Frederick Taylor

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How has Frederick Taylor influenced the practice of management today? Frederick Taylor (1856-1915) was a steel worker who looked for ways to improve industrial efficiency. Taylor believed that it was the manager’s duty to understand workers and their jobs. He wanted to come up with a way to ensure that workers complete their tasks with maximum production and minimum costs (Madeheim, Mazze, Stein 1963). In order to achieve that he came up with a concept known as scientific management to try and improve industrial efficiency. Scientific management included four major steps. The first step was aimed to eliminate the “rule of thumb” method adopted by employees and replace it with specific ways to complete a task. The second step was to scientifically choose employees and train them in their specific area rather than them teaching themselves and having their own ways of doing the task. The third step was to ensure that the workers are following the scientific methods when doing their work. Finally continue to apply scientific principles when planning work, while workers actually perform the tasks. (Stewart, 2004) Taylor’s scientific management seemed logical however it did have some flaws. As much as it was logical it was very restricted. Taylor didn’t leave any room for thought for his employees there was only the “one best way” to perform a task and no other, there was no room for being creative or make suggestions in Taylorism. Taylor ignored the fact that what might be good for one individual might not work with the next. Moreover he ignored the fact that the economical interests of employees and managers are completely different and the rules he used when paying employees was often resented. This sort of resentment led to protest and arguments that Taylorism is dehumanising. This controversy led to an investigation of Taylor’s ways by the united state congress. (Briskin, 1996) Despite this clashes that some may have had, it was evident that when scientific...
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