The chosen article that will be explored through this essay, by Locke, Edwin A. (1982) The Ideas of Frederick W. Taylor: An Evaluation. Academy of Management Review, 7(1). This main source believes that Taylor was the Founding father of Scientific Management, being his key principle, featuring the one best way. However in order to understand the reasoning and logic behind Taylors principles, one must understand the context of the time to make informed decision of the validity of the principles. Fifty percent of the sources believe that Taylor’s principles have transcended through time, forming the basis for modern day contemporary organizations, such as IBM. However the other half of the sources believe that Taylor’s principles have been a detriment to society, which have dehumanized the workforce, creating men as machines, believing that this has established the elements of today’s bureaucratic society.
In 'The Ideas of Frederick.W.Taylor: An evaluation', there are various key themes and principles evident which have provided the foundations for some contemporary styles of management. The author suggests that Taylor's concept of scientific management can be likened to the works of Thomas Edison. Scientific Management is Taylor's most widely recognized principle. Taylor believed in a 'scientific approach toward managerial decisions making'. That managerial decisions should be based upon 'proven fact rather than on tradition...' This principle proved to be most effective when selecting workmen and the time taken to complete a task, through scientific selection and time and motion studies, the man most suited to a particular type of work will be chosen, who is able to complete the work within a specific time frame through the 'one best way'. Taylor believed in the standardization of tools and procedures becoming cohesive, allowing for effective and efficient work time, with adequate rest and pause breaks and shorter working hours. To motivate the worker Taylor assigned a realistic, quality amount of a job, on the basis of time study, which he deemed a task, which is the long term equivalent to the word goal. He believed that if management was to provide monetary incentives (the money bonus) and the worker achieved their goal, then there would be efficient productivity. However the key to efficiency was for management to provide feedback on the work being done. Along with this, a main objective of Taylor's was to have positive working relations between management and workers by understanding social factors, to achieve this, management would take responsibility for their new employees by training them properly which would eliminate confusion of standards and process' and supporting the elimination of 'systematic soldiering'. It is evident that Taylor's main objective was to forge a 'mental revolution' of knowledge and communication between manager and employee.
In order to see the viewpoint of the sources, one must understand the context of the time, where the working class man became of importance due to the boom of the industrial age, which created a middle class of society. Also the impending First World War would create need for consistency and efficiency. Due to the progression of the development of the machines, man needed to find a solution to compete in the global market, to increase workers efficiency so revenue would not become obsolete. Taylor’s principles, in theory, created the solution at the time. This is clear, as the ‘wage earner in the railroads car repair shops was only $163 compared to $283 in the shops of commercial car builders such as Pullman’ (Aldrich, 2010, p. 504 ) stressing a need to be competitive in the financial market. The implementations of Taylor’s principles of the incentive system and time study, costs in the shops were reduced 13-15%, with the worker earning a bonus if he was ‘at least 80% efficient’ (Aldrich, 2010, p. 507). A critique of this, it caused hostility in the worker, which...
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