Scientific Management Theory in Modern Business

Introduction

Scientific Management Theory involves strategies to gauge the best course of action to conduct a particular organizational task. The practice concentrates primarily on individual workers’ physical efficiency to reduce workplace delays and errors. It is a procedure that involves using nonhuman technology to guide employees in an organization. Despite criticism, Taylor’s approach is positively associated with growth because it fails to consider individuals’ preferences in the management process. Despite these negative associations, scientific management permeates modern societies, driving many companies toward success. The scientific management theory is critical for modern companies’ development and survival.

Application in Contemporary Businesses

Amazon.com, the largest online retailer globally, utilizes scientific management principles to advance its business. It deems it necessary to systematically analyze its product decision-making mechanism (Russell, 2019). Amazon focuses primarily on data and relies on experience and gut feelings for minute decisions. The company uses this inverse structure as most businesses rely on experience to make product decisions. Amazon’s treatment of business functions as a science, eliciting their capacity for measurement, promotes the use of scientific management theory in contemporary business. The company uses the approach to maximize employee performance. This process involves systemizing workplace procedures and tools. It is essential to note the organization’s productivity would remain unaffected despite changes such as new employees or the dismissal of some personnel (Data4Amazon, 2022). As such, standardization is a critical tool that aids Amazon in maintaining service quality regardless of market conditions.

McDonald’s also employs scientific management principles to achieve organizational goals. It illustrates standardization mechanisms as in Amazon, where alterations in its labor force would not affect its service provision. While critics may argue that it reduces creativity, it is crucial to note that individuals purchase items like Coca-Cola products because they have a distinct flavor. Changes in these beverages would introduce risk and may result in a dropping market share. Standardization at McDonald’s has a similar approach as people are invested in a particular quality (Mohammed, 2019). Failure to do so may dissuade people from purchasing its products if they are erratic and have different tastes.

Productivity and Efficiency Promotion

Apple Inc illustrates using Fredrick Taylor’s (1945) theory promotes productivity by using an assembly line. The organization produces one of the most sought-after products, the iPhone, and became the first to reach a $1 trillion market capitalization value. Its use of an assembly line is in line with scientific management through reduced time used to produce a product. The organization also showcases other tenets proposed by Taylor for scientific management through a goal-setting theory (Pride & Ferrell, 2021). Taylor dictates that management’s principal objective involves securing the employer’s and employee’s maximum prosperity (Taylor, 1913). He follows this assertion by stating that an organization would exhibit astounding results following this application. Apple motivates its employees to finish challenging goals (Pride & Ferrell, 2021). Integration of these scientific principles has provided Apple with the capacity to ascertain performance expectations, propagating efficient business processes.

Apple aims to produce stellar products for individuals in its market, adopting a similar model with significant improvements over time. While the business has innovative components, Apple uses scientific management to influence its improvement processes. It has a distinct design for its products with notable features such as the home button on its iPhones. It also exhibits a highly compartmentalized workforce with low workforce turnover rates. The organization focuses on boosting its workforce’s productive capacity to cheapen costs associated with time wastage as new workers are indoctrinated in the system (Pride & Ferrell, 2021; Taylor, 1913). As posited by Taylor, strengthening productive capacity allows people to work more effectively.

Relevance in the 21st Century

Contemporary organizations benefit from scientific management through increased productivity. The theory focuses on the functions played by workers in a business entity. Its primary role, in this instance, involves ensuring each person becomes efficient, promoting overall efficiency at the workplace. The company would exhibit a higher production capacity, enabling it to meet its stakeholders’ objectives (Bridgman & Cummings, 2020). It is crucial to discern that Taylor deemed it necessary to analyze the motion and time used to achieve organizational goals. His studies provided a benchmark for optimal workplace operations. They also allowed companies to determine efficient and effective ways to conduct these operations, making discoveries based on his premises (Bridgman & Cummings, 2020). As such, the theory is relevant in boosting a company’s productivity.

Furthermore, the theory’s relevance in modern society stems from its capacity to boost the entity’s overall profitability. Organizations that employ scientific management stand a better chance in global markets and can compete favorably due to their ability to maximize every stakeholder’s efforts. It is prudent to attribute relative ease in developing offshore markets to Taylor’s theory (Taylor, 1913). They provided ways business entities could analyze labor techniques used by the company. This analysis encompasses most functions that many businesses have transferred from the US to overseas. These methods are inadvertently cheaper and more effective as a business can operate in markets that are cheaper and closer to its production inputs.

Socially Responsible Practices

Taylor’s theory proposed that organizations should compensate individuals directly related to contribution per day (Taylor, 1913). In this instance, a worker that produced more items would gain additional compensation than another with a minimal contribution (Podolny & Hansen, 2020). This is directly in conflict with notions such as paid-off days. Using Taylor’s approach would eliminate the idea of sick days and require individuals to work long hours every day. It does not consider that a worker may produce more items but of inferior quality to another with slower skills but high-quality productions. While this theory is helpful in areas where creativity is not required, it also promotes stress and tension as people would not like docked payments. Therefore, the approach does not consider issues such as the economy when determining workers’ compensation. For instance, a salesperson would gain fluctuating revenues based on market conditions. They would not receive base payments, showcasing the flaws in Taylor’s theory.

Conclusion

Nonetheless, Taylor’s approach to business management promoted employee morale by assigning people to areas they showcased tremendous potential. It allows businesses to operate fairly, providing managerial jobs to individuals that can work more efficiently (Taylor, 1913). The practice also avoids nepotism and other ethical violations as people are hired and fired based on their input to the company. Organizations are likely to exhibit low staff turnover as they are content with their functions. It is also prudent to note that companies using scientific management theory favor employee development over hiring new workers. This also intensifies staff loyalty as the company is invested in its future growth and development. These individuals become highly-skilled members of society, boosting their contribution to the company and community.

References

Bridgman, T. and Cummings, S. (2020) A very short, fairly interesting and reasonably cheap book about management theory. Los Angeles: Sage.

Amazon product data normalization & standardization services (2022).

Mohammed, S. (2019) ‘How did McDonald’s build its sustainable competitive advantage?’, Medium.

Podolny, J.M. and Hansen, M.T. (2020) ‘How Apple is organized for innovation’, Harvard Business Review.

Pride, W.M. and Ferrell, O.C. (2021) Foundations of marketing. 9th edn. Florence: Cengage.

Russell, C. (2019) ‘Amazon – Redefining the 80:20 rule’, Forbes.

Taylor, F.W. (1913) The principles of scientific management reprint. Harper.

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