The field of work science of management is about the interaction of human, technology and organization. High-quality technological consumer and investment goods are to be produced as quickly as possible at the lowest possible costs. Under the aspect of sustainability, economical-ecological dimensions as well as social aspects are considered. These ambitious goals are reached by means of modellings and simulations as well as by optimized production logistics, factory planning, work organization and systems of information and communication.
Science of management – What is it?
Science of management is a research area of engineering which deals with the planning and operating of businesses, especially factory businesses. At this, it is about the interaction of human, technology and organization. In contrast with business administration (also business economy), which represents a partial area of economics, science of management, thus, also includes technological questions apart from economical ones. It is composed of the elements production technology, production processes, machine tools, production preparation (production planning and control), the organization of the work process, time management, business accounting and work management.
With his main work “Scientific Management” and the management concept with the same name developed in it, Frederick Winslow Taylor is considered as the founder of science of management. Based on rather manually-oriented structures of mass production in the transition from manufactory work to factory work, “Scientific Management“ (in German: wissenschaftliche Betriebsführung) laid the foundation for the development of the modern term science of management.
A platform of industrial revolutions
While the first industrial revolution was essentially based on the development of engines, the focus in the following revolutions was placed on organizational radical changes in factory operation. With F.W. Taylor and his then innovative approaches to work organization, serious changes took place in business organization. This second industrial revolution was based on the consideration of factory operation under aspects of division of labour and a fundamental reorganization of production systematics.
From the 1970s on, automation and information technology were introduced into the businesses with the third industrial revolution. This again required a fundamental adaptation of production systematics. Here also, science of management as a scientific discipline of factory operation represented a key factor for innovation and successful change. The main focus was on the continuous increase of efficiency and productivity at constantly decreasing waste and an optimum integration of the human workforce as well as the use of all technological potentials. One example for this are the principles of lean production described by Taiichi Ohno. With the already initiated fourth industrial revolution, the so-called Industry 4.0, the next challenge within the frame of science of management is waiting.
Industry 4.0: The next challenge
With the aid of digital assistance systems, employees can be supported and trained individually. Cloud-based data systems provide quick access to all process and business data wherever, which can be used to increase product and process quality. Tool machines are becoming more intelligent and more networked. Logistics processes are becoming more and more transparent and cyber-physical systems increasingly teachable. The entire production can be reproduced by a digital shadow – the basis for predictive analytics. In the course of these changes, the classic business model as a product supplier is transforming towards becoming a solution provider. And again, science of management plays a key role as an enabler for innovation and business progress because the newly-gained technological possibilities have to be applied in factory operation and their potentials used. Only then can productivity and quality be constantly increased.
The WGP with its chairs on focus areas such as operating technology, plants or production systematics covers a wide range of science of management.