The paper "Management Theory and Practice in Australian Firms" is a perfect example of management coursework. The statement that “ modern organizations that avoid the outdated principles of scientific management will always perform well” holds some truth to a large extent. To begin with, the principles of scientific management have been criticized for having several limitations. Secondly, while most contemporary theories evolved from scientific management, contemporary theories have built upon the scientific principles and included human relations and social factors that the scientific approaches did not envision or include. It is safe to argue that most organizations today use a combination of the scientific principles to a certain extent and modern management theories.
This paper seeks to evaluate whether scientific management principles are relevant or they have become obsolete in light of the principles of modern management theories in today’ s organizations. The analysis will give particular attention to Australian organizations and the management practices that are applied. Scientific Management The most prominent classical organization theory is Taylor’ s scientific management approach. According to Onday (2016, pp. 115), scientific management was offered as a means for firms to grow profits, eliminate unions, raise the virtue and thrift of the working class, and increase productivity so that the larger society could advance to a new age of harmony founded on increased consumption of mass-produced goods by the working classes.
The theory gained the credibility for the idea that organizational operations could not only be planned but also controlled in a systematic manner by experts by employing scientific principles (Onday, 2016, pp. 115; Kwok, 2014, pp. 32). Under the scientific management system developed by Taylor, factories are managed using scientific methods instead of the empirical “ rule of thumb” that was widely prevalent during the late 19th century when Taylor developed his system (Schermerhorn, 2010, pp. 123). According to Schermerhorn (2010, pp. 123-125), the key components of scientific management are time studies, specialized or functional supervision, standardization of implements, tools and work methods, independent planning function, the principle of management by exception, utilization of slide-rules and related time-saving devices, the use of instruction cards for employee task allocation and huge bonuses for successful performance, the application of the differential rate, mnemonic systems for product and implement classification, use of a routing system, and the use of a modern system for costing etc.
these elements were considered an extension of four main principles of management. The first one if the development of real science. Secondly, the selection of workmen using scientific methods. Third, the scientific education and development of employees. Lastly, friendly and intimate cooperation between management and the workmen (Kwok, 2014, pp. 32-33; Cole, 2004, pp. 104;). Criticisms of Taylor’ s Scientific Management The principles of scientific management that were developed by Taylor have been criticized widely due to certain limitations of the theory.
According to Armstrong & Taylor (2014, pp. 124), Taylor’ s task allocation concept was an approach intended to dehumanize workers since allocated tasks were not only to be performed in a specific way but also a precise time was allocated for the task. This approach left no window for workers to think or excel. Furthermore, it put unnecessary pressure on workers to perform duties faster as they based the importance of work on productivity and profitability, hence exploiting employees and resulting in greater mistrust between employees and management (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014, pp. 124).
Armstrong, M. & Taylor, S., 2014. Armstrong's Handbook of Human Resource Management practice. Kogan Page Publishers.
Bell, R.L. and Martin, J.S., 2012. The Relevance of Scientific Management and Equity Theory in Everyday Managerial Communication Situations. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 13(3): 106-115. Accessed from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261551752_The_Relevance_of_Scientific_Management_and_Equity_Theory_in_Everyday_Managerial_Communication_Situations
Carpenter, M.A., Bauer, T. & Erdogan, B., 2010. Principles of Management.
Cole, G.A., 2004. Management Theory and Practice. Cengage Learning EMEA.
Jones, J.T., & Jackson, T. 2001. Managing People and Change: Comparing Organisations and Management in Australia, China, India and South Africa. School of Commerce, Flinders University of South Australia. Accessed from http://www.flinders.edu.au/sabs/business-files/research/papers/2001/01-05.doc
Kwok, A.C., 2014. The Evolution of Management Theories: A Literature Review. Nang Yan Business Journal, 3(1), pp.28-40. Accessed from http://www.ny.edu.hk/web/cht/nang_yan_business_journal/Nang%20Yan%20Business%20Journal/Kwok,%20A.%20C.%20F.,%202014.%20The%20Evolution%20of%20Management%20Theories%20-%20A%20Literature%20Review.pdf
Onday, O. 2016. Classical Organization Theory: From Generic Management to Socrates to Bureaucracy of Weber. International Journal of Contemporary Applied Sciences, Vol. 3, No. 2. Accessed from http://www.eajournals.org/wp-content/uploads/Classical-Organization-Theory.pdf
Schermerhorn, J. R. 2010. Management. 11th Ed. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
Turan, H., 2015. Taylor’s “Scientific Management Principles”: Contemporary Issues in Personnel Selection Period. Journal of Economics, Business and Management, 3(11), pp.1102-1105. Accessed from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276606416_Taylor%27s_Scientific_Management_Principles_Contemporary_Issues_in_Personnel_Selection_Period
Uddin, N. and Hossain, F., 2015. Evolution of Modern Management through Taylorism: An Adjustment of Scientific Management Comprising Behavioral Science. Procedia Computer Science, 62, pp.578-584.Accessed from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877050915026721