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Project management

During this epoch, the development of technology started to impact the project schedule. For example, cars provided for more efficient resource allocation and mobility, and innovations in the sphere of telecommunication made communication more fast and convenient. The job specification which was used as the basis for the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) was invented. More importantly, Henry Gantt elaborated the Gantt chart used for breaking complex tasks down into smaller ones.

It was also a time when Taylor’s model of Scientific Management was elaborated; apart from being the basis for all the modern theories of management, is ...

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...still widely applied in different settings. In a contemporary organization, employees tend to perform tasks at the slowest rate possible. This is a characteristic feature of the repetitive jobs (Taylor, 2004). The measures proposed by Taylor more than a century ago are still widely applied, e. g.

defining the fastest working and the most committed employee to set him as an example or standard for the rest to follow. It is useful to utilize the system of money premiums suggested by Taylor (2004) to praise the workers who have shown high levels of commitment and productivity. Another principle of scientific management that is widely applied in contemporary organizations is a ‘scientific’ approach to training and task division. That is, employees are assigned specific tasks, which they are obliged to fulfill.

Training happens under the supervision of senior management: although the employees are encouraged to use available resources for self-development, professional training occurs only using the specific set of tools developed for this purposes. Training activities are design to both match the individual needs of the workers and maximize the efficiency of the organization. The most committed and best trained workers usually get further promotion, so the incentives are not solely financial. This relates to yet another perspective on management.

The results of the Hawthorne experiments made researchers interpret the organizational behavior and project management in an innovative way and form the Human Relation School. Hawthorne Studies discovered the fact that workers were unlikely to respond to classical motivational approaches as suggested in the Scientific Management and Taylor approaches. Elton Mayo, who is one of the founders of the Human Relations School is reported to ‘[have] developed an elaborate theory of the relationship between working conditions and workers’ mental states and their impact on productivity and industrial relations’ (Gillespie, 1993, p.

71). Following the assumptions of the Human Relations School that social factors are more important than financial, it is necessary to pay extra attention to the psychological climate in organizations. A manager having problems with employee satisfaction should perhaps apply the principles of the Human Relations School, with its focus on ‘sociopsychological determinants of morale and efficiency’ (Henderson, 1996, p. 24).

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