Critical Evaluation of Scientific Management Theory
Critical Evaluation of Scientific Management Theory. As industrialization advanced rapidly across the world at the turn of the twentieth century, it transformed working practices and prompted theorists to consider how best to conduct business under such changed circumstances. The theory of scientific management has its roots in the studies conducted by F. W. Taylor during this formative period (see Taylor, 1911). There is much debate in the secondary literature about the synonymy of Taylorism and scientific management, which this paper does not discuss (for further details see, Caldari, 2007; Nelson, 1992). Rather, this paper positions Taylor as the defining early influence in a continuum of scientific approaches to organizational management – all of which fall under the broader definition of scientific management and management science – that endures today. Section 1 of this paper undertakes a critical evaluation of scientific management theory before going on in Section 2 to discuss how and to what extent it is applied at the organisation, Microsoft. Critical Evaluation of Scientific Management Theory Taylor was one of the first theorists to consider management and process improvement as a scientific problem and, as such, is widely considered the father of scientific management. He proposed that a business’s economic efficiency could be improved by simplifying and optimising work processes, which would, in turn, increase productivity. Taylorism, as a philosophy, was the product of a series of experiments and observations, such as time-motion studies, designed to determine the most effective and efficient way to complete a task. Its fundamental and inter-related principles can be summarised as follows: Using scientific method to challenge habitual working practices and to determine the most efficient way to perform specific work tasks; Matching workers’ capability and motivation to the task requirements and supervising them according to the established rules and procedures; Establishing fair performance levels and develop a pay system that rewards, and therefore encourages, over-achievement; and Appropriate division of responsibilities to allow managers to apply scientific management principles to plan work and ensure workers are effective. Taylor’s work influenced a number of other contemporaneous theorists, such as Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, and, later, Henry Gantt, who also favoured empirical methods to determine the most efficient procedures. Indeed, his new scientific system of organisation was met initially with widespread support in the USA and Great Britain amongst theorists, politicians and economists alike (Nelson, 1992). However, Taylor’s scientific management was not without its critics, both at the time and subsequently. By the 1930s and 40s it had broadly fallen out of favour. The following section undertakes a critical evaluation of scientific management. It discusses the arguments of Taylorism’s detractors and also explores its legacy in popular modes of management practice today. One of the most popular criticisms levelled at Taylorism is its perceived lack of human appreciation (Caldari, 2007). In the drive to increase physical efficiency, it considers the worker a part of the production process on a level equal to the tools s/he uses and, as such, strips him or her of all capacity to reason and act autonomously. All thinking and planning is taken over by management, and the worker’s role is reduced to the simple repetition of standardised and simplified work flows in accordance with productivity targets. By assuming that fair payment will motivate employees to perform optimally, Taylorism overlooks the individual’s subjective motivation and their need to derive personal satisfaction from their work. On the one hand, standardised work instructions have been shown to improve quality, facilitate training and reduce waste. However, on the other hand, today’s low skilled and highly rationalised roles, such as call centre or fast food jobs, workers are often characterised by high absenteeism and high turnover due to low job satisfaction. Since these are drivers of increased cost, it can be argued that the strict doctrines of scientific management actually run the counterproductive risk of increasing costs and reducing productivity. A further point of controversy for Taylorism’s critics is the theory that scientific process will eventually identify the ‘one best way’ of carrying out a specific process of work to maximum efficiency (see Ralston, 2014). They argue that the implementation of ‘one best way’ disregards individual talents and preferred working methods, thereby alienating workers and preventing them from developing an appreciation of their place or function in the entire industrial process. This, in turn, suppresses their initiative and the potential for discovering new and innovative ways of working. Instead, opponents of Taylorism advocate a plurality of methods for increasing productivity, which should be tailored to workers’ needs. Feedback should be encouraged and decision-making shared between workers and management to engender a greater sense of participation and ownership, greater engagement, and a stronger sense of collaboration between workers and management. In the light of the above criticisms, it is