Frederick W. Taylor

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Background of Frederick W. Taylor

Frederick W Taylor was an American inventor and engineer, considered the father of "scientific management". Although born to a wealthy family, Taylor began his work life when he signed on as an apprentice at a small Philadelphia pump works. Four years later, at a plant in Midvale, he developed the basic elements of what later came to be known as "scientific management" - the breakdown of work tasks into constituent elements, the timing of each element based on repeated stopwatch studies, the fixing of piece rate compensation based on those studies, the standardization of work tasks on detailed instruction cards and generally the systematic consolidation of the shop floor's brain work in a "planning department."

His influential theory enabled industry to move away from "rule of thumb" management and be more efficient and prosperous. The modern systems of manufacturing and management would not be the examples of efficiency that they are today, without his work. Frederick Taylor was instrumental in bringing industry out of the dark ages by beginning to revolutionize the way work was approached. Taylor was able to increase wages, productivity and reduce per piece costs at the same time. His work was eventually adopted in a wide array of applications. Taylor's ideas had a significant influence on the industrial life of all modernized countries. His work was an extension of human work and technology. His principles of scientific management were conceived to be free of value judgment. Frederick Taylor's Four Main Principles

Taylor's initial experiments were aimed at determining, how much work a "first-class man" could perform. It was Taylor's goal to collect raw data about the jobs in the workplace, and then to systematize that knowledge; to replace old habits and rules of thumb with precise and usually quantitative analysis. He was convinced that scientific study would reveal a better way, "the one best way of doing things"....
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