DU SOL BA 3rd Year Administration and Public Policy Notes Chapter 4 Administrative Theories

DU SOL BA 3rd Year Administration and Public Policy Notes Chapter 4 Administrative Theories

Question 1.
Critically examine Ac Bureaucratic Theory of organisation.
Examine the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bureaucratic Organization as applied to Pufeik Administration.
Bureaucratic Theory Of Organization Introduction :

Bureaucracy as an organizational model was first developed systematically by Max Weber, an eminent German Sociologist, in die 19tt century. According to him, every organization can be defined as a structure of activities (means) directed towards the achievement of certain objectives (ends). To maximise efficiency and productive, every organization develops a system of ‘specialization (division of tasks) and a set of systematic rules and procedures, Weber stressed that die bureaucratic form is capable of attaining the highest degree of efficiency. According to fairs, it is formally the most rational known means of carrying out control over human beings in any organization. Max Weber says that it is superior to every other form in precision, stability, discipline and reliability.

Weber tried to identify the various factors as the condition that have contributed to the growth of bureaucracy in modern times. The development of modern large scale organizations and corporations had led to the development * dnd considerable spread of bureaucracy in organisations. Whatever may be the evils of bureaucracy, it is simply indispensable for the running of complex administrative structures. Secondly, ah important fetor responsible for fee superiority of bureaucratic organisation is fate ride of expanding technical knowledge, and fee development of modem technology’. Whether the economic system is capitalistic or socialistic, a considerable ‘degree, of bureaucratic, specialization is required Id attain a high level of organisational efficiency.

Thirdly, Weber repeatedly stressed the fact that the capitalist system has undeniably played a major role in the development of modem bureaucracy.

The. bureaucratic form of organization, according to Weber, is distinguished by the following characteristic :

1. Division of Labour. This involves a specified sphere of competence which has been marked off as part of a systematic division of labour in the organization. Each office holder is the incumbent of an office as long as he holds it, but he cannot personally own the office or the means of production and administration. His job placement is based on his qualifications and/or special training.

2. Hierarchy. Hierarchy is the second fundamental characteristic which is the feature of any bureaucratic form of organization. There is a clear separation between superior and subordinate offices, i.e., each lower office is under the control mid supervision of & higher one. Remuneration is fixed in accordance wife the nature of the job and fee grade of responsibility. Promotion and career advancement is on the basis of seniority and merit. It also acts as a means of communication between the higher and the lower; grades within the organizations.

3. Rules. Thirdly, bureaucracy operates in accordance with a consistent system of abstract rules laid down regarding the performance of official jobs. The role of rules has been stressed by Weber so that personal, favouritism, arbitrariness or nepotism may not hinder the working of an organisation. Every act of personal discretion of officials must be justified by impersonal ends.

The set of behavioural characteristics can be described as follows :

4. Nationality: Weber’s ideas on efficiency and rationality are closely related to his ideal-typical model of bureaucracy. He observed that bureaucracy is the most rational known means of achieving imperative control over human beings and of organisation.

5. Impersonality: The bureaucratic term has no place for personal /whims, fancies or irrational sentiments, Official activity is conducted In a business like manner with a high degree of operationaal impersonality. The bureaucrats act in an impersonal way and the offices they hold are not their personal properties.

6. Rule. Orientation: Rautsnality and impersonality are mainly achieved through formulation of rules and procedures which clearly define official spheres of authority and conduct, which the employees are to rigidly maintain in discharging their duties. The offices and the conduct of business are held in accordance with a set of rules procedures.,

7. Neutrality: Bureaucracy is supposed to be a political and neutral ‘in its orientation mid support to the political regime it serves. It is also value-neutral committed only, to the Work it is meant to perform. Its main task is supposed to be implementation of policies in an unbiased and neutul way with a prejudice to none.

Criticism. The bureaucratic theory of organization is criticised on several grounds :

(i) Weber’s ideal has evoked much criticism of his statement that a bureaucratic type of organization is, at least from a technical angle. Capable of attaining the highest degree of efficiency. In fact, efficiency in an organization could be increased through informal organizations and better human relations. Gouldner, who has tested Weber’s ideal- type empirically found that the Weberian model ‘ has internal contradictions which are reflected in the tensions
between the claims of expertise and the claims of obedience based on discipline. To enable a bureaucrat to function successfully, it is necessary to give him maximum operational freedom.

(ii) Weber has also been criticised for not paying adequate attention in his theory to human behaviour, relations, morale and motivational Actors. His theory has been called a machine-theory and a closed system model overemphasizing the formal rational aspects of bureaucracy while ignoring the whole range of some cultural environment and behavioural characteristics of large formal organizations.

(iii) As Peter Blue points out the combined effect of bureaucracy’s characteristics Is to create social conditions which constant each member of the organization to act in ways that, whether they appear .rational dr afterwise from individual standpoint, further the rational pursuit of organizational objectives”. There are many – disfunctions in any bureaucratic organization but Weber did not consider than seriously.

For example, if all the members of the bureaucracy are going to act without any human feelings the development of understanding between the bureaucrats is not possible and the bureaucracy being manned by human beings cao&ot fee impartial m portrays it to be. However, Weber gets over the criticism by saying that he is considering only an Ideal type’ and in practice there may be defects in the functioning of a bureaucracy but such defects do not detract from the ideal type that Weber wishes the bureaucracy to be.

Conclusion. The great merit to Weber was that he crystallized thinking on ’organizational development’ and thus contributed to such development in the private and public sector. Much of the development of organizational principles in Public Administration in the 20th century has followed from his thoughts. The drawback of his theories is that although, he was a sociologist he did not pay attention to the social aspects of organization and felt that the human being could be manipulated by the organization to set aside all his personal beliefs and suit impartially when he enters his office.

The bureaucratic theory of organization has served a useful purpose in history by helping to develop professionalism in administration. He did it by incorporating rationalist ethics and standards of conduct and business. lt helped to evolve a modernist administrative culture from the earlier feudal remnants of a corrupt authoritarian and patronage system. It, therefore, was a progressive w and useful model of organization at one time.

Much of the criticisms of the bureaucratic generally emanate from Weber’s ideal type construct. It is necessary to understand that WebCr wanted to construct an ‘ideal type*’ or a ‘pure’ model of bureaucracy which obviously cannot be approximated to reality. Weber was not a champion of the bureaucratic order, “f in fact he was aware of the evils of bureaucratization. He has merely stated that compared to the then prevailing administrative forms, bureaucracy was more in a position to operate with greater efficiency and rationality.

Bureaucracy as a model for management studies has performed a useful purpose. It has helped in the forming of an administrative state. Today Public Administration has become a profession which is much sought after. It has evolved an administrative culture which has grown against the unresponsive administration of corrupt authoritarian officials recruited through die spoils and patronage system.

