Evolution of Scientific Management


The everchanging customers’needs push organizations to constantly change and adapt to their market. These changes result in high competitiveness in the market and  a limited workforce that drives today’s fast-paced business environment.  The term Fast Paced Environment means that employer’s needs high productivity at all costs,therefore for the employee, his work time will be higher than his revenue , (Ulrich ,2012). In order to achieve their goal, managers came up with two models of management namely the scientific model which has been published the first time in ‘’the scientific model of management’’ by Taylor (1912), this model is focused on improving work efficiency  (Cole ,2004). In contrast, the second model which is the Human Relation Model created by Mayo (1920) is focused on the employee’s wellness at work. In fact, this model suggests that caring about the employee encourages effectiveness in the tasks performed. This essay will discuss which of the scientific management and the human relation best fits the current fast-paced business environment. To do so, the essay will first define each model and contrast them  by showing their advantages and limitations  . Finally, it will be analysed both by giving some differences and similarities .


To start with, the majority of people at the scientific management time do not have enough knowledge, so they just had to do a specific task without taking any decision. Taylor’s answer to the problem of efficiency was practice scientific management and he came up with the principles of scientific management. These principles talk about the requirements for this scientific approach, we have: Develop one best scientific method to do any task, select and train scientifically in order to make each employee better in the task assigned to him, to discuss with the employees so that each part of the work is done correctly, the work must be divided, that is to say each employee must do a precise task.(Mc Williams, 2013).  Scientific management can be found nowadays in some companies such as McDonald. There are many examples to show that McDonald\’s is based on the principles of scientific management to work. Firstly, McDonald created his university in 1961, named Hamburger University, which offers workers management training, operations development, familiarity practices with equipment and interpersonal skills. Secondly, McDonald has a technique that allows employees to work in a unique and uniform way. Thirdly, Mc Donald rewards his employees for a job well done in order to achieve the goals. the implementation of scientific management has played a crucial role in McDonald\’s current prestige. Taylor\’s approach has not ended yet and is currently being used. From this example, we can see that this model of management presents some advantages like Control, Authority and planning. Each story has two sides and scientific management is no exception. It also has advantages and disadvantages. For its disadvantages, we can go from the fact that McDonald has been critiquing for their management approach. In fact, Schlosser in her book ‘’fast food nation’’ talked also about the way that McDonald treats people that is to say people are working harder and faster because there is to maintain high profits and to reduce production costs, that is why accidents are frequent. The direct consequence is therefore the rotation of the staff which is regular. In broad terms, people are alienated by work and this creates a lack of creativity, there is no relationship between employer and employee, each of them just does his work. Those are the disadvantages of scientific human management.  Whereas scientific management is concerned with the mechanism and structure at work, The Human relation model focused on the human factor at work,  (Phil Kely ,2004). In fact, Elton and his colleagues on the Hawthorne experiments in Illinois in the USA highlighted new areas of concerns for employers, these led to “an emphasis on personal development, a better understanding of group work and the importance of working conditions as a mean of motivating” employee  (Ronan Carbery, 2013,p5). Therefore we should understand the meaning and importance of motivation. “Motivate people at work is a driving force that encourages individuals to behave in particular ways as they seek to achieve a goal “ (Gerald A Cole, p44), so this model states that employers should look at people at work as an asset that can be developed and managing them as carefully as other valuable resources. For instance, we have Apple. This company is known because it sells many of the electronics the world uses today. Some of its products are the iPhone, iPod, Ipad, and MacBook computers. Apple does not give training to their employees. There is training available, it is not complusory ,they can do it themselves during their free time. The company avoids putting pressure on its employees, they must control themselves and find their skills and talents.Numerous are the teams that get to work for the advance of a project. It is like a kind of competition, and each team struggles for the company to take its idea. Meetings are organized to first debate the project and the second to allow all members to express themselves.  From this example, we can see the advantages of this model and the key point of them is to make employee confident. Although it has good advantages, do not forget the disadvantages. The human model is centered on human needs.Indeed, human being wellness becomes the only and most important problem that it cares about, all process adopted is for the human being wellness and that can make company loses his goal by moving away from the work itself. For example, if each employee in the work has a family problem, if the company decided to solve all problems, which time will be allocated for the work itself ? in this it will be decreasing in terms of profit. So from this example, as well as we value its advantages we have to care about its cons.  Nowadays, both Scientific and Human Relation are used in many companies. Depending on their advantages and disadvantages they need to fit where they are suitable. For instance, scientific management, this theory is not useful for dealing with teamwork or group work. it is true that benefit economic in this model is good for workers but Studies have shown that monetary rewards and economic benefits are not just a source of motivation and employee. This research led to the beginning of the movement of human relations. From these studies, we can see that human relation focused on social factors at work. It also cannot be applied everywhere, mostly in the manufactory industries where each step of the work is carefully checking because they depend on each other and if one of them is poorly done it will affect the whole work. The two models are different but in deep they have the same goal which is to achieve organizational goals while having organizational . So as a manager, the one who plans, organizes, leads and controls, it is its duty to know depending on the company which one will be the best at this time and which will to the next time.


To sum up this discussion, we must say that , high competitiveness, market expectation and globalization are the characteristics of fast paced environment. To overcome this situation, both  Human Relation model that is focused on human being wellness and Scientific Management which is about find scientifically methods to perform task have come. Actually people have knowledge , it is impossible for them to not know what they are doing , they cannot work as machine , they need to be confident and know what they are doing to be best , therefore Human relation will be good for employers for this current environment if they want productivity. Nonetheless scientific management is not bad but human relation fits best the fast moving environment.

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