Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Taylors Scientific management Theory
Taylors Scientific management Theory CRITICALLY ASSESS THE WAYS IN WHICH F.W.TAYLORS SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT THEORY HAS INFLUENCED HOW CONTEMPORARY ORGANISAYIONS ARE MANAGED. Introduction (250 words) (Write after written the main body) Brief explanation of scientific management Briefly say how this links to contemporary management * Father of scientific management (Pollard, 1982, page 3) * Scientific management was developed as Taylor realised workers never worked anywhere near the speed possible due to the lack of knowledge and control from the managers; this was known as systematic soldiering. (Pollard, 1982, page 4) * Although Taylor had many followers that also influenced scientific management this essay will just focus on Taylor and his contributions as these were the most significant. Section 1 Explanation of scientific management and Taylor and his principles. (short section) (300 words) During the nineteenth century production started to change, these changes meant that new management techniques were needed. Taylor began as an apprentice in manufacturing and quickly became a consultant where he conducted time and motion studies to find the most efficient way of completing a task; this became known as the one best way. Tasks were standardised and divided up in to small repetitive tasks workers were then assigned to a task that they were most suited to. These methods are known as division of labour and job specialisation. Taylor had five main principles that scientific management is based around. Roberts (2009) summarised these as: 1. A clear division of task and responsibilities 2. Use scientific methods to determine the one best way of doing a job 3. Scientific selection of best person for the newly designed job. 4. Ensure workers are trained to perform the job the one best way 5. Strict surveillance of workers using a hierarchy of authority and close supervision. Taylor saw people as lazy and motivated by money and consequently used piece rates to increase productivity. This view caused almost all responsibility of the workers to be removed. Taylors principles increased productivity, cut costs and increased wages. They allowed unskilled workers to be employed. Taylor gave managers their control back and this was a very important part of scientific management. Linking sentence many of these principles are still used, some have been modified and others have been turned on their head. So in one way or another all parts of scientific management have influenced contemporary management. Section 2 Advantages of scientific management and what this has led to in contemporary management. (400 words) When the advantages of scientific management are analysed it can be seen that many of these methods are used today in one way or another. This is because the same basic contradictions and pressures face managers at the start of the twenty-first century as they did at the beginning of the twentieth. (Stoney, 2001, page ) Increasing efficiency and productivity links to the aim of profit maximization today (Peaucelle, 2000). Piece rates are still used today but usually alongside some other form of remuneration. This is because piece rates alone lead to poor quality and more waste as workers work too quickly. It can be seen that piece rates solved the problem of soldiering but in the twenty-first century have caused the opposite problem. The principles of standardization and having clearly defined rules are a common theme within many contemporary organisations. Clear rules are a necessity today especially where delegation and decentralisation exist. This shows how this principle has developed. Taylor had a more autocratic style of management where workers were just told what to do through these clear rules; now in many organisations a democratic style is used to empower and motivate employees and so clear rules are necessary for a different reason for employees to see what individual responsibilities they hold. Division of labour and job specialisation have formed the basis of other concepts, for example Ritzers Mcdonaldization. Mcondaldization is the process by which the principles of the fast-food industry are coming to dominate more and more sectors. (Ritzer, 2004, page 1). The four main principles are efficiency, calculability, predictability and control; these align with Taylors principles. In the fast food industry it is necessary to have clear rules and standardization as tasks are dependent on each other and without these principles the fast service predicted by consumers would not be received. This proves that scientific management is still very much alive today. Within contemporary management there are many types of control, scientific management focused on what is now known as efficiency control. Taylor sought control over every aspect of an employees job, right from its manner of execution to the final outcomes desired. (Parker, L, D. Lewis, N, R, 1995, p 218). This total control was due to Taylors view of employees which is similar to McGregors theory X style of management where workers are passive, self centred and dislike responsibility (Roberts and Corbett, 2009, page 249). From this it can be seen that Taylors ideas on control are still relevant today as theory X views are still