Archive for scientific management

VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL STRUCTURE

The classical bureaucratic model of organization though pervasive, has been considered inappropriate to the changing requirements of modern times. A bureaucratic organization was considered to be too inflexible and hierarchical to adapt to the changes occurring in organizations and technology.

 

Parkinson’s laws and Peter Principle highlight the negative aspects of bureaucratic organizations. Whatever be the criticism against bureaucracies, it is realized that to some extent they have become essential. Therefore, writers and organizations began to explore ways to modify the bureaucratic organization structures. In essence these new structures reflect modifications to the classical principles of delegation of authority and standard of control.

 

Delegation extends the scope of the principle to the point of an abiding organization-wide philosophy of management. A tall organization structure means a series of narrow spans of control, and a flat one incorporates wide spans and limited layers of control at horizontal levels. Both the structures have their advantages and disadvantages. They should be viewed on relevant concepts and not as ideal absolutes.

 

A tall structure calls for control and close supervision over the subordinates. But close supervision may not necessarily produce better control. Similarly in a flat organization with wide spans, it may not be possible to keep close control over subordinates but it provides for decentralization, individual initiative and self-control. Tall structures are less favorably viewed it is held that self-control is better than imposed control. The choice in this regard however rests ultimately on management assumptions about individuals and groups in organizations.

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Centralization and Decentralization-2

Centralization is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding decision-making, become concentrated within a particular location and/or group. In political science, this refers to the concentration of a government’s power – both geographically and politically, into a centralized government.

 

Decentralization is the process of dispersing decision-making governance closer to the people or citizen. It includes the dispersal of administration or governance in sectors or areas like engineering, management science, political science, political economy, sociology and economics. Decentralization is also possible in the dispersal of population and employment. Law, science and technological advancements lead to highly decentralized human endeavors. 

 

Alfred P. Slogan played and instrumental role in developing a model of central control of decentralized operations for General motors based on the following twin premises:

 

  1. The responsibility attached to the chief executive of each operation shall in no way be limited. Each such organization headed by its chief executive shall be complete in every necessary function and enabled to exercise its full initiative and logical development (Decentralization of operations)
  2. Certain central organization functions are absolutely essential to the logical development and proper coordination of the Corporation’s activities: Centralized staff services to advise the line on specialized phases of the work, and central measurement of results to check the exercise of delegated responsibility.

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APPROACH TO UNDERSTAND THE ORGANIZATION

The word “organization” may be used to refer to the process of organizing, the structure that evolves out pf this process and the processes/activities that take place within it. Organizations are social units with specific purposes. The basic elements of organizations have remained the same over the years. Several disciplines provide the knowledge and the means to understand organizations.

 

However, it is appropriate to look at organizations integrally in multi-disciplinary perspective. Three viewpoints have emerged, over the years in successive stages, each seeking to provide a window on the others. They are the classical approach, three streams stand out: bureaucracy, administrative theory and principles of scientific management. It is important to note that with the passage of time, the viewpoints have been changed or modified, but not replaced as such. Each major contribution brought new knowledge, awareness, tools and techniques to understand the organizations better. Thus, today we are richer than ever before tin terms of our knowledge about approaches to understand organizations. All the same, more knowledge meant reckoning with more complex variables to comprehend the complexities of human organizations. There is, as yet, no general, unified, universal theory as such. Organizations being diverse and complex in more senses than one, it is difficult, if not meaningless to be too general or too specific about them.

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Secured life with term life

We are talking about organizational design, development in this blog. In last blog we talked on modern view point. Today I like to talk about life insurance. Which I was working in my company, we receive a call from advance life insurance agents and he want to come to our company to talk on Term life insurance quotes they are offering.

 

We all were exited to know about term life insurance. He came to our company and explain us a brief idea about term life. He said term life insurance is life insurance which provides coverage for a limited period of time. The term period starts from 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years and 30 years. He said we can add up security in our life with term life insurance. The term period is called relevant term period. After that period, the insured can either drop the policy or pay annually increasing premiums to continue the coverage. If the insured dies during the term, the death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary. Term insurance is often the most inexpensive way to purchase a substantial death benefit on a coverage amount per premium dollar basis.

 

Term life insurance is the original form of life insurance and is considered to be pure insurance protection because it builds no cash value. This is in contrast to permanent life insurance such as whole life, universal life, and variable universal life. Term insurance functions in a manner similar to most other types of insurance. More in next post.

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Scientific Management – 2

We continue our discussion on Scientific Management today. For Taylor, scientific management fundamentally consists of certain broad principles, a certain philosophy, which can be applied in many ways, and a description of what any one man or men may believe to be the best mechanism for applying these general principles should in no way be confused with the principles themselves.

 

Taylor described the following four principles of scientific management:

1. Develop a science for each element of a man’s work, which replaces the old rule-of-thumb method.

 

2. Scientifically select and then train, teach, and develop the workman, whereas in the past he chose his own work and trained himself as best he could.

 

3. Management should heartily cooperate with the workers so as to ensure all the work being done in accordance with the principles of the science which has been developed. 

4. There is an almost equal division of the work and the responsibility between the management and the workmen. The management should take over all work for which they are better fitted than the workmen, while on the past all of the work and the greater part of the responsibility were thrown on the workers.

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Scientific Management-1

The third stream of classic school of thought is the scientific management. The principles of scientific management were first developed around 1900. Among the pioneering proponents of the principles of scientific management, particular mention should be made of Frederick Winston Taylor, an engineer by profession. Whereas bureaucracy and administrative theory focused on macro aspects of the structure and process of human organizations, scientific management concerned itself with micro aspects such as physical activities of work thorough time-and-motion study and examination of men-machine relationships.

 

Unlike in the other two, the scientific management laid emphasis on activities at shop floor or work unit level than management and based its inductive reasoning on detailed study and empirical evidence. In juxtaposition the principles of bureaucracy and administrative theory were formed by synthesizing experience and observation with abstract reasoning.

 

Taylor’s principles of scientific management could be considered as an improvement over the contributions in the other two streams of thought in as much as he tried to use the engineer’s discipline to reduce personal factors, randomness and rule of thumb decision-making. Though Taylor too had his share of critics and criticism, his contribution to modern management and use of scientific methodology for decision-making and management practices are profound. 

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