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that our competitors have Fordism and scientific managem

FORDISM, SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT AND THE LESSONS FOR CONTEMPORARY ORGANISATIONS

Fordism and Scientific Management are terms used to describe management that had application to practical situations with extremely dramatic effects.  Fordism takes its name from the mass production units of Henry Ford, and is identified by an involved technical division of labour within companies and their production units.  Other characteristics of Fordism include strong hierarchical control, with workers in a production line often restricted to the one single task, usually specialised and unskilled. Scientific management, on the other hand,  “originated” through Fredrick Winslow Taylor in 1911, and in very basic terms described the one best way work could be done and that the best way to improve output was to improve the techniques or methods used by the workers. (Robbins p.38)
Many comparisons can be made between the two theories, such as the mechanisation, fragmentation and specialisation of work and that a lack of intellectual or skilled content will speed up the work at hand. Fordism's mechanisation of mass production further emphasised many of Taylor’s popular beliefs about management being divorced from human affairs and emotions, using ‘humans as instruments or machines to be manipulated by their leaders’ (Hersey p.84).  Fordism fused and emphasised the scientific methods to get things done by Ford’s successful mass-production processes. Contrasts also exist between the two theories. Fordism dehumanisied the worker whereas scientific management convinced the workers that their goals could be readily achieved along with their employers goals, therefore they should all work together in this direction.   Fordism suited industrial companies participating in mass production, whereas Scientific Management could be used in many types of organisation. Large companies such as Ford Motors, The Reichskuratorium fur Wirtschaftkichkeit (RKW) in Germany examples these theories in practice. These theories of the past are lessons for the way modern organisations are run today. Managers now realise that they should treat their workers more democratically and since the mid-70’s, sweeping changes in markets and technology have encouraged managers and manufacturers to use greater product diversity and more flexible methods of production. Movements towards a more flexible organisation have become apparent.  Examples of orgainisations such as Nissan, NASA and Toyota serve as modern day examples of post-Fordism and depict movement towards a modified Scientific Management.

Comparisons that can be made include Fordism's mechanisation of mass production and Taylor’s attempts at using employees as machines. Taylor designed this using his principles of management that included developing a science for each element of work and finding the quickest way the job could be done. Henry Ford’s ideal types of Fordist production system included using fixed and dedicated machines in individuals work, rather than turning the employee into a machine. (Hollinshead 1995)

With Taylor attempting to prove to the world that there was a science to management and that the quickest way was the best way, he attacked the incompetence of managers for their inefficiencies in running the railroads and factories. Using time and motion studies, Taylor achieved productivity increases of up to 200 per cent. (Dunphy, 1998, p.4). His thoughts were echoed by others: during a 1910 Interstate Commerce Commission hearing, Louis D. Brandeis argued that US railroads could save a million dollars a day if they introduced scientific management into their operations (Oakes, 1996). Taylor showed the world that the methodical and scientific study of work could lead to improved efficiency. He believed that by defining clear guidelines for workers many improvements could be made to the production of goods. Fordism like Scientific Management in the newly mechanised industries of the early 20th century emphasised that efficiency came from precision in job design, clear division of responsibilities and tight policing of implementation (Taylor, 1911). Taylorism and Fordism were consistent with notions of the organisation as “ a ‘military machine’ first developed by Frederick the Great of Prussia, and later refined by Henri Fayol”. (Taplin, 1995, p.430)

Scientific Management encouraged firms to improve efficiency by analysing individual processes of industrial production and then recreating them to produce maximum output from any given size labor force. (Hudson, 1997) Ford's production-line innovations compounded scientific management’s efficiencies into the economy. Taylor believed it would be best to scientifically select, train, teach and develop ... more

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BMW Swot

Strengths
BMW is a well-known company with a high status branding that has a very high recognition factor. The company has been strengths in both research and development and design as well as in marketing.  For example when it comes to marketing it was a BMW advertisement that was the first e-advertisement that made it to Campaigns 'Pick of the Week' (Doman). However, in a long-term purchase such as this there is a need for moire substance than just marketing, otherwise the life of the company would be relatively short due to the nature of the purchase. It is in these longer-term systems and strategies that we can see many of the strengths of BMW, we can consider these by starting with the market position of the company.
BMW as well as Mercedes' and a few other companies have managed too successful attain m a market position where they have a focus on a narrow range of exclusive cars. These can be seen as aimed at the market place that is not also sensitive to price, and as such we must argue that the market positioning may be seen as a strength as there will not be such a reaction if the economic conditions change. The customers that are in the target group are happy to pay a premium price for what they perceive as a premium product (Thompson).
This may not be so true of the subsidiary companies that have had different problems, such as the ill-fated Rover group. However, the core product has remained strong (Thompson). This may be seen as diversification, and some of the diversification may also be seen as a strength, for example the purchase of Rolls Royce where there is a similar strategy, however the range and target market are even more focussed and exclusive.
The strategy of BMW is designed to be defensive against other car manufactures, and as we will see when it comes to the section on threats this is a defensive strategy that BMW have adopted after learning the need for defensive as well as aggressive marketing and strategies. These strategies can be seen as follows;

 Customers may choose any color that the wish from the entire range, this is only matched by Rolls Royce and Aston Martin, other companies offer a choice of color but only within a limited range (Thompson). The advantage of this is by differentiation and the gaining of a competitive advantage, the target market here is different from he other companies that offer the same facility of choice. Therefore there is an advantage over companies such as Toyota and Mercedes. There is also a very wide range of optional extras (BMW).
 The marketing as well as design emphases the differentiation by focusing on safety, the environment, as well as comfort and economy (Thompson). This is emphasized in all models and can also be seen as reinforcing the branding of the BMW logo and name.
 the way in which the company is run allows for a high level of control. The national BMW sales companies in each country are all wholly owned subsidiaries of the company. This is also co-ordinated with the strategic location of the parts warehouses so that they are in the most beneficial locations (Thompson).
 The computer system that BMW use for the ordering of parts by the independent distributors is also very efficient, reducing the time it takes between placing and order ands supply. The orders are placed directly into the BMW central computer for processing (Thompson).
 There has been a sting message form BMW that it intends to retain its independent position, and this appears to have given the market confidence in the company, as such the company may be seen as stronger financial in the markets own perception (Thompson).  
 In the United States BMW managed to gain a first mover advantage in terms of its European competitors, being the first company to produce cars on this continent (Thompson).
However we can also argue that it was this international desire that also bought about a realization of some of the weaknesses of the company.

Weaknesses
There has also been a desire to make use of strategic alliances and acquisitions. This has not always ... more

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