The problem of bureaucracy mainly emanantes from Webers theory of ideal bureaucracy. Here Max Weber fries to construct the ideal or pure model of bureaucracy which should be the object of attainment for all organizations especially the state. It is just a model like Plato’s model of an ideal state to be emulated. Weber was never in favour of bureaucrats organisations bid under the circumstances he considered it as the best form of organization. Even Marx had to accept bureaucracy during the transitional period and so did Lenin and Stalin. As it stands today bureaucracy is still an answer and it will continue to be so for an uncertain time.

Bureaucracy was developed largely by the sociologist who took a relatively v detached, scholarly and descriptive point of view. The other two theories that is the administrative theory and the scientific management theory, on the other hand, were developed by/writers whose primary interest was in directly improving practice. They were not satisfied with merely describing organisations, the prescribed principles mid practices for better organisational – performance. Scientific management is a micro theory.

Its unit of analys is the physical activities of work. It deals mainly with the relationship of a worker to his work. There is emphasis on man-machine relationship with the objective of improving performance of routine repetitive production tasks. Whereas bureaucracy and the administrative theory emphasise the structure and processes of human organizations. They are macro theories. They, focus upon organisational structure, relationships and processes, at man-to-man and higher levels.

Question 2.
Write short note OR the contribution of Weber to the ’» concept of authority and bureaucracy.
Controbuti0n Of Weber To The Concept Of Authority And Bureaucracy :
Weber’s most widely acknowledged contribution to social sciences has been die formulation of three pure ideal types of legitimate authority, These are Charismatic Authority, Traditional Authority and Legal Rational Audiority. They characterise the relationship existing between a supreme rule and the masses Weber classified authority on toe ‘basis of legitimacy because toe type of obedience, toe kind of SKtounistratiye system, and the ways ^exercising authority depended on it. We refer here briefly to the different types of authority.

1. Traditional Authority. Traditional Aistlsorits1 according to Webler, rests on “an established belief in the sanctity’ of immemorial traditions and in the legitimacy of the status of these exercising authority under them”.

The leader in such a system has authority by virtue of toe status he has inherited and the extent of his authority is fixed by custom. The ruler is obeyed because the traditions so demand Such a rule? may exercise arbitrary authority also. The administrative staff under an authority system is either patrimonial or feudal. Under toe patrimonial form, officials are personal servants of the ruler and they owe traditional loyalty to Min.

Under feudalism, the officials have much more autonomy with their own sources of income but owe a traditional. relationship of loyalty to the leader.

The most primitive types of traditional authority arc gerontocracy – control by group of older men and Tatriarchialism’ – control by an individual managerial and administrative services in the traditional authority system are often handed down from father to son due to which selections and appointments are not based on merit or expertise. Secondly, the administrative staff under traditional authority lacks clearly defined spheres of competence. Thirdly, there is no rational ordering of realities. Fourthly regular training and promotion are also not possible under such authority, system. Under such an authority system, according to Weber, there is a linkage between the socio-cultural system and the administrative system. This is mainly because recruitment and promotion to a great extent, are determined by personal contracts, loyalties and kinship.

2. Charismatic Authority: Charismatic Authority is based upon the personal qualities of the leader by virtue of which he is set apart form ordinary men arid treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman or at least exceptional qualities or powers. In Weber’s analysis, charisma lies in die eyes of the beholder Those subject to charismatic authority are followers, net subjects.

Charismatic authority does not give any recognition to property possessed by the leader. The only basis of legitimacy is personal charisma. Constant failure of charisma may lead to deposition of a leader. Weber observed that under Charismatic Authority, there is” no separate administrative staff but only a group of followers and disciple who are given administrative positions on the basis of their charismatic qualities. There are no rules to govern the administrative class. Charismatic authority’s administrative system, is not bound by precedents. Values and socio-cultural belief considerably influence the character1 of the administrative staff. The staff may secure its position through benefices, fields and offices.

Organizations based upon charismatic authority are unstable because leadership, crises arise whenever the leader dies or loses his charisma. However, Weber says that charismatic authority can routinize itself by the following devices : (i) finding a new charismatic leader; (ii) designation of successor by leader; (iii) heredity; (iv) oracles or drawing lots; (v) institution of plebiscite which can roufinize charisma on a democratic basis.

3. Legal Rational Authority. Weber’s type of authority, system is regal rational authority, with bureaucracy forming tire core of administrative system. Obedience under it is owed to the legally established impersonal order. According to Weber, tire legal rational authority system was the dominant institution of modem society. This system is called ‘rational’ because in it the means are expressly designed to achieve specific ends. It is legal’ because authority is exercised by means of a system of rules and procedures.

All final decisions are kept in writing. Although the need under a legal rational system may enjoy authority either on the basis of traditional or charisma, yet the administrative staff functioning under him is hierarchically organise and is better trained than the ones under traditional or charismatic systems. The administrative staff under legal rational authority system has been termed as ‘bureaucracy1, which, according to Weber is the most efficient form of organisation.

4. Characteristics of Bureaucracy. The most rational form of administrative staff, according to Weber, is ‘monocratic bureaucracy’., that is found-in a legal rational authority system. He has also termed it as ’pure’ since from a purely technical point of view, it is capable of achieving the highest degree of efficiency and thus is the most rational known means of exercising control over human beings.

The characteristics of bureaucracy, according to Weber, are many, but here we analyse the three main broad characteristics :

1. Division of Labour. This involves a specified sphere of competence which has been marked off as point of a systematic division of labour. Each office is the primary occupation of the incumbent so long as he enjoys a tenure, but he cannot personally own the office or the means of production and administration.

2. Hierarchy. There is a separation between super and subordinate offices i.e., each lower office is under the control and supervision of a higher one. There are fixed salaries given in accordance with the nature of the job and responsibility as well as social status. There are chances of promotion and career advancement on the basis of seniority and merit. Lastly, there is a right of appeal from lower to higher.

3. Rules. A pure bureaucracy operates in accordance with rules and procedures. These rules, however, govern only the official job of the office-holder. He is not governed by these rules in the personal actions. Weber has stressed the importance of rules so that personal favours, arbitrariness, grace or gratitude may not hinder the working of an organization.

Bureaucracy in Democracy. Weber noted that the development of bureaucracy has been due to the democratic movement demanding equality before law and protection against arbitrary excesses of legal and administrative authority. Therefore, administration appointments are made on the basis of competence, ability and qualifications rather on personal or political considerations. This process leads to a formal equality between officials and subordinates.

Besides identifying the role of bureaucracy in a democratic set up. Weber also analysed the possible ill effects of a bureaucratic system on the functioning of a democratic order. He noted that officials appointed for life time careers are in a position to misuse their authority. In such a situation, democracy as such is opposed to the rule of bureaucracy because it promotes ’bureaucratization’. But, on the other hand, Weber also realised that without an administrative class, democracy will be plagued by spoils system and patronage which in the long run may lead to public corruption, irregularities and inefficiency. Thus, democracy should promote what reason demands.

