elaborate on scientific management and analyse why the 19th century industrial practices has no longer relevant to the present day.

Scientific management, which was initiated by Frederick Taylor (also called Taylorism) in 1911, claimed that decisions about job design and organisations should be based on accurate scientific procedures, having carefully thought and studied individual situations. Scientific management, in order to find the ‘one best way’, relied on time and motion and stated that the best way of improving efficiency is to enhance techniques and material used by the workers. The more focused management principles to the total organisation are increase in professional experience (Spender, 1996).
Henri Fayol, for example, proposed fourteen principles of administration, such as “Similar activities in an organisation should be grouped under a single manager”; unity of direction and “Every subordinate receives orders from only one superior”; unity of command (General and Industrial Management, 1916). Scientific management and administrative principles considered the organisation as a closed system, which did not

References: Drucker, Peter (2001). “The Next Society”, in the Economist, November 3. Reich, Robert B. (1993). “The Next American Frontier,” in The Atlantic Monthly, March. Taylor, F. W. (1911). The principles of scientificmanagement. New York: Harper & Brothers. TAYLOR, F. W. (2003). Scientific management. New York, Taylor & Francis. Villagrasa, SJ, Raymond (1995). “The Administration yesterday and today,” Breakeven, Lima: University of the Pacific. David A. Buchanan and Andrzej A. Huczynski. “ Organizational Behaviour” seventh edition Spender, J.-C. (1996). Villain, victim, or visionary? F. W. Taylor’s contributions to organization theory. In J.-C. Spender, ed. & H. Kijne (Eds.), Scientific Management: Frederick Winslow Taylor’s Gift to the World? (pp. pp. 1–31). Norwell, MA: Kluwer. Spender, J.-C., ed. , & Kijne, H. (Eds.). (1996). Scientific Management: Frederick Winslow Taylor 's Gift to the World? Norwell, MA: Kluwer.

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