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The contribution of F.W.Taylor to scientific management

Frederick Taylor (1856-1915), developer of scientific management. Scientific management (also called Taylorism or the Taylor system) is a theory of management that analyzes and synthesizes workflows, with the objective of improving labor productivity.

The contribution of F.W.Taylor to scientific management

 

Frederick Taylor (1856-1915), developer of scientific management. Scientific management (also called Taylorism or the Taylor system) is a theory of management that analyzes and synthesizes workflows, with the objective of improving labor productivity. The core ideas of the theory were developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1880s and 1890s, and were first published in his monographs, Shop Management

 

(1905) and The Principles of Scientific Management (1911). Taylor believed that decisions based upon tradition and rules of thumb should be replaced by precise procedures developed after careful study of an individual at work. Its application is contingent on a high level of managerial control over employee work practices.

 

Taylorism is a variation on the theme of efficiency; it is a late 19th and early 20th century instance of the larger recurring theme in human life of increasing efficiency, decreasing waste, and using empirical methods to decide what matters, rather than uncritically accepting pre-existing ideas of what matters. Thus it is a chapter in the larger narrative that also includes, for example, the folk wisdom of thrift, time and motion study, Fordism, and lean manufacturing. It overlapped considerably with the Efficiency Movement, which was the broader cultural echo of scientific management's impact on business managers specifically.

 

In management literature today, the greatest use of the concept of Taylorism is as a contrast to a new, improved way of doing business. In political and sociological terms, Taylorism can be seen as the division of labor pushed to its logical extreme, with a consequent de-skilling of the worker and dehumanisation of the workplace.

 

General approach

 

            Shift in decision making from employees to managers

            Develop a standard method for performing each job

            Select workers with appropriate abilities for each job

            Train workers in the standard method previously developed

            Support workers by planning their work and eliminating interruptions

            Provide wage incentives to workers for increased output

 

Contributions

 

            Scientific approach to business management and process improvement

            Importance of compensation for performance

            Began the careful study of tasks and jobs

            Importance of selection criteria by management

 

Elements

 

            Labor is defined and authority/responsibility is legitimised/official

            Positions placed in hierarchy and under authority of higher level

            Selection is based upon technical competence, training or experience

            Actions and decisions are recorded to allow continuity and memory

            Management is different from ownership of the organization

            Managers follow rules/procedures to enable reliable/predictable behavior

 

Criticisms

 

            Did not appreciate the social context of work and higher needs of workers.

            Did not acknowledge variance among individuals.

 

            Tended to regard workers as uninformed and ignored their ideas and suggestions.

 



Elements and Tools of Scientific Management

Separation of planning and doing

Functional Foremanship

Job Analysis

Standardization

Scientific Selection and training of workers

Financial Incentives

Economy

Mental Revolution




Principles of Scientific Management

            Replacing rule of thumb with science

            Harmony in group action

            Co-operation

            Maximum output

            Development of workers

 

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