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Identify And Outline Briefly Major Trends In Approaches To Organisation And Management Since The Beginning Of The 20th Century

2136 words - 9 pages

Identify and Outline Briefly Major Trends in Approaches to Organisation and Management Since the Beginning of the 20th Century |
MD2206 Management, Organisation and Strategy |
David Forrest |
Natalie Louise Jones 20494877 |
Word Count: 1938 Pages: 8 |

Identify and Outline Briefly Major Trends in Approaches to Organisation and Management Since the Beginning of the 20th Century

Management was classically defined by Henri Fayol in 1916. He described managing as “to forecast and plan, to organise, to command, to coordinate and to control”. It can be argued that this definition has held through time, however ...view middle of the document...

The invention of the combustion engine, the cotton gin, the iron plows and expansions of rail roads to name a few started to contribute to a new consumer nation. This led to the need for specialization, and the birth of the Big Business (Byars and Rue, 1977). High demand brought with it the need for productivity; however management still relied heavily upon tradition and customs. With no previous “big businesses” to speak of, management was still undefined with most workers being left to make decisions for themselves. In 1911 Taylor recognised that the systematic analysis of work led to many workers putting in minimum effort, what he referred to as “soldiering”. He put this down to three things, a fear of unemployment, fluctuations in earnings and rule of thumb methods by managers. Taylor believed a scientific approach could be used to make workers more productive. This could be done by replacing the “rule of thumb” method, and replace it with defined standards. It was for the job being done, in terms of the time it took, standards of work and method, the pay received for the job and the selection and training of workers. Management itself was set to be governed by science. Byars and Rue (1977) refer to Taylors efforts to scientifically define a “full and fair day’s work” as the “true beginning of scientific management”. Taylor used Bethlehem Steel Works, where he was a manager, to prove his theory on Scientific Management. He studied skilled workers to set standards empirically (later to become known as “work study”) and used the findings to reduce time wasting and inefficiency (J Mee 1963). He found under his new management style, he could reduce 600 workmen to 150, halve handling costs and increased the average worker’s pay by 60%. His scientific approach fitted well with the technological advances being made, as Thompson points out it focuses primarily on manufacturing. He has been criticised however, for ignoring social needs and “demoralizing the existence of workers” (Dessler 1976). In Western society it has been found that workers want to become involved in the decision process again, as the scientific method is leading to repetitive, mindless work (Cole 1996). A socialist, Twaney, pointed out years later than increased pay does not replace self-respect lost by workers. However, it can be argued that this social mind set was not apparent in the 1900’s, as Taylor saw people as rational and not emotional. Therefore the scientific approach was a product of its time and a valid approach to management, with some aspects of it still in use today, such as the Work Study as defined under BS3138.

In 1924 the first meeting of management teachers took place, reinforcing management as a discipline. Many studies on productivity in the work place began to take place, with the Hawthorne Studies (1924) being amongst the most well-known. It looked at the physical conditions (such as light, noise levels and break times) on workers’ productivity....

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