Principles of organization

(Redirected from Principles of efficiency)

Principles of organization are a set of principles, which determines the existence and functioning of organization. The early theory on management and organization, in the early 20th century, spoke of Principles of Efficiency.

According to Taylor, the principles of Efficiency are:
. (1) Science, not rule of thumb.
. (2) Harmony, not discord.
. (3) Cooperation, not competition.
. (4) Maximum output, not restricted output.
. (5) The development of each man to his greatest efficiency and prosperity.
- Herbert N. Casson, 1911
CONTENT : A - F , G - L , M - R , S - Z , See also , External links


Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author

A - F

  • Penser, c'est voir! me dit-il un jour emporté par une de nos objections sur le principe de notre organisation. Toute science humaine repose sur la déduction, qui est une vision lente par laquelle on descend de la cause à l'effet, par laquelle on remonte de l'effet à la cause; ou, dans une plus large expression, toute poésie comme toute oeuvre d'art procède d'une rapide vision des choses.
    • "Thinking is seeing," said he one day, carried away by some objection raised as to the first principles of our organisation."Every human science is based on deduction, which is a slow process of seeing by which we work up from the effect to the cause; or, in a wider sense, all poetry like every work of art proceeds from a swift vision of things."
  • The unremitting division of labour resulted in admirable levels of productivity. The company’s success appeared to bear out the principles of efficiency laid down at the turn of the twentieth century by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who theorized that a society would grow wealthy to the extent that its members forfeited general knowledge in favour of fostering individual ability in narrowly constricted fields. In an ideal Paretan economy, jobs would be ever more finely subdivided to allow for the accumulation of complex skills, which would then be traded among workers. … But however great the economic advantages of segmenting the elements of an afternoon’s work into a range of forty-year-long careers, there was reason to wonder about the unintended side effects of doing so. In particular, one felt tempted to ask … how meaningful the lives might feel as a result.
    • Alain de Botton, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (2009), pp. 76-77; describing a biscuit manufacturer in
  • Every organization evaluates favorably conformity to its own norms.
    • Theodore Caplow, Principles of organization. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1964. p. 62
  • Tektology was the first attempt in the history of science to arrive at a systematic formulation of the principles of organization operating in living and nonliving systems.
  • The principles of Efficiency were first applied to war by Moltke. Result - the conquest of France in seven weeks.
    Second, they were applied to manufacturing by Taylor, Emerson, and others. Result - lower costs, higher profits, higher wages, and nearly twice the output.
    Third, they were applied to the Ordnance Department of the U. S. Government. Result - the official approval of the Government. (See report by Brigadier General William Crozier, Nov. 2, 1911.)
    • Herbert N. Casson Ads and Sales: A Study of Advertising and Selling, from the Standpoint of new principles of scientific management. Published 1911. p. 3
  • According to Taylor, the principles of Efficiency are:
(1) Science, not rule of thumb.
(2) Harmony, not discord.
(3) Cooperation, not competition.
(4) Maximum output, not restricted output.
(5) The development of each man to his greatest efficiency and prosperity.
  • Herbert N. Casson. Ads and Sales: A Study of Advertising and Selling, from the Standpoint of new principles of scientific management. Published 1911, p. 8
  • Comment: While later in the 20th century theory started to speak of management and organization, the scientific management movement spoke of management and efficiency. In a way the listed principles of efficiency are a listing of principles of organization.
  • An analysis [of urban space] is possible only if one reduces social action to a language and social relations to systems of communication. The ideological displacement carried out in this perspective consists in passing from one method of mapping traces of social practice through its effects on the organization of space to a principle of organization deduced from the formal expression listed, as if social organization were a code and urban structure a set of myths.
    • Manuel Castells (1977) The Urban Question. A Marxist Approach (Alan Sheridan, translator). London, Edward Arnold (1977) (Original publication in French, 1972) p. 216
  • Twelve Principles of Efficiency
  1. Clearly defined ideals: the organization must know what its goals are, what it stands for, and its relationship with society.
  2. Common sense: the organization must be practical in its methods and outlook.
  3. Competent counsel: the organisation should seek wise advice, turning to external experts if it lacks the necessary staff expertise.
  4. Discipline: not so much top—down discipline as internal discipline and self-discipline,with workers conforming willingly and readily to the systems in place.
  5. The fair deal: workers should be treated fairly at all times, to encourage their participation in the efficiency movement.
  6. Reliable, immediate and adequate records: measurement over time is important in determining if efficiency has been achieved.
  7. Despatching: workflow must be scheduled in such a way that processes move smoothly.
  8. Standards and schedules: the establishment of these is, as discussed above, fundamental to the achievement of efficiency.
  9. Standardized conditions workplace conditions should be standardized according to natural scientific precepts, and should evolve as new knowledge becomes available.
  10. Standardised operations: likewise, operations should follow scientific principles, particularly in terms of planning and work methods.
  11. Written instructions: all standards should be recorded in the form of written instructions to workers and foremen, which detail not only the standards themselves but the methods of compliance.
  12. Efficiency reward: if workers achieve efficiency, then they should be duly rewarded.

