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

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  • April 5, 2004
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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 in organisation. Understandably, this new core and field of management has attracted many critics who claimed that the theory dehumanises and exploit workers. However, Taylor's impact on management cannot be denied. Many current management practices are influenced and guided, either consciously or subconsciously, by these traditional concepts. It is also impossible to fault the brilliance with which scientific management created a lasting formula to resolve the social problems of industrial organisation and influenced the quality of human life.

The birth place of Frederick Winslow Taylor classical ideas came from his actual work experience in Midvale Steel Company. Early in his career he became interested in improving work efficiency and methods. However, Taylor was continually appalled by workers' inefficiencies, which he called soldiering. Soldiering is deliberately working at less than full capacity (Bartol, K., Martin, D., 2001, p36). Taylor ascertains that work could be analysed scientifically and that it was management's responsibility to provide the specific guidelines for workers performance;. This led to the development of the one best (correct) method of doing each task; the scientific management .

Under...