Taylorism and Human Relations school of thought

Topics: Management, Organizational studies and human resource management, Scientific management Pages: 7 (2182 words) Published: March 18, 2009
IntroductionSince the end of the 19th century, when factory manufacturing became widespread and the size of organisations increased, people have been looking for ways to motivate employees and improve productivity. Classical schools of management thought was built up at that time by Frederick.W.Taylor. After that, management became a ture science. However, in 1930s, pactical problems caused by Taylorism led to its replacement by the human relations school of thought. In this stage, theory built up with the diffusing of labour movement in capitalism countries.

This essay will focus on two of the earliest management approaches of Taylorism (scientific management ) and the Human Relations School of thought. First the writer would like to compare and contrast of the two theories. This is followed by the central tenets of both models and finally giving examples of how they are still applied in contemporary societyCompare and ContrastManagement articles usually consider Mayo as the founder of the Haman Relations Movement. It is true, but is kind of thought looks like human relations and Taylorism are opposed. In writer's opinion, human relations did not replace Taylorism but that both approaches are rather complementary: Taylorism determining the actual organisation of the work process and human relations helping to adapt the workers to the new procedures.

Now we compare and contrast this two apporaches in several different angles.

Comparison:First of all, Taylorism and Human Relations school of thought had similar goal. They looking for ways to motivate workers to increase efficiency. In order to achieve this goal they try to identify workers' needs, which would then allow managers to "manipulate or influence these needs, making it easier for employees to improve their performance" . Basically, two apporaches are try to use diffierent methods to achieve the same thing.

Besides, this two theories are similar in its transactional approach to motivate workers with an incentive, but not through the actual tasks on the job. Each model focuses on one type of human needs, either economic or social ones, and its satisfaction. However, the implementation of financial incentives emphasized by Taylor does not contradict the satisfaction of employee's social needs highlighted by the Human Relations School. Both models therefore rather complement one another than compete against each other.

Next, Taylor and Mayo both recognize the antagonistic between management and subordinate throughout the industrial world, aslo consider managers should have more liability on it. So called "mental revolution" was advocated by Taylor, "its very foundation the firm conviction that the true interests of the two are one and the same; that prosperity for the employer cannot exist through a long term of years unless it is accompanied by prosperity for the employee and vice versa; and that it is possible to give the workman what he most wants-high wages-and the employer what he wants-a low labor cost-for his manufactures". Mayo tried to achieve management and labour peace throught cooperation between official organization and informal work group.

Follow by that, the Human Relations School is similar to Taylorism in both are under the practical experiments. A series of practical illustration was made by Taylor in Bethlehem Steel Company and Midvale Steel Company, one of the experiments--the cutting steel experiments, even carried on 26 years. Mayo's theoey aslo based on practical illustration, like the most well-known Hawthorne Studies.

Contrast:Generally saying, Taylorism and the Human Relations School pursue two different motivational models, the former being "homo economics", as opposed to the latter's "homo gregarious". Taylor sees workers merely as interchangeable machine parts, while the Human Relations School drawing the attention to the human being social needs. This is the biggest different between the two apporaches.


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