Scientific Management and the Today Organisations
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The foundation of Taylor’s principles are as applicable today as they were almost a century ago, although the methods he recommended for applying the principles have been improved to a large magnitude.
Opening with an introduction to Taylor’s principles of scientific management, the usefulness of his principles for managing modern organisations will be explored and concluding remarks to support the thesis will be presented.
An Introduction to Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management
Scientific Management is based on the ideas of Frederick Taylor who was often viewed as the “Father of scientific management” expected to his major significance on management. Taylor (1919, p.9) deliberated that “The principal objective of management should be to secure maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for each employee”. This was accomplished through Taylor’s preface of his five principles as to decide the best way to do the job, to find the most appropriate person for the job, to prepare the most suitable person so they are capable to pursue the correct procedure, present financial rewards to maximise accomplishment and to give the manager the effort of planning and organising.
By having staff follow these principles, efficiency within organisations tasks became extremely routine and predictable to employees (Department of Management, 2010)
Advantages and Disadvantages of Scientific Management Model
The introduction of Scientific Management Theory in the early 1900s had several benefits to organisations. Essentially managers are able to have a big control over production. As employees repeat the same tasks constantly they become specialists in their field therefore this makes it easy for a manager to control. By using the scientific management approach, the profit of the organisation increase through disciplined tasks. Nonetheless, this variations target from how well the employees are doing their jobs into the results and statistic of how much they can produce in a specific timeframe (Boddy, 2008) implying that the workers would feel underestimate and may them to feel alienated which could lead to absenteeism.
Ultimately, scientific management can be seen as being extremely bureaucratic. Max Weber was an advocate of Scientific Management and created “Bureaucratic Management” where he argues that a clear hierarchy is a significant characteristic of scientific management. By having a big hierarchy in an organisation, employees are given instructions by those in a higher position (Department of Management, 2010). Possibly, this works well in large bureaucracies such as the National Health Service and Ministry of Justice.
Overly bureaucratic organisation are less likely to adapt to changes in their sectors.
Scientific management has its strengths as managers are able to control, plan and have an increased output. On the other side, the employees become alienated, there is a lack of creativity and the work environment come inflexible.
Scientific Management in Modern Organisations
Scientific Management introduced in the 1800’s though its influence can still be seen in today’s modern organisations. Taylor’s authority can be seen in the fast food industry as McDonald’s and KFC restaurants where the effectiveness of employees reflects the profit of the organisation (Bell & Martin, 2012).
The way that McDonald’s use the production line to arrange the food is redolent of scientific management. As an example the preparation of a standard “Mac Meal” where a specific employee cooks the meat in a particular time; other employees provide the bun, salad, drinks, fries and packaging. All the process will take less than two minutes from frozen, showing the employees skills given in that area. Furthermore, fast food employees are fully trained and aware of all regulations including how to operate machinery (McDonald’s, 2012) this certificate that employees are comfortable, successful and efficient.
Plus, Call Centres are popular to follow scientific management models. Management in call centres oversees and control what their employees do and say, that raise productivity and diminish the time wasted.
Likewise, Toyota also demonstrate influences of scientific management through their main principles. Toyota have goal for a long term and the proper method will lead to success and removing any step that does not add flexibility, value or promote products (Boddy, 2008). Similar to McDonalds this demonstrate an influence of Taylor by decreasing time wasted and increasing goals.
At the presentday corporate management, “PostTaylorism”, as declared by Peaucelle (2000) is embraced although it does not disregard Taylorism’s objectives, comparatively, enumerate new objectives which involve flexibility, deadlines (timeliness), quality variety (diversity) and productivity (efficiency). Admitting these new objectives are occasionally followed through completely new activities when performed, the Taylorism’s traditional methods can be employed.
To recap, in modern organisations indications of scientific management is clear their employees are empowered to develop the company’s potential still, the tasks absence creativity and become remarkably monotonous.
The findings desire the Frederick Taylor’s theory still remains in today’s organisations. The influences of scientific management are still apparent in today’s modern business. This is demonstrated mainly in the fastfood industry where there is a list of methods to be followed.