One of the topics, for week one, is the historical aspects of operations management. For this assignment, consider some of the major contributors to management theory and the contributions they have made to the field of management. Select a major contributor whose works, with which you are familiar, and discuss, in detail, the contributions made to the field of management. Your selection could be anywhere from one of your favorite contributors to one that you least favor. While there are several contributors to choose from, in the textbook, you are free to select a contributor that is not listed in chapter one, of the text. If you decide to select a contributor that is not listed in chapter one, then please note that you will need to conduct an online university library search to select your subject. Address the following in your paper.
What is operations management?
Why is operations management important to the field of management?
Who is the contributor(s), and what concept has this person(s) contributed to the field of management?
Is the contributor to management one of your favorites or one of your least favorites? Please explain why.
If you had the opportunity to make suggestions for improvement of the contribution, what types of suggestions would you have made?
Creating subtitles, for each section, will help you ensure that you are addressing each point. This 1600-word (or more) paper will need to meet APA standards (double-spacing, title page, introduction, conclusion, reference page, etc.) and will need to include in-text citations, which you can retrieve from the Operations Management text and at least three reliable outside sources.
Running head: CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE FIELD OF MANAGEMENT 1
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE FIELD OF MANAGEMENT 2
Contributions to the field of management
What is operations management?
Operation is the process of producing goods and/or services by an organization. Goods are the physical products like computer, clothes, books, etc. Services are usually intangible products like insurance, massage place, babysitters, transportation, gym, etc. Process of operation involves adding value on input to produce final product that organization sells. Managing the process of creating these goods and services is called operation management.
Why is operations management important to the field of management?
Regardless of type of business, most businesses have three basic functions which are financing, operating and marketing. Financing is important for procuring and utilizing funds; marketing is necessary for ensuring that the output of the organization (produced through operation) is reached to the right consumer. Operating is the backbone for entire process because one can procure funds, and do marketing, but if there is nothing to sell, then there is no point of any other processes. Financing will have to work with operating because financing should know about how much fund is necessary to produce the demanded goods and/or services. Marketing should know how much goods and services are produced at what cost so they could market it appropriately. Operations also works together with other areas of business, i.e. legal, IT, accounting, HR, etc.
Contributors to the field of management
Fredrick Winslow Taylor
Fredrick Winslow Taylor is considered as the father of scientific management. He believed in “science of management” based on the observation, analysis, measurement and improvement of work methods, and economic motivations. Benjamin and Perloff (1982) mentioned that “Frederick Winslow Taylor, widely acknowledged by psychologists and others as the “father of scientific management,” may also deserve mention in the history of learning theory.”
Taylor studied different techniques to find out what method is best for getting the maximum output. He also focused on how to effectively and efficiently do each job with cooperation from workers and management. His techniques increased the output of the organization without workers having to work extra hours. He also believed that management should be responsible for finding the most efficient way of doing each work and minimize the overall time to do the work, separate working and managing activity and bring cooperation between management and workers. Despite his popularity among managements of the factories in his era, he was criticized by workers as they believed that his approach made them do extra work without receiving extra pay.
He is my most favorite contributor to the field of management. There are many other contributors to the theory of management, but what I admire most about Tailor is that he was the first person to vision that Science could be used in the process of doing manual job.
I do not have knowledge or imagination to be fully able to comprehend the imagination of the Taylor. However, I believe that Tailor, with his immense popularity, could have helped his principles to be the part of the curriculum at high school. Reason is, not everyone goes to college, and people with only high school diploma could also use these great principles at their work.
Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company is another contributor to the field of scientific management. He started to use scientific techniques in his car manufacturing factory. Mass Production is one of his many contributions in the field of scientific management. He produced large volumes of standardized goods from average skilled workers. He produced standardized interchangeable parts so that same part could be used in more than one models. Below is a hypothetical example of his approach of the mass production of the engine of the car.
To make an engine, twelve components (E1, E2, …E12) are needed. Previously (Before Ford’s technique, E1, E2, E3, E4, E5 and E6 are produced as one unit, and E7, E8, E9, E10, E11 and E12 are produced as one unit, and it took very highly skilled worker to produce those two set of units and assemble them. With Ford’s technique of mass production E1, E2 … E12 are each produced as individual twelve units. Then, six set of people are used to join each pair of units (i.e. First set of people combine E1 and E2) Then three set of people are used to combine one thirds of unit (i.e. First set of people will combine group of E1E2 and E3E4). Eventually, final set of people will join all three pieces. In this way, more work was done with less skilled workers and people could specialize in only few set of skills (i.e. Joining E1 and E2). Levinson (2009) is stricter believer of Ford. He states, “If a workstation produced 100% quality but the worker had to take even two steps to move raw materials or finished goods, either the worker in question or a more experienced co-worker would realize that this was a problem; a person can be paid to make parts, but not to walk or to move parts.”