Growth of Modern Bureaucracy. Weber tried to identify the various factors and conditions that have contributed to the growth of bureaucracy in modem times.

(i) The growth and development of the modem type of organisations : and corporations has led to the development and continuous spread of bureaucratic administration. Although in many organisations the existence of bureaucracy may not be a dominant characteristic and people may complain of the evils of bureaucracy, it would be an illusion to think that complex administrative work can be carried out without the involvement of officials.

(ii) The second factor responsible for the growth of bureaucratic administration is the role of technical knowledge, which has increasingly become indispensable.

(iii) Weber understood the fact that the capitalist system has played a major role in the development of modem bureaucracy, Its development has created an urgent need for a stable and a well- organised administration. Besides, capitalism is considered to be the most rational economic basis for bureaucratic administration, since it enables it to develop in a most rational form.

(iv) Weber has also discussed at length the role of protestant ethics as an important factor responsible for the development of modem bureaucracy.

Criticism. Weber’s ideal type of bureaucracy seems to have some limitations. On the one hand, Weber observed that officials should be appointed on the basis of competence, while, on the other hand, he prescribed that superiors should be obeyed on the basis of their incumbency of an office. Thus, it becomes difficult to resolve the problem of tension between the need for loyalty and a claim for expertise.

Although Weber attempted to associate bureaucracy with the attainment of efficiency, references in sociological literature show that Weber’s ideal type of bureaucracy impedes than the attainment of efficiency. In Weber’s analysis of a “folly developed” bureaucracy it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the more developed a bureaucracy is the less ‘responsible’ it would be.

Friedrich, criticizing Weber for making a value judgement has observed that Weber’s analysis of bureaucracy vibrates with something of the Prusian enthusiasm for military organisation.

However, most critics of Weber blur his analysis of ideal typical bureaucracy in a legal rational system with his observations based on the empirical assessment of foe bureaucratic system in the Germany of his times. Weber was not a champion of the bureaucratic order; he only opined that compared to foe administrative systems of traditional and charismatic authority, bureaucracy was capable of greater efficiency and rationality.

Weber’s bureaucratic model in its entirely, is not found to be operating in any of the contemporary societies. This is because there does not exist any ideal typical legal rational authority system in reality. What we find is a mixture of authority systems functioning in various societies. However, for an analytical purpose. Weber’s models can serve an important heuristic objective. A variety of models can be constructed with the help of Weber’s topologies* This is where Weber’s contribution to administrative sciences promises to be phenomenal. The need is to lap this potentiality.

Question 3.
Critically examine the “Human Relations Theory of Organization”.
“Human Relations Theory of Organization is an improvement over the classical theory of organization.” Discuss.
‘ Or
“The emphasis on the human factors in the organization constitutes a major contribution to the Theory of Organization.” Analyse this statement in the light of the Human Relations Theory’ of Organization.
Main Features Of The Human Relations Theory:
The Human Relations Theory challenges the concept of economies man popularized by the classical theories. It holds that every person is different and not part of a homogeneous mass of human beings. It also holds that every person works as a part of a work group. It is, therefore, important to consider the work group and other social factors while trying to determine the behaviour of workers. The scholars of this school of thought have concentrated on three main features of this theory which concerns the individual, social aspect of work group (informal organisation) and participative management, A brief description of these significant features is given below :

1. The Individual. The theory emphasises the uniqueness of each individual. It is said that each worker brings to the job his own. attitudes, belief and ways of lift as well as certain skills; technical, social and logical.

An organisation cannot hire only a part of the man. It has to put up with his attitude and beliefs if it wants to use his skills. Each person also has his hopes and expectations from his job. These also have to be taken into account by the organisation if it wants a motivated work force to ear y on its activities.

2. Work Groups (informal organisation). The second aspect of this theory is its emphasis upon the social dimensions of the work groups, It is observed that man is a social being and has an overriding need to belong, to be accepted by and stand well in his group. To a worker, therefore, the work group is as important, if not store, as the formal organisation. In fact, Mayo has gone to the extent of saying that the work group of man is his real concern and other things were incidental.

The most important contribution, of the human relation’ theory is, therefore, to consider tire impact of work groups (informal organisation) on the motivation and productivity of the workers. William G. Scott has remarked that these weak groups do not form part of the normal organisation chart and are not shown on the administrative blue prints of the organisation. They arise naturally in the work situation, pach work group tends to adopt. its own work norms according to the interests of the members as they see it. The management has, therefore, to consider the impact of these work groups on the motivation of workers in his organisation. It appears essential to reconcile – the inter? ts of these work groups with those of the organisations,

3. Participate Management. The third most important feature of the human relations theory is participative management. It has emerged out of the increased emphasis on the individual and the work groups. Participative management in fact means participation of the workers in decision making at out their work conditions. To be meaningful, the participative management should ensure that the workers are able to influence the decisions that affect them. It has been observed that this leads to an Increase in the w motivation of workers and their productivity. This is in sharp contrast to the scientific management principles, of Taylor. He held that only experts in job analysis understood enough about the job to be able to improve it.

The specification of jobs and the working conditions were to be decided, by the higher management and not the workers themselves. The human relations theory on the other hand lays emphasis on the participation of the workers in taking decisions that affect them.

To sum up it may be said that the human relations theory has done well to lay emphasis on the human beings forming part of the organisation.

It has also recognised the influence of work groups i.e., informal organisations on the motivation and productivity of workers. It must, however, be understood that informal organisation is not something undersirable in all conditions. In facts, the informal organisation may provide, the formal one with the flexibility that is so necessary for its efficient functioning. In short, formal and informal organisations have to work together if the improvement of the organisation has to take place. In the end if may be said that the classical theorists concentrated on the physical aspects, while the human relationship concentrated on the social aspect of the organisation.

Evaluation Of The Human Relations: Theory:

The emphasis on the human factors in the organisation a major contribution to the theory of organisation. It has .strengthened the trend w towards seeing the organisations m sociological rather legal -rational entities. The-theory, therefore, has added a significant new dimension to the understands, of the human behaviour in the organisation. It considered the hurtum aspects of the organisation in addition to the mechanical aspects Critkbm. Most of the criticism levelled against the Human Relations School’ applies only to one or the other sub schools. For example, frequent criticism of neglect of formal or technological structure is more valid for Sarvord School than for inter-actionist school. The only fundamental weaknesses are narrow focus; and neglect of conflict.

Narrow Focus. The main focus of the school has been individual even when the organisation as a whole is studied. The impact of organizational variables on. the individual is generally studied. But, generally the absrtactive approach is taken. Studies are undertaken by observing and interviewing workers. The data is quantified and statistically studied. To obtain such vigour and precision, comprehensiveness of the problem is sacrificed. This, in a way, is inevitable. One cannot study everything at the same time. But, in making the problem thus manageable, we get results .that are not generalizable (e.g. supervisor-motivation).

