Seven Researchers or Pioneers of Management

This article throws light upon the seven pioneers who have contributed towards the development of management. The pioneers are: 1. F.W. Taylor 2. H.L. Gantt. 3. Herrington Emerson 4. H.B. Gilbreth 5. Many Parker Follet 6. Henri Fayol 7. George Elton Mayo.

Pioneer # 1. F.W. Taylor (1856-1915):

F. W. Taylor was a pioneer in propounding scientific principles of management as a result of his research in various areas of industrial activity.

He stimulated interest in time study of operations. He has also contributed in the direction of management and therefore, called as “Father of Scientific Management”. He changed the philosophy of management as a whole as he gave the scientific approach to the management.

Definition of Scientific Management:

Scientific Management implies application of scientific methods and principles to the difficulties and questions that arise during the management of a business.

In other words scientific management means use of scientific tools, such as definition, analysis, measurement, experimentation and proof in dealing with the problems of Management. Thus scientific Management may be defined as the“Art of knowing exactly what is to be done and the best way of doing it”.

Taylor tried to work out some system whereby the interests of management and the workers could be same. His focus was on maximization of worker’s productivity.

The various contributions made by Taylor are as follows:

(i) Development of Science for each Element of an Individual Work:

Analyse the work scientifically thus replacing rule-of-thumb method. It was required to find out a what is to be done by a particular worker how he is to work and what equipment would be necessary to do it. This information was provided to the worker so as to reduce the wastage of material and time etc. and improve the quality of output/work.

(ii) Division of Labour or Functional Management:

Taylor introduced the concept of functional organisation. Under functional management every production worker would have eight bosses; each of them would give orders in his function speciality. This is the principle of specialization. It is essential for efficiency in all spheres of activities as well as in work supervision.

(iii) Use of Time, Motion and Fatigue Study:

Efficiency implies finding out the best way of doing a job. The best way of doing a task is that which involves the minimum efforts, time, fatigue and cost.

Taylor undertook studies on fatigue incurred by the workers and the time essential to complete the job. He suggested that for improving production rate, the work of each person should be planned in advance and the worker should use predetermined method and given time for a definite work.

(iv) Standardisation of Methods, Machines, Tools and Procedures:

Shovelling work and shovel loads revealed the importance of standardisation of methods and tasks. Standardisation helps hi reducing, time, labour and cost of production. The success of scientific management is related with standardisation of system i.e. techniques of production, machines and tools utilized.

(v) Scientific Selection and Training of Workers:

For maintaining production efficiency, it is essential that the workers should be physically and technically sound for the task they are required to perform.

Taylor suggested that proper care should be taken while selecting work force and due consideration should be given to their education aptitude and work experience etc. Thus scientific procedures need to be devised to select workers best suited to perform specific tasks and then to train them within the industry in order to meet the objectives of the enterprise.

(vi) Differential Piece Rate System:

Taylor advocated Differential Piece Rate System of payment which provides an incentive for a worker to achieve high level of optimum output. It distinguishes the more efficient workers from the less efficient workers and motivates to produce more.

(vii) Economy and Profit:

Scientific management lays more stress on the economic aspect of production. Maximum output can be achieved only by optimum utilization of resources and elimination of wastage in all forms in order to minimize cost. Cost control and economy will result in higher wages for workers.

(viii) Cooperation between Labour and Management:

Mental revolution is the most important feature of scientific management as it would create a congenial and favourable atmosphere/environment leading to harmony and cooperation. The objective of maximum prosperity of employees and employers can be achieved only if there is perfect mutual cooperation between the management and the work force.

Criticism to Scientific Management:

(i) It fails to appreciate the social context of workers and higher requirements of workers.

(ii) Managers feel it unwarranted interference in managerial prerogatives.

(iii) Taylor’s concept that unions are really not needed was resisted by workers.

(iv) Fails to recognize the suggestions and ideas of work force.

Pioneer #2. Henry L. Gantt:

Gantt is recognised as one of the-great contributors of the scientific management era. H. L. Gantt was a close associate of Taylor and worked with him. He emphasized the importance of leadership and paid more attention to the human factor involved in production planning and control in business operations.

He is mainly remembered for his contributions as mentioned below:

(a) Gantt developed a daily “Balance Sheet Chart” i.e. production control charts known as Gantt charts or Bar charts. These are used to deal with complex activities. In these charts the job or the activities being performed are represented on vertical axis whereas the time elapsed is shown on horizontal axis. This proved to be revolutionary in the area of production planning and control. Gantt charts graphically presented the process of work, by showing the machine operation, quantities completed, man hour performance, deliveries and the work in arrears to facilitate day to day planning of the work.

