Compare and Contrast Mayo with Taylor

Topics: Frederick Winslow Taylor, Management, Scientific management Pages: 7 (2303 words) Published: October 24, 2008

Frederick Winslow Taylor also known as F.W.Taylor and George Elton Mayo have given some important definitions to the management work in the past. F.W.Taylor the Father of Scientific Management opposed the rule of thumb and said that there is only ‘one best way of doing work’ where as Elton Mayo proposed that the importance of groups affects the behaviour of individuals at work.

As the topic suggests, there are many contrasts between Taylor and Mayo but the only similarity between these is that they both wanted to that more production can be possible only through more efficiency by the workers but Taylor explained it through the superior – subordinate relationship and Mayo by the informal organization. Before writing about the contrasts let’s look in detail about Taylor and Mayo and then define their contrasts.

Frederick Winslow Taylor (20th March 1856 – 21st March 1915)

Also known as F.W.Taylor, wan an American mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. Taylor is regarded as the father of scientific management, and was one of the first management consultants. He was one of the intellectual leaders of the Efficiency Movement and his ideas, broadly conceived, were highly influential in the Progressive Era.

Taylor was born in 1856 to a wealthy Quaker family in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Taylor became an industrial apprentice patternmaker, gaining shop-floor experience at a pump-manufacturing company Enterprise Hydraulic Works, Philadelphia. Taylor's career progressed in 1878 when he became a machine shop laborer at Midvale Steel Works. Taylor was promoted to chief engineer at Midvale. Taylor took night study at Stevens Institute of Technology and in 1883 obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering. 1898, Taylor joined Bethlehem Steel. Taylor was forced to leave Bethlehem Steel in 1901 after antagonisms with other managers. Taylor eventually became a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Late winter of 1915 Taylor caught pneumonia and one day after his fifty-ninth birthday, on March 21, he died. He was buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

Scientific management (also called Taylorism, the Taylor system, or the Classical Perspective) is a theory of management that analyzes and synthesizes workflow processes, improving labor productivity. The core ideas of the theory were developed in the 1880s and 1890s. Followers of Taylor include Gnatt, Frank and Lillian Gillberth and Emerson (Agarwal 1982).

Taylor made contributions in the form of 4 scientific principles and 7 techniques. Let’s elaborate on them:-

Scientific Principles of Management

1)Science not Rule of Thumb: - He believed that there was only one best method to maximise efficiency and the method could be developed through study and analysis. The method so developed should substitute ‘Rule of Thumb’. Scientific method involved investigation of traditional methods through work – study, unifying the best practices and developing a standard method, which would be followed throughout the organisation.

2)Harmony, Not Discord: - Factory system implied that managers served as a link between owners and the workers. The managers had the mandate to ‘get work done’ from the workers but Taylor was in the belief that there always existed the possibility of a kind of class – conflict. He recognised that this conflict helped none, the workers, the managers or the factory owners. He emphasised that three should be complete harmony between the management and workers. Both should realise that each one is important. Taylor called for a complete mental revolution on the part of both management and workers.

3)Cooperation, Not Individualism: - There should be complete cooperation between the...

References: “Agarwal, R.D., 1982. Organisation and Management. Published by Tata McGraw – Hi Publishing Company Ltd. p – 23
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