Scientific Management And Human Relations Approach

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Scientific Management and Human Relations Approach

Scientific Management and Human Relations Approach


The concept of scientific management changed the way businesses used to run before the industrial revolution. As management thinking evolved and improved over time, it faced some criticism from the scholars belonging to different fields. The human element in the processes was the basic subject of all the criticism against the scientific school of thought. Modern approaches to management are nothing more than a synthesis of the more traditional approaches of the Scientific Management and Human Relations schools of thought. This paper reviews how the concept of scientific management originated and gradually gained popularity in the management world. Further, the paper relates how human relations concept got integrated into the mainstream management thought and practice. Finally, the paper draws the significance of the traditional management approaches and compares them with the present management practices.

Traditional Management Approaches

In the first half of the twentieth century distinct schools of management thought were developed. Chronologically, they can be listed in the following order: the school of scientific management, Classical, or administrative management school, and the school of management science. The proponents and theorist belonging to each of these areas believed that they were able to find the key to a more effective approach to achievement of organizational goals. More recent studies have proved that many of the answers to management issues were only partially correct in limited situations. (Wagner-Tsukamoto, 2007) Nevertheless, each of these schools has made a significant and tangible contribution to the field. Even the most progressive modern organizations are still using some concepts and techniques that have arisen within these schools. An understanding of these approaches will help assess the evolving nature of management thought. It also helps us to identify what techniques have proven successful in certain situations and at specific times, and why certain techniques or tools do not always make the success recipe. (Smith & Boyns, 2005)

Scientific management (1885 -1920)

Scientific management is most closely connected with the work of FW Taylor, Frank and Lily Gilbreth and Henry Gantt. These founders of scientific management school of thought found that observations, measurements, logic and analysis could improve many of the manual labor operations through effective implementation of scientific principles. The first phase of the methodology of scientific management was to analyze the content of the work and determination of its major components. (Mclean & Tyson, 2006) Taylor, for example, carefully measured the amount of iron ore and coal, that a person could lift using a spade of various sizes. Gilbreth invented the device and called it mikrohronometrom. They used it in conjunction with a movie camera in order to determine exactly which movements are performed during certain operations, and how long it takes each of them. Based on information received, they changed the working operations to eliminate unnecessary and unproductive methods and motion, using standard procedures and equipment to improve efficiency. Taylor found that the maximum amount of iron ore and coal can be transferred if the workers will use a shovel, scoop up to 21 ...
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