Scientific management, also called Taylorism, was a theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. Its main objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to theengineering of processes and to management. Its development began with Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1880s and 1890s within themanufacturing industries. Its peak of influence came in the 1910s; by the 1920s, it was still influential but had begun an era ofcompetition and syncretism with opposing or complementary ideas. Although scientific management as a distinct theory or school of thought was obsolete by the 1930s, most of its themes are still important parts of industrial engineering and management today. These include analysis; synthesis; logic; rationality; empiricism; work ethic; efficiency and elimination of waste; standardization of best practices; disdain for tradition preserved merely for its own sake or merely to protect the social status of particular workers with particular skill sets; the transformation of craft production into mass production; and knowledge transfer between workers and from workers into tools, processes, and documentation.
Scientific management's application was contingent on a high level of managerial control over employee work practices. This necessitated a higher ratio of managerial workers to laborers than previous management methods. The great difficulty in accurately differentiating any such intelligent, detail-oriented management from mere misguided also caused interpersonal friction between workers and manager While the terms "scientific management" and "Taylorism" are often treated as synonymous, an alternative view considers Taylorism as the first form of scientific management, which was followed by new iterations; thus in today's management theory, Taylorism is sometimes called (or considered a subset of) the classical perspective (meaning a perspective that's...
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