Management and 21st Century

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Despite many criticisms, and a wealth of newer theories on the topic of managing people, Taylorism (i.e. Scientific Management) is alive and well in 21st century management practice.  
Taylorism, in todays society is ever present, from car companies to McDonalds it is constantly used. This form of Scientific management originated at the height of the industrial revolution, in the early 1900's, by a man by the name of Frederick W. Taylor. Over the one hundred years, this type of management has changed and reformed into many different types of management but it is still good and applicable in these modern times even though the practice has some basic flaws that limit its impact in current work places and therefore not all of the theory applies to modern organisations.  

1. What is taylorism
It is hard to discuss and examine Taylorism without a definition due to the specific type of management being interpreted wrong .The main concept of taylorism is the "separation of conception from execution", which in simple words means that the oganisation is broken down in simple and basic parts from the managers who do the thinking to the workers who do the doing. Taylorism orginated from a book he produced in 1909, named "The Principles of Scientific Management." Other than the main concept, he also furthered the hypothesis that employees and managers need to work together to achieve maximum efficiency. This was a new revolutionary type of management, it was very different to the way it was done in organisations previously. A factory manager during this period of history had extremely little contact with his employees, and he left them on their own to produce the necessary product, this still occurs in some companies like many call centres around the world still to this day. Also during this time, employees key motivation was usually to continue working there, however there was absolutely no incentive to work and produce quickly and efficiently. In Taylor’s “The Principles of scientific Management” book, he held the belief that all workers were motivated by money, so he encouraged the notion of of "a fair day's pay for a fair day's work." (Taylor 1909). Taylor was also, extremely interested in maximal productivity, he designed workplace experience to attempt to achieve increased efficiency. He investigated ways of efficiently laying bricks and the various motions required with it, by doing this he established that by calculating the time needed for each element of the overall task, he could improve on the time it usually took to complete the original task. Through these studies, Taylor determined that some employees work better than others, therefore picking the right people for the job was an extremely important part of the job process. , Taylor established four principles of scientific management from this research, and these are known as "Taylorism".

Taylor viewed the majority of workers as ill educated and unfit to make important decisions, this is illustrated in the following quotation, “One of the very first requirements for a man who is fit to handle pig iron as a regular occupation is that he shall be so stupid and so phlegmatic that he more nearly resembles […] the ox… Therefore the workman…is unable to understand the real science of doing this class of work” (Taylor 1998, p. 28).

Taylor’s implementation of scientific fact did not stop there; he had also studied the equipment workmen used appropriating the correct scientific design for the task at hand, these insured workers neither over-worked nor under-worked themselves. Furthermore, workers were scientifically selected resulting in workers performing tasks they were biologically able to cope with, and tasks that equaled their skill. Taylor (and later Gant) drove this system by incentivying workers with money.

Taylor’s system insured the most efficient way would be used by all workers, therefore making the work process standard. Invariably...
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