compare and contrast the scientific management theories

Models have been developed by people to understand management and Quinn used the competing values framework to relate the main models (Quinn et al. , 2003). The human relations model is about flexibility while the rational goal model is about control. There is a lot more differences than similarities. Taylor (Pugh and Hickson, 1989), the scientific management theorist emphasizes the maximization of workers’ prosperity while Follett, the human relations management theorist, focuses on development of human resources.

Currently, the theories introduced by them are still widely used in many organisations. Frederick Taylor was the founder of scientific management. It emphasizes scientifically determined changes as the solutions to improve labour productivity (Daft, 1997). Taylor suggested that raising the wage can increase the working incentive of workers and he provided chances for workers to develop and perform in a higher grade. Nonetheless, the ultimate goal is still maximizing the profit (Pugh and Hickson, 1989).

Concerning the theory of Follett (Graham, 1995), although she found drawbacks of scientific management and suggested the human relations model, the aim of the two theories is the same, maximizing the productivity though they use different ways to achieve the goal. Besides, the idea of division of labour is also welcomed by both theorists. Taylor believed that all people can perform very well in a particular aspect (Pugh and Hickson, 1989). Functional Management is like division of labour. Follett did not support very strict division of labour.

Nevertheless, basically, she believed that division of labour with respect to the strengths of each worker can increase output (Graham, 1995). She put emphasis on humanistic perspective to divide labours. Obviously, they both have the same destination, maximizing productivity. There are some similarities between two theorists, but fundamentally the two theories are different. First of all, although Taylor encouraged the development of workers, it does not mean that she concerned with workers’ higher needs.

What she ever wanted was maximize the output by encouraging hem to perform in a higher grade (Pugh and Hickson, 1989). He emphasized standardization of work and quality control, continually supervising and controlling the workers. Suggestions are ignored and they have no freedom under the scientific management (Daft, 1997). Follett described Taylor’s idea by using the term ‘alleged inhumanity’ (Pugh and Hickson, 1989). On the other hand, she focused on understanding human behaviours and needs both in workplace and social interactions (Daft, 1997). She empowered workers to give out own idea, facilitating rather than controlling them.

She stressed sense of belongings of workers by satisfying their higher needs (Richard, 1997). What Taylor suggested was only raise the salary of workers. Basically, one emphasizes science, workers being a part of machine; another one concerns with human behaviour. Besides, the way to deal with conflicts also indicates the difference of two theories. According to Taylor (Taylor, 1947), she increased the number of types of managers, which means a more complex structure in the firm. As mentioned, scientific management led to conflicts due to failure in satisfying workers’ needs (Pugh and Hickson, 1989).

Managers have power over workers when there are conflicts and workers can only follow the strict rules. The exception principle (Taylor, 1947), which generally means lower-level managers report only extreme cases to higher-level managers, seldom appears in normal issues. Therefore, following rules is workers’ only way out. Notwithstanding, Follett emphasized ‘power with’ in network structure (Graham, 1995). Employees have the rights to resist unions to get power-over. Integration was suggested by Follett when there were conflicts.

Integration creates something new and the ideas of individual are considered. Therefore, it is a better technique to settle the conflicts. In long run, it saves time because problems would be solved completely. Obeying rules cannot get to the roots of conflicts and they will still happen. To conclude, ‘power with’ and ‘power over’ are the main differences of the two theories. The two theorists suggested the theories a hundred years ago but it is still widely adopted by many firms. Take the French-based energy company, GDF Suez as an example.

It adopts the functional management (GDF Suez, 2009). The company has different branches such as energy production, service and environment. Specialization can maximize the output as they choose the best person to do the right job. Concerning the Follett’s theory, the workers in the company can obtain shares by signing up to the company’s offer (ENP Newswire, 2010). The shares ownership plan allows workers to express ideas about company’s decision making. Workers have power with them and this greatly increases the sense of belongings of workers.

Take the internationally-acclaimed firm, McDonalds as another example to apply the theories. Firstly, the food is standardized to reduce the cost of production. There is also division of labour. Some are cashiers while some are responsible for preparing food. Moreover, Follett’s theory is applied in Hong Kong’s McDonalds too. Workers in the same shop have regular meetings to discuss problems faced during working and have some entertainments. It increases the sense of belongings of the workers so they have higher motivation to work.

In conclusion, we can see the similarities of the two theories but basically they are different. Taylor focused on the relationship between worker and production systems while Follett emphasized human relations. Workers under scientific management have to obey rules strictly while the latter theory suggests that workers have power to give out own idea. The two theories are still significant in modern management and they are widely used by many companies. Within a firm, both approaches are often adopted at the same time too.

The reference list:

1. GDF Suez, (2009), Operational Organisation(online), Avilable from http://www. gdfsuez. com/en/group/operational-organization/operational-organization, (accessed: 17 November 2010) 2. ENP Newswire, (2010), Major success for GDF SUEZ’s 1st worldwide employee share ownership plan, over 67,000 employees have signed up to Link 2010(online), avilable from http://www. allbusiness. com/banking-finance/financial-markets-investing-securities/15034331-1. html, (accessed: 17 November 2010) 3. Pugh D. S. and Hickson D. J. , 1989, Writers on Organisation, 4th edition, London, Penguin Book 4.

Taylor Frederick Winslow, 1947, Scientific Management, New York and London, Harper and Brothers Publishers 5. Vecchio Robert P. , 2000, Organizational Behavior Core Concepts, 4th edition, New York, the Dryden Press 6. Daft Richard L. , 1997, Management, 4th edition, New York, the Dryden Press 7. Grahim Pauline, 1995, Mary Parker Follett- Prophet of Management, Boston, Harvard Business School Press 8. Boddy David, 2008, Management An Introduction, 4th edition, Milan, Prentice Hall 9. Quinn, R. E. , Faerman, S. R. , Thompson, M. P. and McGrath, M. R. (2003), Becoming a Master Manager(3rd edition), New York, Wiley

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