Ford is my second favorite (out of four) contributor to the field of management because his introduction to automation and mass production reduced the cost of making cars and many other things. In the current economy, goods and services would have been more expensive than what we pay today if we were not able to have mass production. We would not have been able to purchase a sandwich for a dollar at McDonald’s.
If I were to suggest any improvements on his principle, then I would say that it would have been awesome if his idea of mass production of simpler parts were applied on the capital products as well. Today, lots of small businesses are not able to fix or replace the broken parts if they are expensive. For example, I have a friend who owns a small food truck. Her grill broke down. The price of the new grill is over thousand dollars which she cannot afford to buy. If the grills were made of very small units, that she could replace only the broken unit, then her business would not suffer badly.
Stevenson (2015) said, “Whereas the scientific management movement heavily emphasized the technical aspects of work design, the human relations movement emphasized the importance of the human element in job design.” Douglas McGregor is one of the contributors of the human relations movement. He created the X and theory Y. According to his theory, workers are divided into two spectrums: X and Y. People in X spectrum do not like their work, and need to be micromanaged. Employing fear and punishment is necessary to get output from people in this spectrum. On the other hand, people in the Y spectrum are believed to love their work. They like to think critically and need not be micromanaged because they are aware of their responsibilities. Rewards and recognition will work as best motivation for people who fall in Y spectrum.
I dislike theory X because it can no longer be employed to the workers of twenty first century, where most of the manual jobs are automated by machines, and critical thinking is most important characteristics of human workers. Also, there is no way to tell which person will fit in theory X or Y. Cunningam (2011) has more positive view than me about McGregor. He described theory X as “a practice used by many companies today is restructuring, which I often feel falls under Theory X.”
If I were to suggest any improvement on this principle, I would say that theory X and Y should be applied on the circumstances of the organization, and not on people as general. For example, theory X can be used on the cashier of a Walmart who is hired as stocker for a day. That person should be told exactly what to do and how to do, as there is not much time for that person to explore for being creative or find the better ways of stocking shelves. However, if that person is permanently hired as a stocker, then that person should be treated with theory Y because employees need some room for creativity (along with some defined rules).
William Ouchi added theory Z to the human resource movement. This theory encompasses Japanese approach of taking care of employees (like lifetime employment, helping to solve their problems, etc.) and Western styles like short term employment, and individual decision making and responsibility.
In my opinion, this is the worst theory (out of four discussed in this paper) for couple of reasons. First reason is the idea of lifetime employment to employees. I was brought up in the country where people had life time employment in the government sector. With that level of job security, people did not care about their work. Some of them went to office once a month only to collect their pay check. This approach works at Japan; however, I highly doubt this approach will work in the Western culture. Another reason for my disliking this theory is the mix of Japanese and Western practices in the same company. Some people will get lifetime employment and others will be given short-term employment. This will create a grievances and feeling of discrimination to the employees who are hired for short term.
My suggestion to this theory would be to use the approach that suits the culture it is operating in and do not discriminate against workers. For example, do not have a policy of lifetime employment to the individualistic cultures, and not have different hiring policy for different employees in the same company.
Conclusively, operation management manages the production of goods and/or services that business sells to its customers. Knowing this process is important because it intertwines with other aspects of business like financing and marketing. Fredrick Winslow Taylor and Henry Ford were two pioneers of the scientific management. Taylor studied on different techniques to maximize the output. On the other hand, Ford specialized on mass production and production of interchangeable parts. Douglas McGregor and William Ouchi worked on human resources movement. McGregor focused on theory X and Y where he believed that workers should be treated differently based on their outlook towards work. Ouchi, on the other hand, states that mix of Japanese approach (where workers should be given utmost important) and Western approach (treating workers with individualistic approach) should be used while treating the workers.
Benjamin, L. T., Perloff, R. (1982). A case of delayed recognition: Frederick Winslow
Taylor and the immediacy of reinforcement. American Psychologist, 37(3), 340
Cunningham, R. A. (2011). Douglas McGregor- A Lasting Impression. Ivey Business
Journal, 75(5), 5-7.
Levinson, W. A. (2009). Henry Ford’s Proven Lessons for American Industry. Industry
Week, 258(7), 16-17. Retrieved from WWW.INDUSTYWEEK.COM
Stevenson, W. J. (2015). Operations management (12th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill