After reading this article you will learn about the contribution of various management thinkers towards management:- 1. Contributions of F.W. Taylor 2. Contributions of Henri Fayol 3. Contributions of Elton Mayo 4. Contributions of Gilbreth 5. Contributions of Gantt.
Contributions of F.W. Taylor to Management:
Fredrick Winslow Taylor is known as the founder of Scientific Management. Taylor laid the foundation for modern scientific management between 1880 and 1890. He began his carrier in 1871 as an apprentice machinist and turner at the Cramp Shipyard at Philadelphia, U.S.A.
After three years he joined the Midvale Steel Works as a machine shop- worker. By dint of his hard labour, he progressed rapidly to become machinist, gang boss, foreman and finally Chief Engineer in 1884.
He served Company till 1889. To satisfy his hunger for technical know-how, Taylor joined the Stevens Institute and obtained the Master’s Degree in Engineering. Then he joined the Bethlehem Steel Company, where he served from 1898 to 1901. During his carrier as a machinist and foreman, Taylor saw much disorder and wastage of human and other resources at work-places. The workers did not produce more than one third of a day’s work.
The workmen did not want the management to know how much work they could do. Because they feared that their wages would be cut. Moreover, the management did not had any idea about the capacity of the workers and further, management did not want to pay more to workers. Taylor tried to work out some system whereby the interests of management and the workers might be the same.
The various contributions of Taylor were as follows:
(1) He developed the principle of breaking a task (job) into elements for timing the same.
(2) He kept himself involved in exploring the causes of inefficiency and labour difficulties in the industry. Through Time studies he experimented to recognise losses of efficiency in Industrial operations.
(3) He evolved certain principles of— Investigating work on scientific basis, selecting the best worker for a task and training him further to acquire desired skill, developing co-operative spirit between management and workers, almost equal division of work between workers and management, etc., – which led to the concept of Scientific Management.
(4) Another concept connected with the name of Taylor is A Fair Day’s Task While working on it, Taylor undertook studies on fatigue incurred by the workers and the time necessary to complete a task.
Taylor suggested that for increasing production rate, the work of each person should be planned at least one day in advance and he shall be allotted a definite work to complete by a given time using a pre- explained method.
(5) Taylor developed Functional Organisation in which one foreman was made incharge for each function.
(6) Taylor devoted his maximum attention towards Time studies and he established work standards.
(7) Taylor introduced and operated various costing systems.
(8) Taylor suggested a Wage Incentive Scheme known as Taylor’s Differential Piece Rate Plan.
Contributions of Henri Fayol (1841-1925):
Henri Fayol, the father of Principles of Management was born in 1841 in France and graduated as a mining engineer in 1860 from the National School of Mining at St. Etienne.
In 1860, he joined the famous French Combine in the mining and metallurgical field-the Commentary-Fourchambault Company-as an engineer. After a couple of years he was promoted as the Manager of the collieries and continued as such for twenty-two years.
In 1888, the condition of the combine became precarious. Due to heavy losses the firm was nearly bankrupt. At this time Fayol was appointed as General Manager. When he retired thirty years later, the company had expanded into a large Coal-Steel combine with a strong financial position and a long record of profits and dividends.
During his long and successful career as an Industrial Manager, Fayol tried to probe into the bottom of the principles of administration and management. In contrast to Taylor’s emphasis on first-line supervision in production areas, Fayol’s work was concerned with the higher levels of the organisation. Fayol analysed the process of management as he had observed it first-hand.
His conclusion was that all the work done in business enterprises can be divided into six groups:
1. Technical activities (production, manufacture, adaptation).
2. Commercial activities (buying, selling, exchange).
3. Financial activities (search for optimum use of capital).
4. Security activities (protection of property and persons).
5. Accounting activities (stock taking, balance sheet, costs, statistics).
6. Managerial (administrative) activities (planning, organization, command, coordination and control).
Fayol believed that if any kind of business was to operate successfully, these six functions had to be performed. If anyone was neglected, the enterprise would suffer accordingly. Fayol devoted most of his attention to the managerial activities. In doing so he enunciated certain principles which hold ground (with suitable modifications) to this day.
The principles laid down by him were:
1. Division of work.
2. Authority and responsibility.
4. Unity of command.
5. Units of direction.
6. Subordination of individual to general interest.
8. Centralisation of authority.
9. Scalar chain.
11. Equity of treatment.
14. Esprit de corps.
Fayol also spelt out the functions of management. The present pattern of management functions follows broadly the lines set by him.
