Essays on Scientific Management and the Human Relations School of Thought Coursework

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The paper "Scientific Management and the Human Relations School of Thought " is an outstanding example of management coursework.   ‘ Approaches to management, as embodied in The Human Relations and Scientific Management schools of thought, were only relevant to management in the early 20th century, when they first hit the headlines, and have no relevance to management in the early 21stcentury. ’ Management is a very important aspect in the running of organizations, whether small or big. Management involves getting people together for purposes of accomplishing the desired objectives and goals by efficient and effective utilization of the available resources.

This is achieved through a number of functions which include Planning, organizing, leading, coordinating, and controlling, staffing, and directing an individual or groups of people to harness their effort for purposes of accomplishing the desired goal (Wilson & Rosenfeld 1990). Management also encompasses resources which deal with the deployment and manipulation of financial, human, technological as well as natural resources in a manner that accrues the highest benefit to the organization. Viewing an organization as a system has led to another definition of management as a human action that includes design for purposes of facilitating the production of helpful outcomes from the system.

Management has often been looked at from a theoretical perspective. Two of the most common theoretical approaches to management are scientific management and human relations management. The opinion is however divided on whether these theories were only relevant in the 20th century when they were introduced in business circles and have gradually lost their usefulness in modern time; of whether they are still relevant. This is the question that the rest of this paper will endeavour to look at. Scientific Approach to Management The scientific theory of management emerged and gained prominence in the late 19th and the early 20th century.

This theory was advanced by Fredrick Winslow Taylor, whose influence in the field of management continues to be felt to date. Scientific Management is the precursor to modern organizational management. Around the late 19th and early 20th century, decried the system of management as being fraught with awkwardness, inefficiency and ill-directed movement of individuals within the organization. He looked at this as not only an organizational but also a national loss (Wilson & Rosenfeld 1990).

To help make a difference in the way organizations were being managed, Taylor called for a shift from the prevailing personal management system to one that is scientific. This kind of management envisaged a situation where the captain of the organization or industry was personally brilliant. Taylor held the view that if a group of ordinary men followed the scientific approach to management, their performance would outstrip that of a similar group of personally brilliant individuals following the older style of management (Taneja, Pryor & Toombs 2011). Taylor tried to replace the previous management style based on ‘ the rule of thumb’ with one based on observations from which the best practice would be developed.

He developed a method of systematically training workers based on the beat practice instead of allowing each employee room to perform tasks at his discretion. Good management fosters the spirit of cooperation between itself and the workers. This spirit would then motivate workers to pursue the one best practice that management has established.



Bruce, K & Nylan, C 2011, ‘Elton Mayo and the Deification of Human Relations,’ Organization Studies, Vol 32, No 3, pp 383-405.

DuBrin, A J 2007, Human Relations Interpersonal Job-Oriented Skills, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Taneja, S, Pryor, MG & Toombs, LA 2011, ‘Frederick W. Taylor's Scientific Management Principles: Relevance and Validity’, Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, Vol 16, No 3, pp 60-78.

Taylor, F 1911, The Principles of Scientific Management, Harper Bros., New York.

Wilson, D & Rosenfeld, R 1990, Managing Organizations, McGraw Hill Book Company, London.

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