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Use of Scientific Management in the 21st Century

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Use of Scientific Management in the 21st Century

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Use of Scientific Management in the 21st Century
Roberta Larkins
Jones International University
April 14, 2010

Abstract

The 19th and 20th Century gives the foundation of the shift in management modeling. Frederick Taylor, Henry Gantt, and Lillian Gilbreth gave great insight into the need for a paradigm shift in business. The elements of this shift form the basis of the four principles of Scientific Management. The principles of Scientific Management and their use in the 21st Century are the elements of this paper.

Use of Scientific Management in the 21st Century

The management of an organization that has a structural system which clearly defines the functions of the departments, groups, and individuals can be defined by the term Scientific Management originated by Frederick Taylor. (Nelson, 2003, p.1) The Encyclopedia for Business (n.d.) defines Scientific Management as “methods aimed at determining the best way for a job to be done. (n.d., pg 6). While the initial use of Scientific Management in dealing with issues of efficiency and productivity is rooted in the history of management theory during the 19th Century and early in the 20th Century, the same organizational needs are evident in business today and the usage of the fundamentals of Scientific Management can be used to effectively increase both efficiency and productivity in a 21st Century organization.

The Pioneers

Frederick Taylor, known as ‘the most influential business guru of the 20th century’ (154), began his journey into business in an apprenticeship to a patternmaker for a pump manufacturing company in Philadelphia.(Wren, 2004, 121) It is here Taylor has the opportunity to see firsthand what the employees are experiencing and make note of the elements of discourse. Wren describes the conditions as "worker restriction of output, poor management, and lack of harmony between labor and management" (2004, p.122). As Taylor continued to advance in his career, he...