Neglect of Conflict Human relations scholars have been often criticized for emphasizing harmony and neglecting conflict This has happened due to the quest for rigorous analysis. The problem of conflict has been studied on individual and group level, neccessitating the psychological approach. It attributed all conflict to bad interpersonal relations. Hence, the remedy came to be the improvement of interpersonal relations. What was applicable to the group was taken to apply to the whole organisation. It was not thugh out that all conflict is not due to interpersonal conflict or due to lack of communication. There are conflicts that arise to differences in interest One ‘ group’s gain may be another group’s loss. In such circumstances the conflict may be inevitable. Other methods may be required to reduce conflict’ in such situations.

In spite of these limitations the human relations approach can be said to have broken new ground in the study of human behaviour in orgsmisation. It attempted to provide the answers to the questions of improving the organisational efficiency when the traditional theories of organisation were failing to do so. They were the first to recognize that in spite of all the material incentives a human being may not be motivated to his best unless his social and psychological needs are also given attention to.

Question 4.
Discuss the processes and problems of Decision-Making. What are the factors in Decision-making?
Decision-making is an important function of an administrator. Every administrator in public sector as well as private sector is required to, make decisions on various matters. Even simple tasks cannot be performed without someone, being there to take decision. For example an office cannot ? start functioning unless there is someone to decide about allocation of work among employees.

On die other hand very important decisions affecting the social and economic development of die country have to be taken by senior, administrators and politicoans. Many of these complicated decisions are arrived at after a great deal of processing and discussions at various levels of administration. It may, therefore, be worthwhile for the administrators to know about the art and science of decision-making and to understand the various processes involved in arriving at a decision. It is proposed to study here some of these aspects of decision-making.

Meaning Of Decision-Making –

The dictionary meaning of the term is ‘die act of determining one’s own mind upon an opinion or course of action’, In other words to decide is to come to a conclusion. It is also worthwhile to view the decision in the broader context of policy. Policy is a more generalised concept. It affects many problems and is used again and again. In contrast, decision applies to a particular problem and is non-recurring m nature A decision us usually made within the guidelines established by the policy. In fact, a decision has been described as a moment in the process of policy formulation’. Decision-making has, of course, to be a process to achieve some objective. It is a continuous process in any organisation. A decision can even be changed in the light of the adverse effects.

How to Make a Decision? This is a difficult question to answer. One can learn to take decision only by the caking decisions and not by reading the literature about decision-making, This applies to other human activities like swimming or playing bridge or tennis. It requires practice to play any game. However, there are certain principles which can help a person initiate into the game. For example, the simple miles like keeping the head above water, moving the legs and hands k a particular way can definitely help a person learn swimming better. In the same vein. Terry lays down certain steps which can assist the decision-makers in taking decisions. These are:

(i) Determine what the problems is Real Problem is often hidden in a maze of detail. It requires a lot of insight bn the part of the administrator to identify the real problem.

(ii) The second step is to acquire general background information and different viewpoints about the problems. This is a staff function for which the organisations employ staff agencies. These agencies , maintain a lot of statistics and general information about the activities of the organisation. They are also equipped with a good deal of technical, legal administrative expertise to the able to advise the Chief Executive.

(iii) The third step is to state to the immediate, subordinates what appears to be the Dest course of action and to seek his opinion.
If necessary the problem is discussed with the subordinates along with .the staff agency so that any operational problems may be anticipated.

(iv) The fourth step is to investigate and take the tentative decision. This is the function of the Chief Executive or any other Officer who is authorised to take a particular decision.

(v) The fifth step is to evaluate the tentative decision. Normally, this would have been done at the stage of steps and but, this a second look just before the decision is put into action.

(vi) The sixth is to take the decision and put it into the effect.

(vii) The seventh step is to devise a follow up and if necessary to apply the correlatives in the light of the results obtained.

Problems Of Decision-Making :

There are a number of problems in decision-making which is very complex process. Some of the problems are discussed below :

(i) Involvement in Routine. In the studies conducted on decision making, it has been found that the executives tend to use a large part of their time in making routine decisions. Prof. March of Carnegie Institute of Technology has conducted a lot of research on business decision-making. He made the subjects perform simple, administrative jobs involving three kinds of activities :

  1. routine kind of communication to subordinates;
  2. intermediate planning;
  3. general planning.

They were told that the three activities were equally important. The workload was varied also March observed two important results.

  1. When workload was light, more time was spent on routine activities although everyone knew that equal should be devoted to each activity.
  2. At peakloads, almost all time was spent on routine. An executive, who wants to be an effective decision-maker has to avoid involvement in routine.

(ii) Which Problem to Solve? The question would not arise if the problems were limited and resources adequate to solve all of them in real life situations, this is rarely the case. For example, in making a national plan choices have to be made between building of dams, constriction of railway lines, promotion of industries, organisation of agricultural research and extension, etc. At a lower level, a Chief Executive may have to decide whether to meet the trade representatives or to attend a conference or to meet the officers of Government. An administrator, therefore, has to learn to set priorities. The latter ones keep changing according to the importance of the problems at hand.

(iii) Propriety of Decisions. This is the problem of deciding as to what is the right decision. This subject to the conflict between observing the form or carrying out the spirit ? Whether the emphasis should be on following strictly the rules and procedures, or some other criteria are to be applied ? The correct view appears to be that rules and procedures are meant to systematize die work and to improve efficiency and not to be used as criteria for judging the propriety of a decision. The real test is whether the decision promotes general interest, is in accordance with the spirit of the constitution and laws and can be justified on moral ground. In view of the conflicting demands on the administrator, these are not easy criteria to meet.

(iv) Bias. Elimination of bias form decision-making is part of the general problem of rationality in the decision-making. Bias is a vague term difficult to define precisely. It means a swaying influence or undue leaning to one side. It may take the forms of prejudice, which is an unfavourable opinion without reason, or predilection, which is a mental preference again without adequate reason.

It comes as a built-in part of an individual’s personality i.e. a part of psychological and cultural make-up. It is not a conscious or deliberate phenomenon in the sense that decision-maker may not even be aware of it. Bias has nothing to do with unethical conduct like favourtism, nepotism etc. which are all deliberate acts. Bias in the decisions can be judged by observing whether the decision has deviated from norms and whether such deviation can be justified before an independent person on objective rather than subjective grounds. Bias may be caused or aggravated by several factors like :

  1. Insufficient or incorrect awareness of public interest.
  2. Strict adherence to rules shows a bias for red-tape.
  3. Bias can result from inheritance.
  4. Influence of environment-like education training etc.
  5. Caste, religion, etc. may also cause bias.
  6. Fear on the part of the administrator e.g. the reaction of the boss may force an administrator to take action against his independent judgement.
  7. Too much of discretion may aggravate the play of bias, although it may not be the cause of it.

Elimination of bias may, however, not be an end in itself. Not all bias is bad. In fact any policy, being an act of deliberate choice, does introduce an element of bias eg. policies like abolition of Zamindari, introducing socialistic pattern of society, imposition of ceiling on land, holding etc introduce a strong element of bias. Administrators having natural or acquired bias favorably to these policies cannot be said to be officers.

