The Principles Of The Scientific School Of Thought
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Published: Mon, 24 Apr 2017
The Scientific School of Thought includes F.W. Taylor developed Scientific Management which helped in analyzing work. It would be possible to find ‘one best way’ to do it. The results that came from the partnership between a trained and a, cooperative and innovative workforce was the best.
The following principles describe the Scientific Management:-
Science not rule of thumb
Harmony not discord
Cooperation, not individualism
Development of each and every person to his/her highest efficiency & prosperity
A fast food restaurant is the best example for Scientific Management. The employees mainly concentrate on getting the work done in an efficient manner. Each employee is assigned a certain task in which they are qualified which only allows them to move two steps from their original position in order to maintain work. This reduces the unpredictability of human behaviour.
The Behaviorist School of Thought includes Henri Fayol’s theories had main concern for scientific organisation of labour which widely influenced in the beginning of the twentieth century. He developed the 14 principles of management which affected changed the way of management thinking. For his contribution towards management he is also known as ‘Father of General Management’.
Elton Mayo created the Industrial Sociology and the Human Relations School of business organisation which helped him in various aspects of management. He is also known for his Hawthorne Experiments. His research on groups & behaviour affected the areas of management of organisations and for sociology.
Abraham Maslow, a well known Psychologist in a classic paper published in 1943 about his theory on the human needs such as:-
Basic Physiological needs – needs like hunger, thirst, sleep, etc
Esteem needs – needs like self respect, autonomy needs, recognition and attention.
Security needs – needs like job security, stability of income, pension plans etc.
Self Actualization needs – needs like growth, self-fulfillment and achievement of goals. It is the highest level of need in the hierarchy.
Belonging needs – needs like affection, sense of belongingness, acceptance and friendship.
Douglas McGregor, an American social psychologist proposed his famous Theory X & Theory Y. It is the assumptions about human behavior & nature. Theory X & Theory Y is commonly used in the field of motivation and management. It helps in the development of management of an organization & improving organizational culture.
Theory X – represents the negative view of human nature that assumes people are generally irresponsible for their work & need close supervision.
Theory Y – represents the positive view of human nature that assumes people are generally hard-working, creative & have more control over their job.
A perfect example for this type of school is the Sky Chiefs Airlines. As the cost of planes due to competition in the market they have to remove some unnecessary staff in order to cut costs. The management then realized that if they had taken employees needs into account then they would have been less cohesive.
Both the schools of Thought have provided us different principles of management which lead managers to think & adjust to different theories to achieve maximum productivity and a stable economy.
Human relations central goal was efficiency but it focused on small groups rather than large organizations. It stressed communication, leadership and interpersonal relations, particularly between employees and their bosses. The efforts of scientific management focused human relations on the low levels of the organizations rather than middle & upper levels of management. Hence, it lacked comprehensive scope. They did not achieve any major breakthrough in management theory but the human relations movement accepted many of the assumptions of the scientific management thinkers.
The series of ideas developed by Taylor are as follows:-
Firstly, every element of performance of each person in the company should be broken down into elements in a scientific manner. Secondly, workers should be selected scientifically so they are designed & train in a certain manner that they perform their work scientifically. Thirdly, the cooperation between workers & management should be good so that the tasks are performed in the designed manner. Finally, there should be a division of labour between managers and workers. Managers should take over there work of designing the work, supervising & setting up instructions so that the workers are free to perform the work itself.
The scientific management school is criticized on the following grounds. A man’s behaviour is not noted only by financial needs but by other needs as well like security needs, social needs & esteem needs. No man is entirely an ‘economic man’. Hence, it may not be always true that economic incentives are strong enough to motivate workers. Secondly, there is no such thing as ‘one best way’ of doing a job as far as the motions & time is concerned. Hence, time & motion study may not be fully scientific. Two studies done by two different persons may time the same job entirely differently. Thirdly, planning, doing a job & the greater specialization of work can inherent the working system which tends to reduce the need for skill and produce greater force of work. Lastly, advancement in better tools, machines & machines can eliminate some workers which cause resistance from them.
Mayo and his colleagues arrived at two important conclusions:-
Existence of strong informal groups
Employees’ behaviour at work is affected by non-economic factors.
“The social person view is that:-
Individuals are motivated by social needs.
People obtain their sense of identity through interpersonal relationships.
Because of industrial progress and routinization, the work has become dissatisfying.
Employees are more responsive to the social forces of peer groups than to incentives and controls of management.
Employees respond to provisions for their social needs and acceptance offered by the management.” (Sridhar)
The necessity of managerial strategies of a social view of a person is improving the human skills of the supervisors by focusing on worker’s attitudes & feelings, replacing individual incentive plans by group incentive plans & the effect on productivity of the workers rather than managerial functions. The social manager has evolved and assumes the role of a coach & helper which carries out the human relations program. Every organization is made up of number of diverse social groups with incompatible values and interests. These groups may cooperate in some spaces & compete and clash with others. It is impossible to satisfy everyone and to make the organization a big happy family.
A worker’s day can be more monotonous, uncreative and pleasant & not his repetitive in informal groups. Workers do not seek affection & affiliation when they come into the organization. The techniques of human relations schools try to play trick on workers so as to create a false sense of happiness so that they are less concerned with their well being. Letting workers to think they are oriented & allowing them to participate in making decisions are very much different from each other. The unqualified application of these techniques in all situations is in not possible. For example this approach may not work when decisions have to be mad quickly or where secrecy of decision is required. If the supervisor makes unrealistic demand to this type of approach, he is expected to give up his desire for power. There will be a rise in output when the workers are satisfied, more productive and improved working conditions and human relations. Above all, there in not the total field of concern of the manger for human behaviour.
Most of the practice of management which existed thousands of years ago needed to be changed & redefined so to call them management principles. The early period of management was absolute authority, force & with strategies. The history of management as a discipline is traced from the 19th century. Out of ‘the management theory jungle’, development of an integrated management theory has some difficulties like lack of theoretical concepts of its own, heavy reliance on concepts which are borrowed from others & applied science nature of the concept.
A number of more or less separate schools of management thought have emerged since the end of the 19th century and each sees management from its own viewpoint. There, are many ways of classifying these theories or schools. Scientific management consisted of F.W. Taylor and his followers. Administrative management consisted of Henry Fayol and other organization of Max Weber. The best way to do a job was to determine the classical theory that emphasized economic rationality of management and organization. The people are motivated primarily by economic reward hence this theory is criticized more.
The human relations schools together with behavioral schools constitute this group. The social person view of employees is the basis of this set of schools. The famous Hawthorne experiment conducted by Mayo, Roethlisberger and Dickson is a milestone of this school. Several behavioral scientists including Maslow, Mc Gregor, Argyris, Herzberg & Likert have contributed to this school as well as to human relation organizational school under the modern management theory. Overemphasis of human variables and symbolic rewards which may not be appreciated by the receiver is criticized by the school. The complex employee view has become the basis of modern management theory. This group tried to test the views of earlier schools and accept them selectively. In the process it had made use of many tools mathematical techniques, computers and theories from other disciplines systems like behavioral science, decision theory, system theory, etc. Four important schools in this group are systems, theory, organizational humanism and management science.
Therefore I conclude by:-
Scientific school of thought and Behavioral school of thought are equally matched. Both the schools have equal importance when they are applied in the organization. Today’s organization practices both Scientific and Human relations management that contributes towards organizational growth & development.
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