used in some contemporary organisations such as McDonalds and other fast-food restaurants. Linking sentence into disadvantages and back to the question. Section 3: (Disadvantages of scientific management and what this has led to in contemporary management. (400 words) Scientific management received a lot of criticism especially from trade unions in the United Kingdom. Despite these criticisms being bad for scientific management and Taylor himself they have helped other concepts of management to develop and avoid the problems that these principles created for scientific management. One of the major problems with scientific management was that many managers were selective in the principles that they employed. Scientific management became a tool for driving workers harder rather than a means of rewarding them for efficiency gains (Witzel, 2005, page 91). Management in organisations today realise the importance of motivation. Many theorist of motivation, for example Stacey Adams and the equity theory (Roberts and Corbett ,2009), have recognised that employees are motivated be perceiving remuneration as fair. It is quite common for organisations that have the aim of increasing productivity will set targets that entail a bonus for the employees if it is reached. Scientific management removed the control from the employees and so innovation was scarce; one of the reasons for this was the fact that managers perceived conflict as a bad thing. This view is consistent with the unitarist perspective where there are common goals and no conflict (Roberts and Corbett, 2009). However even in industries where scientific management is implemented heavily, such as Toyota, use concepts such as continuous improvement (where employees views are discussed and considered). This shows a more pluralist view where conflict is seen as inevitable which leads to more employee involvement. This shift in management style was due to the high labour turnover and absenteeism that could have been due to dissatisfied employees. Scientific management is dehumanizing, employees become cogs in a machine (Roberts 2009, slide 10) which is demotivating. Taylor fell for a too mechanistic, too inhumane image of human nature (Tsukamoto, 2008, p.349). To overcome this contemporary organisations use concepts such as job rotation to ensure that employees dont get bored, also social factors are taken into consideration as Mayo found in some of the Hawthorne studies that these factors play an important part in motivation which in turn increases efficiency. However it can be argued that by training the employees to become first class men (Wren, 1994, page 220) motivation was considered and so this principle could just have been extended rather than modified. Section 4: how scientific management is used within industries today. (400 words) The main industries today that make use of scientific management principles are fast food restaurants and call centres. Call centre work is a modern form of Taylorism. (Dieter et al,2003, p.311). Call centres employee unskilled workers who have a low level of control; due to the standardisation and monotonous tasks that have to be completed they have high labour turnover and absenteeism. From this it can be seen that it may well be necessary to use Taylors principles despite the disadvantages that they bring. Mangers of call centres will be well aware of the other concepts of management that exist but they may have decided that scientific management is well suited to the aims of the organisation. As mentioned earlier the Mcdonaldization of society explains the influence of the fast food industry on other sectors in the global market. It could be perceived that this is the industry that implements scientific management the most; however some modifications to Taylors main principles have been made. For example there is more flexibility now due to the fast moving pace of the global economy, without this change this industry may not have been able to keep up with the changes that are necessary to staying competitive. With the slight modification of the main principles the influence of scientific management can be seen in many firms that form part of our everyday lives. For example retailers such as Ikea and Starbucks use these principles to a greater or lesser extent. As well as this universities and health care also implement these principles to help to improve their efficiency. Section 5: Conclusion (250 words) Although ideas such as standardisation and job specialisation are used less the newer objectives such as diversification and flexibility are only possible through increasing efficiency which is one of Taylors main aims. (Peaucelle 2000) The management style that is implemented within an organisation depends a lot on the managers styles of leadership which to some degree is influence by the industry. Scientific management was a product of its environment in the sense that it grew out of the pressing needs of industry for efficiency. (Wren, 1994, p.221). This need was due to an increase in machinery which required different management techniques. Today technology is developing very quickly and so Taylors principles are relevant now as they enable managers to cope with the fast pace of these changes effectively and efficiently. Scientific management was a significant force, however, and it continued to evolve as individuals