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Classical management principles assumed that people are motivated primarily by economic gains. Industry and factory production were on the rise and management principles were necessary. During this period Henri Fayol made one of the greatest contributions to modern management when he proposed that there were five primary functions of management. These five functions of management are known to us today as planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. Fayol's idea of governing an organization's production based on specialization and labor division opened the door to Frederick Taylor. Taylor explained how productivity could be improved if the scientific method of management was applied. This science included "time studies" that would improve the work process and impacted tool design.
Taylor's associates, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth further improved on the standardization of work by improving on Taylor's initial principle of "time studies." They realized that applying time and motion they could increase productivity. These theorists produced concepts where managers were overseeing the manual tasks. However, as times begin to change and knowledge was being required over manual labor these principles became less effective.
Through dehumanization brought on by Taylorism and the book, The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair society was quickly moving from a manufactured society to a service-based one and lead to the creation of new management theories that addressed the world of management and met the expectations of the future.
During what is considered the Neo Classical period the focus was placed upon. The manager was simply the individual who oversaw the resources to ensure that productivity could be met. This period was not concerned with the development of the worker, relationships, successful images, or eliciting loyalty. Those would be challenges that future management and theorists would develop.
Peter Drucker, a scholar, detailed how to manage knowledge workers. He was very active in providing topical information for the manager. His name would be added to a group of modern management theorists who see organizations as complex systems inspired by the contingency approach and uses modern techniques to solve problems.
Robert Waterman was one such theorist whose book, In Search of Excellence, ushered in a business revolution that would change the way manager-employee relationships were viewed. These nine principles that were embodied by excellent organizations would emphasize leadership, innovation, and emphasize the value of people.
In 1970 Warren Bennis forged a new theory of leadership that concentrated on the need to have a vision and to communicate the vision. It redefined the leader as someone with the ability to influence and motivate others to accomplish the tasks, support the organization, and meet its goals.
Theories and principles were developed based upon the times. They evolved from those who oversaw manual labor to hierarchy that required unity and control. As the manufactured era faded into a service based era the needs changed and principles developed that would engage the workers heart and mind. Eventually theorist would create principles and theories that would change with the environment and eventually empower the people.
The company that I work for uses a combinations of principles and theories to achieve their mission an objectives. They are listed below:
Charles Babbage Theory- the Company is divided into several departments and each of these departments specializes in a specific process that ensures that the product being purchased is received. They also offer profit sharing as a bonus to those employees who have met or exceeded the standards.
Max Weber- The company and departmental structure permits the higher positions to supervise and control the lower positions so that a clear chain of command is in place to control the organization. Within the department the employees are experts within their fields and have the authority to what is required, within reason, to make the decisions required to complete their tasks. Standard operating procedures have been established to facilitate coordination. Records are kept that reflect the decisions and choices made.
Scientific Management- The manager is primarily responsible for production and quality. Though he or she does not actually choose the training he/she is responsible for making sure the employee is present for it. They manager is also responsible for ensuring that the employee is developed and able to perform the tasks assigned. They are also encouraged to become involved with the work that the employee completes.
Frank and Lillian Gilbreth- The company has created a sequence of steps within the process that would save time and increase production. Everyone learns to process requests/claims in the same manner.
Henry Fayol- The company departmentalizes by specialization to increase production. Managers are given the authority to exact obedience. There are clear and fair agreements that exists between the employer and employee. The employee only receives instructions from one individual and they follow a specific plan of action where the goals of the organization prevail over personal interests. They pay is fair and compatible with others who perform similar tasks. The workforce is stable. Many have tenured with over 30 years. The employees are expected to take the initiative to ensure that the needs of the customer are met. Team work is a must!
Hawthorne Experiments-The company has its lights set at a specific level in order to increase productivity. Which I found strange when I first got to the company. It often appeared dark to me.
Abraham Maslow- The company works hard to ensure that he employee's physiological needs, safety needs, the need to belong and be loved, esteem needs, and the need for self- actualization. The company ensures that the employees are id top dollars for their skills. They have provided a safe environment where the employees are protected by security guards and policemen. The environment is one where everyone feels wanted and belongs. Employees are exposed to the company's culture from day one. They quickly learn what is accepted. The induction process is developed to increase one's self esteem. By the time you have completed the company in-processing for your specific job you are confident in your ability to perform it.
W. Edwards Deming-The company does business internationally and has adopted the philosophies of that particular country. These philosophies create constancy of purpose with the aim of staying competitive in business. The barriers between the departments are broken down and the members are expected to be a team. Part of this breakdown occurs when corporate trainings are held.
These are just a few of the principles and theories that are used by the company's managers and supervisors. These principles have been in place for the last five years. Yet, these practices are very effective. The company does not have a large turnover. People usually retire from the company and many of those are forced into it. The employees enjoy receiving a bonus every year even in these economically challenging ones. This is just one of the few rewards that are given throughout the year and because of these rewards the company receives consistent increases which result in large profits. However, there is always room for improvement. The company has decreased the amounts of money it usually spends on the rewards and they have become redundant. The employees are complaining that they don't want any more food, t-shits, or other trinkets. The economic changes have the employees worried and they desire to receive monetary rewards.
In conversations with some of the other tenured employees I learned that most of the management theories evolved into what they are today. When the company began several years ago the task where completed by using the large computer paper print outs. The managers worked very close with the employees to ensure that production and company objectives were met. However, today the employee has more authority to make decisions. These decisions often lead to increase production and, in the end, profits.
Computers technology has been very instrumental in assisting the managers and the employees. The steps in processing have been refined to ensure that production is met. These changes along with the ability to search the system for specific information about the process ensure that the employee is trained and becomes efficient in his/her specific area.
In closing, the principle and theories of management have evolved over the centuries in order to meet the needs that management faces. These principals are interdisciplinary efforts of many people. Management, unlike the theorist, was not so quick to change and adapt to the changing management principles so the need to determine what management were a challenge and a must. This challenge has helped managers to create an environment that is conducive to the company's and employee's growth.