G - L


M - R

  • Formal theories of organization have been taught in management courses for many years, and there is an extensive literature on the subject. The textbook principles of organization — hierarchical structure, authority, unity of command, task specialization, division of staff and line, span of control, equality of responsibility and authority, etc. — comprise a logically persuasive set of assumptions which have had a profound influence upon managerial behavior.
    • Douglas McGregor (1960), The Human Side of Enterprise; p. 15. Annotated Edition, 2006, p. 21.
  • It is in the development of further administrative coordination that we must come to political scientists for aid. We ask that you apply to the field of economic administration the technique of analysis and principles of organization which you have developed in the study of administrative organization in the form of the state.
    • Gardiner C. Means. "The Distribution of Control and Responsibility in a Modern Economy." Political Science Quarterly. March 1935, pp. 59-69; p. 64
  • Theodore Caplow, in Principles of Organization, has called the aggrandizement effect: the distortion upward of the prestige of an organization by its members. Caplow examined thirty-three kinds of organizations — ranging from dance studios to Protestant and Catholic churches, from skid row missions to big banks, and from advertising agencies to university departments - and found that members overestimated the prestige of their organization some "eight times as often as they underestimated it" (when compared with judgments by Outsiders). More in point for us, while members tended to disagree with Outsiders about the standing of their own organization, they tended to agree with them about the prestige of the other organizations in the same set. These findings can be taken as something of a sociological parable.
    • Robert K. Merton, ‎Norman W. Storer (1973), The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations. p. 216 .
  • Organization begins when people, even if they be only two or more, combine their efforts for a given purpose. We have shown this by the simple illustration of two people uniting their efforts to lift and move some weighty object. This combination, however, is not the first principle of organization. It is only an illustration of organization itself. To find the first principle, let us carry the illustration a step further. The efforts of these two lifters must be coordinated, which means that they must act together. If first one lifted, and then the other, there would be no unity of action, and hence no true organization of effort. Here then we find the first principles of organization.
The next thing to do in order to explain is what we mean when we call coordination the first principle. We mean that this term expresses the principles of organization in toto; nothing less. This does not mean that there are no subordinated principles; it simply means that all the others are contained in this one of co-ordination. The others are simply the principles through which co-ordination operates, and thus becomes effective.
  • James D. Mooney and A.C. Reilley, Onward Industry!, New York: Harper and Bros, 1931. p. 19
  • The term organization, and the principles that govern it, are inherent in every form of concerted human effort, even where there are no more than two people involved. For example take two men who combine their efforts to lift and move a stone that is too heavy to be moved by one. In the fact of this combination of effort we have the reality of human organization for a given purpose. Likewise in the procedure necessary to this end we find the fundamental principles of organization. To begin with, the two lifters must lift in unison. Without this combination of effort the result would be futile. Here we have co-ordination, the first principle of organization. Likewise one of these two must give the signal "heave ho !" or its equivalent, to the other, thus illustrating the principle of leadership or command. Again the other may have a suggestion to make to the leader in the matter of procedure, which involves the vital staff principle of advice or counsel. And so on. Thus in every form of concerted effort principles of organization are as essential and inevitable as organization itself.
  • Mooney and Reiley were concerned with certain universal principles and contributed four principles of organization, namely, the coordinative principle, the scalar principle, the functional principle, and staff-line principle.
    • S. P. Naidu (2005) Public Administration: Concepts And Theories, p. 70
  • Mary Follett devoted a lifetime to searching for the true principles of organization which would ensure a stable foundation for the steady, ordered progress of human well-being. That her search was not in vain will be evident to all who read the lectures. Her teaching is not theoretical, but is based on a close study of the practice of a large number of business undertakings. She chose this field of enquiry to supplement her work on local and national government because she realized that the principles which should determine organization are identical, no matter what the purpose which that organization is designed to serve.
    • Seebohm Rowntree, "Preface" to: Mary Parker Follett, Henry C. Metcalf, & Lyndall Urwick (eds.). Dynamic administration: the collected papers of Mary Parker Follett. Harper & Brother Publishing, 1942

S - Z

  • In 1931, under the title "Onward Industry," Messrs. James D. Mooney and Alan C. Reiley published a full-length book examining the comparative principles of organization as displayed historically in governmental, ecclesiastical, military and business structures... Their book constitutes the first serious attempt to deal with the subject comparatively and synoptically.
  • A principle has been defined as a fundamental truth, as a generally accepted lav or doctrine, or as a settled rule of action. Organization also has been variously defined. Most definitions imply that organization has at least two elements: (1) that of group effort; and (2) that of effort which is coordinated.

See also

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