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The concept of scientific management case study

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Management
Wordcount: 5416 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The concept of scientific management can be defined as the exercise of the scientific technique to define the most appropriate or best way for a job to be done. Important Contributions in this field is made by Frederick W. Taylor, who is deemed as the “father” of scientific management. Taylor’s employment at the “Bethlehem Steel companies” inspired his concern in improving efficiency. Frederick W. Taylor sought to produce a mental transformation among both workers and managers by defining transparent guidelines towards improving production efficiency. Through all of these, Frederick W. Taylor was adept to define the most suitable or one best way for doing every job. Frederick W. Taylor accomplished steady improvements in productivity in the range of nearly 200 percent. He acknowledged the role of managers to plan and manage and of workers to act upon as they were instructed (Daniel, 1992) [1] . The expansion of management theories has been described by differing ideas regarding what managers do and how they should do it. It is believed that scientific management pored over management from the lookout of enhancing the productivity and competency of manual workers.

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Frederick W. Taylor’s Four Principles of Scientific Management includes- carefully study every part of the task scientifically and cultivate a best method to perform that particular task..He also suggested to carefully choose workers and prepare them to perform a task with the use of scientifically developed approach (Daniel, 1992)1. Time studies as described by Taylor go ahead to the idea of the assembly procession which is suitably open up for any type of organization. The term of “Scientific management” has been originally selected as a indication to progressives’ ideals of the 1910s. Scientific management, at first the inadequacy of laissez-faire and the necessary role of disinterested elites (Haber, 1964) [2] !

The functionalist imagery used in The Principles of Scientific Management presents the Taylorist approach as a set of prescriptions to get better a few endeavors. Similarly mental transformation planned might be an appeal for a social commitment of engineers as well as controlled persons of the organization. (Daniel, 1992)1. The recent international development of new thoughts is a result of the internal revolution of firms as well as a component of interaction between between reformist actions at the turning of the century. However without believing honestly in all of too good-natured declarations of social harmony, how would the peculiarity of this discourse of modernization would be seriously taken into account and analyzed.

On the opposite side Taylor saw that -the power of the skilled workers was the lack of power on the part of management. Taylor therefore extended as his goal the refurbishment of power back into the hands of management. He did not see this in terms of a dispute between social groups. In Taylor’s view, there is need of scientific study of the work process in order to enhance productivity and efficiency which would be of benefit for all. However the present system not able to provide this and therefore needed fundamental reform. Taylor believed that attempts levels and incentive systems should be determined on ‘scientific’ basis. It was not the result of bargaining and dispute between skilled workers and managers. Therefore he began to look at other ways where the production system could be restructured (Daniel, 1992)1.

Taylor’s 4 Principles of Scientific Management

Taylor proposed the following four principles of scientific management which he concluded after years of various experiments to determine optimal work methods:-

Collaborate with the workers to make sure that the scientifically developed approaches are being followed.

Distribute total work nearly equally among managers and workers, such as the managers apply scientific management ideology to planning the work and the workers essentially perform the tasks.

Exchange rule of thumb work methods with techniques based on a scientific study of the tasks.

Scientifically choose, coach, and develop each worker instead of passively leaving them to train themselves (Daniel, 1992)1.

These all four principles were implemented in many production units as well as factories which focused on increasing productivity through a factor of either three or more principles. It is a evidence that Henry Ford applied some of Taylor’s principles in his organization and automobile/ vehicle factories as well as families and the result of the same all these started to perform their individual and household tasks basis on the outcome of time and motion studies (Daniel, 1992)1.

Any discussion of scientific management needs to identify its particular contextual features. These feature gaggle Taylor in two directions. First direction which is implanted in all modem industrial systems concerns the requirement for planning of the production process. However, the other direction was focused towards a specific model of how the work process could be structured. It was based on a process of generalization of skills and deskilling. On the basis of specific American context, for a time being, it may be successful in that context but, as a more generic way, it was not commonly adopted because in other countries, privileged, managers as well as workers had different expectations of their particular roles. So skilled work keep hold of a greater significance in many more countries and sectors than Taylor would have expected (Daniel, 1992)1.