However, the other kinds of biases need to be eliminated. Some conscious efforts that be taken to eliminate or atleast reduce such biases are indicated below :

  1. No one should deal with cases in which he or his kinsmen have any personal interest
  2. Adequate awareness of public good can be created by proper training and by establishing good traditions.
  3. Adequate representation be provided to different castes/religions wherever possible, in decision-making processes. For example, in selection board, representatives of backward castes etc. may be included.
  4. By having rules of conduct etc., avoid situations in which administrators can derive present or future benefits from clients e.g. prohibition of Government servants or their families from taking employment within two years of retirements.

There are thus methods to eliminate undesirable kind of bias. However, as already stated above, desirable kiwi of bias towards public policies may be promoted by various means.

Factors In Decision-Making :

There is no unanimity about the factors that enter the decision-making. Some say that the major factors are institution, facts, experience and authority. Seckler Hudson have listed twelve such factors, viz.,
(i) Legal limitations, (ii) Financial limitations, (iii) mores, (iv) facts, (v) history, (vi) morale, (vii) future as anticipated (viii) superious, (ix) pressure groups, (x) staff, (xi) subordinates, and (xii) nature of the programme.

Different factors may be important at different times and in different situations. A decision is then taken depending upon the criteria believed to be important in any particular situation. This is the situational view of the decision-making process.

Another important factor is the manner in which the agreed criteria are applied. A number of ways of arriving at a decision have been suggested. These are rational, deliberate, emotional, impulsive, habitual or intuitive. The most widely discussed method of arriving at a decision is the rational method, in which it is assumed that decision-makers act in a most rational way and try to optimize the use of the resources at their disposal.

Decision-Making In An Organisation –

In an organisation decision-making is not an individual but collective activity. Although a particular executive or chief executive appears to approve or finally take a decision, a lot of- work by different officers has gone behind it. Alternative courses of action are to be identified, the consequences of each alternative have to be worked out, costs and resources are to be assessed.

All this is a staff function performed by the Staff agency of the organisation. Only when all these processes of considering the pros and cons have been gone through, does die Chief Executive or the Executive put the seal of his approval on the decision. Obviously he is not the rubber stamp merely to approve what others have suggested, but, at tine same time, he is also not the only person who has contributed to the decision-making. In fact decision-making in Government Is a plural activity.

Question 5.
Critically analysis the Theories of Decision-Making,
AS already mentioned, the decision-making involves the choice of a particular course of action from among a number of competing alternatives. Theories of decision-making are concerned with the question as to how such a choice is made. In this section we will consider the two main theories namely, the Rational Theory and the Incremental Theory. We will leave the treatment of the third theory, viz. Behavioural Theory developed by Herbert Simon to the next section.

1. The Rational Theory. According to this theory the decision-making first isolates the problem- for decision and then identifies various alternative solutions. The coast add benefits of all the alternatives are then worked out and compared, with each other. The best alternative is chosen according to the decision criteria decided in advance. On the free of it this appears to be a very simple model assuming die decision-maker to be a rational person as is assumed in the study of Economics. The theory has, however, been subjected to severe criticism on account of the fret assumption it makes.

2. Criticism, (i) The theory assumes that the problems are all known to the decision-maker. But, it is not a feet Tie problems for decision require a greardeal of investigation to isolate. The apparent problem may not be the real problem. The point may be easily understood by a simple example which is not from the field of administration. If a person is having high temperature it may not be cured merely by drugs meant for bringing down temperature. The cause may be hepatitis, urinary infection, bacterial infection or even tuberculosis. The right remedy can be found only after finding the real cause and this may require detailed investigations.

(ii) Another facile assumption of the theory, on the pattern of rationalist , economic theory, & that all die alternative solutions of die problem chosen are known to the decision-maker. It is further assumed died all die consequences of the alternative solutions are also known to die decisionmaker and that he can instantly compare their costs and benefits. Anyone 4 familiar with administrative situations knows that this is not true. Alternative solutions and their consequences have to be estimated. There are many limitations on this process is time available for making a decision, the costs of gathering information availability of relevant information etc.

(iii) Even if all the alternative and their costs and benefits are known. It may not be possible for the decision-maker to reach a conclusion on account of the conflicting value that may be applicable to die situation, for example, if a new steel plants has to be established, should not be established on economic consideration in the vicinity of places where raw materials are available? Or, should it be established in a backward area so that more jobs may become available to die deprived section of the people is spite of the increased costs ? There may thus be a conflict of values which may make the task of decision-maker very difficult.

(iv) Certain alternatives may not even be available to the decisionmaker in view of the decisions already taken and executed. For example, system of educational administration cannot be easily altered radically in view of the costs already incurred.

3. Tbe Incremental Theory. The above mentioned criticisms of the rational theory are to some extent answered by the Incremental Theory. According to incrementalist approach the various processes of decision making like the selection of the problem and analysis of various alternatives etc. are not very clearly demarcated. The decision-maker considers only a few alternatives for dealing with the problems. These differ only marginally (or incrementally) from the existing policies. The change takes place slowly. The problem gets redefined and another incremental decision is taken. It is a continuous process in which decision is generally by consensus. For that reason it is easy to implement,

4. Critical Evaluation. Obviously incremental decision-making cannot result in big changes. The process is essentially very slow, but has several advantages over the rational decision-making process. Firstly, the process avoids violent changes which may at times give rise to social and political instability. The method is ideal in pluralist societies like American and India where it is difficult to find radical (though rational) solutions acceptable to all. Secondly, the incremental decision-making process reduced the risks and costs of decisions which have often to be taken under conditions of uncertainty.

Thirdly, the problems of data collection, analysis of alternatives etc. remain within manageable limits so that impossible burdens are not placed on the decision-makers. Very often the existing situation itself suggests a simple remedy of without much analysis. In short a place of a very rational decision which may not be easily found out, the incrementalism provides for a practical solution which may be modest but may at least work and work expeditiously.

The incremental decision-making process has, however, also been criticised by many. It has been said that the process, being based on consensus, tends to favour the most powerful and privileged sections of the population. It is incapable of producing bold initiatives favouring the poor and the downtrodden. Nor can it make for big and decisive changes.

The decision-makers, therefore, utilise both the methods depending upon the circumstances of decision. Or even parts of a decision may be tackled by different methods.

Question 6.
Discuss the views of Herbert Simon on decision-making.
Herbert Simon attacked the classical theory of organisation based mainly on structural approach. He said that the so called principles of organisation were mere proverbs and often lead to contradictory and inconsistent results. He therefore, tried to study the question in another way, viz., by observing the behaviour of the managers in the organisations. He found in his analysis that the main job of the managers is to take decisions. So much so that Simon went to the extent of using ‘decision making’ as synonymous with ‘managing’. He felt that in an organisation the ‘managers, who are in senior positions have to perform the crucial decisionmaking functions. Actually decisions are being taken at lower levels middle level and the senior levels.

