Scientific and Human Relations Management, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Scientific management refers to a management theory that synthesizes and analyzes workflows leading to improved labour productivity. Frederick Winslow Taylor developed the ideas of the theory in the 1880s and 1890s, thus, the name Taylorism (Blanchard et al., 2008, p 15).

Human relations movement is a theory arguing that people are not only decision makers but also have needs for support, creativity, self-affirmation and recognition. According to Elton Mayo, improving the output should not be the only focus but also looking at human affairs.

Contrast and similarity of these two theories lies in the worker and the schools’ of thought views on controlling and handling the workforce including the workplace and various ways through which they ‘get things done through people’.

Taylorism argues that practices of working in the 1880s and 1890s were barriers to increased output rather than facilitating increased output. Both scientific management and the human relations movement shared a common ground in increased productivity as the ultimate goal of an organization. According to scientific management the view was to separate planning from doing while human relations had a belief in a wide participation in terms of decision-making (Brown et al., 2007). However, the ways of approaching the goal differ in the two schools of thought.

There was an emphasis of output by the scientific management. Thus, the basic unit of organization was the individual worker. The human relations movement emphasized human relationships meaning that the basis of organization was the informal group. The leader’s function under the scientific management entailed setting criteria of work and enforcing them on the workers and he or she was a high authority figure (Blanchard et al., 2008, p 30). Human relations movement had the functions of the leader including facilitating cooperation and coordinating employees while offering assistance and opportunities for the employees’ growth and development. The leader in this case was an agent for inter and intra group communication. Scientific management focused on organizational growth paying little attention to the growth of the worker through exercising external control over the performance of the worker. On the other hand, human relations movement focused at organizational growth while maintaining a concern for the growth of the worker.

Taylor’s theory of scientific management has contributed to efficiency through elimination of wasted or unnecessary effort. The theory has also enabled organizational discipline. Taylor’s work focusing at organizational goal of improving productivity led to wider investigations in the human relations management theory.

References

Blanchard K. H., Hersey P., & Johnson D. E. . (2008). Management of organizational behavior: Leading human resources. (Edition 9). Prentice Hall UK:  Pearson Publishers.

Brown, K. G., Giluk, T. L., & Rynes, S. L. (2007). The very separate worlds of academic and practitioner periodicals in human resource management: Implications for evidence-based management. Academy Of Management Journal, 50(5), 987-1008. doi:10.5465/AMJ.2007.27151939.

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