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?

1849 Words Apr 21st, 2013 8 Pages
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?

A term “Scientific production management” was initially introduced in the 1800s by the famous economist Adam Smith in his book “The Wealth of Nations”(Beechmont ) Later on, in 1911, American engineer Frederick Taylor made a research in this field and on its’ basis developed key principles that changed factory management and improved economic efficiency. These principles are presented in his monograph “The Principles of Scientific Management”(1911). The theory improved a link between workers and managers and significantly increased production efficiency in many companies. (Rose)
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As this theory developed in the late 19s it became popular and has been used successfully by many firms and corporations. These studies were aimed to improve methods of task allocation, skills-trainings and timing in order to increase the overall performance.

The next principle of Taylorism was mainly introduced to improve the efficiency and decrease the amount of resources wasted and time spent. It is known as a division of labour. According to Taylor, the principle had a scientific approach which should substitute previously used “rule of thumb”. He believed that task allocation and job-fragmentation makes the production process a lot faster, hence save more time. There is the most popular example given by Adam Smith, increase in productivity from 240 to 4800 times by labour division in a pin factory. “Unskilled workman could make one pin in a day. But if all one skilled man draws out the wire, another straights it, a third cuts it, a fourth points it and so on… the same man will sometimes perform two or three of them” (Smith, A. (1776), chapter I, p.164) This example clearly illustrates separation a task by several skilled workers can significantly increase the output and decrease time wasted. By observing the work or production process is possible to coordinate, improve it and illuminate any tasks that are inappropriate or useless. Time contributes an enormous part of efficiency. Therefore supervisors spend great
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