Scientific Management is a theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. Its main objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes and to management. Its development began with Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1880s and 1890s within the manufacturing industries. Taylor was an American mechanical engineer and a management consultant in his later years.
He is often called “The Father of scientific management.
” Taylor was writing at a time when factories were creating big problems for the management.
Workmen were quite inefficient. According to Taylor, there were three reasons for the inefficiency. They were the: 1. Deceptive belief that a material increase in the output of each man or each machine in the trade would throw people out of work 2. Defective management systems, which made it necessary for each workman to soldier, or work slowly to protect his own best interests
3. Inefficient rule of thumb methods, which were almost universal in all trades, which cost much wasted effort In this section, Taylor explained his principles of scientific management. Taylor’s scientific management consisted of four principles: 1) Replace rule of thumb work methods with methods based on a scientific study of the tasks. 2) Scientifically select and then train, teach, and develop the workman, whereas in the past the employee (or workmen) chose his own work and trained himself as best he could. ) Provide “Detailed instruction and supervision of each worker in the performance of that worker’s discrete task” (Montgomery 1997: 250). 4) Divide work nearly equally between managers and workers, so that the managers apply scientific management principles to planning the work and the workers actually perform the tasks. According to F. W. Taylor, the above combination of the initiative of the employee, coupled with the new types of work done by the management that makes scientific management so much more efficient than the old plans.
Scientific management was one of the first attempts to systematically treat management and process improvement as a scientific problem. It was probably the first to do so in a “bottom-up” way, which is a concept that remains useful even today. So we can make a conclusion that from the above discussion that scientific management is necessary for present day business. Citing examples where possible, explain your understanding and contributions of Scientific Management Theory. To what extent do you think this management theory is still relevant in the practice of management today? Discuss. . 1Understanding Scientific Management Many of the classical writers were concerned with the improvement of management as a means of increasing productivity. Scientific management, also called Taylorism or the Classical Perspective, is a theory of management that analyzes and synthesizes processes, improving labor productivity. The core ideas of the theory were developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1880s and 1890s. 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.
He considered that all work processes could be analyzed into discrete tasks and that by scientific method it was possible to find one best way to perform each task. Each job was broken down into component parts, each part timed, and the parts rearranged into the most efficient method of working. In management literature today, the greatest use of the concept of Taylorism is as a contrast to a new, improved way of doing business. 1. 2Scientific Management Theory Taylor was a believer in the rational-economic needs concept of motivation.
He believed that if management acted on his ideas, work would become more satisfying and profitable for all concerned. Workers would be motivated by obtaining the highest possible wages through working in the most efficient and productive way. He set out four principles to guide management. These principles are usually summarized as: ?The development of a true science for each person’s work. This principle created by Taylor does replace the old rule-of-thumb method. ?The scientific selection, training and development of the workers, whereas in he past he chose his own work and trained him as best he could. ?Co-operation with the workers to ensure work is carried out in the prescribed way which has been developed. ?The division of work and responsibility between management and the workers. The management takes over all work for which they are better fitted than the workmen, while in the past almost all of the work and the greater part of the responsibility were thrown upon the men. These principles were implemented in many factories, often increasing productivity.
Henry ford applied Taylor’s principles in his automobile factories. This use of Scientific Management has defined the key components of the McDonalds success story, high volume and short waits time for the product, consistency or predictability of the end product. The so called “McDonalization” has the following features that are evolution of the core principles of scientific management. Secondly by examining the areas where strategic management arises from scientific management and inference can be drawn about the opportunity cost of this difference.
The assembly line techniques have enabled McDonalds to serve food at high volumes very quickly. Taylor adopted an instrumental view of human behavior together with the application of standard procedures of work. Workers were regarded as rational, economic beings motivated directly by monetary incentives linked to the level of work output. Workers were viewed as isolated individuals and more as units of production to be handled almost in the same way as machines. Hence, scientific management is often referred to as a machine theory model.
While Taylor’s work is often criticized today it should be remembered that he was writing at a time of industrial reorganization and the emergence of large, complex organizations with new forms of technology. Taylor’s main concern was with the efficiency of both workers and management. He believed his methods of scientific management would lead to improved industrial efficiency and prosperity. 1. 3Conclusion According to me after reading through many human resource books, while scientific management principles improved productivity and had a substantial impact on industry, they also increased the monotony of work.
The core job dimensions of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback all were missing from the picture of scientific management. While in many cases, the new ways of working were accepted by workers, in some cases they were not. The use of stopwatches often was a protested issue and led to a strike at one factory where Taylorism was tested. Complaints that Taylorism was dehumanizing led to an investigation by the United States Congress. Despite its controversy, scientific management changed the way that work was done, and forms of it continue to be used today.
Cite this Principles of Scientific Management
Principles of Scientific Management. (2017, Mar 03). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/principles-of-scientific-management/