Principles of Management
NCERT Exercise Solution
Long Answer Type
Question 3: Explain the technique of ‘Functional Foremanship’ and the concept of ‘Mental Revolution’ as enunciated by Taylor.
Answer: Foreman is the lowest level of manager in a factory and he is in direct contact with the shop-floor workers. Taylor was of the opinion that a person needs to have many qualities in order to be a good foreman. But all the qualities cannot be found in a single individual. So, Taylor advocated the separation of planning and execution functions.
Following table shows division of tasks according to the concept of functional foremanship.
|Instruction Clerk||Route Clerk||Time and cost Clerk||Disciplinarian|
|Specify instructions for workers||Specify route of production||Prepare time and cost sheet||Ensure discipline|
|Speed Boss||Gang Boss||Repair Boss||Inspector|
|Ensure timely completion of work||Ensure accurate completion of work||Ensure machines are in fit condition||Check quality of work|
This concept is based on the change of mindset to a condition in which workers and managers think in terms of cooperation rather than competition. They should start thinking that they are there for the benefit of each other. Any incremental profit should be adequately shared among workers and managers. This helps in developing a culture where everyone thinks about improving the productivity and bottom line of the organization. This situation rules out the need for agitation by workers. There would be no need for trade unions once workers are satisfied with their work and remuneration.
Question 4: Discuss the following techniques of Scientific Work Study:
Question a: Time Study
Answer: This involves finding the minimum possible time to finish a task. For example, at outlets of Burger King, the time between the order from a customer to delivering the order to the customer should be 2 minutes. If someone delivers the required order within this timeframe, he/she is considered to be doing the task efficiently.
Question b: Motion Study
Answer: Motion study involves study of movements of various components and motion of workers while handling these components. This study helps in minimizing the time taken to finish making a product. This also helps in minimizing worker fatigue.
Question c: Fatigue Study
Answer: This study involves finding out how quickly and how often can the worker get tired after performing a task. This helps in deciding about providing suitable break to a worker. A fatigued worker will not do the task to his optimum efficiency. Moreover, a tired worker also runs the risk of getting seriously injured.
Question d: Method Study
Answer: The objective of method study is to find out the best way of doing a job. This concept resulted in assembly line production during the industrial revolution. Ford Motors was among the pioneers to practice assembly line production when it started making model T cars.
Question e: Simplification and standardisation of work
Answer: All the prevalent methods of doing a task should be studied and then the best method should be sorted out and further refined in order to finish the task in as efficient manner as possible. Then work-study techniques should be employed to reduce time, fatigue and energy consumption to do the task. The standard procedure should then be made the benchmark and should be stuck at every workplace of the factory.
Simplification involves ruling out superfluous variations and sticking to the most suitable methods and products.
Question 5: Discuss the differences between the contributions of Taylor and Fayol.
Answer: Both Taylor and Fayol contributed immensely in the field of management but their approaches were entirely different from each other. While Fayol thought from the perspective of top level management, Taylor thought from the perspective of shop floor working.
Fayol was a staunch supporter of unity of command. But Taylor thought differently and thought of different lines of command as exemplified by his concept of functional foremanship.
Fayol’s principles could be universally applied but Taylor’s principles were suitable for certain specialized situations.
Fayol’s principles were based on his personal experience while Taylor’s principles were based on observation and experiments.
Fayol focused on improving overall administration, while Taylor mainly focused on increasing productivity.
Fayol propounded the theory of general administration, while Taylor gave the concept of scientific management.
Taylor’s principles are more suited to managing the workers in a factory setup. His methods were successfully applied at Ford Motors to herald the era of mass production during industrial revolution. Even today, many of his methods are applied to improve productivity by factory workers.
Fayol’s principles can be applied in almost every situation and at every level of the organization.
Question 6: Discuss the relevance of Taylor and Fayol’s contribution in the contemporary business environment.
Answer: The business environment has undergone dramatic change in recent years. Many organizations today have spread their business footprints across the globe. People from different nationalities now work for most of the big organizations. Compared to the workers of the era of industrial revolution, modern workers are more educated, more aware of their rights and have higher expectations about work and life balance.
In this context, it may not be possible to implement the strictness of functional foremanship as Taylor had proposed. However, the best method of doing a task and simplification will always be relevant. No matter if a company is making safety pin or semiconductor chips, manufacturing needs to be done. Thanks to automation in which robots have replaced workers from most of the places, there is a lesser need to manage shop floor workers.
In this age of revolution in information technology, there is a greater emphasis on flat hierarchy which is entirely different from the scalar chain as proposed by Fayol. Now, the concept of using gang plank is more relevant in which anybody can directly communicate with anybody else at any level in the organization.
We should keep in mind that both Fayol and Taylor advocated cooperation rather than competition among managers and workers. This concept is even more relevant now because until and unless there is a greater degree of coordination, the organization is not going to thrive and survive.
We can say both Taylor and Fayol are relevant even today but there is a need to fine tune the methods proposed by them.
