Scientific Management in Action

Last Updated: 31 Mar 2020
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Several philosophers have come up with theories to describe the ideal organizational structure for businesses to adopt (Hugh, 1985). Max Weber’s classical organization theory of bureaucracy was developed to deal with management issues in an organization.

He maintained that power is epitomized by the course of control in the organization. He defined authority and power between managers and the subordinates in the context of ‘master- servant’ relationship. In his view, he asserted that managers should formulate strict code of rules for the employees to follow without question.

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His primary objectives were to eliminate corruption, and nepotism which had characterized most of the 19th century business organizations (Wren, 2005).

This theory was heavily criticized by the present- day philosophers for making employees too be subordinate, passive and dependent on the managers. It also makes them have minimal control over their lives besides being treated as infants rather than competent human beings. As a matter of fact, such organizations were willing to pay high wages if mature people behave in a less than mature comportment. This resulted to resentment of the employees and poor motivation of the employees (Hugh, 1985).

Due to these criticisms, modern day philosophers came up with human relations theories to correct the deviations created by classical theorists. One of such philosophers is Elton maiyo. He Came up with human relations theory  in 1880- 1948.His ideas focused on the managers taking more interest on the workers by treating them as mature  people who have  worthwhile beliefs or opinions (Wren, 2005).

This was based on his experiment known as Hawthorne plant. This theory has been used by many managers today since it has enhanced efficient communication among managers and workers. This is as a result of elimination of the strict rules, which are often too rigid and do not allow the workers to air their views.

This philosophy has also lead to greater organizational involvement by the employees. In a nutshell, this modern philosophy has made it possible for the managers to re-organize and also introduce different departments. As a matter of fact, this theory has led to the establishment of Human resource departments which deal with the issues relating to employees. This has led to greater motivation of the workforce and increased productivity (Hugh, 1985).


Hugh G. J. (1985). Scientific Management in Action: Taylorism.Watertown: Princeton University Press.

Wren, D, A. (2005). The history of management thought and leadership. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

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Scientific Management in Action. (2016, Jun 23). Retrieved from

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