Two approches to the scientific management
Project done by Tsingovatova Elena
TWO APPROCHES TO THE SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT
Historical Review of the Principals of Management
The traditional model characterised as administration under "the formal
control of political leadership, based on a strictly hierarchical model of
bureaucracy, staffed by permanent , neutral and anonymous officials,
motivated only by the public interest, serving any governing party equally
and not contributing to policy but merely administering those policies
decided by the politicians" (Public Management and Administration and
Introduction by Owen E Huges, p.23).
By the 1920s this model was fully formed and continued with extremely
little change for at least fifty years. "Young" practitioners were so
assured of their theories and they believed that the improvement of
government and its administration would promote a better life for all.
After the critique of the theory of the separation between administration
and politics considered as the myth to tolerate that politicians and
administrators could be separated, the argument took place between scholars
of public administration.
Nevertheless the political control and the theoretical basis of the
bureaucracy were thoroughly established and unchanged, there were public
sector adaptations of management theory. The row of imports from the
private sector took place and the most important is the scientific
management. That was explained by pretending that Public Management is able
to be non-political and hence the operational methods used in the public
sector would be the same as those used in the private sector.
But the larger waste is still human resources, like human efforts, which go
on every day through such of our acts as are blundering, ill-directed or
inefficient, and which referred to as a lack of "national efficiency".
Scientific Management School
The basic assumption of this school is the philosophy that workers, at the
operational level, are economically motivated and that they will put forth
their best efforts if they are rewarded financially. The emphasis is on
maximum output with minimum strain, eliminating waste and efficiency. The
work of Frederick Winslow Taylor dominates the thinking of this "school".
Biography of F.Taylor
Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) was a mechanical engineer whose
writings on efficiency and scientific management were widely read. Taylor
devised the system he called scientific management, a form of industrial
engineering that established the organisation of work. The main goal of
his theory was to increase productivity. And at the same time he did not
favour unions or industrial democracy. That's why his theory is regarded as
authoritarian style of administration.
Efficiency was the most important theme of Taylor's works. As a steel works
manager in Philadelphia, he was interested in knowing how to get more work
out of workers, who are "naturally lazy and engage in systematic
soldiering." This attitude, he found, was contributed to by poor
management. He observed "when a naturally energetic man works for a few
days beside a lazy one, the logic of the situation is unanswerable. "Why
should I work hard when the lazy fellow gets the same pay that I do and
does only half as much work?". He proposed using scientific research
methods to discover the one best way to do a job.
Taylor's efforts were resented by unions and managers alike: managers
because their intuition and discretion were challenged, unions because
their roles were questioned. Taylor was fired from his original job in
Philadelphia. He then went to Bethlehem Steel, where he again was fired
after three years. The unions, indignant by this time, were instrumental in
getting his methods investigated by a special congressional committee; they
succeeded in forbidding the use of "stop watches" and "bonuses" in army
arsenals until World War II. However, his concepts spread to Europe and
Great Britain and received impetus in the Soviet Union after the
Revolution. Many maintain that this movement represents techniques only and
"hinders" the development of a philosophy.
Conception of Frederic Taylor
Tayrol's attitude toward work was that man and machine are similar. He
stated that "it is no single element, but rather this whole combination,
that constitutes scientific management, which may be summarised as:
Science, not rule of thumb; Harmony, not discord; Co-operation, not
individualism; Maximum output, in place of restricted output; The
Development of each man to his greatest efficiency and prosperity."
Taylor believed that the best management is the true science, resting upon
clearly defined laws, rules, and principles of scientific management which
are applicable to all kinds of human activities, from our simple individual
acts to the work of our great corporations, which call for the most
elaborate co-operation. He also believed that whenever these principles
correctly applied, results must follow which are truly.
Taylor expounded several basic principles:
1)To gather all traditional knowledge and classify, tabulate, and reduce it
to rules, laws, and formulas so as to help workers in their daily work.
2)To develop a science of each element of man's work to replace the rule-of-
3)To scientifically select and then train, teach, and develop the worker.
4) To co-operate with workers to ensure is done according to developed
5) To effect an almost equal division of work and responsibility between
workers and managers are to be given work for which they are best fitted,
as are employees.
He felt that faster work could be assured only through:
1)enforced standardisation of methods
2)enforced adaptation of best instruments and working conditions
Scientific management as a process involves:
1) time-and-motion studies to decide a standard for working;
2) a wage-incentive system that was a modification of the piecework method
already in existence;
3)changing the functional organisation.
Although he hasn't invented time-and-motion studies but did carry them out
more thoroughly than predecessors.
Among the experiments he performed to prove his theory were:
1. Work study:
One experiment detailed movements of workers in a shop and suggested short
cuts or more efficient ways of performing certain operations. Within three
years the output of the shop had doubled.