perhaps unsurprising that employees’ views of Taylorism have tended to be unfavourable. In its pursuit of efficiency and productivity, Taylor’s scientific management principles divide labour undemocratically, in such a way as to empower managers, benefit employers and lower workers’ morale. Although Taylor advocated fair assessments of working hours, productivity and pay, his theory obliges the worker to depend upon the employer’s conception of fairness, and gives the worker no voice in hiring and setting the task, in negotiating the wage rate or determining the general conditions of employment. In reality, many employers implemented Taylor’s theories only partially, using strict control, punitive measures to drive maximal output. This not only caused significant additional mental and physical strain, but also increased the potential for accidents and work stoppage (Nelson, 1992). Furthermore, workers believed down-skilling and eventual automation were responsible for growing unemployment – even if ultimately it might lead to lower prices and increased demand. They also objected to the fact that the gains of higher productivity were not shared with the workers. Rather, the major proportion was taken away by the employer in the form of higher profits. Such an imbalance of power and resultant dissatisfaction has the potential to polarise industrial relations leading to increased risks of strike action and disruption. Although there is much to criticise about Taylorism and its early implementation, it should also be acknowledged that its advent paved the way for many of the management theories and methodologies that are followed today. The division of labour into ‘doers’ and ‘thinkers’ is a dichotomy that continues to shape the separation of strategy and implementation in most organisations (Kanigel, 1997, Stoney, 2001)). Likewise, in most organisations management and labour continue to co-exist in an uneven relationship which privileges intellectual work over manual skills. Likewise, the rationalization of processes into discrete, unambiguous units with defined work instructions has laid the foundations for knowledge transfer, automation and eventual offshoring (Drucker, 1981) – strategies that continue to be implemented in many multinational corporations today as management theory, and management itself, evolves with changing times (Witzel and Warner, 2013). Incentive schemes are still widely recognized as an effective means to encourage higher performance and are a standard component of most sales compensation packages. Meanwhile, Taylorism’s simplification of skilled work and the elimination of unskilled work represents a central tenet of business process engineering techniques such as Six Sigma and lean manufacturing (Head, 2003). By the same token, modern quality assurance, operations management and total quality management methodologies arguably have their roots in scientific management. In this way, scientific management transcends the narrower confines of Taylorism by means of its direct and indirect influence on those subsequent evidence-based methodologies that also attempt to treat management and process improvement systematically as a measurable, scientific problem (Witzel and Warner, 2015). Discussion of how Scientific Management Applies to Microsoft Taylor’s original thinking was informed by the shop floor processes of heavy industry. As such, it would be easy to assume its principles would be largely irrelevant in an industry as complex, innovative and knowledge intensive as Information Technology. Indeed, Bill Gates’s professed values of entrepreneurship, ownership, creativity, honesty, frankness and open communication appear to stand in opposition to the standardised work processes and strict division of labour that Taylorism champions. However, on closer examination it becomes evident that scientific management still exerts a significant influence within Microsoft and on how it conducts its business. As with all large multi-national corporations, specialisation and division of labour is very much in evidence at Microsoft. There is a clear division between functional specialists such as software developers, project managers, marketing, sales, HR, finance and legal. As Taylorism advocates, their roles have written job descriptions with clearly defined skills and competencies to ensure employees capabilities and motivations are carefully matched to their position. Furthermore, their performance is supervised and measured regularly using SMART criteria (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Results-based, and Time-specific) in a way that echoes Taylor’s emphasis on monitoring and measuring. There are a number of colourful stories that depict the results-orientated culture that Microsoft has relied on historically in its drive for success (see, for example, Shaw, 2004). Until recently, Microsoft employed a controversial management system called ‘stack ranking’ which measured performance using a standard distribution curve. Whilst those at the top received bonuses and promotions, those at the bottom were shown the door (for further details see B. R., 2012). Although this was intended to motivate performance, employees found it oppressive. Developers sought to avoid working with top performers, who threatened their own ranking, and as a result free thinking, innovation and collaboration