Management

Legacy

In management literature today, the greatest use of the term "scientific management" is with reference to the work of Taylor and his disciples ("classical", implying "no longer current, but still respected for its seminal value") in contrast to newer, improved iterations of efficiency-seeking methods.[citation needed] In political and sociological terms, Taylorism can be seen as the division of labor pushed to its logical extreme, with a consequent de-skilling of the worker and dehumanisation of the workers and the workplace. Taylorism is often mentioned along with Fordism, because it was closely associated with mass production methods in factories, which was its earliest application. Today, task-oriented optimization of work tasks is nearly ubiquitous in industry. The theory behind it has evolved greatly since Taylor's day, reducing the ill effects, although in the wrong hands it is sometimes implemented poorly even now. Sociology is the scientific study of human society, social behavior and its origins, development, organizations, and institutions. It is a social science which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity. For many sociologists the goal is to conduct research which may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, while others focus primarily on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure. The traditional focuses of sociology have included social stratification, social class, culture, social mobility, religion, secularization, law, and deviance. As all spheres of human activity are affected by the interplay between social structure and individual agency, sociology has gradually expanded its focus to further subjects, such as health, medical, military and penal institutions, the Internet, and the role of social activity in the development of scientific knowledge. The range of social scientific methods has also expanded. Social researchers draw upon a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques. The linguistic and cultural turns of the mid-twentieth century led to increasingly interpretative, hermeneutic, and philosophic approaches to the analysis of society. Conversely, recent decades have seen the rise of new analytically, mathematically and computationally rigorous techniques, such as agent-based modelling and social network analysis. Sociology should not be confused with various general social studies courses which bear little relation to sociological theory or social science research methodology.