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Scientific Management Was the Product of 19th Century Industrial Practices and Has No Relevance to the Present Day. Discuss.

By | December 2012
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Scientific Management was the product of 19th Century industrial practices and has no relevance to the present day. Discuss.

« I am hiring you for your strength and physical capacities. We don’t ask you thinking; some people are already here to do it » said Taylor to one of his employees in summing up his philosophy. During the 19th century, the industrial revolution spread in developed countries, substituting agriculture for large-scale industry and the same problems emerged everywhere: laziness, obstruction and a gap of knowledge between managers (white-collar workers) and the other workers (blue-collar workers). Old management principles, which fit with mass production and profit maximisation are not anymore adapted and need to be replaced by new ones. With scientific management, Taylor introduced a method that changed the way we work and also our way of life. In order to discuss how this system is both equally relevant and irrelevant today, we must understand what scientific management is and how it’s first stages are crucial.

Firstly, we must understand the definition of scientific management? It began in the early 19th century with the people who set it up. There people include F.W Taylor, H. Ford and the people who reflect on the theory such as A. Smith. Taylor (by the hand, his parents forced him to do country dancing) was a manager in the steel industry. His four management principles are :

« The development of a science to replace the old rule-of-thumb knowledge of the workmen (…), the scientific selection and then the progressive selection of the workmen (…), the bringing of the science and the scientifically selected and trained workmen together. (…), and an almost equal division of the actual work of the establishment between the workmen, on the one hand, and the management, on the other hand. »

The aim is to standardise the workers as the work and despite resistance (strikes and sabotage) at the beginning, it became the standard in...

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