stagnated. Microsoft abandoned stack ranking in 2013, but it is evident that performance reviews and systems such as these owe a debt to Taylor’s principle of performance incentivisation through pay and reward. Indeed, Bill Gates’s comment on workers and their value points towards a scientific management heritage: “A great lathe operator commands several times the wage of an average lathe operator”, Bill Gates points out, “but a great writer of software code is worth 10000 time the price of an average software writer” (Schumpeter, 2015, p. 1). Microsoft’s business model relies on scientific management’s requirement to challenge received wisdom and to find new and better ways of doing things. This applies to Microsoft’s products and production processes in equal measure. Yet rather than pursue Taylor’s ‘one best way’ and control it by means of strict hierarchy and managerial supervision, Microsoft has, historically, sought to empower employees at all levels. Instead of allowing workers strict ‘need to know’ knowledge that relates only to their discrete part of a process, Microsoft runs an intensive induction programme for new recruits, which introduces them to the overall business model, and acquaints them with colleagues and support networks. This broader knowledge equips individuals with the context to make autonomous decisions that are nevertheless aligned with the organisation’s interests. This, in turn, lays the foundations for continuous improvement based on comparison, feedback and the identification of more effective and efficient work methods. Microsoft seeks to encourage improved performance not only by financial incentives, but also by considering more progressive drivers of employee motivation, participation and satisfaction. Thus, software programmers at Microsoft work long hours, but extra discretionary effort is encouraged by free food, relaxed dress code, comfortable offices, and playing games (for further details see Birkinshaw and Cramer, 2008). So, whereas Taylorism is criticised for its de-humanising tendencies, Microsoft arguably seeks to balance and blend the drive for enhanced productivity with a complementary appeal to the broader hierarchy of needs in its workforce. Conclusion This paper has offered a critique of Taylorism as the first and most influential theory that shaped a spectrum of subsequent management practices that fall under the wider umbrella philosophy of scientific management. The example of Microsoft shows how the principles of scientific management inform many practices that are still in use today. As a large, established, multinational organisation, Microsoft’s management practices are, almost inevitably, complex and contradictory and the brevity of this paper does not permit a more detailed investigation of how and to what extent scientific management principles inform the varied practices of different functions and divisions within the organisation. For example, the process of iterative product development owes a debt to scientific management as does project management and evaluation. Nevertheless, this paper has offered a broad overview of how Microsoft has appropriated, adapted and implemented elements of Taylor’s early scientific management theory, such as division of labour, employee selection, training and supervision, pay and reward, scientific evaluation, and process improvement, to improve Microsoft’s productivity, quality, and economic performance today’s fast-paced competitive environment. Bibliography B. R., 2012. Management the Microsoft Way, The Economist, 21 August Birkinshaw, Julian and Crainer, Stuart, 2008. Theory Y meets Generation Y, Management 2.0, 10 (December) Caldari, Katia, 2007. Alfred Marshall’s Criticism of Scientific Management, European Journal of the History of Economic Thought 14(1) (March) Drucker, Peter, 1981. Towards the Next Economics and Other Essays. London: Heinemann Head, Simon, 2003. The New Ruthless Economy: Work and Power in the Digital Age. New York: Oxford University Press Kanigel, Robert, 1997. Taylor-made. (19th-century efficiency expert Frederick Taylor), The Sciences. 37(3) Nelson, Daniel, 1992. A Mental Revolution: Scientific Management since Taylor. Ohio: Ohio State University Press Ralston, Shane, 2014. Doing versus Thinking: John Dewey’s Forgotten Critique of Scientific Management, Southwest Philosophy Review Schumpeter, 2015. Digital Taylorism’, The Economist. 12 September Shaw, Karyll, 2004. Changing the goal-setting process at Microsoft, Academy of Management Executive. 18(4) Spender, J. C, and Kinje Hugo, 1996. Scientific Management: Frederick Winslow Taylor’s Gift to the World? Norwell: Kluwer Stoney, Christopher, (2001) Strategic Management or strategic Taylorism? A case study into change within a UK local authority, International Journal of Public Sector Management, 14(1) Taylor, F. W., 1911. Principles of Scientific Management, New York: Harper Witzel, M. and Warner, M. (2013), ‘Introduction’, in M. Witzel and M. Warner (eds). Oxford Handbook of Management Theorists, Oxford and New York, NY: Oxford University Press Witzel, M. and Warner, M. (2015) Taylorism Revisited Culture, Management TheoryCritical Evaluation of Scientific Management Theory
BUS Capella University Resilience and Coaching Leadership Discussion Paper
programming assignment help BUS Capella University Resilience and Coaching Leadership Discussion Paper.
