3 obisfield 23 historicalevolutionofobasadiscipline a

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Unformatted text preview: er understanding than simply leaping in with fixed preconceptions. Therefore a contingency approach is what is now preferred rather than any absolute solutions in OB. Self Assessment Questions 1 1. Buchanan and Huczynski (1997) have defined Organizations as “_________. arrangements” 2. Barnard (1938) defined Organizations “as system of ________________ activities”. 3. OB is ________________ field. 2.3 Historical Evolution Of OB As A Discipline A large number of people have contributed to the growth of OB as a discipline. The most important ones have been described below: A. Early Theorists Adam Smith’s discussions in the W ealth of nations published in 1776 stated that organizations and society would reap from the division of labor. He concluded that division of labor increased productivity by raising each worker’s skill and dexterity, by saving time other wise lost in changing tasks. The development of assembly line production process in the early 20th century was obviously stimulated by the economic advantages of work specialization (arising out of division of labor) as stated in the work of Smith. Sikkim Manipal University 20 Organizational Behavior Unit 2 The other significant work which influenced this philosophy was that of the work of Charles Babbage in 1832 titled On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures. He added the following to Smith’s list of advantages that can be accrued from division of labor: 1. It reduces the time needed to learn a job 2. Reduced wastage of material during the learning process 3. Allowed attainment of increased skill levels 4. Careful match of people’s skills and physical abilities with specific tasks Thus in the writings of these writers the benefits of division of labor were being highlighted where the maximum emphasis was on raising productivity and minimizing wastage of resources and time. Very little were no consideration was given towards the human elements in the workplace. B. The Classical Era W e see this trend to continue in what is called as the classical era which covers the period between 1900 to mid 1930s. the first general theories of management began to evolve and the main contributors during this era were Frederick Taylor, Henri Fayol, Max W eber, Mary parker Follet and Chester Barnard. Frederick Taylor’s main emphasis was on finding one best way of doing each job. He stressed on selecting the right people for the job , train them to do it precisely in one best way. He favored wage plans to motivate the workers. His scientific principles of management stressed the following principles: 1. Shift all responsibility for the organization of work from the worker to the manager; managers should do all the thinking relating to the planning and design of work, leaving the workers with the task of implementation. 2. Use scientific methods to determine the most efficient way of doing work; assign the worker’s task accordingly, specifying the precise way in which the work is to be done. 3. Select the best person to perform the job t...
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