Application of Scientific Management in case study

Human Resource or Staffing costs take up the largest share of the budget in all major important hospitals. There should be effective processes that should be focused on managing recruitment, sickness and absence staff, which can offer considerable benefits. Required changes in practice are one thing but enabling sustainable developments which is generally considered as a more difficult challenge. Work with precious in accepting how to attain long term change and how to constantly improve standard practice should be major concern (Koontz, 1986) [3] .

In the given case of Aidensfield Hospitals Trust (AHT) it is reveal that Human resource management administration is presently controlled from a central HR department, although some areas of the organization’s people management practices – such as employee selection, discipline, grievance and communication have been delegated to line management within loose group working arrangements. However, slack reporting structures, weak lines of communication, along with ill-defined limits of authority and accountability have resulted in role ambiguity within the line managers. In turn, this is mirrored in job insecurity, low morale and poor motivation at operational level (Tsoukas, 1994) [4] 

It also suggested that working alongside the Human Resources team at ATH must undertake a diagnostic review of current processes. To apply this initial lean implementation activity, supported with an introduction to support methodologies and waste walk, pin-pointed the main areas for improvement within the department that may include sickness and absence rates and the lead-time for recruitment to unfilled or vacant posts. It also require, the complete process flow planning of sickness and absence management identified postponements, gaps in the process and a lack of standardization (Koontz,1986) [5] . Additional focus also suggested on delays through root basis analysis supported by the team in recognizing solutions to the key issues, which may include:

Case conferencing

Mandatory training

Performance indicators

Project planning

Simplified procedures and documentation

Process mapping of recruitment activities are the major challenges which required to be highlighted through the system. The new requirement analysis should be done for Job design which is part of vacancy filling. These steps focus out of sequence, standards being followed and further delays may arise in Occupational Health and patients checking and diagnosis (Goold, 2002) [6] . The root cause analysis may help the team work at ATH on a number of expected solutions that may include:-

Transparent performance measures

Capacity matching measures

Separated recruitment from job design

Standard recruitment procedures

Demand Building on all suggested improvement

The ATH management should work with the Human Resources team to develop their internal base capability in order to sustain new improvements. All the staff should require to attain training workshop which given them skills in techniques such as general process mapping and structured problem analysis as well as solving. At ATH many role ambiguity and a degree of inconsistency regarding people management arrangements is apparent within supervisory grades in the organization should be removed. More emphasis on Delegation, communication, team-building and employee empowerment have all been problematic issues for managers, trade union representatives and employees of this health service provider. As a manager leadership is crucial to the success of ATH. A caring, competent and professional leader will earn the respect and support of all the staff. Managers who show by example that they are acting according to a sound value system and a high work ethic are well on the road to managing a successful hospital. To do this, managers need personal goals. The team must have a clear strategy for themselves and communicate this clearly to others. However teamwork that involves all levels of staff, starting with the management, developing a shared vision and purpose for the hospital within its shared core values is a way to unify people from different backgrounds and professions. To improve the HR functions at ATH is suggested that the organization to perform effectively in this highly competitive environment, senior management perceive a need to streamline the management structure, formalize reporting arrangements, clarify parameters of authority and improve the present group working arrangements. It is likely that these changes will have far-reaching consequences for both management and operational workers. Because the present management-employee relations climate is not conductive to the implementation of change, it will be necessary to create a positive team-based environment to embrace ongoing change in the future (McMahon, 1980) [7] .

Q4. Using specific examples drawn from the case study discuss leadership styles and the potential behavioral responses.

Leadership Styles

Leadership generally defined in numerous ways by different authors, however the most appropriate one in the hospital scenario is the process of influencing all the behavior of an individual or a group in such a way that they try hard keenly towards the achievement of organization goals (Clegg, 2005) [8] .

Types of leadership

Autocratic Leadership

The characteristics of Autocratic leadership are:-

The leader primarily seeks the conformity from his group. They have to carry out the work as preferred by the leader.

The whole authority is centralized with the leader and he can determine everything.

The leaders can structures entire work for his employees.

Communication is generally unidirectional from above downwards.

Workers compliance can obtain through threats and punishments. Those who obey orders may reward and those who do not are punished. It is a carrot and stick type of leadership.

All employees have very slight responsibility.

All employees assured about their security.

(h) Decision making is speedy and less competent subordinates can be simply employed.

