The Relevance of Scientific Management in the Modern Era Introduction Work has been one of the most important inventions of man. It is one of the central aspects of humanity, due to it being the source of basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing. Whether they work in the fields or in the office, the involvement of people in working is the integral component of society growth, how law and politics developed, and how people actually continue to live (Watson, 2008, p…
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7). Thus, work needs to become as organised and productive as it possibly can, due to the numerous people involved in it, and division of labour must be assigned properly in order to bring out the best results. However, it was not until the beginning of the 20th century when such needs were attended to. One of the earliest guiding principles that sprang out from the need for workers to become as productive as possible while helping the employer save money is by implementing new strategies that were scientifically-made and can be tested using scientific methods. This kind of workplace management known as is Scientific Management, was developed by Frederick Taylor around the turn of the 20th century in order to advance the methods used in work and make even workers of any skill level to become even more productive (Taylor, 1939, p. 280). While it was a big step in moving from highly-traditional work and management methods to a much more modern and scientific one, its beginnings were nevertheless controversial, and may even have reversed its original aims (Watson, 2008, p. 31). Also, Scientific Management is seen as one of the earliest blueprints of modernisation and automation of work, yet by somewhat dehumanising the workers and leaning towards the removal of jobs altogether like in automation of factories, and in a way cancels out one of its aims: making human workers even more efficient (Watson, 2008, p. 32). These, among many reasons were the cause of the abandonment of the use of scientific management, as well as deriving new ideas and disciplines out of it. Thus the evolution of the scientific management as the result of 19th century industrial practices may have no relevance to the present day needs of work places and organisations due to the changed needs, strategies and goals of management. Foundations and Goals of Scientific Management Frederick Taylor is the person credited for the creation of the principles of Scientific Management, which went out in public around the year 1911. He was able to come up with the ideas for changing traditional work methods into modernised and simplified actions that do not need additional efforts in skill-building, as opposed to craftsmen undergoing apprenticeship to learn the ropes (Pitsis, Clegg, and Kornberger, 2011, p. 25). Goals that aim for work and management simplification were made for the successful establishment of the principles of scientific management, and are enumerated as follows: Firstly, the old rule-of-thumb in the methods being used at work are replaced by scientifically-proven methods that bypass older ones, making the work a lot easier to finish and eventually increases overall output by workers (Taylor, 1939, p. 280; Watson, 2008, p. 32); Second, the most skilled or capable of the workforce are trained scientifically in learning, as well as teaching and developing the newer and better methods of work, as well as standardising these methods among all of the workforce to improve their efficiency (Taylor, 1939, p. 280); Thirdly, there is tight cooperation and coordination between the trainers or the management and the workforce in making sure that the principles are properly adhered to at all times; and (Taylor, 1939, p. 280) By doing the abovementioned principles, there would be an equal sharing of labour and
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Management has been regarded as one of the most important, critical and challenging part of the human activities. The management skills, strategies and capabilities became even more critically important when it comes to the social and business organizations where specific aims, objectives and goals have to be achieved.
Electricity, petroleum and steel were the most wonderful discoveries of the first half while the growth and expansion of the steam ships and railways occurred in the second half. The industrial revolution shaped the 19th century as an interface between the modern world and the ancient world for the Europe in terms of the gender roles in the society and for the US in terms of technological advancement.
Organizations and diverse groups of businesses have changed their work flow structure into newer modern arrangements. Initially, scientific management had been employed to organize, lead, control, plan and coordinate people and activities in industries more significantly in the 19th century, than in the 20th century.
The conclusion from this study states that scientific management focuses on labor specialization and hiring of many organizational managers. This management system is not applicable to the 21st-century organizations because it does not encourage diversity and training of employees. The modern organization's value diversity and training because they increase the business profitability.
Taylor and his followers. Even though Taylor informally used the term to show his contributions to firm management, his friends intentionally chose the word “scientific” to endorse their argument that the methods used by Taylor were an option to railroad price increases where they were organizing for the Interstate Commerce Commission.
This approach made that all the skilled artisans as well as supervisors relinquish their power. After a period of monitoring workers while on their duty, Taylor got tired of their sluggish approach towards their work. He felt that employees deliberately slowed the work rate they should exhibit and by this fooling the employers.
This theory was one of the first attempts to bring together scientific methods and the management processes in industries. It was proposed at a time when scientific methods were thought to be the best way of doing almost anything. Therefore, it is not a surprise that this theory could also be proposed for the management process in industries.
Taylor developed the principles of scientific management during the scientific revolution over a hundred years ago. His principles on the best way to do a task and worker selection are some of his ideas that have continued to elicit varied reactions in management sector. There are those who think that Taylor’s ideas placed greater emphasis on the organization.
The notable developments in the economic and social sector during the last quarter of the 19th century were the invention of the telephone by Graham Bell in 1876 revolution and the 1885 invention of the machine gun by Harim Maxim. Later the same century in 1888, Nikola Tesla invented transformer and the AC motor.
Among the great tycoons attributed to the success are the John D. Rockfeller and Andrew Carnegie (Josephson, 2010). However, the way they rose to success and made their great wealth is very questionable hence painting them as “Robber Baron”.
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