At lower levels only about basic work processes decision are taken while at the middle level major operating decisions are taken. The top level managers take decisions to provide purpose and objective to the organisation and to monitor its performance. Simon said that decision-making is mainly concerned with making choices out of the available courses of action.

However, he felt that only the final act of making the choice is often taken as decision-making. But according to him decision-making is a whole (and quite complex) process comprising several activities culminating in the final choice. Simon classified these activities into the main heads viz., finding occasions for making a decision; finding possible courses of action; and choosing among courses of action; He called these phases as Intelligence activity.

Design activity’ and Choice activity respectively. He found that time devoted’ to these activities varied considerably. Managers and Executives spend a large part of their time surveying economic, social, political and technical environment to identify new opportunities for the organisation They probably spend still mere time in developing designs and possible courses of action where a decision is required.

Finally, they spend o small part of their time in choosing among alternative actions already developed to meet an identified problem., and already analysed for their consequences. Thus, a major part or the time of the executives and managers is spent in intelligence activity and design activity while only a small part is .spent on choice activity which is mistaken as the decision-making.

In his famous book ‘Administrative Behaviour’ Herbert Simon developed his ideas on the decision-making process. A very brief account of his ideas is attempted below

(i) in first point made by Simon is that every decision consists of a logical combination of facts and values. Facts mean existence or occurrence of something tangible and concrete which can be verified by any one, On the other hand, value is a matter-of preference. For example, when one says he likes classical music, he is making a value, statement. Mere statement of facts does not constitute a decision. It does involve a question of preference. Hence, a decision involves a number of fact statements and value statements.

(ii) Taking a cue from economists. Simon started with the assumption that decision-HTfiakhig, which meant making choices, was intended to be a rational process. This rationality implies three characteristics. First of all Che decision-maker should know the problem and various alternative, solutions. This is an important precondition for what will one choose it he is not even aware of the alternative.

Secondly, all the consequences of each alternative must be known. And thirdly, the criteria for making a choice must also be {as-determined When all the alternatives and their consequences ate known, f rational choice can be made by applying the pre-determined criteria. Simon, however, around that such a rationality is not visible in actual human behaviour and appears to be inconsistent with human capacity of processing and analysing information.

The theories of rational choice had already pointed out that the choice constrained by several factors like -time, cost, technology, etc, the distinctive contribution of Simon is that, In addition to these external factors in the environment, the constraints on choice also rente from some properties of human beings as problem solvers and processors of information. He said that human memory and computing power ewer limited. His resources stimulated many others. They collectively developed the idea of what fans came to be known as the theory of bounded rationality.

Simon brought to bear the beb^k’ural approach to the concept of bounded rationality. He focussed cm the three main aspects :

  • In the traditional theories of rationality, the alternative choices were supported to be given. On the other hand, Simon said that alternatives were to be discovered through search and usually only a limited number of alternatives were considered.
  • Similarly, the consequences of the various alternative choices were also taken as given by the traditional. Simon said that even the consequences of the alternative choices had to be found through some kind of a search.
  • Traditional theories assumed that the decision-makers, while, making a choice, optimised. It means that they waited until they found the best alternative according to the choice criteria laid down by them. Simon, however, suggested that most of the decision-maker chooses the first alternative, that is good enough.

Programmed and Non-Programmed Decision. Simon also made a classification of decision. He distinguished between programmed decisions and unprogrammed decisions. A programmed decision is one in which a programme i.e. a set of rules, regulations, formulae exist in the mind of the decision-maker or on paper which gives the solution as soon as it is applied to a problem.

For example, relief may have to be granted to a citizen when v his income falls below a certain level. All that is to be done to take a decision Is to find out the income of the applicant. This is a simple case. There may be a more complicated set of conditions. But, the decision can „ be programmed if the fulfilments of concrete conditions completes the decision-making process. However, there may be decisions which cannot be taken according to set rules and regulations. The decision-maker has to add his own judgement before a decision can be arrived at. For example, taking an investment decision requires exercise, of individual judgement although there is a lot of data supplied to help the decision-maker.

How much force to use in a law and order situation ? Looking to the circumstances, the magistrate has to make a judgement. Although there are some guidelines on the subject, but they are never sufficient to complete the decision-making process. Usually there are very few decisions which can be classified as completely programmed or completely unprogrammed. Most of the real life situations require decisions which are a mixture of the two. It is obvious that the programmed decisions are amenable to mechanical analysis on computers while unprogrammed decisions are not in case of the mixed decisions, that part can be taken over by computers which is programmable.

Recent Advance in Decision Theory: In the light of many technical advances, decision-making theory has also added some nuances.

(i) Rationality of a decision means basing it on objective criteria. Earlier the entrepreneur was a risk-taker. He would take a decision on the ” basis of available information and his hunch about the outcome. He could easily do so as he was risking his own money and promoting his own venture.

During the course of time the ownership of an enterprise has been delinked with its management. A joint stock company is held by hundreds of thousands of small investors who have to leave the task of management to professional managers. They are accountable to the owners for their decisions. They have, therefore, an inherent reason to be more concerned about reducing the risk and uncertainty in decision-making. Recent developments in technology have provided them with better tools for increasing the rationality- of their decisions and consequently reducing the risk and uncertainty in decision-making.

Computers have revolutionized the art of data processing storage, and retrieved of information. They have also enabled better analysis of data by increasing the speed of mathematical calculations. More and more information about various alternative choices is now becoming available at short notice and it is being increasingly possible to assess the outcome of taking alternative courses of action. No doubt, the available of such a help is also making heavy demand op the intellectual capabilities and powers of judgement of the decision-makers. But. the element of risk and uncertainty is reduced to a great extent, although it cannot altogether be eliminated.

(ii) Human Irrationality has been explored by the psychologists. There is something unpredictable and uncertain about human nature. The traditional theories take it as a premise that human beings act in a rational way. For example, in economic decision-making, it is presumed that every individual and firm must be interested in maximizing profit. Many studies have revealed that many entrepreneurs do not want to maximise profits but want to maximize sales. Psychological analysis has revealed that beyond a point the human beings lose the capacity to derive satisfaction out of profit. Instead, they want to derive satisfaction from ‘bigness’. To some extent this satisfies the instinct of megalomania.

Similar researched by psychologists can throw more fight on the causes of seeming human irrationality id more knowledge may to a certain extent, reduce it.

(iii) Acceptance of Decision. This is another line of studies that have come up on decision-making process. Mow to get decisions accepted so that they are carried out.
Two obvious methods of getting acceptance of decision are‘:

(a) force, (b) taking recourse to emotional empathy and hypnotism. Both the methods are fraught with the risk of undesirable consequences. They may be degrading to those on whom they are practised and may also bring resentment and resistance. The only desirable method appears to be to create in others the same awareness about the decision as in the decisionmakers. This means imbibing a value system throughout the organisation. This may be done by frequent consolations and periodic in service training.

