The basic principles of scientific management in the public agency
Basic principles of scientific management
Taylor developed four basic principles of scientific management. The principles are as follows:
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- The replacement of rule-of-thumb ways of doing work with methods which are proved experimentally to result in optimal production output
- Replacement of group training with individual training whereby there is scientific selection, training, and developing of each employee on an individual basis
- There is a need for cooperation between the workers and their supervisors to ensure that everything is implemented as per the plans (“Scientific Management: Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management” par. 12)
- The managers should have an equal share of the work as the workers such that as the managers plan on how the work will be accomplished using scientific means the workers will be performing the tasks required (Taylor 37).
Scientific management at Assemblywoman Fiona Ma
There is a considerable level of scientific management in Assemblywoman Fiona Ma. The first principle of scientific management, as listed above, advocates for use of experimentally approved methods over the rule-of-thumb methods. Scientific management methods advocate for breaking of work into tasks that can be completed separately by different people and more easily. These tasks in addition have to be done in a given manner such that they yield maximum results. In my agency, projects are completed using scientific means; the completion of each project has to utilize the “3 C’s” and a detailed “TOTT vision”. The 3 C’s imply communication, calendaring, and contacts while the TOTT vision is a written path on how a project will be completed including all the details.
The second scientific management principle stated above advocates for individual training instead of group training. These principles encourage specialization of skills such that individuals work in sections they are best fit to produce their level best. In my agency (Assemblywoman Fiona Ma), this logic is implemented through the core values: creativity and openness, and talent and strengths. Through the creativity and openness value, the agency encourages its employees and interns to value and embrace their talents. The agency also continually expands its scope of work to tap the talents of its employees and interns.
Under the ‘talent and strengths value’ the agency seeks the nourishment of talents of its employees and interns and this, in a real sense, is increasing specialization in line with the second principle of scientific management listed above.
Another basic principle of management is the need for cooperation between the management and the workers to enhance the effective utilization of scientific methods of management. The agency undertakes all its projects in the light of the 3 C’s”. The first and the last Cs in this wheel stand for communication and contact in that order. The agency advocates for thorough communication among all the stakeholders in any project it presides over. In regard to the last principle as listed above, the agency has listed serving others as one of its core values. Under this value, the organization believes that the path to greatness is through serving others whether they are coworkers or colleagues.
“Schein’s 3 levels of organizational culture” in the public agency
Schein’s three levels of organizational culture
- Level I: Art effects (logos, color, smell, look and feel)
- Level II: Espouse (values, goals, mission, objects)
- Level III: Basic underlying assumption (Bloor and Dawson par. 4).
The analytical framework of Schein’s three levels of organizational culture in Assemblywoman Fiona Ma
The first level of organizational culture in the Schein framework has also been referred to as the surface level (Manning and Nilsen 10). This level constitutes all the things that are heard, seen, and felt at the first time of meeting a new team. It will therefore include “visible products; language; technology and products; creations; style; observed rituals and ceremonies” (Manning and Nilsen 10).
In my agency, the level one culture organization can be described as follows. Logos: The agency aims at making California a better working and living place and where one can comfortably raise a family. The office does this by providing healthcare for all the Californians, expanding educational facilities, and offering protection to the environment.
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Feeling: There is an emphasis on planning, scheduling, and punctuality: this is seen through tools such as TOTT vision; Beep! Beep! Beep! (Be punctual, Be prepared, Be present), and the 5 P’s (Positions, Projects, Policies, Places, Partners). This creates a feeling of a serious working environment and orderliness. There is also a friendliness feeling because the interaction in the office is quite casual. The agency also reflects a high interaction level both lateral and vertical; the agency policies demand that all the staff members have to make a consultation with their colleagues when working on projects especially in the preparation of tools such as TOTT vision.
Look and color: The agency is a great working place. The look of the place is nice as well as the working colleagues.
The second level of organizational culture is that of espoused values, mission, vision, goals, objectives, or action plans. This level consists of the strategies, philosophies, and goals of an organization. In my organization, this level of organizational culture is shown through the core values: constituents first, serve others, stewardship, creativity and openness, talents and strengths, and flexibility and balance. Further analysis of this level is as below:
- The main work of the agency is to serve further the legislative work of Assemblywoman Fiona Ma in the best interest of the California people.
- The constituent is always first and before any decision and action can be taken, its impact on the constituent must be considered.
- Relationships in the organization can only be developed, maintained, and nurtured through communication, calendaring, and contacts.
The third level of organizational culture describes the basic assumptions made in an organization. This level shows whether or not organizational members have taken to heart the organizational motto and subconsciously work on achieving it or they just display the characteristics of theory X employees. In analyzing this level it is good to note that the employees at the organization are staff mentors, interns, and volunteers.
The interns are mainly college and high school students seeking to have some experience in legislation issues. The interns are not paid and therefore they work on a voluntary basis. Their main goal of taking up the internship is to gain experience on legislation issues since they do not go there for the money. The interns in this sense therefore do not have the agency motto as their main objective but rather they take it as a way of gaining their objective which is gaining experience on legislation issues. This is very clear that most of the interns behave in a similar manner to theory X employees.
On the other hand, the volunteers spare their time, not for monetary gain but to advance the objectives of the agency. The volunteers identify with the agency motto and are willing to advance it even without any pay (as they are not paid). The other paid employees show a considerable commitment to the agency. The District Director, for instance, is very committed to ensuring that all the staff members are doing well, and more often than not he will create some time and spend it with the interns and the rest of the employees making the staff relax by cracking jokes and sometimes singing to the staff.
Bloor, Geoffrey, and Dawson Patrick. 2011. Understanding professional culture in an organizational context. 2011. Web.
Manning, Rory, and Nilsen Audrey 2009, Organizational Culture and Leadership. Web.
Taylor, Frederick. Scientific management. New York: Routledge, 2003. Print.