The Industrial Revolution that started with the development of steam power and the creation of large factories in the late Eighteenth Century lead to great changes in the production of textiles and other products. The factories that evolved, created tremendous challenges to organization and management that had not been confronted before. Managing these new factories and later new entities like railroads with the requirement of managing large flows of material, people, and information over large distances created the need for some methods for dealing with the new management issues.
The most important of those who began to create a science of management was Frederic Winslow Taylor, (1856-1915). Taylor was one of the first to attempt to systematically analyze human behavior at work. His model was the machine with its cheap, interchangeable parts, each of which does one specific function. Taylor attempted to do to complex organizations what engineers had done to machines and this involved making individuals into the equivalent of machine parts. Just as machine parts were easily interchangeable, cheap, and passive, so too should the human parts be the same in the Machine model of organizations.
This involved breaking down each task to its smallest unit and to figure out the one best way to do each job. Then the engineer, after analyzing the job should teach it to the worker and make sure the worker does only those motions essential to the task.. Taylor attempted to make a science for each element of work and restrict behavioral alternatives facing worker. Taylor looked at interaction of human characteristics, social environment, task, and physical environment, capacity, speed, durability, and cost. The overall goal was to remove human variability.
The results were profound. Productivity under Taylorism went up dramatically. New departments arose such as industrial engineering, personnel, and quality control. There was also growth in...