and ideas come forth in an ever-changing cultural environment. (Wren, 1994, p.217). It will continue to influence future concepts of management through its advantages and disadvantages that cause modifications to be made and new styles to evolve. Taylors Scientific Management Theory Taylors Scientific Management Theory Introduction The purpose of this essay is to identify the principles and various criticisms of Taylors scientific management and to discuss whether Frederick Taylors principles and ideas can be used successfully in todays contemporary organizations. Fredrick Winslow Taylor (1856 1915), was a leading pioneer in the studies of management, and was often known as the father of scientific management. Taylor (1915) revolutionized management in the twentieth century by focusing on mass production of inexpensive products, resulting in economy stability and a standardization of major industrial processes. The publication of his book titled Ã¢â¬ËPrinciples of Scientific Management was influential in its contribution to management studies around the world (Bedelan and Wren, 2001). Principles of Scientific Management Taylor (1911) reported that managers, in his time, relied on the personal initiative of workers for achieving productivity, although high levels of productivity were rarely attained. In contending that workers performed at levels beneath their true capacities, he came up with four principles of scientific management to be followed by managers: The First Principle focused on how the workers would perform their daily tasks. To find out the most efficient method of performing specific tasks, Taylor studied them in great detail and considered the ways different workers went about performing their everyday jobs. Once Taylor understood the existing way of performing a task, he then experimented to increase specialization (Taylor 1911). The reason for the success of this principle is that it made jobs simple for workers and reduce unnecessary movements. Taylor also wanted to find ways to improve each workers ability to perform a particular task. The Second Principle was to arrange the new techniques of performing tasks into written rules and standard operating procedures. Once the best method of performance task was determined, it would be communicated to all workers. The Third Principle required the selection of workers who possessed skills and abilities to match the needs of the tasks, and to train them to perform the task against established procedures. To increase specialization, Taylor believed workers had to understand the task that were required and be trained to perform them at the required level. Workers who could not be trained to do this level were to be transferred to a job where they were able to reach the minimum required level of proficiency. The Fourth Principle was to set a fair level of performance for a task, and then develop a pay system that provides a reward for performance above the acceptable level. To encourage workers to perform at a high level of efficiency, and to provide them with an incentive to reveal the most efficient techniques for performing a task, Taylor advocated that workers should be paid a bonus and receive some percentage of the performance gains achieved through the more efficient work process. According to Taylor, as cited in Butler (1991), greater results achieved through scientific management were attained, not through a marked superiority in the mechanism of one type of management over the mechanism of another, but rather by the substitution of one philosophy for another philosophy in industrial management. It is instructive to review Taylors philosophy of scientific management with its emphasis upon the human element, not generally associated with Taylor. This philosophy is perhaps more important and appropriate for today than individual principles of scientific management. Human resource developments should be a matter of national concerns at all levels. As technology changes, so do skill sets and other worker requirements (Butler, 1991). Criticisms of Scientific Management Over the years there have been some key criticisms against Taylors Scientific Management. One of these critics has charged Taylors system as having viewed man as a machine -a cog in a wheel- and programmed every important motion a workman had to execute to complete an assigned task (Halpern, Osofsky, Peskin, 1989). Those critics believed that that would leave workers with no discretion at all and it is tedious for all, but the most apathetic workers. Another critic added that scientific management mandates an extremely high division of labor which requires minimum skills. This left workers with no incentive to grow and develop on the job. Also, Taylors systems were criticized for not examining the sentiments of workers nor were they briefed on the purpose for Taylors time study methods. Taylors system also failed to identify the social and psychological needs of the worker, and the complaints of unsatisfactory working conditions and humiliating treatment (Halpern, Osofsky, Peskin, 1989). Employees in contemporary organizations were more highly educated and would have a better knowledge of their job scope therefore they are more actively involved in decision making. Taylors principles seem to assume that the employees of the past era would only perform simple work tasks and