Key Elements of Taylorism and Its Applicability
Frederick Winslow Taylor published a book in 1911 recommending his theory of scientific management which altered the management model later. There are many management theories willing to improve workers’ efficiency but not influential while Taylor used scientific methods to sum up standardized rules and the theory was spread till today and still available. In the following text, three key elements of the Taylorism and their applicability in contemporary organizations will be presented and analysed.
The first element is that the theory is on the basis of scientific experiment. Scientific management is a theory which is summarized through scientific experiment. Tailor (1911) mentioned that in the past, no systematic management exists to help the company manage their workers and as a result, many workers were reluctant to improve their working efficiency. In 1881, Taylor was a machine shop labor at Midvale Steel Works (Donnelly 1998) and he discovered that workers there were unwilling to make the best use of their time to achieve the mass production. Therefore, Taylor made a metal cutting experiment which cost 26 years and he made about 30 thousand trials to obtain the most efficient way of running the machine and reasonable workload for each workers.
Tailor (1911) thought the main problem of management is to improve production efficiency. Then, a reasonable daily workload should be calculated according to some scientific theory and plenty of tests and experiments. Ultimately, a standardized working process is summarized considering workers’ break time, wasted time, slow action, invalid action and other factors. Fang (2011) suggested that the theory is not only suitable for running business, it is also available to individual. He also presented an example that if we plan to write an essay, we need to write down an outline, scheme what to read and what to prepare. Only if all the details are carefully planned and prepared, the essay can be completed in a more efficient method. Scientific element can also be reflected by piece wage. Taylor (1911) proposed a scheme of how to differentiate workers’ wages scientifically. According to him, company should first set a specialized department to research in the reasonable output and varied wage rate for workers’ various behaviors. Second, distinguish our wage rate which means efficient workers gain a higher rate while workers making mistakes get a lower one. Third, eliminate the wage gap between manager and workers so that your working quality and quantity are more important than your position. The rule indicates that workers’ output has a direct connection to their salary and this kind of rule encourages them to work in a more positive attitude and avoid the phenomenon that workers being unwilling to work hardly. In addition, the rule is relatively fair and benefits both sides. In line with Fang (2011), the bonus regulation has a close relationship with the piece wage proposed by Taylor and it plays an important role in today’ competitive market. The most typical example is the scholarship rule in the school. The benefit of awarded scholarship more or less encourages some students to achieve a better score.
The second element is standardization which means the past experience, knowledge and skills are merged together and a scientific method is concluded and will be applied to every workers. Then, workers have no need to rely on their past experience. Instead, the standardized method is the best choice for them to benefit both the firm’s profit and the workers’ and the waste of time and sources can be avoided. If all the workers in a company apply the same standard to demand themselves, carry out the same rules, share the same language, errors in the company can be easily examined out and every procedure will be put into effect in order. Taylor (1911) also made a...
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