(i) The highly qualified professionals do not like this type of leadership as there is short of scope for growth, development, proposal and sense of responsibility.

(j) Fear, argument, dissatisfaction and frustration can increase easily (Clegg, 2005)8.

Participative or Democratic Leadership

The characteristics of Democratic Leadership are:-

Communication can make in all directions.

Decision making taking more time.

Experienced and capable workers feel more happy and satisfied.

In this type of leadership, leader and workers share the decision making.

It is not a carotid stick type of leadership. There are no punishments but corrective actions and rewards are based on goal achievements.

The leader draws the ideas and suggestions from the workers by discussions and consultations.

The workers are encouraged to take part in making organizational goals and the job of leader is mainly that of control.

The workers have a common sense of belonging and satisfaction.

Unskilled and lower level workers do not like this style (Clegg, 2005)8.

Laissez-Faire or Free Rein Leadership

In this type of leadership, each worker has his own ability and the leader is relatively like an information cubicle. He exercises a minimum and assumes the role of another member of the group.

This is more suitable for investigate laboratories and similar organizations (Clegg, 2005)8.

Epidemiology of Leadership in different conditions

In order to determine the best leadership style following three factors can be obtained.

The condition in which the leading takes place.

The people individual lead.

The personal individuality of the leader himself. Because differences take place in all three of these factors, there can be major deviation in leadership style (Clegg, 2005)8.

The other differentiation of major leadership style is listed below:-

Affiliative Leadership

Authoritative Leadership

Charismatic Leadership

Coaching Leadership Style

Coercive Leaders

Democratic Leaders

Pacesetting Leaders

Behavioral Responses

A Leader has an authority that motivates others towards achieve a common goal. Respected leaders focus on what they are about their beliefs and character, what they know about job, tasks, and human nature, and what they do to implement, motivate, and provide directions. Managers may manage tasks. Leaders can lead people. Respected managers have subordinates and leaders have followers. Managers are those people who do things right. Leaders are those people who do the right thing. Leadership style is the style in which manner and approach for providing directions, implementing plans, and motivating people. Leaders may vary their styles. A Leader is not strict on one style. Mostly leaders may use multiple styles to control their followers one (Golema, 2002) [9] .

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True leadership starts when it does an impact on the followers. Every counseling leader makes the assumption that there is individuality about individual’s skills, and that some may beat the leaders in convinced areas. Ideas are encourage able and shareable, and decisions that reflects the collective intelligence of the team members. The leader consults with their followers and smooths the system for them to do a superior job. Where a manager may give a sense of self-belief in the leader, the counseling leader gives all the team members a sense of self-belief in themselves. By installing this confidence in their work, the counseling leader set the point for what is known as “maintenance behavior,” the ability to keep things affecting on keel. In this regard, the leader may become a valuable person for the company who has ability to develop internal concord (Golema, 2002)9.

The formula for a success leader is really very simple: The more leadership styles are adopted more you are able to master, so you will become the superior leader. The ability to replace between styles as situation demands wills superior the result and workplace climate. Goleman’s research exposed four more leadership styles that leaders were able to master – the affinitive, democratic, coaching, and authoritative styles – frequently provide better performance from their followers and a healthy climate in which they are working (Golema, 2002)9.

Application to case study

The hospital is a multipart organization, aimed to attain the patient care fulfillment. This organization is totally different from other organizations like cotton industry, toys or car production industry, all the principles of management are appropriate in the hospital atmosphere. Hospitals are labor concentrated organizations and engage a large number of professionals, who are working in a “life and death activity”, leadership is one of the areas which attach a lot of importance in the hospital management. In the hospital various types of people come across, like hospital employees, patients and the visitors. The scope is more or limited to the hospital employees. (McMahon, 1980)7. As already discussed hospital is a multipart organization aimed with various types of actions performed by different groups of employees ranging from unskilled to highly skilled and professional. Mainly the hospital employees can be divided into three groups.

Medical (Professionals).


Nursing and paramedical.

Professional employees: This group consists of doctors, specialists and super specialists who are highly qualified and highly skilled workers. Even though money and materials may provoke some of them but on the whole they are provoked only after their psychological needs are met with. Their psychological needs can be met when they are participating in the decision making. As a result, they feel intelligence of belonging and achieve acclaim as well (Golema, 2002)9.

