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Scientific Management Is Sadly Underestimated As An Approach In Modern Organisational Life. Provide A Detailed Justification Of Your Agreement Or Disagreement Of This Statement. (I Disagree With It)

1899 words - 8 pages

To question whether scientific management is underestimated in the organisation of modern businesses is to misjudge the complexity of modern-day work practices. As scientific management is simply defined as 'an approach ...emphasising the scientific study of work methods to improve worker efficiency' (Management: A Pacific Rim Focus, 2001, p.36), it can be concluded that such a simplistic, inhumane approach does not belong in the 21st century.A much broader theory is the classical viewpoint, 'a perspective on management emphasising finding ways to manage work and organisations more efficiently' (Management: A Pacific Rim Focus, 2001, p.36). This definition, providing guidelines that are less rigid and restrictive, is perhaps more likely to be accepted into the modern workplace.For the effectiveness of scientific management to be analysed entirely, both the advantages and disadvantages must be examined and evaluated. The positive aspects of this theory when applied, are increased production and efficiency, and, theoretically, 'maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with maximum prosperity for each employee' (The Principles of Scientific Management, 1911, p.3) The problem is that scientific management can also lead to 'overspecialised jobs, resulting in worker resentment, monotony, poor quality, absenteeism and turnover' (Management: A Pacific Rim Focus, 2001, p.37). The use of task allocation dehumanises the worker, and overemphasising cost reduction and scale economies may damage the quality of service.An important aspect of the scientific management approach as it was first created includes Frederick Winslow Taylor's four principles of scientific management:1.Scientifically study each part of a task and develop the best method for performing it.2.Carefully select workers and train them to perform a task using the scientifically developed method.3.Co-operate fully with workers to ensure they use the proper method.4.Divide work and responsibility so management is responsible for planning work methods using scientific principles and workers are responsible for executing work accordingly. (Management: A Pacific Rim Focus, 2001, p.36)Taylor proved to be a major instigator of the creation and widespread application of scientific management, although not the first to investigate a theory in this area. However, while Taylor's guidelines for management are perhaps the most widely recognised, another major contributor to this approach, whose work also shows relevance today, is Henry L. Gantt, the creator of the Gantt chart. 'This is a graphic aid to planning, scheduling and control' (Management: A Pacific Rim Focus, 2001, p.38). Gantt was also responsible for designing a unique pay incentive scheme for both workers and supervisors, an area in which Taylor's recommendations were not particularly celebrated. These are two of the most renowned contributors to the scientific management theory, although many others are also acknowledged for their part in...

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