Friday, March 30, 2012

Management and Industrial Engineering

Industrial Engineering (IE) is a service to management and MBA curriculums must include IE as a subject to appreciate its role in proper management of the organizations.

Management Definition

Management of an organization is the process of establishing objectives and goals of the organization periodically, designing the work system and the organization structure, and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, accomplish their aims and objectives and goals of the organization effectively and efficiently (Narayana Rao).

The above definition was developed by me by modifying the definition given by Koontz and O'Donnell.

The definition implies the following.

(i) Management is a process.
(ii) Management applies to every kind of organization, government, profit making, or nonprofit making.
(iii) It applies to managers at all levels in the organization.
(iv) Management is concerned with effectiveness and efficiency.

Effectiveness and efficiency when combined are explained as productivity by Koontz and O'Donnell.
Weihrich and Koontz defined Management and explained it as follows in the tenth edition of their book Management: A Global Perspective (p.4).
"Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, efficiently and accomplish selected aims." This definition needs to be expanded:
1. As managers, people carry out the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling.
2. Management applies to any kind of organization.
3. It applies to managers at all organizational levels.
4. The aim of all managers is the same: to create a surplus.
5. Managing is concerned with productivity; this implies effectiveness and efficiency.

Industrial engineering is a discipline that evolved out of the involvement of engineers in managing engineering departments of enterprises. Frederick Taylor and Frank Gilbreth are pioneers of this branch - which is a hybrid  of engineering and management and  is a service to management.

Narayana Rao defined industrial engineering as: "Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering and System Efficiency Engineering. It is an engineering discipline that deals with the design of human effort and system efficiency in all occupations: agricultural, manufacturing and service. The objectives of Industrial Engineering are optimization of productivity of work-systems and occupational comfort, health, safety and income of persons involved." (  Industrial Engineering )

The statement "Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering and System Efficiency Engineering" appeared in the Industrial Engineer (March 2010 issue), magazine of Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), which is the global association of Productivity and Efficiency professionals.

When both the definitions are examined together, one can easily conclude that industrial engineering is a service to management focusing on the efficiency aspect, which is a function of the management. Managers whenever they require a specialist looking after efficiency, in the division of labor based work organization, employ the services of industrial engineers.

Industrial engineering techniques and tools build efficiency into systems. Production management texts do cover some of the techniques of industrial engineering. Design professionals get some inputs in value engineering. A better system would be to introduce a course on industrial engineering in business curriculums so that business school graduates understand the profession and discipline of industrial engineering appropriately and make use of the services of IE departments in various functions of management.


Industrial Engineering
Industrial Engineering - Knols of Narayana Rao K V S S

Original knol - 2utb2lsm2k7a/ 2380

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