do not need much knowledge to complete their work. Another criticism about Taylors system was that its reward structure was bound by how an individual performed. However, it stands to reason that modifying the original reward structure to extend to a team or workgroup, the result would be applicable to todays organization (Halpern, Osofsky, Peskin, 1989). Can scientific management be used successfully in contemporary organizations? In todays organizations, many companies still use Frederick Taylors basic theories of scientific management in organizing and designing their jobs despite the fact that many managers and production engineers may not necessarily subscribe to the hypothesis behind Taylors theory (Pruijt, 2000). Many big companies have taken up Taylors ideas and applied them very effectively, even transforming the process. (Peaucelle, 2000). An example of a reputable company using Taylorism is General Motors (GM). GM has publicly acknowledged the importance of employee performance and team performance (Butler, 1991). In one of its programmes, GM ranked employees against each other, essentially grading the employees individual performance. Based on the performance, bosses had to enforce pay differences between the tiers. On top of that, GM also set up a recognition award fund to be doled out in lump sums to high performers, regardless of the competitiveness of their salaries. This encouraged better cooperation among co-workers, enabling better efficiency within the company. This is a successful implementation of Taylors Fourth Principle which rewards the individual for their specific task performance, There are a number of points that make the theories of scientific management attractive to todays managers. One of the core attractions is the promise that the best possible method, the one best way will be used. However, Taylors strong belief that Ã¢â¬Å"a one best wayÃ¢â¬ to work might be a matter of idealistic debate. When we compare todays organizations, another core attraction of Taylorism is: it promises to be a means against what Taylor called systematic soldiering. This concern is as relevant to todays managing organization as ever. Pruijt (2000) supported that statement by analyzing the productivity gap in a European and a Japanese organization; at Daimler in Germany, the current strategy was based more on responsible autonomy, whilst in Japanese plants, standard worksheets are used to specify the order of operations and the time allowed for them. Therefore, with respect to Taylorism, when granted autonomy, workers in mass production do not put in a maximum effort. It would seem then that for certain organizations, the Second and Third Principles are effective. Despite the advantages of Taylorism in todays organization, there are still some drawbacks. Pruijt (2000) mentioned that one of the drawbacks identified is that Taylorism is expensive because it entails creating jobs for non-value adding supervisors and other indirect workers. On top of that, Pruijt (2000) also noted that Taylorism is not favorable to flexibility, although it boosts numerical flexibility by making it easier to quickly put together new workers in a production process, and it allows workers to be laid off without losing knowledge from the organization. In todays corporate management, Post-Taylorism, as stated by Peaucelle (2000) is adopted but it does not abandon Taylorisms objectives, rather, there is the addition of new objectives which includes productivity (efficiency), flexibility, deadlines (timeliness) and quality variety (diversity). Although these new objectives are sometimes pursued through entirely new activities when executed, the Taylorisms traditional methods may also sometimes be employed. However, Peaucelle (2000) argues that new objectives are unachievable without adversely affecting efficiency in a modern company using Taylorism. Peaucelle (2000) further explained that increasing supply would be the only way to shorten delivery periods, which is costly due to limited product range and the whole operation becomes more unaffordable as the product range is diversified. In addition, diversity would also appear to be very expensive as it diminishes the size of the manufactured series. Furthermore, quality would be achievable only if inspection points are increased, and with the help of qualified, and thus more expensive workforce, hence adding more cost to production. Lastly, flexibility would also emerge as ambiguous with regards to heavy and rigid investments in heavy industrial equipment purchased at lower prices. For instance, in Japan, since it was necessary to have a high school certificate in order to work on the automobile production line, the high level of education corresponded to added competence, and was certainly paid for. As discussed by Peaucelle (2000), this is consistent with the analysis of efficiency-wage reactivity. Therefore, in comparing to the traditional Taylorism, workers are paid above the minimum wage whereas the post-Taylorism company pays its workers a higher wage for increased competence since it is a way of attaining its objectives. Conclusion The findings suggest that Frederick Taylors theory still exists in todays organizations. His principles of management can still be used successfully in todays organizations, with adjustments to cater for the modern workplace and its demands.