All brain work was to be removed from the shop floor and handled by managers alone. Taylorism is explained as the ‘ decoupling of the labor process from the skills of the workforce’ and defined as ‘ management strategies that are based upon the separation of conception from execution’ (Purjit, 2000). This approach worked well with early immigrants to the US with hardly any facility with the English language, and a limited social, or communal life, but proved less effective with future generations. However, in automated plants using very high tech solutions for 24-hour routine work with little or no human input, the principle still applies.
Purjit (2000) also acknowledges that McDonald's and outsourced call centers (customer service operations) use such strategies and can claim success by ensuring ‘ predictability and controllability’ . An up to date example of scientific management still in operation is the report by Malcolm Moore headed (The Daily Telegraph, 6th March 2010). He describes the working conditions as ‘ inhumane’ of 38,000 workers living in dormitories who work for one of 102 factories belonging to either Foxconn, Quanta or Pegatron, all Chinese companies who are suppliers of USA’ s Apple products (e. g.
iPhone) for the world market. Strangely enough, it is these supplier companies that increasingly ‘ come up with new designs and technology’ and ‘ are at the cutting edge’ (op. cit. ). The Chinese workers today appear to use their brains even without the ‘ human relations’ approach! Elton Mayo’ s Hawthorne plant experiments (1927-32) conducted at the Western Electric plant in Cicero Illinois gave rise to a theory as a departure from Taylorism which came to be known as the Human Relations school by its many followers.
Douglas McGregor (1960) called Taylorism and similar top-down command and control approaches to management of labor, Theory X, and proposed instead Theory Y giving the employees more autonomy and discretion at work following the Human Relations approach of Elton Mayo.
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