Impact of Taylor and Ford on Organizations Today
Scientific management is a well known approach towards management and it can be traced back to the work of Fredrick Taylor and Henry Ford. Taylor believed that similar to the way that there is best machine to each job, so there is the best method that people should undertake their jobs. Fordism which picked up the name of its pioneer, Ford, involved mass consumption which is combined with mass production to produce widespread material advancement and sustained economic growth (Daft and Marcic, 2010). The paper elaborates the impacts of the scientific approach to management in today’s organizations and also to the employee with respect to Taylor’s and Ford’s influence. This approach has been so much significant during the industrialization era but in today’s organizations, it is facing a decreasing impact due to knowledge of experienced managers that all situations and people should not be handled the same way. The emergence of many variables and environmental uncertainties has led many organizations to use the contingency approach. Scientific management is the method to determine one best way for a job to be done. Fredrick Taylor is an important contributor to the development of this theory. His work at Midvale and Bethlehem steel industries stimulated the interest in him to improving efficiency. Taylor defined four principles of management which he sought would create mental revolution among both the managers and workers (Cobley, 2009). His principles involved the development of a true science of management, scientific selection of workers, scientific education and development of workers and intimate friendly relationship between workers and employers. Heames (2010), explains how using these principles Taylor was able to define ‘one best way’ for doing each job and also achieved improvements in productivity which was consistent in the range of 200 percent. He affirmed the role of workers to perform s they were instructed while the managers roles were to plan and control. The mass production model which bears the name of its pioneer, Ford, dates back to the first moving assembly lines creation that were put into action at Ford’s Model T plant. The labour productivity increased tenfold permitting stunning price cuts thus involved to standardize a product and mass means of manufacturing at a price low enough that a common man could actually afford to buy (Daft, 2010:97). Fordism production involved an intensified division of labour and increased coordination and mechanization of large scale manufacturing to achieve a steady production flow. They also used less skilled labour to perform tasks that were least specified by management. The control over the pace and intensity of work due to potential for heightened capitalist were inclusive to Fordism (Wagner, 2009). According to Frey (2008), separation of thinking and working is one of the impacts that resulted with the essence of Taylorism where managers had to decide what the workers should do. The worker would have got used to his action when he had thought of it and tried to improve on it (Down, 2012). The relationship between the worker and the manager known as social-technical relation has different demands in that the planning department wanted efficiency in production process but workers wanted to have a good payment. Although it improved efficiency and profitability to organizations while making the management role to be systematic, workers felt differently in terms of satisfaction and motivation (Frey, 2008:185). Worker and employer relation importance was recognized by Ford. He introduced an eight hour workday and gave higher wage by an increasing production to make better profit of labour from these improvements. This impacted on workers motivating them, making them to improve their skills and quality of life and also enhance job satisfaction to the workers (Pacharapha, 2012). In Fordism the management was very...
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