Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Pre-scientific management era refers to the period immediately preceding the Scientific Management Movement started by F.W. Taylor and his associates. During the pre-scientific management era, many pioneers made significant contributions to management thought. Prominent among them were Robert Owen, Charles Babbage, Henry Vemun Poor, Henry Robinson Towne, James Watt, Mathew Boulton
3.1.1. Robert Owen (1771-1858)
Robert Owen managed a group of textile mills in Lanark (Scotland) during 1800-1828. He carried out experiments and introduced many social reforms. He believed that workers' performance was influenced by the total environment in which they worked. He said employees are vital machines. Their maintenance was as necessary as that of inanimate machines. He believed that workers should work because they want to work and not because they have to work. Throughout his life, Owen worked for the building up of a spirit of co-operation between the workers and the management. He believed and practised the idea that workers should be treated as human beings. Owen suggested that investment in human resources was more profitable than investment in machinery and other physical resources. He introduced new ideas of human relations, e.g., shorter working hours, housing facilities, education of children, provision of canteen, rest pauses, training of workers in hygiene, etc. He suggested that proper treatment of workers pays dividends

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