Throughout history, there have been many different approaches of management theories. Some theories longer exist because they are no longer relevant in today’s environment, but some theories are still implemented like Scientific Management and Human Relations. Scientific management emphasizes on efficiency productivity by motivating workers with monetary rewards. Human relations emphasize on motivation of workers by both financial rewards and a range of social factors (e. g. praise, a sense of belonging, feelings of achievement and pride in one’s work).
Scientific management uses incentives to motivate workers. This idea comes from Henry Gantt who introduced the bonus system, which motivated workers to complete their daily tasks by rewarding them a handsome bonus on top of their basic pay. Scientific Management assumes the worker as a ‘Rational Economic Man’, who is motivated by nothing else but money. Employees were paid extra according to their level of output and paid bonuses for reaching targets. Human relations, on the other hand, focused also on the social welfare of the workers.
Taking care of workers’ social welfare, needs, and health will increase the productivity, as Mayo saw the worker as a ‘Social Man’. That feeling of importance also meant workers were generally happier, which in turn enhanced their work output, as proven in Hawthorne study. According to Taylor, scientific management uses stopwatch method to get standard time and standard output of work. Taylor measured the time taken to complete certain task and made it the standard time for every worker. All unnecessary movements would then be eliminated in order to achieve efficiency.
This method would become the standard to be used for all jobs. Human relations, according to Mayo, believed that the importance of stable and social relationships in the work situation contributed towards productivity. It is important to improve the social interaction and relationship between the workers and managers. This situation was supported by Hawthorne studies, which proved that informal interaction between workers would increase the level of productivity. The emphasis in the Hawthorne studies was on the worker rather than on work. Hawthorne study consists of five stages (1.
Illumination Stage, 2. Relay Assembly Test Room, 3. Interview Process, 4. Bank Wiring Observation Room and 5. Personnel Counseling), where each stage was conducted and keenly observed to discover what working conditions affected productivity. At the end of Hawthorne investigation it was discovered that informal groups exists in every organization. It successfully showed that having stable and informal relationships in the organization would lead to an increase in productivity. Frank and Lilian Gilbreth introduced “one best way” of doing things.
The belief that the best way to reach efficiency is by motion study. They laid down systematic rules and procedures for the efficient operation of the work. In this case, organization are said to be on formal structure with rigid rules and regulations. On the other hand, human relations, according to Mayo, believed in an informal group. His work led to an emphasis of informal communication or adequate communication system known as ‘grapevine’, particularly upwards from worker to manager. He felt that the productivity would increase if managers could make workers feel important and valued.
Informal communication allowed manager to get things done using informal way of motivation and leadership. Scientific management concerns on specialization of work. Human relations use teamwork to get things done. Hawthorne studies had proved that a group work would increase the productivity. Scientific management viewed workers as cogs of machines. He didn’t care the welfare of the workers. Ignored the social needs of the worker, because he thought worker only motivated by money. Taylor concentrated on economics needs instead of workers’ social needs.
In Human Relation, the social need of the worker is very important. He believed that by notice the worker’s social need, it would affect in working. Therefore social working condition was improved greatly in order to support informal relationship within workers. Discuss the relevance of these approaches to business management view In today’s environment, Human Relations seem to be more relevant to the business management than scientific management. Scientific management looks for the efficiency of productivity of the workers.
Human Relations is more concern on the workers’ need, which will change over the years. It shows that human relation approach is more acceptable to the world today, as well as the ability to adapt to the constant changing of the worker needs. Today world is continually changing, likewise with workers’ needs and environments; they tend to change in their value too. Workers want to have self-respect from other, as well as their basic necessities of life. As for managers, they have to fulfill workers need for higher performance and to fight ever-growing competition.
In other words, workers are looking for job satisfaction but scientific management view worker as a ‘Rational Economic Man’ who is only motivated by money, so human relation is more relevant in today’s business management. The relevancy of “one best way” matters which was reputed by the Gilbreth couple to business management view is we can look at the example of hotel organizations such as Shangri-La hotel, where its managers makes use of standard recipes and performance standard manuals and it is common for the housekeeping staffs to have a prescribed layout for each room, with training based on detailed procedures.
Staff may be expected to clean a given number of rooms per shift with financial incentives for additional rooms (Gantt chart: Gantt introduced a payment system where performance of all the work allocated qualified an individual for a handsome bonus. ) Nowadays people are more educated than before. In this situation, they want to contribute in the decision-making process for the organization, which will also make them feel important. Management has to use more participative management styles rather than use an autocratic system. Unfortunately scientific management does not allow this to happen in the organization.
Innovation and creativity do not come from the organization but from the workers. By giving opportunities to workers to contribute ideas and taking care of their needs, they will drive the organization to new innovations and creativities. Organizations that adopt classical theory appear to have low innovation and creativity. Communication is also very important in today’s management. The informal interaction between manager and worker will affect the willingness of the worker to work for the manager. This in turn affects the level of productivity and efficiency.
This method will not work if there are too many rules and regulations, which will provide the workers with too many limitations which would in turn leave them unsatisfied emotionally. Even though today scientific management does not seem relevance to business management view, this approach still exists and is being implemented. One of the biggest users of scientific management today is McDonald’s. Every worker works strictly according to the procedures that have been measured and prepared by the management. Actions that are not necessary can be eliminated (motion study).
They also adapted Taylor’s idea about specialization, which is actually enhances efficiency. For example they have simplified the work of making a burger from the grilling of the burger patty, to the adding of the layers of toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, etc. ), to the packing of the burger to finally the customer being served his/her meal. This method not only improves efficiency but ensures worker specialization. Although it is successful, but there are huge criticisms of that method. First, the employee with advanced skill will be limited by a specific job and they won’t have the space or opportunity to be creative.
Secondly, repetitive and boring tasks will demotivate employees severely, thus causing an unhappy and jaded work environment. Starbucks Coffee is a wonderful example of an organization that implements theories of Human Relations today. Motivation is a vital factor for business to make productions. Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, said that the tip of success was not on the organization but on the employee. Starbucks has a highly interactive structure which creates the employee instill to the job, therefore they will otivate each other to satisfy themself, hence they can achieve a higher performance. Managers are encouraged to listen to their employees, with feedback sessions like “Mission Review” and “Open Forums” where employees’ concerns and comments were attended to. For example, the “Open Forums” were held quarterly in every geographic region where the company did business, senior managers met with all interested employees to present updates on Starbucks’ performance, answer questions, and give employees an opportunity to air grievances.
Managers and workers in Starbucks also address each other ‘Partner’, in order to minimize the gap between manager and employees. Howard Schultz also convinced the board members of Starbucks to extend health care benefits to part-time workers. He saw this as a core strategy to win employee loyalty and commitment to the company mission. Part-time workers were vital to Starbucks, constituting two-thirds of the company’s workforce. Howard Schultz argued that providing these workers with health care benefits would signal that the company honored their value and contributions.
Howard Schultz’s rationale was that if you treat your employees well, they will treat your customers well. Conclusion: Even scientific management still be used in nowadays organisations, human relations school seems to be more preferred by many organisations as this school more relevance and tends to give more attention to the needs of workers hence the productivity and the efficiency can be achieved, not like scientific which only emphasizes to the work where human seems like only the cogs of machine.