FOM/U1 Topic 4 Evolution of Management Thought – Contribution Taylor
Evolution of Management Thought
Art of management is as old as human civilisation. Before the twentieth century there was no systematic study of the subject. Management was considered to be a personal ability. Management was a kind of ‘trick’ of businessmen which could not be studied or taught. Business people were not held in high esteem in society. Economists were more concerned with theories and political science.
From the beginning of the twentieth century serious study of management started. There are thirteen pioneers in this field and out of them Fayol of France and Taylor of USA are the main persons. The Great Depression of 1932 and the Second World War encouraged the study of management much.
Fayol studied management as a philosophy applicable to all kinds of organization while Taylor wanted to have a scientific approach. He is called the father of scientific management. Mary Follett referred to the importance of human relations in management.
The Hawthorne Investigations carried out by Elton Mayo and otters in Western Electric Co. revealed the importance of environment in management. McGregor emphasized the importance of the human side of enterprise. Maslow dealt with human needs helping motivation.
The evaluation of management can be categorized in to different parts:
- Pre-Scientific Management Era (before 1880),
- Classical management Era (1880-1930),
- Neo-classical Management Era (1930-1950),
- Modern Management era (1950-on word).
Taylor’s Scientific Management
Academic records indicated that F.W. Taylor and his colleagues developed the first systematic study in management. He initiated an innovative movement in 1910 which is identified as scientific management. Frederick Taylor is known as the father of Scientific Management and he published Principals of Scientific Management in which he proposed work methods designed to boost worker productivity. Taylor asserted that to succeed in these principles, it is necessary to transform completely the part of management and labour. His philosophy was based on some basic principles. The first principle is separation of planning and doing. In the pre-Taylor era, an employee himself used to choose or plan how he had to do his work and what machines and equipment would be necessary to perform the work. But Taylor divided the two functions of planning and doing, he stressed that planning should be delegated to specialists. Second principle of Taylor’s management approach is functional foremanship.
Taylor launched functional foremanship for administration and direction. Under eight-boss-scheme of functional foremanship, four persons like route clerk, instruction card clerk, time and cost clerk and disciplinarian are associated with planning function, and the remaining four speed boss, inspector, maintenance foreman, and gang boss are concerned with operating function. Third principle is elements of scientific management. The main constituents of scientific management are work study involving work important and work measurement using method and time study, standardization of tools and equipment for workmen and improving working conditions, scientific Selection, placement and training of workers by a centralized personal department. Fourth principle is bilateral mental revolution.
Scientific management involves a complete mental change of employees towards their work, toward their fellow-men and toward their employers. Mental revolution is also necessary on the part of management’s side, the foreman, the superintendent, the owners and board of directions. Fifth principle is financial incentives. In order to encourage workers to give better performance, Taylor introduced differential piece-rate system.
According to Taylor, the wage should be based on individual performance and on the position which a worker occupies. Economy is other principle of management devised by Taylor. According to him, maximum output is achieved through division of labour and specialization. Scientific Management concentrates on technical aspects as well as on profit and economy. For this purpose, techniques of cost estimates and control should be adopted. Taylor concluded that science, not rule of thumb, Harmony, not discord, Cooperation and not individualism, Maximum output, in place of restricted output.