A manager’s role is to plan, make decisions, and co-ordinate the organising, leading and controlling of an organisation’s resources, in order to achieve organisational goals in an efficient and effective manner (Davidson, Simon, Woods & Griffin, 2009). Management theories from the past can be utilised by contemporary managers, enabling them to consider a range of perspectives on how to approach problems, make decisions and develop systems designed to reap the benefits of employees exhibiting desirable behaviours (Davidson et al, 2009). Despite the common conception that theories are abstract and irrelevant to practical situations, management theories are grounded in reality (Davidson et al, 2009). Knowledge gained from experiences in the
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Scientific Management is often criticised as reducing the work of each individual employee to menial, repetitive tasks which lack extrinsic motivation. In the 1993 book “Breaking from Taylorism: changing forms of work in the automobile industry”, the work on an assembly line is described as highly repetitive; being both intellectually stupefying and physically strenuous. The authors write that it stifles any sense of responsibility and initiative (Ulrich, Thomas & Knuth, 1993). Sociologist John Goldthorpe wrote in 1966 that, “The auto industry is the locus classicus of dissatisfying work; the assembly line its quintessential embodiment” (Ulrich et al, 1993).
Despite these criticisms, principles of Scientific Management can be found in use today in settings such as factories, supermarkets and fast food restaurants. Often, however, Scientific Management has only been selectively implemented- usually ignoring the ‘piecework’ pay schedules that Taylor put at the core of his theory. Taylor suggested that employer-employee co-operation can be achieved by linking pay to output (Swinton, 2004), however an examination of the Enterprise Bargaining Agreements of major stores shows a lack of any sort of performance based pay (Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, 2009). This