Critical Evaluation of the Strengths and Weaknesses of Classical and Human Relations Theories
1762 WordsFeb 19th, 20138 Pages
Critically evaluate the classical and human relations approaches of management theory. Your essay must clearly define the term ’’ management theory’’ and include industry examples to illustrate your answers.
The purpose of this essay is to provide a critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the classical and human relations theories of management giving some industry examples which supports their applicability and importance or otherwise.
“‘Critical evaluation is the skill of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a piece of work, and of understanding the importance of its contribution to the subject’. Hulme, J.A. (2004).
For the benefits of in-depth analysis we will look at the classical scientific of F. W. Taylor…show more content…
His thinking has been developed into what is now called Work Study or Industrial Engineering. Taylor’s focus is understandably narrow as he was writing from scratch.
Few managements have been willing to put into practice one of his basic tenets that there should be no limit to earnings or bonus- most incentive schemes are restricted. This may inhibit the ‘mental revolution’ Taylor sought.
The focus on division of labour leads to increased efficiency and productivity. This can be seen in many operations ranging from fast food to large industrial facilities e.g. MacDonald’s or the car industry. Ford is said to have adopted his approach in 1913. Taiichi Ono of Toyota, father of JIT acknowledges his debt to scientific management.
The autocratic style of leadership also ensures a unity of command, clear lines of direction and control for a better focus on the job at hand.
During his time, the work force was not highly educated or trained. For many, the opportunity to obtain a secure job and a level of wages to provide for their families was all they expected.
Taylor, like the other classicists, have been criticised in that he heavily relied on experiences with large manufacturing companies enjoying stable environments. It may be unwise to generalize from those situations to others' especially to young, high-technology firms of today that are confronted daily with changes in their competitors'
Taylor's Scientific Management Theory has been criticised by the workers, trade unions and even employers.
Taylor's Scientific Management is criticised on the following main grounds :-
1. Exploitation of Workers
Taylor's Scientific Management put unnecessary pressures on the employees to perform the work faster. Importance was given to productivity and profitability. This resulted in exploitation of the employees. Therefore, many employees joined trade unions. This also resulted in mistrust between management and employees.
2. Problem of Unity of Command
Taylor used functional foremanship. So, the workers have to report to eight bosses. This breaks the principle of unity of command, where the workers have to report to only one boss. Lack of unity of command can create confusion and chaos in the organisation.
3. Mechanical Approach
Taylor's approach was a mechanical approach. He gave too much importance to efficiency. He did not consider the human element. Taylor considered workers as robots, which could speed up the work at any cost.
4. Problem of Separation of Planning from Doing
Taylor said to separate planning from doing. In reality, we cannot separate planning from doing. The planners should also be engaged in doing, then only they will be able to make realistic plans for the organisation.
5. Individualistic Approach
Taylor's scientific management gives too much importance to individual performance and not to group performance. However, the success of an organisation depends not only on individual performance of workers, but also on group performance of workers.
6. Wrong Assumptions
Taylor assumed that workers are motivated only by financial gains. However, in reality, workers are motivated not financial incentives but also by social needs and personal egos.
7. Narrow Application
Taylor's scientific management has narrow application. It can be applied only when the performance of the workers can be measured quantitatively. It can be applied only for factories where the performance can be measured quantitatively. It cannot be used in the service sector because in this sector the performance of a person cannot be measured quantitatively.