Scientific School of Thought and the behaviourist school

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In this essay I will distinguish the major schools of thoughts which are scientific school of thought and behavioral school of thought. I will talk about the theorists of each school of thought and how they occurred. I will justify each of them in my opinion and will give features, concepts and theories about them. After all the literature review and the explanation of the discussion I will to conclusions which of these are more suitable for management in business.

By looking at this essay we will be able to understand how management theory concerns with appropriate management practices and how it has been used in today's time.

In the classical management theories it includes scientific management, which concentrates on matching person-task to maximize efficiency and behavioral management, which concentrates on how managers should lead and control their employees to increase the performance.

Literature review:

The Scientific School Of Thought

Another branch of the classical school of management is the scientific management approach. It stresses the idea of researching and developing a comprehensive management solution. Managers apply the principles of scientific management in an accurate and precise manner. The task of increasing the productivity of an organization through scientific management is the main responsibility of the manager. Frederick Winslow Taylor is a major representative of the scientific school of thought.

Frederick Winslow Taylor

Fredrick Winslow Taylor, an American mechanical engineer who wanted to improve the industrial efficiency. He was known as the father of scientific management. According to Frederick Winslow Taylor "Scientific Management is the art of knowing exactly what you want your men to do and seeing that they do it in the cheapest way". It means conducting business activities according to standardized tools, methods and trained personnel in order to increase the output improve its quality and reduce cost and wastage. He believed that by exactly analyzing work it would be possible to find 'one best way' to do it.

The Behaviorist School of Thought

It is the study of how managers should act in order to motivate employees and built confidence to perform at a higher level and be there committed to the achievement of organizational goals.

Behaviorist management focuses on the whole organization. It concentrates on managerial principles relatively than working methods. According to the Behaviorist School of thought good working conditions would enlarge morale and worker's satisfaction which in return increases productivity of the organization. Elton Mayo has played an important role in the study of human resources. One of his most popular works is the Hawthorne studies. He conducted a number of investigations to improve the productivity, for example changing lighting conditions in the workplace. Thus, the behavioral school focuses on trying to understand the factors that affect human behavior at work. Elton Mayo and Hawthorne Studies are the major representatives of this school of thought.

Elton Mayo

Elton Mayo (1880-1949) was an Australian born psychologist, sociologist and organization theorist, who emerged as the founder of the human relations movement due to his expertise in field of industrial sociology .Elton Mayo is well-known for his research, the Hawthorne experiments which explained the importance of groups that affect an individual's behavior at work .Mayo stressed on the fact that people and organization needed each other. According to him an efficient manager is one who is capable of combining technical knowledge with social proficiency.

Hawthorne Studies

The Hawthorne experiments which is also known as the Hawthorne effect was conducted among employees of the Hawthorne Works factory of the Western Electric Company in Chicago in 1927. The Company co-ordinate with the national research council to explore the connection between the passion of explanation at work and the output. The tests were conducted for the next five years in the relay assessment test room among six female workers, five of whom had to assemble telephone relays and one would supply parts to them. They were subjected to changes like hours, wages, rest periods, lighting conditions, organization, and degree of supervision and consultation in order to determine what conditions would affect performance or work output. Accurate records were kept of what they do their comments about work and various other things that kept up the spirit of the workers. Five years later when all the changes were withdrawn and the workers were made to get back to their original mode of work there was significant increase in the output.

The Hawthorne experiments helped in discovering the significance of informal organization. These experiments proved that people will work harder when they are being observed and it also emphasized the meaning of team work.

Frederick Winslow Taylor was the founder of 'The School of Scientific Management. 'Who believed that management could be improved if it was seen as a science he had four principles of management; first, the development of a true science of work; second, the scientific selection and progressive development of the worker; third, the bringing together of work and the scientifically selected and trained workers and fourth, the contrast and intimate a friendly relationship and co-operation between the management and workforce. Elton mayo was the founder of both Human Relations and Industrial sociology. Mayo began his involvement in 1928. He worked with many companies and it was in one of the mills in Philadelphia where he introduced certain changes in the working conditions which increased productivity and reduced the labour turnover. He conducted the Hawthorne Experiment which was one of the turning points in management history and it was seen through Hawthorne experiments that workers needed to cooperate and communicate with fellow workers, and thus there was a discovery of the informal organization. (Ray Donnelly 2000 , pg 11/4 and 13/6 )

Taylor had a simple view that workers are bound to stimulate when they are given money. Taylor believed that in order to get the initiative of the workers the management needs to pay the worker some type of incentive this incentive could be of any type it could be either in form of higher wages, bonuses for extra pieces produced if the pay is according to piece rate or it could be any type of fringe benefits like accommodation, car, health services etc and it was because of this workmen would work harder thus it would increase production for the firm and earn higher profits. (Derek S. Pugh and David J Hickson 1996, pg 102-106) where as Mayo on the other hand had a view that people are willing to work harder if they feel their work makes a difference and is appreciated. Mayo believed that changes in the working conditions like working in teams, developing a team spirit can improve productivity. ( Peter Stimpson 2002, pg.229)

Taylor's approach towards management was to build up co-operation between the workers and the management in other words workers were selected and trained by the management in such a way that the worker performs the job which is assigned to him by the management, when the management asks the worker to work he works and when he is told to rest he rests. If the worker has to say something regarding the workplace and he says that I think the management replies that it's not what you think it's you do. Scientific management viewed people at work more as machines, with financial needs, than as humans in a social setting. There is no doubt that money is an important motivator but Taylor also over looked that people also work for reasons other than money Taylor also had very less concern for psychological or human aspects of work. (Derek S. Pugh and David J Hickson 1996, pg 102-106) Mayo's concern was to study thoroughly the human aspects of work. He believed that organizations mainly existed to serve workers and their needs, it was essential that workers should fit the organization and the organization should fit the worker. Mayo developed an image of the worker whose motive was to stand well with his fellows. To mayo it was important that the worker was satisfied with his job and it was the responsibility of the organization to develop systems that would satisfy the needs of the workers. To achieve these ends Mayo provided the managers with a set of tools which he called as social needs, and the good manager was the one who would use those tools efficiently and would listen to the workers and try to make them work to together as a team so that co-operation could be build up between them in other words to be accepted as the head or leader of the organization. Groups can establish their own targets and these can be greatly influenced by the informal leader of the group. (Ray Donnelly 2000 , pg 13/6 )

Apart from the differences there were many similarities between the two Schools, the main similarity which was seen between the two schools were that they both focused mainly on increasing productivity, Taylor tried to increase productivity by paying incentives to the workers where as Mayo's method were team work with co operation with the other members of the team so that productivity could be increased. The other similarity which was seen in both the methods were the rest pauses. Rest pauses were introduced by both Taylor and Mayo so that workers would not get tired and would thus work for longer hours so as to the organization could earn high profit. The job itself which is being assigned to the worker is the same in both the systems.

To conclude it can be seen that even though both the schools thought on management differed on many grounds, they aimed at maximizing productivity and industrial efficiency. In the modern management scenario the manager has to blend all the theories and use them in practice to achieve organizations objectives. Both the theories have their own merits and demerits, but if seen from a broader perspective, neither are right or wrong. Scientific management is a more rigid system when it comes to managing the worker whereas, Human Relations Movement gave more priority to the need of the worker and that worker should be satisfied with his job. If used well, the management can gain an extra edge in terms of productivity and efficiency.