This in turn, has a bearing on the achievement of the organisation's goals in the sense that the organisation is structured according to the quality of the HR within it. Also, it shows the principles that are followed by the management in manning the organisation. (Burns et al, 1994) In this regard, this paper will seek to pitch the rational systems theorists like F W Taylor, Weber and Fayol, against modern day theorists like Jackall and, Burns and Stalkers. This paper will delve into the matter of whether or not the process of formalising organisational structures is palatable for modern day organisations. The range of study will also include traditional principles like the division of labour, the authority of line versus staff as well as the hierarchy of authority in achieving optimal spans of control.
To begin with, let us describe the principles of scientific management as laid down by F W Taylor. Developed by Frederick W Taylor in the early 20th century, Scientific Management is a science based system of organizing the operational areas of the organization so as to ensure the existence of and implement various elements. These included placement of the right man at the right place, at the right time. Also, scientific management propagated a study of the motions and material handling practices within the organization, so as to find the fastest and easiest way of carrying out an activity. In this regard, there was a high level of focus on the implementation of cost accounting in all areas of operation activities so as make operations within the organization more cost effective. Further, Taylor regarded the de centralization of responsibility and authority so as to place a group of men under the supervision of one man, as an important element that could trigger greater efficiency within the operational sphere of the organization. Finally, one of his most important principles was the division of work. He suggested this through the creation of room for four to eight functional foremen who will take care of various aspects of the overall task, so as to ensure that each sub task is carried out as regards minimum motion and cost per worker. (Taylor, 1947) These were the broad underlying principles upon which F W Taylor fashioned scientific management. This school of management thought followed experimentation and scientific rigor to demonstrate various findings. One of these, as will be tested below, adheres to the fact that through mediums like assembly line, it is possible for a group of people doing a few tasks, to out produce those doing all the tasks. (Taylor, 1947)
These principles were in keeping with the division of labour and the hierarchy of authority, as propagated by Fayol and Weber. According to this rationalistic view, everything in the organisation has a place. Thereafter, every man is to take care of a certain aspect of operation. This division of labour is supervised by the distribution of authority so as to form an appropriate hierarchy. Every activity in the organisation takes place according to this hierarchy, whether it involves promotions or communication. The modern day organisation sees it HR in diverse roles, enabling the same to form informal structures where there is a distribution of energy and a mutual understanding which enables one man to finish the job that another could not do.