(b) He tried to eliminate the hardships of Taylor’s differential piece-rate system and brought out his “task and bonus plan”. Differential piece-rate system was an incentive plan whereby the worker was paid on the basis of his daily output. Gantt’s task and bonus plan was so structured that the worker was paid a guaranteed daily wage whether or not he completed the standard work. But if he completed four hours working in three hours or less, he was paid for four hours. Thus the workers received bonus as a result of the introduction of this system.

(c) Gantt pleaded for a policy of preaching and teaching of workers and thus stressed the need of training of workers for improving their productivity, it was because of him that management during his period considered training as one of the responsibilities of the management.

(d) He thought of extending the principles of scientific management to the solution of the problems of an industrial society as a whole. It appealed for harmonious relationship between employees and employers and discouraged the use of power in a arbitrary fashion. He considered that non-financial rewards and good physical environment were essential for achieving higher productivity.

(e) Gantt emphasized the importance of the concept of service over profit. He developed the concept of industrial responsibility.

We thus observe that Gantt’s contributions were more in the nature of refinements rather than fundamental concepts and have been more useful than that of Taylor to the development of scientific management.

Pioneer #3. H. Emerson Philosophy of Efficiency (1856-1915):

He concerned himself with the management of the enterprise as a totality and not only with shop management as was done by F.W. Taylor. He popularised scientific management and interpreted the concepts of standard time, standard cost and prevention of wastes of all kinds.

In 1912 he advocated 12 principles of improving the efficiency which are (1) Ideas (2) Common Sense (3) Competent Counsel (4) Discipline (5) Fair deal (6) Adequate reliable, Immediate and Permanent record (7) Dispatching (8) Standards and schedules (9) Standardized working conditions (10) Standardized Operations (11) Standard working instructions and (12) Reward for efficiency.

According to him, efficiency and hence productivity does not exist in extreme effort but in elimination of undesirable effort and preventing wastes of all kinds, the elimination of women and child labour in competitive employment; Efficiency of a system means that the right work is done in right manner by right men at right place and in right time.

He advocated the “Line and staff organization” instead of functional foremanship. As to rewards for efficiency, he suggested the different rates of efficiency besides a guaranteed minimum wage. He was mainly concerned with improving the efficiency of the workers. That is why he is often called the “high priest of efficiency”.

Pioneer #4. Frank B. Gilbreth (1868-1924) and Lillian M. Gilbreth:

Frank Gilbreth and his wife Lillian Gilbreth were contemporary of Taylor, but they worked independently on time and motion study. They made memorable contribution to improvement or working methods and thus to discover one best way of accomplishing a task, with marked efficiency and least expertization.

He developed a unique technique of last work. Faster speed work however, did not refer to hurrying with the work but economising the time sequence by eliminating unnecessary movements and exhausting motions and methods of accomplishing a task. Whereas Lillian concerned herself with the human aspect of management.

They considered that the root cause of worker’s dissatisfaction was the lack of management interest in them. They stressed that management should understand their requirements and personality. He and his wife Lillian M. Gilbreth maintained that the human aspect must be considered as a major area of consideration and study in the field of management.

According to L. M. Gilbreth, the philosophy of motion study says, “Man is considered as the centre of activity and as expressing himself in motions, aided by tools and machines using materials as medium of expression”.

Thus for orderly organization of complex industrial activities following sequences of operations should be followed:

(a) Identification of the problem and its objectives.

(b) Defining the problem objectives.

(c) Collection of relevant data on the problem.

(d) Interpretation and analysis of data.

(e) Consideration of available alternatives.

(f) Formulation of tentative conclusions about tackling the problem.

(g) Initiating or starting selected action on the basis of conclusions and verifying the results. (h) Reviewing and evaluating the results and incorporating any corrective action if essential and needed.

(i) Framing rules to serve as guide to planning and execution.

Some important contributions of Gilbreth are:

(i) Development of Motion Study:

He defined motion study, “as the science of eliminating wastage in all forms resulting from unnecessary, ill directed and inefficient motion”. According to Gilbreth the purpose of motion study was to improve work methods so as to discover or develop one best way of accomplishing a task.

He identified seventeen (17) on the job motions and called them THERBLIGS (Therbligs) is Gilbreth spelt back words with the transposition of one letter. He maintained that a therblig analysis could be applied to any job. Further, he developed the system to any job. Further, he developed the system of “Flow Process Chart” which makes the study of various processes of activity easier. He also developed micro motion study and SIMO charts.

