This scientific approach paved way to rigid adherence to methods and procedures in which planning and control were exclusively in the hands of managers and the workers had no freedom of choice at work. It also led to increased break-up of labour due to its importance on divisional labour. Many of the human aspects of employment were ignored and it also led to the beginning of boring and repetitive jobs.
Compatibility of Taylor's theory in Today's World
+ Selection, training, employee benefits and motivation are domains which are very important at present and are the major contributions of Taylor's theory to business environment. They are still practiced today and have been the base of every management field (Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 41, 2010).
+ However in present work situation, Taylorism cannot be widely practiced as the majority of workforce entails to soft skills. The present generation organization is majorly into automation and it runs on innovative ideas and logical thinking.
Recent stock prices show that Apple Inc. beats Microsoft at Change Management. The reasons behind the stunning turnaround were found to be - the failure of imagination and failure to execute at Microsoft Corporation.
"If you want to have great people in your company you have to let them make decisions and you have to run by ideas, not hierarchy. Best ideas have to win and good people stay in the company." - Steve Jobs, ex-CEO Apple Inc.
These innovative ideas and thinking cannot be weighted on any physical scales. They need to be recognized and evaluated on human aspects and one cannot evaluate it with a scientific approach of Taylorism.
+ Taylor's scientific study of the tasks was to bring standardization to work and to overcome the inefficiency of workers in almost all of their daily acts. But in today's business world the standardization of work for a position is almost set in all the major companies across the globe and employees have the choice of adapting and implementing their skills in the best possible way to achieve the goals of the organization.
+ Division of work develops hierarchical based environment. Though it eases employees and managers to concentrate and work in specified areas, it depreciates the growth of organization to run by new ideas. Current market craves for employees who practice multitasking and have the zest to implement new technologies and eliminates employees who perform single specialized tasks in the same old routine.
Henri Fayol - Father of Administrative Management [1841-1925]
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Both Fayol and Taylor are said to be the contributors to classical management theory (JMH, 2010). Berdayes (2002) displays ideas of Fayol and Taylor as very much similar in the following areas:
Job procedure, organizational structures, and an importance to hierarchical division of labour.
Formalization of work processes
Rationality of scientific techniques, order, and efficiency.
Determined their workers abilities, encourage and trained them and rewarded enthusiasm, initiative and success.
Fayol and Taylor's have proven their principles useful and relevant over centuries in the field of Management. Yet there are many debates and controversies on how to implement these principles with the changing business needs. The principles of Fayol are interpreted and studied against contemporary business world.
Compatibility of Fayol's Principles of Management in Today's World
+ Today, employees are much oriented towards challenging and interesting jobs (McGregor, 1960; Harpaz, 1990). Though the division of work help employees to specialize specific skills, they seek more challenging opportunity once they expertize on their skills. Also, companies have downsized their staff with people who are multitasking and have the quest to explore beyond their area of expertise. This has helped organizations to stay competitive with best of the employees in the field.
+ Though Managers are authorized and majorly responsible for a project commencement and its completion, companies rely heavily on employee participation and empowerment for the best outcome (JMH, 2010).
+ Matrix organizational structures have ruled over unidirectional layout of organization. Every department in an organization are heavily depended on each other and this brings together employees and managers from different departments to work toward accomplishing organizational goals (Rodrigues, 2001).
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
+ Many of the private organization now practice reward based on performance - referred as performance based pay systems. This has motivated employees to bring out the best of their capabilities and potential (Rodrigues, 2001).
+ Hierarchical decision making is vanishing in present industries. It has been observed that maximum creativity can be obtained with reduction of hierarchical elements and adapting cooperate culture. Industries now focus on less hierarchical, less formalized and flatter decision making organization structure (The foundations of Henri Fayol's administrative Theory, Daniel A. Wren, Vol. 40 Iss:09 pp. 906-918, 2002).
+ Commitment of an employee is achieved if the organization strongly considers the interest of the employee. In past employees strived for equity, today organizations provide 'sense of ownership' to their committed employees (Rodrigues, 2001).