Nursing and paramedical employees: This group consists of technical and semiskilled workers lower than the professional group. Primarily they require job structuring by oppressive way of leadership, they obtain so much proficiency that direction and willpower takes higher priority in motivating them and they become an important part of the unrestricted leadership (Golema, 2002)9.

Non-Medical employees: This group consists of unskilled workers with very low education and very low financial status. Their inspiration comes by meeting their basic and security requirements. Simply by money and material benefits can satisfy this type of group. Since their requirements are very limited and need job security, the oppressive style of leadership is the improved way to control them (Golema, 2002)9.

There are two types of situations in hospital industry.

Normal situation

Crisis situation

Normal situation: Throughout normal situation professional, nursing and paramedical groups of workers are controlled with the democratic type of leadership. Even the hospital disaster plan can be discussed and customized according to the past experiences. The non-medical group of employees can be governed by the autocratic style of leadership even throughout the normal situations.

Crisis situation: The comparatively sudden and wide spread trouble of the social system and the life of group of people by some agent or occurrence of large amount of admissions of patients and lead to the crisis situation in the hospital. Hospital disaster plan is activated in this situation and demands autocratic style of leadership (Golema, 2002)9.

For achieving optimal leadership style the leader has to modify his working style according to the needs. In ancient days leadership was considered to be the natural feature and used to lead in the particular families. Due to availability of better management tools and development of the scientific knowledge, now leadership basically involves in motivating the staff and appliance of communication skills (Golema, 2002)9. Operative leadership is an essential need for higher utilization of insufficient hospital resources and higher superiority of medical care. It has already been discussed that democratic style is more appropriate for the normal situations for highly qualified and highly professional group, whereas crisis situations can be managed by way of autocratic style of leadership. The autocratic style of leadership can control the non- medical group effectively. The hospital administrator should have competency in all the styles of leadership and should select the one according to the situation (McMahon, 1980)7.

Q6. Critically review the concept ‘informal organization’ and illustrate how it may apply to the case study.

Concept of ‘informal organization’

The nature of organizational structure has changed over many decades. The major trend of organizational has been from mechanistic structures, hierarchies, functional specializations and management controls, to organic structures, characterized by team working, empowerment and flexibility. Organizational design reflects the systems that consider both hard and soft components, i.e. elements, association between elements, and relations as a whole to form one unit. Therefore, mechanistic and organic structures acquire different characteristics, namely: mechanistic structures emphasize the hard component of systems with minute consideration paid to the soft component; while organic structures mainly expand the soft component (that is the ‘informal structure’) relating to the interaction between the soft and hard components for the creation of organizational capability. This conceptual term paper embraces systems opinion, elaborating on the changing importance of elements within different types of organizational structure. In addition to the importance of managing the ‘informal structure’ for the goal of organizational success within the facts economy (Kotter 1990) [10] !

Informal structure is essential for organizational behavior, but, unlike formal structure, is not illustrated in the organizational chart. On the other hand, formal organizational structure can be unreliable, as many organizational activities, which symbolize the real vigor, may be undertake outside the framework of formal organizational structure; and people, who control the real future, may be well hidden beneath of the organizational chart (Roberts, 2004) [11] .

Therefore, formal institutions have been analyzed and evaluated separately of informal institutions. The converse is also true: the informal institutions have largely distant from the importance of formal institutions, often viewing them as functional substitute. Some of the scholars feels that is not adequately look at the relations between formal and in-formal organizational / institutions. We challenge in somehow towards failure to amalgamate of all these concepts into a common theory has led to imperfect reasoning and considerable weakness in theories of economic organization. In this essay we analysis the both informal and formal institutions of economic organization into the most fundamental predictions of NIE.

The formal and informal organization structure

Organizations have a formal structure which is organized by the responsibility for managing the organization. They create the formal structures to enable the organization to meet its affirmed objectives (Weick, 2001) [12] .