The Junctions of a Manager (at the top level) enumerated by him were:
1. Forecasting and planning,
4. Coordination, and
In addition to his over-all concept of management, Fayol singled out and described with clarity and understanding-principles of the unity of command and direction. He emphasized the importance of non-financial incentives.
There are two modifications to be made in Fayol’s concept:
(i) Fayol saw management as one of six basic activities; that is, technical, commercial, financial, security, accounting and managerial activities. However, our concept of management should be modified to say, in Fayol’s terms that management is the planning, organising, command, coordination and control of technical, financial, security and accounting activities.
(ii) A second modification is also necessary. In terms of our understanding of what makes people work at maximum productivity, we should substitute motivation for command It is true that a manager must direct, command and order to get things done. But he also encourages, communicates, develops, and stimulates. He knows enough of the mainsprings of the motives of men to be able to motivate them to highest endeavor.
Contributions of Elton Mayo (1880-1949):
Born in Australia and trained in psychology, Elton Mayo is generally recognized as the ‘Father of Human Relations Approach’. Mayo led the team which conducted the study at Western Electric’s Hawthorne Plant (1927-32) to evaluate the attitudes and psychological reactions of workers in on-the-job situations. Mayo’s idea was that logical factors were far less important than emotional factors in determining production efficiency.
Mayo concluded that work arrangements in addition to meeting the objective requirements of production must at the same time satisfy the employee’s subjective requirement of social satisfaction at his work place.
Mayo was of the opinion that the cause of increase in productivity of the workers is not a single factor like changing working hours or rest pauses, but a combination of these and several other factors such as less restrictive methods of supervision, giving autonomy to the workers, allowing the formation of small cohesive groups of workers, cooperation between workers and management, opportunity to be heard, participation in decision making etc.
Contributions of Gilbreth:
Gilbreth joined Whidden and Co., in 1885 at the age of 17 as a junior apprentice and took to bricklaying. He soon discovered that the person teaching him (i.e., instructor) used a certain set of motions while working slowly, another (set of motions), when working fast and a different set of motions while teaching to apprentices.
Moreover, he found that no two brick-layers adopted the same technique of brick-laying. Gilbreth started studying the motions of different persons and tried to analyse them.
Ultimately he got succeeded in reducing from 18 motions involved in laying each brick to five per brick only:
(1) Frank and Lillian Gilbreth did a lot of work in order to improve work methods and thus to discover one best way of accomplishing a task. Their main field of interest was Motion Study.
(2) In 1917, Gilbreth suggested the first definition of Motion Study. He defined motion study “as the science of eliminating wastefulness resulting from unnecessary, ill directed and inefficient motions”. According to Gilbreth the purpose of motion study was to discover and establish the scheme of least waste methods of labour.
(3) Gilbreth evolved the Principles of Motion Economy.
(4) While concentrating on the economical motions for doing a job, Gilbreth felt the necessity of charting the activities to be analysed, because a chart could provide the overall picture as well as the importance of everything involved. In 1921, Gilbreth introduced Process chart.
(5) Gilbreth identified Therbligs-the fundamental motions involved in doing an activity.
(6) He developed Micromotion study and Simo chart.
(7) Gilbreth invented Microchronometer, Cyclegraph, Chronocyclegraph, and flow diagram.
(8) Gilbreth applied motion analysis to office procedures (mailing of letters) as well.
(9) While serving U.S. Army, Gilbreth used Motion Study to find the best method to assemble and dissemble the weapons.
(10) Frank and Lillian Gilbreth carried out studies on fatigue and its elimination. They concluded that fatigue could be considerably reduced by lightening the load, spacing the work and by introducing rest periods.
Contributions of Gantt:
Henry L. Gantt worked under Taylor and was his close associate. Gantt had a humanistic approach. He was more concerned with the man behind the machine. He improved upon Taylor’s differential piece rate system and brought out his task and bonus plan.
Taylor’s 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 received a day’s wage even if he did not complete the task.
But if he completed the task in less than the prescribed time, he received a bonus. Gantt developed the daily balance chart, now known as the Gantt chart. The chart shows output on one axis with units of time on the other.
This proved to be revolutionary in the area of production planning and control. The Gantt chart is still being used and is the fore runner of some of the commercial scheduling techniques. Gantt pleaded for wider recognition of the human factor in management.
He was of the view that financial incentives influence employee behaviour. Gantt also pleaded for a policy of preaching and teaching workmen to do their work rather than using the policy of driving and cajoling the workers like cattle.
Gantt was of the opinion that emphasis should be placed on service rather than on profits. Gantt introduced the concept of industrial responsibility. Gantt’s contributions were more in the nature of refinements rather than fundamental concepts.