From the end of 19th Century to the beginning of 20th Century, the United States of America achieved a major breakthrough in some areas of science and technology on the basis of inheriting European science and technology tradition, thus promoting the rapid development of agriculture and industry, even catching up and exceeding the UK. However, in order to further the development of production, it was necessary for America to have a breakthrough on the management. Then Frederick Taylor appeared, he was “the one who suddenly appear to reverse the situation at the crucial moment, and he was the key person to form a thought”.
What is scientific management?
Scientific management is also called classical management theory, traditional management theory. Taylor summarized the scientific management as: Science, rather than solely on work experience; harmony, rather than the cooperation; cooperation, rather than individualism; in order to maximize the output, to replace the limited output, each person should work on a maximum efficiency to get the greatest success, that is to use high efficiency production mode instead of low cost production methods, in order to strengthen the labor cost control. The main purpose of scientific management is to improve labor productivity. In the early 20th century, Taylor created the theory of scientific management system and this system was known as "Taylorism". Briefly speaking, Taylorism is a process of determining the division of work into its smallest possible skill elements, and how the process of completing each task can be standardized to achieve maximum efficiency. The main content of "Taylorism" includes: (1) The fundamental purpose of management is to improve efficiency. (2) Make work quota. (3)Choose the best workers. (4)Implement standardized management. (5)Implement excitant payment system. (6)Lay stress on "spiritual revolution" cooperated by workers and employers. (7)Advocate to separate plan functions and executive function. (8)Implement function management system. (9)Implement exception principle on management control.
The evaluations on the scientific management theory
Contributions of the scientific management theory
(1) Scientific management was not an innovation, but integration. Taylor did not invent something entirely new, but he integrated ideas which emerged and developed in Britain and the United States throughout the 19th century and then developed a set of thoughts, he made a series of disjointed things and experiments as a system of philosophy called scientific management.(2) The theory of scientific management made an important breakthrough in the management philosophy, so Taylor was called the master of management philosophy. Scientific management theory made a conclusion and revolution in world view, epistemology and methodology of management.(3) Taylor introduced science to the field of management, and improved the scientific management theory. It broke through the traditional experience and management methods inherited from the industrial revolution. (4) Scientific management proposed the job management, the division of functions between managers and workers, and the psychological revolution of both employers and employees, so that both employers and employees may coordinate the interest of both sides by raising labor productivity and expanding production results, so as to promote the development of productive forces.(5) The scientific management movement strengthened the social concern of the public to eliminate waste and improve efficiency, and promote the operation and management of scientific research.
Limitations of the scientific management theory
(1)Taylor’s view on worker was wrong. He thought the main motivation of worker was economy, and what workers most concerned about was to improve their own money, that was to insist on the hypothesis of "economic man", but paid no attention to people's social factors. In real life, people...