2. Standardised tools for shops:
In another area he found that the coal shovels being used weighed from 16
to 38 pounds. After experimenting, it was found that 21-22 pounds was the
best weight. Again, after three years 140 men were doing what had
previously been done by between 400 and 600 men.
3. Selection and training of workers:
Taylor insisted that each worker be assigned to do what he was best suited
for and that those who exceeded the defined work be paid "bonuses."
Production, as might be expected, rose to an all-time high.
Taylor, as a result of these experiments, advocated assignment of
supervisors by "function" - that is, one for training, one for discipline,
etc. This functional approach is evident today in many organisations,
Taylor took many of his concepts from the bureaucratic model developed by
Max Weber, particularly in regard to rules and procedures for the conduct
of work in organisations. Weber, the first to articulate a theory of
authority structure in organisations, distinguished between power and
authority, between compelling action and voluntary response. He identified
three characteristics which aided authority:
1) charisma (personality)
2) tradition (custom)
3) bureaucracy (through rules and regulations)
The concept of bureaucracy developed about the same time as scientific
management, and thoughts on specialisation of work, levels of authority,
and control all emerged from Weber's writings. Weber was more concerned
with the structure of the organisation in which people perform their work
roles, rather than with the individual. Most of his writings and research
related to the importance of specialisation in labour, regulations and
procedures, and the advantages of a hierarchical system in making informed
Luther Gulick and Lyndal Urvick's Principals of Administration
The culmination of the Principles of Administration Approach was the
publication of Luther Gulick and Lyndall Urwick's Papers on the Science of
Administration. In that time, 1937, public administration scholars had come
to believe in a static set of principles by which any organisation could be
designed or its function improved. These principles, implied that
organisations were very much like machines, and that managers could follow
a set of formulae to maximise their efficiency.
Luther Gulick and Lyndall Urwick are known in the world for the work "Notes
on a Theory of Organization" issued in 1937. They developed the acronym
POSDCORB to describe the administrative functions of managers.
POSDCORB stands for:
Planning - Preparing methodical plans for managing programs;
Organising - Creating the different sub-units of the organisation;
Staffing - Hiring competent employees to fill vacancies;
Directing - Issuing directives with time and performance criteria;
Co-ordinating - Interrelating employees' effort efficiently;
Reporting - reports for superiors;
Budgeting - Preparing and executing budgets.
Analysis of two stands
An often repeated criticism of the scientific management approach is that
it overemphasised productivity and underemphasised human nature. This
criticism is well expressed by Amitai Etzioni, who wrote that "although
Taylor originally set out to study the interaction between human
characteristics and the characteristics of the machine, the relationship
between these two elements which make up the industrial work process, he
ended up by focusing on a far more limited subject: the physical
characteristics of the human body in routine jobs - e.g., shovelling coal
or picking up loads. Eventually Taylor came to view human and machine
resources not so much as mutually adapt able, but rather man functioning as
an appendage to the industrial machine". Similar criticism could be
levelled at other movements within the scientific management approach. The
Scientific Management approach directed to create scientific, specialized,
technocratic environment which makes it clear how to be more productive and
maximize rewards. But his theory can be seen as one-sided. You cannot
interpret the human being as a machine as it has it's own interest, it's
own needs, that the human being is a entity of the different moods and
emotions. He hasn't counted that the motivating factor for employees can
be not only monetary, worker can be motivated for example by the interest
of working in the particular field (e.g. teachers do not owe a lot of
money from their work but they are usually motivated by the interest
working with people; e.g. some tourists guides also do not owe a lot of
money but they are interested in meeting new people and travelling),
experience that he/she would gain through being on particular working place
(e.g. nurse doesn't get much money for her work, but she wants to get more
experience with time). It is also noted that
design of work procedures is not possible to establish in every field.
Luther Gulick and Lyndall Urwick tried to establish principles of
management to motivate worker they believed that economic efficiency rooted
in human tendency toward rationality and order.
As with the Principles of Administration Approach, subsequent experience
has shown public organisations, and the implementation process, to be far
more complex than was imagined in 1937.
The both of theories was searching for the "one best way of doing work" for
increasing of productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of completing any
work. But implementation of each of them has limited effect on the
productivity and depends on particular circumstances.
Not any of listed theories can be implemented in modern society, specially
in modern Public Administration, the reason for that is extremely
complicated human relations. Public Administration is a human science
therefore human behaviour plays the most important role in the subject of
Therefore, there is no use in implementing of the considered theories of
Science Management in practice.
List of Bibliography used:
1. Lecturer Notes.
2. Owen E Huges Public Management and Administration and Introduction,
Great Britain: Macmillan Press Limited, 1994.
3. Public Administration Biographies http://www.usc.edu/.
4. THEORY AND ANALYSIS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
5. Scope and Theory Of Public Policy