Industrial Management

Essay by 26677University, Bachelor'sA, December 2008

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Industrial management is concerned with the management of manufacturing enterprises. In its broadest sense, the term includes such specialized areas of management responsibility as industrial relations, marketing, and production management. A narrower definition restricts industrial management to the management of production processes.

A production process is a process that transforms an input of capital, labor, and raw materials into a physical product. The primary objective of industrial management is to perform this transformation as efficiently as possible.

The economics of the production process were discussed by Adam Smith in the 18th century and by Charles Babbage and others in the 19th, but it was Frederick W. Taylor who popularized the basic concepts of industrial management in the early 20th century. Taylor promoted the idea of scientific management: that observation, measurement, classification, and the principles derived from these empirical studies should be applied to all managerial problems; that the methods by which work was accomplished should be determined by management through the same kind of investigation; and that workers should be "scientifically" selected, trained, and developed.

Several fields of management evolved from his philosophy, including time and motion study, personnel management and industrial relations, and the managerial functions of planning and control.

The concept of division of labor was carried to its logical extreme in 1913 by a technological innovation-the use of a moving assembly line to manufacture Ford automobiles. Although Henry Ford's innovation has greatly improved productivity, critics argue that the assembly line dehumanizes employees by treating them as parts of a large machine. More recently efforts have been made to enrich factory work by making it more varied, more complex, and more challenging for workers. The objective is to identify jobs that can be done efficiently by employees and at the same time provide sufficient challenge and satisfaction to...