Question 7: ‘Bhasin’ limited was engaged in the business of food processing and selling its products under a popular brand. Lately the business was expanding due to good quality and reasonable prices. Also with more people working the market for processed food was increasing. New players were also coming to cash in on the new trend. In order to keep its market share in the short run the company directed its existing workforce to work overtime. But this resulted in many problems. Due to increased pressure of work the efficiency of the workers declined. Sometimes the subordinates had to work for more than one superior resulting in declining efficiency. The divisions that were previously working on one product were also made to work on two or more products.
This resulted in a lot of overlapping and wastage. The workers were becoming indisciplined. The spirit of teamwork, which had characterized the company, previously was beginning to wane. Workers were feeling cheated and initiative was declining. The quality of the products was beginning to decline and market share was on the verge of decrease. Actually the company had implemented changes without creating the required infrastructure.
Question a: Identify the Principles of Management (out of 14 given by Henry Fayol) that were being violated by the company.
Answer: Following principles of management by Fayol are being violated in this case.
- Unity of command
- Unity of direction
- Scalar Chain
- Espirit De corps
Question b: Explain these principles in brief.
Answer: These principles are explained in brief as follows:
Unity of command
An employee should be answerable to a single boss. Dual command should be avoided at all costs.
Unity of direction
All the members of a team should move in a single direction, i.e. towards the business goal. A team responsible for product A should never be given the assignment of looking after product B.
The formal line of command from top to bottom is called scalar chain. One line of command is fully isolated from another line of command.
Workers should be encouraged to take initiative while doing a task. Suggestions on improvisation should always be welcome from the workers. In this example, it appears that no suggestion was taken from workers.
Espirit De corps
Team spirit is highly important for every organization.
Question c: What steps should the company management take in relation to the above principles to restore the company to its past glory?
Answer: There should be unity of command and unity of direction. The company should hire more workers instead of overloading existing workers with additional work. A particular team of workers should be assigned the task of producing single line of product.
Workers should be taken into confidence and their suggestions should be given adequate weigh. The company should also devise some means to reward a worker for above average performance. Team spirit should be promoted to boost the morale of workers.
Question 8: (Further information related to the above question) The management of company Bhasin Limited now realized its folly. In order to rectify the situation it appointed a management consultant -Mukti Consultants - to recommend a restructure plan to bring the company back on the rails.
Mukti Consultants undertook a study of the production process at the plant of the company Bhasin Limited and recommended the following changes
- The company should introduce scientific management with regard to production.
- Production Planning including routing, scheduling, dispatching and feedback should be implemented.
- In order to separate planning from operational management ’Functional foremanship’ should be introduced.
- ‘Work study’ should be undertaken to optimise the use of resources.
- ‘Standardisation’ of all activities should be implemented to increase efficiency and accountability.
- To motivate the workers ‘Differential Piece Rate System’ should be implemented.
(The above changes should be introduced apart from the steps recommended as an answer to Part c - case problem above.)
It was expected that the changes will bring about a radical transformation in the working of the company and it will regain its pristine glory.
Question a: Do you think that introduction of scientific management as recommended by M consultants will result in intended outcome?
Answer: Yes, I think that introduction of scientific management as recommended by M consultants will result in intended outcome.
Question b: What precautions should the company undertake to implement the changes?
Answer: All care should be taken to ensure that workers do not perceive the changes as threat to their livelihood. Workers should be properly educated about the need for change and about the future roadmap with special emphasis on career pathway and prospective monetary gains.
Question c: Give your answer with regard to each technique separately as enunciated in points 1 through 6 in the case problem.
Question (i): The company should introduce scientific management with regard to production.
Answer: This is necessary now for the company to introduce scientific management with regard to production. The current situation shows a prevalence of thumb of rule rather than scientific management.
Question (ii): Production Planning including routing, scheduling, dispatching and feedback should be implemented.
Answer: The answer to this point shall be similar to that for the next point. Shop floor layout should be designed in order to ensure availability of right tools, raw materials and right workers at the right place and at the right time.
Question (iii): In order to separate planning from operational management ’Functional foremanship’ should be introduced.
Answer: The concept of functional foremanship should be applied in this case. There can be two separate foremen to look after planning and execution.
Question (iv): ‘Work study’ should be undertaken to optimise the use of resources.
Answer: Work study is required to find out shortcomings in the existing system of finishing a task. This will also involve time study, motion study and fatigue study.
Question (v): ‘Standardisation’ of all activities should be implemented to increase efficiency and accountability.
Answer: Standardisation and simplification is necessary to ensure efficiency and accountability. Let us assume that a worker is responsible for fixing labels on the finished packs. The worker should be taught the standard and simplest way to do this task.
Question (vi): To motivate the workers ‘Differential Piece Rate System’ should be implemented.
Answer: As Taylor proposed, differential piece rate system not only rewards a good worker but also motivates an average worker to increase his effort to improve performance. Variable pay has always been effective as a motivational factor.