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Application of Panopticism Theory and Taylor’s Scientific Management Principle in Roads and Maritime Services

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Introduction to Management


The newspaper specified a stuck heavy truck on the bridge about 12.15 pm on Tuesday which caused traffic chaos and minor damage to a girder under the bridge. The driver had been slapped with a $2319 fine and stripped 6 demerit points, also $661 for operating the wrong area and $661 for not keeping a working dairy required. Many Paniagua, the Wollongong crane supervisor, reported about how the stuck truck with complicated both height (about 4.6 meters) and weight (10-11 tones) was shifted. This news also suspected functions of detection height and weight systems to stop vehicles from striking the bridge (Andrew Pearson, 2018). According to the journal article, the problem of Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is vehicles be uncontrolled when crossing the public routes. It is established that by applying the Panopticism theory and the “observe” aspect, in particular, will create a solid structure for the government to control people in the future. However, this will have the disadvantage about creating additional strain on the government budget on building perfect detection height and weight systems in highways and also installing all modern CCTV on the routes. It is also suggested that applying Taylor’s principle of scientific management: management and workers must specialize and collaborate closely will have a positive impact on limiting breaking the rules of people (Taylor, 1909). It will build a strong foundation for the MRS that easy to control vehicles in routes. On the other hand, it is illustrated that principle of scientific management will create an additional fee for the government and will take a long time to receive the effect.

Summary of the journal article:

Nowadays, with the substantially increasing needs of transportation and significant growth of exporting or importing goods between different regions and countries, many kinds of new vehicles are made to meet their needs, especially for enterprises. The majority of new vehicles are heavy trucks, which is the result of high fee deliveries. However, road quality is not upgraded regularly which can not afford all the increased delivery demand. In reality, overload trucks cause roughness on the surface of the road which affects the traffic and obstructs the circulation of other vehicles. As a truck’s load gets heavier, the risk of a fatal crash rises. An addition, MRS does not see through all the problems and the vehicles are still uncontrolled. A stuck heavy truck on M1 Princes Motorway at Gwynneville is one of the most specific examples of violating traffic laws. A heavy truck with over 4.6 meters and 11 tones passed under the bridge in the right lane and got stuck immediately closing the motorway in both directions and causing traffic chaos as detours were put in place. It had cracked through the concern and it was reaching inside the concrete between the beams. It took quite a long time to shift the truck’s stuck load with a complicated process and effort. In 2015, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) spent half a million dollars on measures to stop trucks damaging the bridge including a height detection system to pass underneath safely. In this case, the divers did not receive any warning about vehicle size before striking the bridge (Andrew Pearson, 2018). Situations like this have happened for a long time in different locations. Therefore, Roads and Maritime Services plays an important role in raising the quality of height detection systems and CCTV to limit traffic chaos and infrastructure damages.

Management problems:

Height detection systems and CCTV of Roads and Maritime Services have not been active regularly and effectively, which leads to oversize vehicles usually enter routes causing to serious damage in surface roads or a hole in the bridges. When drivers before coming the routes, there is no signal from messenger so they do not know wether the size of vehicles are totally fit to approved routes or not. Normally, drivers will enter the routes if it is not something happened. As usual, drivers do not care about controlling the size of vehicles, especially weight. They have a habit of conveying as much as possible on vehicles. People are aware that the supervisors are not there to monitor them so people think they can float and get away from the rules (Taylor, 1895). In this case, supervisor skills, techniques, and behaviors of MRS were ineffective, or limited or hindered supervisor growth (Falender & Shafranske, 2007; Fouad et al., 2009). Therefore, the main management problem of this situation is that supervisor systems work ineffectively and cannot timely detect and prevention offenses.

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Management Solutions:

This situation is seen happening for a long time which created many problems related to traffic chaos as well as the shortage of basic management of RMS. Therefore, it is vital to have a specific framework that can prevent heavy vehicles from crossing the limited-weight/height approved roads in the future. A suggested management theory that can be applied in this situation is Panopticism and the “observe” aspect. Panopticism is a theory created by Jeremy Bentham in the eighteenth century. Panopticism is defined as the capacity to being all observing. It was a dimension of the architectural structure known as the Panopticon. What was the most significant about the Panopticon, was the fact that people under surveillance did not know when they were being watched, but were aware that they are actually being watched and under the threat of constant surveillance. People and organizations are often confronted in their daily tasks to the engineering of surveillance. Panopticism is not just an internal property of design, it is also the temperament of those under its careen. People who are under panopticism are aware that they may being watched by a supervisory program (Clegg, Kornberger & Pitsis, p. 440). The Panopticon was a means not only for making work visible but also for marking those being seen aware that they are always under scrutiny at any time. It is also a system of records and rules (Clegg, Kornberger & Pitsis, p. 440). In cases when humans do not follow the rules and become over float, this theory aim is to maintain the level of self-discipline of people. This theory is applicable in the case of stuck trucks as well as other similar cases to minimize traffic chaos which were caused by oversize vehicles crossing. RMS supervisors should ensure that they observe height and weight detection systems and that CCTV always accurate and activate 24 hours when as they moving around. In addition, CCTV and height/weight detection systems must be up-to-date technologies. An acceptable CCTV technique to achieve these goals is using digital image processing methods on roadway camera video outputs. This kind of vehicle detection system is based on a combination of different video-image processing methods including object detection, edge detection, and frame differentiation (Reha Justin, Dr. Ravindra Kumar, p.141). After collecting all vehicle information, they are transferred to computer processing to analysis. Drivers will be receive immediate notice about their vehicles which approve to cross routes or not. Therefore, they can choice to either continue journey or turn into another lane. Noninrusive technology has advantages that are above the roadway surface and do not typically require a stop in traffic or lane closure. This may make drivers to be self-disciplined because of being seen by technologies (Clegg, Korberger & Pitsis, p. 441). However, one of the limitations of Panopticism is the additional budget on the government which needs to spend on enhance technologies as well as labours to maintain the quality of systems in during technology process life.

A theory that can help Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) in specific to apply Panopticism theory on divers is Taylor’s principle of management: management and workers must specialize and collaborate closely. That theory focuses on mental labour, on setting up systems, designing them, and supervising them (Clegg, Kornberger & Pitsis, p. 446). It is demonstrated that using that principle on employees results in a positive improvement in organization performance (Clegg, Kornberger & Pitsis, p.464; Braverman 1974). Effective supervision provides a means of tracking results, and correcting errors. Through effective supervision, growth and increased efficiency become possible. For instance, in case of RMS, if they have height and weight detection systems and CCTV systems which active 24/24 to observe traffic flow, they would not be in the current situation, which is wasting the amount of money and time to fix damages and find out the offenders. By applying this theory in this situation, drivers are more self-disciplined by not only self-controlling their vehicle size but also aware about approved routes in their journey. However, a drawback of Taylor’s principle of management is that in some cases, CCTV in specific and supervisors in general is not as useful in the fight against offenders as was previously thought, according to government research. It only reduces the seriousness of the offenses but not stop oversize vehicles at all. Technologies are considered for tools to identify the offenders and serious accidents. Moreover, it will take the government an extra budget to afford all up-to-date technologies for this change.


Oversize vehicles no longer are a serious problem. By applying the Panopticism theory and Taylor’s scientific management principle, Roads and Maritime Services will control effectively oversize vehicles. It will build a solid framework for the government to stop route damages in the future. However, a drawback of developing detection systems and CCTV is creating more budget for the government and taking a long time to complete fix process. RMS may consider having a management approach to different situations.

Reference list:

  1. Andrew Pearson, Person A, Diver of stuck truck fined, Illawarra Mercury, 4 Oct, p.10
  2. Link: with-fines-stripped-of-demerit-points/
  3. Clegg S, Kornberger M & Pitsis T 2016, Managing Organizations, An introduction to Theory and Practice, 4th Ed, SAGE, Los Angeles
  4. Designing architecture for management: Jeremy Bentham pp.440-444
  5. D.R. Gordon, The electronic panopticism: A case study of the development of the National Criminal Records System, Politics & Society, 15 (4) (1987), pp.483-511.
  6. Nelson 1980, D. Frederick W Taylor and the rise of scientific management, Madison: Wisconsin University Press.
  7. Nicholas Ladany, Yoko Mori, Kristin E. Mehr 2013, Effective and Ineffective Supervision, Major Contribution: Multicultural Supervision, pp.29-30
  8. S. Gupte, O.Masoud, R.F.K. Martin, and N.P.Papanikolopoulous 2002, Detection and classification of vehicles, IEEE Trans. On Intelligent Transportation Systems, vol 3, pp.37-47.
  9. Taekke, Jesper 2011, Digital panopticism and organizational power, Surveillance & Society; Kingston Vol. 8, No 4, pp.440-444
  10. Vahid Khorramashahi, Alireza Behard, Neeraj K. Kanhere 2008, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology International Journal of Computer, Electrical, Automation, Control and Information Engineering, International Scholarly and Scientific Research & Innovation 2 (3) Vol 2, No.3, pp. 681-685

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Application of Panopticism Theory and Taylor’s Scientific Management Principle in Roads and Maritime Services. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from
“Application of Panopticism Theory and Taylor’s Scientific Management Principle in Roads and Maritime Services.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
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