(ii) Development of Chronocyclographs:

He used microchrometer of speed clock and took photographs by cine cameras of the workers and the clock. Thus three observations were taken i.e. what movements occurred, how much time they took and what was the direction of movements. This process was termed as Chronocyclograph.

(iii) Study of Fatigue:

Gilbreth carried out studies on fatigue and its elimination. They concluded that fatigue could be considerably reduced by allowing rest periods, spacing the work and lightening the load.

Pioneer #5. Mary Parker Follet (1868-1933):

Mary Parker Follet was a philosopher and political scientist, gave “Law of the situation” in 1919 and made important contributions in the field of functional authority, leadership, coordination, control and concept to the nature of management and of human relationship within industrial groups.

She analysed the nature of consent on which and democratic group is based through an examination of Psychological factors underlying it.

According to her, this consent was not static but was a continuous phenomenon. She also proved that conflict can be constructive and could be harnessed to the service of the group.

The most fruitful way of resolving conflict according to Follet was not through domination and compromise on the plea that domination gives the feeling of loss and surrender to both the sides. She was in favour of integration whereby the parties themselves examined together the new ways of achieving their conflicting desires since, this gives a more stable solution to problem of conflicts.

According to her, different situations require different types of leadership meaning thereby that leaders are products of their times and the leadership features are a function of the particular or specific situation. The success of a leader does not merely depend on the training he possesses but on the specific situation at a time in which he utilizes his leadership.

She was of the opinion that for achieving good results various limbs of the organizing body should be well coordinated and closely act together so that they work as a single entity.

She also advocated for integration of interests of investors, consumers and workers. Mary parker Follet pleaded for the application of scientific methods to the solution of personnel problems.

Pioneer #6. Henri Fayol (1841-1925):

A French industrialist during his long and successful carrier as an Industrial manager Mr. Fayol tried to probe into the bottom of the principles of administration and management Fayal analysed the process of management as he had observed it first-hand.

He said that managerial activities at the upper levels are more significant than other activities. He was the first to state principles of management and functions of a manager. Many of the talents which are recognised today as principles of management were originally specified by Fayol.

His conclusion was that all industrial activities could be subdivided in following six groups:

1. Technical Activities:

Technical activities involve technical knowhow, production, manufacture and adaptation etc.

2. Commercial Activities:

Buying, selling and exchange.

3. Financial Activities:

These activities involve search for and optimum use of capital.

4. Accounting Activities:

Stock taking balance sheets, and cost sheets to determine financial position of the enterprise.

5. Security:

It is related with protection of assets and man power.

6. Managerial or Administrative Activities:

Means to follow management functions like planning, organizing, commanding, coordination and controlling (of all the above activities).

All the above mentioned activities are essential for the successful operation of the enterprise and none of these can be ignored. Though Fayol recognized the importance of first five above activities but the main objective of his study and analysis has been management i.e. to ensure the performance of the work well.

Pioneer #7. George Elton Mayo (1880-1949):

Elton Mayo, an Australian by birth and trained in Psychology is generally recognized as the “Father of Human Relations Approach”. Mayo’s main contribution to management thought was his emphasis on human and social factors in industrial relationships.

He led the team which conducted the Hawthrone investigation at Alarvard in the United States with the collaboration of the Western Electric Company between 1927 to 1936 and financial support of the Rock Feller Foundation.

Mayo and his associates studies revealed that an organization is not only a formal arrangement of men and function but also a social system which can be operated successfully by utilizing the principles of psychology and other behaviour sciences.

Mayo was of the opinion that cause of increase in productivity of the workers is not a single factor of changing working period and conditions but a combination of several other factors such as:

(i) Less restrictive techniques of supervision

(ii) Providing autonomy to workers

(iii) Permitting the formation of small cohesive sub groups of workers

(iv) Creating conditions which encourage and support the growth and development of these groups

(v) Cooperation between workers and management

(vi) Opportunity to be heard and participation in decision making etc.

Mayo was the first person to advocate for the understanding of workers difficulties in view of growth of science and technology. He desired the management to understand the problems of work force and make efforts to redress them.

He and his associates pointed out:

(i) Workers were not simply “Cogs in the machine” i.e. they are not only small part of large organization.

(ii) The employee morale-both individually and in groups could play significant role in productivity.

(iii) The work arrangements in addition to meeting the objective requirements of production must at the same time satisfy the employee’s subjective requirements i.e. social satisfaction during work.

(iv) Higher production could be achieved through good human relations.

Despite these observations Mayo’s work was a turning point in the development of management thought.How Do You Know Your Company Wants Help From The Outside?



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