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Applications of Scientific Management

Applications of Scientific Management

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Published by oshin_f13

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Published by: oshin_f13 on Nov 19, 2009
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Applications of Scientific Management 
Scientific management involves an ideal system because it ensures thefulfilment of objectives of the company while at the same time advocating for thewage interests of workers by considering competitive wage as the primaryincentive for the cooperation and enhanced performance of workers. Thescientific approach also enables business firms to gain control over theproduction and fulfilment of orders through clearly communicated guidelines andstandards. However, in practice, application is varied largely because of thedifferences in the contexts of different business firms, even companies belongingto the same industry such as the production industries. As such, scientificmanagement has no single application or results when applied by actualbusiness firms in the US or in other regions. There are business firms thatadopted only aspects of scientific management while others merged scientificmanagement with other strategies. Regardless of the means of utilising scientificmanagement, the important thing is for business firms to determine the effectiveways of applying this strategy to meet their needs and objectives and achieve thedesired results. Moreover, companies implementing scientific managementexperienced successes and problems alike. The cases discussed below expressthe application of scientific management in actual business settings.In many ways McDonalds is the archetypical example of an organizationemploying Scientific Management in production. Within this restaurant chain,uniformity is complete; no matter what country you are in every branch of McDonalds is the same, as are the methods used to prepare food, clean floors,promote staff and lock up on closing. It is this ability to efficiently supply standardfood and service throughout the world that has allowed McDonalds to becomethe biggest restaurant chain on the planet .Scientific management developed as an alternative system for largemanufacturing companies so that best studies on the application of scientificmanagement include Ford and Toyota, with Ford as the earlier model for the
application of scientific management. Ford applied scientific management in itsmass production plants through division of labour and specialisation of tasks. Inthe completion of tasks, Ford applied strong hierarchical control so that workersperforming tasks in the production line were assigned to a single repetitive task.Scientific management had a number of manifestations in Ford’s employmentpolicies. First is the mechanisation of its mass production processes so thatmanagement is highly technical and separated from humanistic consideration. Ina way, scientific management propounded the view that workers constituteinstruments or tools of production subject to allocation, control or direction.Second is the fragmentation of work into clear stages and the assignment of people to these stages to complete the tasks. Since the assembly line constitutesa single process divided into phases, there is need to ensure that the peopleassigned in each phase are able to complete their work efficiently in order toprevent delays in the production process. Third is the specialisation of tasks inorder to provide unskilled workers with the experience they need to be able toaccomplish their work efficiently. (2003)Ford applied scientific management by establishing a strongmanagement group and providing guidelines and standards for its workers sothat there is a defined authority and task requirements forming part of themanagement plan of the company. Moreover, Ford provided basic technicaltraining to its workers based on their specialisations. However, there are alsodeviations in Ford’s application of scientific management including thedehumanisation of the workforce so that the focus is only on the interests of thefirm. This is different from scientific management because this process providesthat through cooperative employment relations, both the interests of the companyand the workers can be achieved through detailed plans. This means thatworkers cannot be treated merely as tools for production. Nevertheless, Ford’smanagement strategy applied the general approaches of scientific managementto achieve positive results such as the speeding up of the production process toallow the company to gain higher revenue.
Another large manufacturing company that patterned its managementstrategy from scientific management is Toyota. The company established ToyotaProduction System, which finds basis on the idea that plans and organises notonly the manufacturing process but also dual relationships with its suppliers andend consumers. The purpose of the production system is to address theoverburdening of aspects of production and relationships, the prevention of inconsistencies in the work or phase alignments, and the elimination of wastes or delays. As such, the production system was intended to address a number of objectives including: 1) the continuity of motion of workers and machine; 2)minimisation of the waiting period of workers and machine; 3) conveyance or logistics to transport raw materials to the plant and finished products todistribution channels; 4) processing of orders and keeping schedules; 5)organising inventory of raw materials to ensure that resources are available tomeet sudden surges in demand without resulting to waste in case of decreasesin demand; and 6) making efficient the correction of errors through the reworkingand scrapping of resources to prevent wastage by recycling parts. (2004)Toyota applied scientific management with managers taking charge of theprocesses and workers through thoroughly applied standards and guidelines inorder to ensure that whenever the products are sold there are always newproducts as replacement in order to always have products that meet demand. Assuch, through strong leadership and direction, Toyota was able to minimise lead-time as well as reduce cost while at the same time enhancing product quality.The scientific aspect of Toyota’s production system involves the correlationsarising between certain events and processes that enable the company to takecharge of present production as well as derive expectations of future levels of production. As such, other companies have used Toyota’s production system asa model, although no other company has achieved the greatest results more thanToyota.It is the early experiences and successes of Ford and Toyota that urgedJim Beam to adopt scientific management. Jim Beam is a bourbon whiskey

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