Scientific Management Theory (1890-1940)
- At the turn of the century, the most notable organizations were large and industrialized. Often they included ongoing, routine tasks that manufactured a variety of products.
- TheUnited Stateshighly prized scientific and technical matters, including careful measurement and specification of activities and results.
- Management tended to be the same. Frederick Taylor developed the :scientific management theory that the careful specification and measurement of all organizational tasks.
- Tasks were standardized as much as possible.
- Workers were rewarded and punished.
- This approach appeared to work well for organizations with assembly lines and other mechanistic, routinized activities.
Bureaucratic Management Theory
- Max Weber embellished the scientific management theory with his bureaucratic theory. Weber focused on dividing organizations into hierarchies, establishing strong lines of authority and control. He suggested organizations develop comprehensive and detailed standard operating procedures for all routinized tasks.
Human Relations Movement
- Eventually, unions and government regulations reacted to the rather dehumanizing effects of these theories.
- More attention was given to individuals and their unique capabilities in the organization. A major belief included that the organization would prosper if its workers prospered as well. Human Resource departments were added to organizations.
The behavioral sciences played a strong role in helping to understand the needs of workers and how the needs of the organization and its workers could be better aligned. Various new theories were spawned, many based on the behavioral sciences.