(iv) Collective Decision-Making appears to be a contradiction in terms. A vast amount of literature has developed on the subject which has used a lot of mathematical jargon. In simple terms distinction has been made between two types of collectivity a team and a coalition. In a team only one person i.e. the captain makes a decision and others accept it. When a member joins the team he agrees with the rules. Hence, he accepts the decision by consultation and contract. This is a team work at one end of the spectrum.

At the other end is coalition. Each person has his own value system. Everyone bargains with everyone else. A common decision emerges which is not exactly equal to anyone’s expectations. Bargaining is for a common goal as well as for individual goals. Out of this we get what is mathematically called a collective decision. In fact, a new branch of theory, viz. game theory has emerged to explain this. This has not so far been bound to be of much use.

How does Theory of Decision-Making Help ? The theory helps the decision-maker see die individual decision-making situations in proper perspective. It provides him the yardstick against which he can judge his own behaviour. It is true that study of theory does not automatically lead to better decision-making, but it does provide better basis for practice of decision-making.

Question 7.
Critically examine ‘The Classical Theory of Organisation’.
The Classical Theory OF Organisation –
Henry Fayol (1841-1925) Observed that management was an undertaking common to all human activities. He enunciated certain basic concepts and principles of management and viewed management as a teachable theory dealing with planning, organizaing, commanding, coordinating and controlling work processes. Fayol’s is often considered the first complete theory of management. Fayol was primarily concerned with the job of the chief executive and pinned his faith in the principle of unity of command. Fayol divided all activities in an organisation under six groups: technical, commercial, financial, security, accounting and administrative. In his book, “Central and Industrial Administration”, he propounded fourteen principles of organization listed below :

1. Division of work; 2. Authority; 3. Discipline; 4. Unity of Command; 5. Unity of direction; 6. Subordination of individual interest to general interest; 7. Remuneration of personnel; 8. Centralization; 9. Scalar chain; 10. Order; 11. Equity; 12. Stability of tenure of personal; 13. Initiative; 14. Esprit of corps.

Urwiek, Gullick and Mary Parker Follett laid emphasis on the need for a ‘formal organizational structure’ to ensure the effective achievement of social objectives and ‘relegated the need for human relations to the background’. They said that personal adjustments have to be made by the individuals working in an organization in the interests of organizational harmony. Lack of organizational design, says Urwiek, is “illogical, cruel, wasteful and inefficient”. It is illogical because “it is inconceivable that any individual should be appointed to a position carrying a large salary without a clear idea of the part which that position is meant to play.

It is cruel because the individuals in the organization are the main sufferes from the lack of design. It is wasteful because due to the lack of designed training of personal, to increase efficiency is not possible. Though a personal touch is necessary in the running of an organization. An organization which is not based on principles is inefficient because the persons running, it have nothing to fall back upon except personalities and this will lead to the playing of politics by the persons at die top. These reasons for the primary of organizational theory were endorsed by FoUet arid other classical thinkers and led to the development of various principles of organization.

These principles are still followed in die establishment of large organizations in the public and private sector. Though the Human Relations School has criticised the classical theorists for that they neglect of human relations, it is to die credit of the classical theorists drat they were able to develop certain principles of organization which helped die further development of administrative science. Their lack of concern for the human being was not due to their lack of human kindness but due to their primary interest in developing structure within which human being could function effectively.

1. Evaluation of the Theory. An important contribution of the classical theorists in general is their attempt to function certain universal principles of organization. It instilled a sense of purpose and increased co-ordination of administrative operations and by specification of rotes, brought more predictability and stability in organizational behaviour. However, the classical theorists are criticised on the ground that each ‘principle’ was being proved to be neither empirically valid in organizational functioning nor universally applicable which led Herbert Simon to dub them as “proverb”. Another criticism often levelled is the classicist’s lack of behavioural analysis and neglect of human factor in administration. Their methods tended to be prescriptive rather than descriptive. They are also accused of a pro- management bias with over-emphasis on the formal structure rather than the informal aspects of organizational dynamics.

The classical theory had an important impact on Public Administration, although it was more evident in USA than in Britain. This was so because, like the scientific management theory, this theory was also in tune with the administrative reform movement; The influence of the theory was most felt during the period 1930 and 1950. Its influence can be seen in the recommendations of many prestigious committees like the Brownlow Committee (1937) and Hoover Commissions, Report (1949, 1955).

The theory offered practical presumptions concerning how to construct logical and efficient organisational structure, which were easy to understand. Prof., Peter Self observed that Fayol and other theorists did more than just point out obvious defects. They promoted the use of. certain management techniques such as reporting, accounting and budgeting in which Public Administration was found to be deficient. They believed that a comprehensive set of principles for arranging formal structure of administration are possible to be worked out. Arid they did provide a number of such principles which could guide die practical administrators in improving the structure and performance of their organisation.

2. Criticism of the Classical Theory or Administrative Theory. The Classical Theory has .been severely criticised for taking a very mechanical and simplistic view of the organisation. Some of the grounds on which the theory has been criticised are indicated below :

(i) The most important and general criticism of this theory is that it never used the scientific methods. It has not been verified under controlled and repeatable conditions. Most of the principles of this theory are based on personal experience and observation of the existing organisations. The critics say that in the absence of scientific basis, this theory can hardly be called a theory of organisation. It is at best a collection of folk wisdom.

(ii) The theory assumes that organisation can be built up according to certain was laid down principles, much like a brick building. This view of the organisation, makes the. classical theory subject to much of the same criticism to which scientific theory has been subjected to. For example, it can be said that :

(a) The theory reduces human beings to mere code in the organisational machine.
(b) It does not take note of non-economic incentives.
(c) It considers individuals an isolation from their surroundings.
(d) It ignores the psychological and sociological variables in human behaviour; etc.

The classical principles of organisation are often not capable of giving very specific answers to practicing administrators. For example, the principle of division of work is simple, but it does not tell how the task with be divided in an actual situation. Similarly, the general principle of span of control is simple enough. Yet it does not tell how to determine span of control in an actual situation. This is left for the practical administrators to decide on the basis of their experience.

(iii) Some of the principles of organisation are contradictory to each other. For example, the principle of short span of control is not compatible with the principle of a short chain of command. Shortening the span of control lengthens the chain of command and vice-versa. Similarly, the principle of unity of command conflicts with the principle of division of work and specialisations. If an accountant in a school is subordinate to an educator, then the Finance Department cannot issue directive to the accountant. Obviously,, this goes against the principle of specialization.

For these reasons, Herbert A. Simon has dismissed the principles of administration as nothing more than mere proverbs of administration. He said that the so-called principles of administration like proverbs, occur in pairs. For almost every principle one can find an equally and acceptable contradictory principle. Although the two principles of the pair may lead to exactly opposite recommendations, there is nothing in the theory to indicate which is the proper one to apply.

