1) How and why are Taylor’s ideas still useful today?
Frederick W. Taylor is known as “The Father of Scientific Management” and his philosophy of management lies in the scientific approach to decision making, which means that it is based on proven fact /experimentation, research/ rather than on tradition, guesswork, rule of thumb or precedent. (Taylor, 1911/1967) In my opinion, what makes Frederick W. Taylor’s ideas relevant even nowadays, is the fundamental principle to secure maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with maximum prosperity for each employee. (Taylor, 1911/1967) Regardless of era or century, this is a condition that will make everybody happy when exercised properly. Deriving from this fundamental perception, Taylor’s ideas and techniques made him one of the most influential management thinkers of the twentieth century, and with respect to standardization of work, time and motion studies, goal setting, money as a motivator, rest pauses, scientific selection and management’s responsibility for training his ideas were generally accepted and exercised in modern management as well. Time and motion study and standardization are widely in use now. Time and motion study suggests breaking down the work task in order to determine the best way to carry them out, while standardized tools and procedures ensure greater efficiency. (Locke, 1982) Goal setting presupposes knowing exactly what you want the employees to do and making sure that they do it in the best way. Nowadays, throughout the world, money serves as the best motivator for employees and comes in the form of salary, bonuses, etc. encouraging them to work towards the accomplishment of the company’s objectives in return to this powerful incentive. The idea of rest pauses is quite common now with all its beneficial effects on work. The idea that a person can’t perform efficient work without a periodic rest has become an undeniable fact. So eight hours’ shift with an hour rest pause is usually...
References: Edwin A. Locke, “The idea of Frederick W. Taylor: An evaluation”, Academy of Management Review, 1982, vol. 7, no 1: 14-24.
Donald Reid, “From Experience to Theory”, Journal of Management History, vol. 1, no. 3, (1995): 21-36.
Lee D. Parker and Philip A. Ritson, “Revisiting Fayol: Anticipating Contemporary Management”, British Journal of Management, vol. 16, (2005): 175–194.
Fedrerick Winslow Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management, 1911
Henri Fayol, General and Industrial Management, trans. Constance Storrs (Londo: Pitman Publishing, Ltd., 1949), 19-42.
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