Managerial Theories & “The Machine” Metaphor
In class we discussed how an organization can be compared to a machine and how it can be effective through specialization, standardization, and predictability. Specialization refers to the division of labor. People within an organization are responsible for certain tasks to make the organization run efficiently as possible. Standardization refers to an organizations employees. If the organization itself is a machine, the employees can be thought of as the components within; replaceable but vital to its continuance. Lastly, predictability alludes to how organizations run according to certain rules and standards. Similar to a machine, there are protocols that are followed in order for it to work.
We also learned of various theories of management. Fayol’s theory of classical management is characterized by a highly structured style of management with clear rules to facilitate functions. It stresses unity of direction, division of labor, order and a span of control, within an organization.
Similarly, Weber’s theory of bureaucracy puts an emphasis on a clearly defined hierarchy and a division of labor. It’s characterized by having centralized decision-making and power. Special attention is given to the functioning of authority, which can be classified as either traditional (authority based), charismatic (personality based), or rational-legal (position based).
Taylor’s theory of scientific management, also known as “Taylorism,” uses scientific methods to determine the best way to do each job. It insists that there is only one best way to do every job, which is the most time efficient way. In this theory, proper training and selection of workers is essential to an organization.
It’s interesting to analyze the differing styles of management. I’m excited to see the styles that future organizations will create and use.