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Assignment Topic 2: Management Gurus

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Essay title: Assignment Topic 2: Management Gurus


1. Frederick Winslow Taylor: (1856-1915)

Frederick Winslow Taylor was an American industrial engineer, who originated scientific management in business. He was born in Germantown (now part of Philadelphia), Pennsylvania.

In 1878, he began working at the Midvale Steel Company. He became foreman of the steel plant and applied himself to studies in the measurement of industrial productivity. Taylor developed detailed systems intended to gain maximum efficiency from both workers and machines in the factory. These systems relied on time and motion studies, which help determine the best methods for performing a task in the least amount of time. In 1898 he became joint discoverer of the Taylor-White process, a method of tempering steel. Taylor served as consulting engineer for several companies.

Taylor developed his management theories in his book Ў§Shop ManagementЎЁ published in 1903, making it arguably the first scholarly work on management. Although there were books and published pieces on what could be termed "management" these were more of a "guide to" or trade publication on best practices. Ў§Shop ManagementЎЁ approached the role of manager as a general role with specific functions with respect to collaborative work.

In 1911, Frederick Winslow Taylor published his work, Ў§The Principles of Scientific ManagementЎЁ, in which he described how the application of the scientific method to the management of workers greatly could improve productivity. Scientific management methods called for optimizing the way that tasks were performed and simplifying the jobs enough so that workers could be trained to perform their specialized sequence of motions in the one "best" way.

After years of various experiments to determine optimal work methods, Taylor proposed the following four principles of scientific management:

1. Management is a true science. The solution to the problem of determining fair work standards and practices could be discovered by experimentation and observation. From this, it follows, that there is "one right way" for work to be performed.

2. The selection of workers is a science. Taylor's "first class worker" was someone suitable for the job. It was management's role to determine the kind of work for which an employee was most suited, and to hire and assign workers accordingly.

3. Workers are to be developed and trained. It is management's task to not only engineer a job that can be performed efficiently, but management is responsible for training the worker as to how the work is to be performed and for updating practices as better ones are developed. This standardizes how the work is performed in the best way.

4. Scientific management is a collaboration of workers and managers. Managers are not responsible for execution of work, but they are responsible for how the work is done. Planning, scheduling, methods, and training are functions of the manager.

These principles were implemented in many factories, often increasing productivity by a factor of three or more. Henry Ford applied Taylor's principles in his automobile factories, and families even began to perform their household tasks based on the results of time and motion studies.

2. Max Weber: (1864-1920)

Max Weber was a German sociologist and first analyst of bureaucracy. He was born into an affluent family with strong political and social connections. He persued a career as a consultant, proffessor and author.

Weber studied law and went on to do graduate work with a dissertation on medieval trading companies in Italy and Spain. He was appointed to a chair in political economy at Freiburg in 1894, and to another chair in political economy at Heidelberg in 1896. He suffered a nervous breakdown in 1898 and did not continue his scholarly work until 1904. From 1904 on he was a private scholar, mostly in Heidelberg.

In his most famous book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, he found the seeds of capitalism in the Protestant work ethic.

Max Weber was the first to observe and write on bureaucracies which developed in Germany during the 19th century. Max Weber embellished the scientific management theory with his bureaucratic theory. Bureaucratic management was developed by Max Weber. Bureaucratic management developed an "ideal model" of an organization that is governed by a set of impersonal rules and policies, including merit as a basis for career advancement. Weber believed that bureaucratic management was the most efficient way to organize and govern an

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