What was Frederick Taylor's most significant contribution to management?

1185 Words Apr 13th, 2004 5 Pages
Frederick Winslow Taylor, the acknowledged 'Father' of scientific management was a pre classical contributor. Taylor was the founder of a system that stated the relationship of workers and managers to the realm of new science/technology. Scientific management is the approach emphasing production efficiencies by scientifically searching for the 'one best way' to do each job. Taylor pioneered his signature time and motion studies of work processes through this movement, developed an array of principles to enhance productivity, as well as created a mental revolution between workers and employers. The system includes various wage and bonus incentive plans, an array of techniques for measuring work input and output, and an ideology of authority …show more content…
Scientific management became a "movement" with wide potential applications and many followers. No single figure in the history of industrialization did more to affect the role of the manager than Taylor, and in fact those who came after him had to take Taylor's work into account in the application of their theories and techniques. For instance, he provided many of the ideas for the conceptual framework later adopted by the administrative management theorists, including Fayol's 14 principles of management: clear delineation of authority and responsibility, separation of planning from operations, the development of incentive systems for worker, task specialisation/standardisation etc (Robbins, S., Bergman, R., Stagg, I., Coulter, M., 2000, p47). Many of the principles of scientific management were similar to those ideologies in Max Weber's bureaucratic model (Robbins et al., p48). This was particularly true of Taylor's view that management itself should be governed by rational rules and procedures.

Despite admirable goals and achievements of improved performance, Taylor has attracted numerous critics. Perhaps the best known and major critics were Wrege and Perroni's (1974) investigation of Taylor's account of the pig iron handling experiments at Bethlehem Steel (Hough et al., p586). Wrege and Perroni suggested that Taylor had created a 'pig tale'. In particular, the authors demonstrated discrepancies in Taylor's account of the experiments. However,