What are the main features of Taylor’s approach to ‘Scientific Management” and what criticisms have been made of it? Do firms use scientific management today?
Taylorism is a concept made by Fredrick Taylor.He developed principles to increase efficiency in the work place.for example; by analyzing each task individually,he was able to find the right combinations of factors that yielded large increase in production.
Scientific management is defined by (Robbins et al., 2012) as ‘an approach that involves using scientific methods to define the “one best way” for a job to be done’. Frederick W. Taylor is said to be the forefather of scientific management, during his time many people criticised Taylor and his work, however it is easy to see that many of his approaches are used in contemporary management systems. This essay will provide a review of the article ‘The Ideas of Frederick W. Taylor’, Academy of Management Review (Locke, E., 1982) which discusses the positives and negatives of Taylor’s theory. A further 3 articles will be analysed on the critiquing or support of scientific management and Taylor.
Taylor the “Father of Scientific Management” was an American mechanical engineer, born in 1856. He decided against going to Harvard despite passing the entrance exam, instead joining the working world and later whilst working for Midvale Steel he completed his degree at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. He would go on to apply his engineering background to the scientific study of management (Simha and Lemak 2010).
Frederick Taylor (1856-1915) was a steel worker who looked for ways to improve industrial efficiency.
It could be said that Fredrick Winslow Taylor’s scientific management theory is still significantly relevant to management practices the 21st century. By analysing both critics and advocates of Taylor’s theory, we are able to gain a comprehensive insight into Taylor’s contribution to the improved productivity, higher efficiency and greater consistency in the current business world. In conjunction with this, suggestions have been made that scientific management exercises poor working conditions, dehumanizing effects and in this century is rather diminishing in importance. Considering both of these views allows for the development of understanding as to what extent scientific management has had a relevant impact on management practises
(2) Taylorism only solved the problem of workers’ working efficiency, but not the problems of how an enterprise operated as a whole, and Taylor didn 't realize the relationship of being exploited and exploitation between workers and employers in essence.
Taylors Method was known as the Time & Motion Studies. Time was the least amount of time it took to perform each task and even each part of each task, whereas motion was where the fewest numbers of motions required for each small task. Taylor wanted employees to work as if they were machines. From Taylor’s Theory to Taylorism the outcomes were that it boosted in productivity by 200% to 400%. More work was also accomplished with fewer people meant more profit for companies from Taylorism and the final outcome was that more consistent products were of higher quality (Frederick Taylor Scientific Management). In Frederick Winslow Taylor’s ‘The Principles of Scientific Management 1910, he states that ‘under the old
Frederick Taylor was an engineer who ran experiments in the 1880’s on the common manufacturing process of his time. His goal was to increase the productivity of the workers. The experiments measured the time to perform different tasks. He created recommendations for the workplace that became business standards and were enforced in the workplace. Businesses used these as a measure of productivity and rewarded wages and other rewards on a basis of performance. These changes created a shift in the workplace and a demand for higher compliance became the norm. Taylor helped create the need for standards in the workplace.
Although published over a century ago, Frederick Winslow Taylor’s renowned work The Principles of Scientific Management set forth a theory that to this day is subjected to a similar degree of critique and debate to that in the early 20th century. While Taylor’s ideas were evidently influenced by the works of earlier researchers, it is he who is credited as the “father” of the scientific management movement (Jeacle, 2004, p. 1164). As such, scientific management itself is synonymous with Taylor to the extent that it is commonly referred to as “Taylorism.” Nevertheless, this view can be misleading – key principles of the theory are generally perceived as applicable only in the manufacturing sector where Taylor’s research was directed, whereas in reality they can be applied quite effectively to the service sector. While the model is plagued by flaws in both industries, it can nevertheless still be regarded as a valuable framework for managing organisations and their human resources.
Taylor imagined that workers would be able to make out the relationship between completion of more work in units and the economic rewards been increased. Taylors work as described by (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2004) depicts how theories were to take place at shop floor levels, then how facts were substituted for opinion and guess work. Henri Fayol, his fellow classical writer had a different perception which looked at organisation from top to bottom. The pace setters of classical theories had engineering background hence derived theories with scientific approach. (Buchanan and Huczunski, 2004). (Cole, 2004) talks about how the production environment under the classical theory in America had created difficulties, where labour force were skint, uneducated, and in quest of making economic fortunes. (Lemak, 2004) point out how the classical management has had
With those evocative words, Frederick W. Taylor had begun his highly influential book; “The Principles of Scientific Management” indicating his view regarding management practices. As one of the most influential management theorists, Taylor is widely acclaimed as the ‘father of scientific management’. Taylor had sought “the ‘one best way’ for a job to be done” (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg & Coulter, 2003, p.39). Northcraft and Neale (1990, p.41) state that “Scientific management took its
These principles were implemented in many factories, often increasing productivity. Henry ford applied Taylor’s principles in his automobile factories.
Taylor's own name for his approach was scientific management. This sort of task-oriented optimization of work tasks is nearly ubiquitous today in industry, and has made most industrial work menial, repetitive, tedious and depressing; this can be noted, for instance, in assembly lines and fast-food restaurants. Ford's arguments began from his observation that, in general, workers forced to perform repetitive tasks work at the slowest rate that goes unpunished. This slow rate of work (which he called "soldiering", but might nowadays be termed by those in charge as "loafing" or "malingering" or by those on the assembly line as "getting through the day"), he opined, was based on the observation that, when paid the same amount, workers will tend to do the amount of work the slowest among them does: this reflects the idea that workers have a vested interest in their own well-being, and do not benefit from working above the defined rate of work when it will not increase their compensation. He therefore proposed that the work practice that had been developed in most work environments was crafted, intentionally or unintentionally, to be very inefficient in its execution. From this he posited that there was one best method for performing a particular task, and that if it were taught to workers, their productivity would go up.
The year 1911 saw Frederick Winslow Taylor publish a book titled ‘The principles of scientific management’ in which he aimed to prove that the scientific method could be used in producing profits for an organization through the improvement of an employee’s efficiency. During that decade, management practice was focused on initiative and incentives which gave autonomy to the workman. He thus argued that one half of the problem was up to management, and both the worker and manager needed to cooperate in order to produce the greatest prosperity.