Question 8.
Discuss the Scientific Management Theory of Organization.
Analyses the main principles of Scientific Management School.
Critically examine the Scientific Theory of Organization as Propounded by Taylor. What are the major principles of Scientific Management and how far these are valid today.
Scientific Management Theory Of Organisation –
1. Standardization of Work Methods. Taylor’s first principle related to the development of a scientific method for each task which would replace ad-hocism in selection of work procedures. This could be achieved, he said be scientifically investigating the working conditions and the total quantum of work to be undertaken in any enterprise in a given period and then fixing daily task assignments so that the workers may work in a planned way.

2. Scientific Selection and Training of Workers. Taylor’s second principle related to the selection placement and training of workers in a scientific manner. Standardization of working conditions will be crucially sferved by selecting and placing workers on jobs’ for which they are best suited by their physical and intellectual abilities.

3. Equal Division of work between Management and Workers. Taylor’s third principle was an open advocacy of an equal division of work and responsibility between management and workers. Taylor has noted in his observation the unhealthy trend of the managers to place increasing burden on the workers, while assuming for themselves only minimum reproducibilities.

4. Mutual Collaboration of -.he Workers and Management. The last Taylorian principle was that there should be active cooperation and cordial relations between management and workers. There should be mutual faith and trust. Efficiency and productivity can be best promoted by creating a healthy and congenial environment in the organization which is the joint responsibility of both the workers and the management.

The combination of these four principles constituted the base of Scientific Management. Viewed in the context of its own times, scientific management was a revolutionary concept.

In the early years of the 20th century, Scientific Management has a snowballing impact on administrative thought and practice in the United States. It permeated not only industrial enterprise and business establishments but also government organizations. In 1910, the scientific management movement manifested itself in the establishment of the Commission on Economy and Efficiency under President.

5. Evaluation of Scientific Theory. During the period 1900 to 1930 the scientific management concepts had a great appeal. They were widely accepted by the administrators as well as the scholars of Public Administration. They provided means for relief from the chaotic system prevailing in the government’s organisations as well as the private institutions including private business. This was also the period when great advances were taking place in the field of science and technology and the industrial revolution was in full swing.

Industry was naturally interested in improving methods of production so that they could maximise their profits. Similarly, the administration was plagued by partisan politics. The people were, therefore, clamouring for better administration which was more impartial and less partisan. All this provided a fertile ground for the development of scientific management theory. Taylor devised methods and procedures which I would improve efficiency at the shop floor and at the same time emphasized the importance of managerial orders. This created a great deal of acceptance 1 of efficiency as a primary goal of administration and management. This is one of the most important contributions of the scientific management theory.

It created a consciousness for efficiency in an atmosphere which was characterized by chaos and disorder and consequently inefficiency. Even today the scientific methods of improving efficiency have not lost their relevance although many of the assumptions of the theory about the motivation of human beings have been challenged.

6. Criticism of the Theory

(i) De-Humanization. The most important criticism against the scientific management theory is that it treats human beings like de-personalised machines. It is assumed that a worker has to be fitted into the ’one best method’ or doing a particular job without regard to his personality. This has a de-humanizing effect on the workers and makes them lose their dignity and respect as human beings.

(ii) Marxist’s Criticism of the Theory. Marxist have criticised the scientific management theory by pointing out that it is nothing but an instrument of exploitation of workers at- the hands of the managements. They quoted statistics to provide that the profits of the enterprises, wherein Taylor’s experiments were carried out, increased much more substantially than the meagre increase in the wages of the workers, which were disproportionately low as compared to the rise in output.

It meant that the capitalists were able to raise the surplus value of the labour and pocketed a major part of it. Obviously, the capitalists gained at the expense of the labour and were able to amass huge profits at the cost of the latter. The Marxists also left that under the scientific theory of management a worker is reduced to an industrial robot. He is considered nothing more than a factor of production like land, building or machinery.

Nigro and Nigro have tried to answer this criticism by saying that Taylor genuinely believed that his principles should result in the natural benefit of the workers and the capitalists. According to his piece-rate wage system, the workers would be paid according to the quantum-of work done. If they were working according to the best methods determined by scientific investigations, they would naturally produce more and more wages. He believed that through the co-operation between the labour and the management, both would, tend to benefit. He thus saw no reason, for a conflict – between the two on account of the emphasis on the scientific principles of working.

In spite of the defence put forward by some authors like Nigro and Nigro, the fact remains that the Taylor’s ideas were vehemently attacked by the workers who thought that his scientific principles were designed to help the management rather than the workers. Moreover, the other part of the argument cannot be easily denied that the scientific methods resulted in a loss of initiative of the workers. They were supposed to work according to the strict instructions given by the management. They hardly had any say in the methods of work to be adopted by them and hence were subject to exploitation.

(iii) Wrong Notion of Human being. According to the scientific management theory was assumed that the workers was a rationality- economic man and was motivated almost solely by the wages he earned. That explains why Taylor thought that the piece-rate system should be welcomed by the workers. It would enable them to earn wages according to the quantum of work they perform.

Since the workers were supposed to work according to the scientifically determined (best methods), they were naturally supposed to work more and earn more. However, the reaction of the workers to the piece-rate wage system, shows that this assumption about the human motivation did not prove fully correct According to the work conducted later, a human being was found to be a far more complex personality. It is thus not correct to take money as the sole or even the primary motivator. The social and psychological factors were ignored by the scientific management schools. These were developed later by the human relations school.

(iv) Not a Fully Developed Theory of Organisation. The scientific management theory did not put forward a fully developed theory of organisation or administration. The scientific managers confined their work to the shop floor level. “Not much attention was paid to the overall administrative structure or organisation. The organisational decision-making processes were also not fully explored beyond the shop floor level.

(v) No Discretion Left to the Management Even the managers did not very much like die scientific theory of management. Their main objection was that the theory relies on scientific principles which were mainly mechanical in nature. They thought that this had the effect of taking away their judgement and discretion as managers. It would thus be seen that the scientific management theory was disowned by the managers and the workers alike for almost similar reasons. Undue emphasis on scientific principles took away the initiative from both of them.

The scientific management theory has also been called the physiological organisation theory. It is mainly concerned- with the range of human behaviour connected with production. Thus it emphasises only a limited number of variable and ignore the psycological aspects of the members of the organisation.

(vi) It presumes Man in Isolation, The scientific management theory’ tends to assume that the individual existed in isolation from his social environments. It has, however, been observed that the worker is influenced by the society in general and the atmosphere of his own organisation in particular. The theory fails to consider the impact of the social environment inside and outside the organisation.

Conclusion. Despite all these the scientific management theoryexercised great influence over the administrative thoughts and management practices of the early part of the century, Many of the concepts of their theory, for example, standardization of work, task specialization, incentives for workers, etc., are still valid to a great Moreover, its concern for efficiency in the organisation is relevant irrespective of the time and circumstances.

DU SOL BA 3rd Year Administration and Public Policy Notes

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