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The Central Principles of Scientific Management, Human Relations and the Socio-Technical Perspective on Work-Organization Essay

1. Introduction Management on work-organization embraces various processes, procedures and practice, including theories, tasks and roles of management, together with rational analysis and other decision-making and etc., aiming to gain the more effectiveness and efficiency of organization as a final goal. The theories of management is the basic knowledge that we should well master first in order to understand following practice and function of management. In this essay, three basic theories of management encompass scientific management, human relations and the socio-technical will be introduced and interpreted in details. 2. Central principles Following figure 2 is adopted to help to understand the central principles of scientific management, human relations and socio-technical perspectives on work-organization as well as the difference among the three theories. Scientific management is a classical approach may be criticized for almost viewing organizations without any regard for people, while Human relations approach emphasizes on people without organization(and neither particularly considered organizations in turbulent environments). Socio-technical system approach suggested organization as a system in a whole. 2.1 Scientific management 2.1.1 Definition The classical approach to management was mainly focus on the structure and activities of formal or official organization. For instance, division of work, the establishment of a hierarchy of authority. The extent of control were regarded as being of the most importance in achieving organizational effectiveness. Scientific management, known as Work Study, was developed by Winslow Taylor, one of the most important classical theorist who established the foundation of classical approach to management. There are five necessary steps according to the scientific approach, containing develop a science for each operation to replace opinion and rule-of-thumb, determine accurately from the science the correct time and method for each job, set up a suitable organization to take all responsibility from the workers except that of actual job performance, select and train the workers, accept that management itself be governed by the science developed for each operation and surrender arbitrary power over workers. Scientific management suggested by Taylor that reducing the scope of individual’s job (see figure 2.1.1) could have workers increase the work
efficiency because that each worker preferred to focus on one definite task with clear-cut standards. Accordingly, effective workers will be rewarded for their improved productivity which does employers wants.

Another scientific theory to management argued by Lilian Gilbreth was that there was “one best way” of doing thing to reach highly effectiveness during the work operations basis on abiding to the systematic rules and procedures required by the managers. Therbligs and process charting are typically two contributions in the achievement of effective work-organization. Henry Gantt also introduced a payment system, which is also called “individual’s instruction card”, into scientific theory to show the eventual result of planned performance, which has been also widely used in modern management. However, it is noted that Gantt considered there is only a way” which seems to be best at the moment” rather “one best way”. 2.2 Human relations approach The basic view of human relations approach to management is that people’s need are the decisive factor in the achievement of an effective organization. Comparing with scientific management focusing on structure and mechanics of organization. Human relations approach was primarily concerned with people’s behaviors in the workplace, including motivation, group relationship and leadership. Motivation is a dynamic that force people to show in a specific way to accomplish a task, which compasses process theories and content theories. Professor Schein suggested that four classifications of manager’s assumption regarding people referring to previous approach to motivation, including rational-economic model, social model, self-actualizing model and complex model, aiming to connect management approach with the perspective of motivation. The most famous theories is Hawthorne Studies made by Mayo and other theories.The high attention should be paid on the contribution of the Hawthorne Studies was that social relations in the workplace were as of great importance as monetary incentives as well as suitable physical working environment. Though the mastering basic knowledge of motivation, manager can understand the reason why people do things so they can have an impact on others to work towards the goals of the work organization. In order to motivate people we must show them something desirable, indicate how straightforward it is to obtain it and then support their self-belief that they can finish the tasks and achieve the goals. 2.3 Socio-technical system approach

The fundamental idea of system approach to management is that organizations are considered as complex systems of people, tasks and technology, and are part of a larger environment within which they interacted and in particular were affected by technical and economic factors just as much as social factors. The phrase “open socio-technical system”, that interacts with its environment, were created to describe their concept of a business enterprise.

Socio-technical system approach is a sub-division of the systems approach which is concerned with the interactions between the psychological and social factors and the needs, needs of the employment of organization and its structural and technological requirements. Shortwall Method was developed before the coal-cutters and mechanical conveyors were introduced. Each team had provided all the skills required while Longwall Method stressed that it is essentially a mass-production system based on a high degree of job specialization. The basic operations were separated between the working shifts which even had a high degree of task specialization. Socio-Technical System was the social consequence of the latter method, Longwall Method. It came to the conclusion that effect work was a function of the interdependence of technology(equipment, physical layout and task requirements) and social needs (especially relationship within group). It was regarded that working environment was a combination of a technical system and a social system. Socio-system takes a holistic perspective, encouraging managers to view organization bath as a whole and as part of a larger environment (open system). Also, the approach considers the interdependency of organization parts, changes in one part technical or social – will affect other parts.

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