Good Essay On The Differences Between Scientific Management School And Human Behavior School
Scientific management is a theoretical approach that analyses the design of an organization, synthesizing workflows in order to ensure economic efficiency through employee training, labor division and designing organizational hierarchy of commands. Scientific management is therefore, the study of different work methods to increase efficiency. The assumption in the scientific management perspective is that organizations and work can be scientifically designed (Shockley, 2013). There are important themes of the scientific management theory that are still used to date in management and industrial engineering. These themes include rationality, efficiency, and elimination of waste, work ethics standardization and empiricism. The principles and general characteristics of scientific management include scientific selection of employees who are well trained and qualified, development of fair but difficult scientific work performance standards, giving payments and incentives based on work performance and standards, work should be planned by management and that implementation of those plans should be the employees’ responsibility.
The behavioral management school majorly focuses on organizational life aspects and factors that influence employees at work. The human behavior also shifts its focus to the interactions and relationships of individual employees, employee’s motivations and impacts on the organization from the organizational structure and the work design. The theory is also termed as the human relations movement as it addresses human behavior at work such as conflict, motivation, expectations, improved productivity and dynamics of a group. This theory views employees as important assets and resources that should be developed and not to be used as machines. The major theories and principles explaining the human behavior include the Hawthorne effect by Elton Mayo which explains the importance of human interaction and morale for production; Theory X and Theory Y by Douglas McGregor (Mayo, 2014). Theory X attributes the assumptions of the scientific management theory while theory Y describes the assumptions in that are common to the perspectives of human behavior and the Maslow need theory of motivation that considers and groups human needs in a hierarchy (Kopelman, Prottas and Davis, 2008) .
The scientific management school and the human behavior school also differ from each other in their implications on organizational communication. On one hand, Human behavior perspective expected effective communication and interactions of employees at all levels in a friendly manner to promote overall cooperation in the organization. The functional approach of the human behavior school acknowledged the significant role of communication unlike the scientific management school. In the human behavior school the relationship and change of the communication function was every employee’s responsibility. The functional approach of the scientific management school described information to flow through the chain of command from the management to the subordinate staffs. The two schools described the meaning of the centered approach differently. On one hand, the school of scientific management, communication and decision making were controlled by the management and cultures were not highly considered. On the other hand, the human behavior perspective described the centered approach exhibiting concern on employee participation and satisfaction. The emerging perspectives of the two schools were different in that the human behavior school did not pay attention to power concerns and effects of communication on decision making. Marginalized voices are therefore not considered as concerns. The emerging perspective of the scientific management school did not consider abuses of power as it supported legitimate authority, power and control within the management.
Scientific school allowed the leader in charge to define work schedules to be followed by employees while the behavioral school advocated for team work and cooperation amongst the staff members. Employee participation motivated employees and provided development opportunities. School of scientific management believed that monetary rewards were the only way of employee motivation (Shockley, 2013). The behavioral school of management considered their employees as social beings and not economic man. The scientific school focused on the organizational growth and not the employee’s growth while behavioral management school was concerned with both the organizations and employee’s growth. Scientific management school treats employees as machines while behavioral management school believes that a satisfied and motivated employee is equally effective.
Kopelman, R. E., Prottas, D. J., & Davis, A. L. (2008). Douglas McGregor's Theory X and Y: toward a construct-valid measure. Journal of Managerial Issues, 255-271.
Mayo, E. (2014). The social problems of an industrial civilisation. Routledge.
Shockley-Zalabak, P. S. (2013). Fundamentals of Organizational Communication: Pearson New International Edition. Harlow: Pearson.