Frequently these formal structures will be set out in the form of organizational charts. However, an informal structure develops day-to-day interactions between the members of the organization in most organizations. This informal structure may be different from set out on paper. Informal structures develop because:

Informal structures are easier to work on it.

patterns of interaction are formed by friendship groups and other relationships

people does not like to work on formal structures

people find new ways for doing things in easier way and save the time

Many times the unofficial structure might be conflict with the formal or official one. It can be noted that where these case the organization might become less efficient towards meeting its stated objectives. In spite of this, in some cases the informal or unofficial structure might ascertain to become more efficient while meeting organizational aim because the formal organizational structure might be set out very badly. It is supposed that managers require learning to work with both formal and informal structures. It may be a flexible manager who may feel fundamentals of the in-formal organizational structure that might be formalized for sake of understanding by accommodation the formal organization structure to fits in developments that may results from daily working of the in-formal structure. All of the organizations that appear in the Times 100 will have some form of formal structure which is usually set out in organization charts. As the managers foster these in-formal teams and mould all of them in-to the formal organization which can lead to high intensity of motivation for the staff concerned. However, these organizations also benefit from informal structures based on friendship groups. By analyzing how the informal and formal organizations might be complementary, balanced and integrated, the requirements of an organization become clear and practical solutions present themselves. On the other hand a formal process makes sure that particular works that might be efficient and primary informal set up that can be organize individuals quickly as well as effectively towards put an end to issues that might not be addressed in system itself. On the other hand proper performance bonus may inspire top sales people and gives pride in better negotiation behaviors that might inspire the larger group of low or middle performers (Watson, 1986) [13] .

Application of ‘informal organization’ to case study

Few hospital trusts and health authorities steadily do better than others on different paths towards performance. In this case study of ATH, there are some proof related to management matters, however the combination of individual clinicians and teams. In this case it is found that the link between the organization and management of services as well as quality of patient care can be criticized theoretically and methodologically (Miles, 1978) [14] . A larger and debatably more precise body of work presents on the performance of hospital in the private sector, often conducted within the disciplines of organizational behavior or human resource management. Some studies in these traditions have towards the decentralization and participation as well as innovative work rehearsal on outcome of variables which may include job satisfaction, good feeling and performance. The main objective is to identify a number of reviews and research traditions that might bring new and innovative ideas into future work towards finding out hospital performance. This may be the case where preferably furthere research might be more theoretically in-formed which may use parallel rather than horizontal designs. The use of some statistical methods and techniques which include multilevel modeling that allow for the inclusion of variables towards various levels of analysis that would enable rough estimation of separate involvement that structure, process make to hospital outcomes. (McMahon, 1980)7

For a medium sized hospital as ATH, it might not be sure why, but over the last few years it was found it more and more difficult to be effective people management in the traditional ways. It was almost as if ATH management spent all of their time trying to swim upstream. Things that used to be obvious and easy became difficult however ATH management couldn’t understand why. This problem unfortunately is a fairly common problem within same companies or hospitals. ATH management failed to understand and manage the informal organization structure within these functional teams. As this can be a fatal flaw to all managers which may include senior ones! All company in generally having two organization structures, the first one is called formal structure. This is the one everyone talks about. It can be seen on official organization charts. It shows who reports to whom, who is responsible for what and how everyone is supposed to communicate with each other. But then there’s another organization that few talk about but is at least equally important (Clarke, 1998) [15] . It’s the informal organization within the company. It’s the structure which can be following when the management/ authorities like ATH management don’t have the time to do it the right way. It’s based on who knows what, who gets things done, who has influence and power, who must agree before an idea can be effectively implemented. Formal structures are the way a hospital wants things to work. Informal structures describe the way they really work. (McMahon, 1980)7. Efficient and effective companies recognize this and management makes sure they are never very far apart. They understand that if they are too far apart for too long something is going to break. The problem is that it is difficult to predict what will break. In this case it is found that there is problem that ATH management failed to include and listen to other key executives, some of whom management thought had nothing to do with what he was changing, as he moved forward with an important series of initiatives (Evans, 2000) [16] .

There are two lessons to be learned from ATH management experience. The first is rather obvious, every manager and employee should understand that informal structures exist in companies, that they are not much bad and must be understand and used as required appropriately. It is found that Ignoring all of them is done at ATH management own risk. Similarly another lesson which seems more fundamental (Mintzberg, 1993) [17] ! ATH management need to periodically look at how things are done, how they are organ


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