Critically Discuss the Contribution of the Work of Frederick W. Taylor to Management Thought and Practice. Pay Particular Attention to How His Ideas Were Shaped by the Cultural Context of His Time, and to the Competing Interpretations of His Legacy.

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Critically discuss the contribution of the work of Frederick W. Taylor to management thought and practice. Pay particular attention to how his ideas were shaped by the cultural context of his time, and to the competing interpretations of his legacy.

Frederick W. Taylor has played a major role in the evolution of management thought and practice through the critical period of the turn of the century in industrialized America. So significant was his contribution to the systemization of management thought and practice that Geoffrey Colvin and fellow historians describeTaylor as “ the most influential business guru of the twentieth century”(Wren&Bedian,2011:154). Taylor’s fundamental concepts steamed from his determination to create a more systematic and productive work place. In this essay I will critically examine some of the main principles underpinning Taylorism which are; detailed task analysis to affect a more efficient task management system, the concept of making management more efficient in a scientific way rather than continuing with past traditions and thirdly the changes to performance based pay systems. Taylor commenced his working life during one of the most critical eras in the development of the industrailization of the United States. This was a period in history where immigration levels were high therefore creating a large diverse workforce: the diversity of skills, skill levels, language and culture presented huge challenges to the management and mobilization of this workforce. I am going to establish a link between the influences of these changing times on Taylor’s management practices. I will then review his legacy and the competing interpretations particularly with respect to how his principles have contributed to major improvements in the industrial development of the United States and much further afield and have also contributed to more recent management thoughts and practices. Taylor’s upbringing in a strict and controlled Quaker home...
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