Scientific Management

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While this theory has made many positive contributions to management practice, there have also been negative implications. On a positive note, Taylorism has made an impact on the introduction of the 8 hour working day, minimum wage rates and incentive and bonus schemes, and more importantly, highlighted management as an important area of study, allowing for other theorists to improve on, or provide alternative management theories in response to scientific management such as more worker orientated theories, namely behavioural management. Taylor’s ideals have however been under constant scrutiny as managers highlight the shortfalls of scientific management. While the highly mechanistic way of practice may lead to increased productivity, it essentially works by dehumanising workers and viewing them simply as an ‘appendage of machinery.’ Caldari argues (2007: 61) that Taylor’s ignorance of social considerations leads to conflict, low worker morale, and low trust between workers and neglect the ability for individual creativity to provide a positive input to the workplace. While Taylor’s theories have been subject to many criticisms, scientific management has made an instrumental contribution to modern management practice across the world. By placing emphasis on the management of workers, Taylor essentially highlighted the importance of management theory and paved the way for further development on management as an important element of business practices. Taylor created a way of replacing the ‘guesswork’ involved in the manufacturing process by replacing it with a scientific way of thinking, strict rules and procedures (Caldari 2007: 58). This form of management practice allows managers to more efficiently control and direct their labour force and similarly it provides space for managers to monitor the workforce, and identify inefficiencies and sources of waste in the manufacturing process. As Parker and Ritson discuss (2005: 1340), this allows managers to observe...
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