CONTEXTThe resources provided in this assessment focus on two larger leadership topics: interpersonal and presence leadership and resilience and coaching leadership.Interpersonal leadership and leading through presence focus on a leader’s ability to develop relationships and synergy and contribute to and spring out of his or her own personal power. There is a connection between knowing oneself and being able to listen to and learn from interpersonal feedback. A leader must examine whether he or she is open to other points of view or ways of working or, out of fear, shuts them down. Expressing yourself authentically, listening and appreciating others, allowing others to participate, and serving others are important leadership skills. Very possibly, good leaders develop these skills out of a comfort with their own inner self or being. Most great leaders have the capacity for deep reflection. Many use nature, music, meditation, or prayer to find inspiration and are able to quiet their thoughts and silence their own anxiety.Resilience and coaching also play a part in leadership effectiveness. In the past most leaders believed that keeping their work and their life in balance lead to better health; however, shifting our attention from time management to energy leadership allows for creating a personalized formula for sustained energy and resilience. Signs of lack of resilience include fatigue, dullness, depression, and/or life threatening habits around coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, and obsessive or manic work behavior. Healthy leaders tend to include abundant energy, optimism, vitality, and close intimate and fulfilling relationships as a having resilience. Many experienced leaders manage energy in their lives over time. They loosen up and are happier, more involved, and resilient. Coaching is important to ensure growth as a leader. Many leaders pursue reflection by self-coaching—building awareness, commitment, and practice. Coaching others provides awareness to avoid curves in the road. Mature leaders feel a responsibility not only to earn a living through authentic self-expression but also to create value by their service to the community.QUESTIONS TO CONSIDERTo deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.Based on the readings from the Cashman text, linked in the Resources, consider the following:Interpersonal Mastery: What are you learning about your tendency to open up or shut down communication and your personal beliefs underlying these behaviors? What are your growth commitments? How might you use these questions in your leader interviews?Being Mastery: After reading Chapter 7, “Being Mastery,” in the Cashman text, complete the exercise entitled “Reflection, Exploring The Leader Within” with an open mind. Then, consider your reaction to the exercise. What did you like about it? What made you uncomfortable? Why might this exercise help you be a better leader? Respond to the questions on page 164 regarding what you have learned, your commitments, and your obstacles to being mastery. How does our culture support or obstruct the pursuit and dialogue about the importance of “being” to being a leader? Why is it that this is such a difficult topic to discuss but yet is so essential?Resilience Mastery: In general, how do you assess your ability to maintain balance in your life? What commitments and actions are needed in this area? Relate a story from your personal experience with a leader who lost balance. Did this leader experience health problems? Did he or she affect the health of employees, friends, or family? What happened to this leader’s sense of humor, relationships, or effectiveness? Why is this important area often overlooked? What are the beliefs that drive us toward obsessive behavior? Consider the difficulty of maintaining balance in our culture and the implications for leaders in relation to the New Business Realities.Servant Leadership: Consider the important attributes of a servant leader. Why does it appeal to you as an approach to leadership? What concerns do you have? Why does servant leadership seem appropriate given the Thinking Habits of Mind, Heart, and Imagination document?RESOURCESSUGGESTED RESOURCESThe following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.ResourcesClick the links provided to view the following resources:New Business Realities of the 21st Century.Thinking Habits of Mind, Heart, and Imagination.Information Interviewing.Library ResourcesThe following e-books or articles from the Capella University Library are linked directly in this course:Cashman, K. (2017). Leadership from the inside out: Becoming a leader for life (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.Chapters 4, 6, 7, and 8 of this e-book are particularly applicable.Internet ResourcesAccess the following resources by clicking the links provided. Please note that URLs change frequently. Permissions for the following links have been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.SEDL. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.sedl.org/You may use this Web site of the organization formerly known as the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory to examine the comprehensive leadership history and how the theory of leadership has changed over time.Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.greenleaf.org/Robert Greenleaf was the founder of the servant leadership movement, an alternate leadership approach.Center for Creative Leadership. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.ccl.org/Leadership/The Berkana Institute. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.berkana.org/Margaret J. Wheatley. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.margaretwheatley.com/ASSESSMENT INSTRUCTIONSPREPARATIONAs part of Assessments 3 and 4, you will need to interview two leaders in organizations of your choice. To prepare for these two interviews, complete the following at this time:Decide on the level of leaders you would like to interview (for example, individual contributors, middle managers, or top managers).Research and choose an aspect of leadership based on the topics in the Cashman text (personal mastery, purpose mastery, change mastery, resilience mastery and coaching mastery) to use as the focus for your interviews.Request and schedule 45-minute interviews with two different leaders at your chosen level. You should conduct the interviews between now and when you begin work on the Assessment 3, as you will need to complete the interviews in order to complete Assessments 3 and 4.INTERVIEW PITCHSubmit the following components for this assessment:State your intended purpose for the interviews. Provide an explanation of the aspect of leadership on which you plan to focus and why you chose it.Describe the level of leadership selected for your interviews.Outline your schedule for both interview sessions; include the names and titles of the leaders with date and time of interview. If you have not been able to solidify your schedule, please include a report of your progress.List the interview questions you plan to use for your chosen aspect of leadership. If you wish, you may use some of the questions from the reflection exercises in the related chapter of the Cashman text. You can use any leadership theories you like to help you develop your interview questions, including servant leadership, Kevin Cashman, Margaret Wheatley, articles from the Center for Creative Leadership, leadership stage theory, and other sources.CONDUCTING YOUR INTERVIEWSAs you conduct your interviews, remember the following:At the start of each interview, explain who you are, what you are doing, what leadership mastery you will be exploring in the interview, and how you will use the interview material.Clarify with your interviewees whether you have permission to use their names and organizations.Take thorough notes or record the interviews so you can refer back to them as you work on Assessments 3 and 4.Remember to edit and spell check your work before submitting.Interview Pitch Scoring GuideCRITERIADISTINGUISHEDDescribe the purpose and rationale for leadership interviews.Analyzes the purpose for leadership interviews, including a thorough rationale.Describe the level of leadership selected for interviews.Describes the level of leadership selected for interviews and its relationship to an aspect of leadership.Prepare relevant interview questions for an interview protocol.Prepares relevant and insightful questions for an interview protocol..doc file
BUS Capella University Resilience and Coaching Leadership Discussion Paper
University of the Cumberlands Cyber Security and Risk Management Discussions
University of the Cumberlands Cyber Security and Risk Management Discussions.
I’m working on a computer science question and need guidance to help me study.
Task1:words:300I took : CYBER SECURITY AND RISK MANAGEMENT(please write on this)
Pick a topic related to this course that interests you. As a starting point you might review the weekly headings of the 15 previous weeks in Moodle. You can also find additional topics in the book, or even online, but remember your topic must be closely related to Management Information Systems. While Hilary Clinton’s infamous server is MIS related, bashing her about it is not a relevant topic!
Write at least 3 paragraphs on the topic you choose, explaining why you chose it and the importance of it in MIS.
Please list and describe four types of Cyber crime.
University of the Cumberlands Cyber Security and Risk Management Discussions
The threat of new entrants to companies that specialize in public sector work can be difficult. Especially ones that
The threat of new entrants to companies that specialize in public sector work can be difficult. Especially ones that focus heavily on defense contracting. However, the difficulty of a competitor entering the market changes significantly depending on the location. For example, a company that is trying to enter the public sector, specifically defense contracting which Serco plays a large part in, can be harder in the United States. This is due in part to many reasons, the largest of them being the laws and regulations that accompany defense contracting and the budgeting set for it and what it can be used for. There is also a lot of licenses and certifications a company has to have to even compete in defense contracting. THat can change greatly depending on location, it is quite a bit easier for Serco to operate in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Africa, due to the lack of so many regulations. New Entrants Stormsensor was founded in 2015 and primarily focuses on the information and management conditions of storm and wastewater. Whether it be in local communities, counties, DOTs, or Non-Profits. They are mainly operating on the East coast but have grown significantly in the last 6 years. This is troubling for Serco since they outsource waste management to other companies in the United States, especially on military installations. Stormsensor is doing the same work in a more time and cost-effective manner as the company’s that Serco outsources to. RiskIQ is also a fairly new company that focuses on cyber threat intelligence, prevention, and incident response. They are a threat as the company continues to grow and their brand recognition is being well established for the IT security services they provide. Serco plays a large part in the IT industry in all types of government agencies, whether it be on military installations or other government agencies. Substitutes Aramark is one of the top six competitors for Serco. Even though they are only ranked as the sixth competitor they have been in competition with Serco longer than Genpact. Genpact has only been on the top six competition list for five years. Aramark has been in close competition with Serco for upwards of 10-15 years. Aramark offers very similar services as Serco and they both operate heavily in government agencies. Aramark has been known for being cheaper on many of its services but at a lower standard. For example, Serco invests heavily in the IT department and provides top-notch products. Aramark does not invest in innovation as much as Serco and it shows through customer reviews of their IT services. References CorporateWatch. (2018). SERCO: COMPANY PROFILE 2018. Retrieved on 11 November 2021, from https://corporatewatch.org/serco-company-profile-2018/. RiskIq. (2021). Security Intelligence for What Matters. Retrieved on 11 November 2021, from https://www.riskiq.com/?utm_campaign=ce_sign_up
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