+ Stability of personnel tenure doesn't hold much significance in present organization. Downsizing strategies has flattened many middle management positions and enriched lower-level employee's job. This has helped in cost cutting and maintaining committed group of employees (Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 41, 2010).
The Global recession which struck 2008-2012, ILO [International Labour Organization] estimated that at least 20 million jobs were lost by the end of 2009. This huge figure sets an example of the instability of personnel tenure today and that it depends on many factors of which global economic influence on the organization is one such reason.
+ Maintaining Esprit de corps is not practical in todays' world. Organizations these days hire more and more of temporary and project contractual basis. Moreover, downsizing strategies and prospects of staff cuts has tended to lower the employee morale (Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 41, 2010).
Max Weber - [Maximilian Karl Emil Weber 1864 -1920]
Max Weber, a german sociologist whose bureaucratic studies are found to be very dominant in the present world. Bureaucratic Theory of Management by Weber is said to be the most efficient organizational structure that could be implemented to achieve the best of the organization's goals. Weber's bureaucracy was blueprint of dividing responsibility, authority and accountability.
Compatibility of Weber's Principles of Management in Today's World
+ Bureaucratic organization is a very rigid type of organization. They are bound by rigid controls and can't find themselves adaptable to changing conditions in the marketplace, industry or legal environment (Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 41, 2010).
Vodafone UK's approach to Flexibility & Productivity
"Looking at the business when I arrived, I realised that while Vodafone UK's products and services remained innovative and competitive, its corporate culture was too rigid for the fast-paced market and too autocratic to attract the best new talent." - Guy Laurence, CEO Vodafone UK.
Vodafone UK idea was that if the company expects its customers to buy its products, it should also be willing to use those products .Vodafone UK reformed their organization by bringing a change in their work environment. The results of flexible work environment were immediate and intense: from a good reduction in the speed of decision-making, sales cycle times to a high revenue growth and corporate solutions.
+ Though senior level employees in such organizational structures can exercise a great deal of control over organizational strategy decisions, front-line employees may receive less satisfaction, as it will make it practically impossible for them to generate the range of strategic ideas possible in a large, interdisciplinary group. This may result in the increase in turnover rates environment (Journal of Finance and Economics - Issue 41, 2010).
+ Weber's three types of legitimate rule are traditional, charismatic, and legal-rational authority.
Traditional Authority - In this system leaders have a traditional and legitimate right to exercise authorities. Such systems are rigid, do not encourage social change, and are found to be irrational and unreliable.
Charismatic Authority - Authority is with leaders who influence others by their mission or vision. It greatly depends on such leader's outlook and is highly tentative. They are liable to mislead the followers to a great extent, if they don't have strong doctrines.
Rational Legal Authority - Authority empowered by legal and natural law. This authority has found strong roots in private and public organization, present urban society, governments, and several voluntary associations around the globe.
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The various management principles had been laid down since the later part of the 19th century. Applications of these approaches were mostly based on the cultural, political and environmental requirements. The real challenge of implementing the approaches was least witnessed till the late 20th century. The last 10-15 years leaders and managers involved the importance of Change as a practice. While implementing Change management within any organization, two factors that seem to be inevitable were Sustainability and Performance enhancement.
The 2010 United Nations Global Compact-Accenture CEO study (UN Global Compact and Accenture, 2010) found that 93 per cent of CEOs now believe sustainability will be critical to the future success of their companies. A critical mass of business leaders, 80 per cent, believes a tipping point will be reached within the next 15 years when sustainability will be automatically embedded in the core business and strategies of most companies, and 54 per cent believe this tipping point could be reached within the next ten years. There is thus a significant shift in thinking - with profound implications for questions of organisational purpose, strategy, brand, competence and culture - globally (Journal of Organizational Change Management, Carla Miller, Vol. 25 Iss: 4 pp. 489 - 500, 2012).
Sustainability of companies as a next mile stone would now push the present management researchers to make further advances on the principles laid by former scholars like Taylor, Fayol, Weber and others. As a foundation to business management, these principles have shown remarkable achievements in the past. With developing market changes they need to be evaluated and implemented with a degree of innovative ideas, empowering the companies and its people with better future.