Scientific Management

Topics: Frederick Winslow Taylor, Lillian Moller Gilbreth, Scientific management Pages: 7 (2184 words) Published: June 1, 2013
Scientific Management

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1956-1915) observed in his role as a apprentice machinist that workers used different and mostly inneficient work methods. He also noticed that few machines ever worked at the speed of which they were capable. Also, the choice of methods of work were left at the discretion of the workers who wasted a large part of their efforts ussing inefficient and unstead rules-of-thumb. They kept they craft secrets to themselves (between the group members) and worked at a collectively agreed rate that was below their ability. Therefore, he contrasted natural soldiering (i.e. the inclination to take it easy) with what he labelled systematic soldiering (i.e. the conscious and deliberate restriction of output by operators). His objectives were to achieve: * Efficiency by incresing the output per worker and reducing deliberate “underworking” by employees * Predictability of job performace by standardizing tasks by dividing up tasks into small, standardized, closely specified subtasks. * Control by establishing discipline through hierarchical authority and introducing a system whereby all management’s policy decisions could be implemented.

Frederick Taylor’s 5 principles of scientific management
1) A clear division of tasks and responsabilitis between management and workers. 2) Use of scientific methods to determine the best way of doing a job. 3) Scientific selection of the person to do the newly designed job 4) The training of the selected worker to perform the job in the way specified. 5) Surveillance of workers through the use of hierarchies of authority and close supervision. Taylor’s approach involved studying each work task. He chose routine, repetitive tasks performed by numerous operatives where study could save and increse production. His studies try to answer this question: “How long should it take do to any particular job in the machine shop?” and discover “one-best-way” of performing any task. He felt that every employee in an organization should be confined to a single function. Taylor argues that managers should exercise full responsibility for the planning, co-ordinating and controlling of work, icnluding selecting the tools to be used (management work). Management would therefore plan and organize the work and labour would execute it, all in accordance with dictates of science. Management-workers relations, in Taylor’s eyes, should be co-operative rather than adversial. His techniques were meant to improve the efficiency and social harmony of industrial life. . However, workers were concerned that scientific managemt just meant “work speed-up”- that is, more work for less pay. Sometimes workers complained about the inequality of pay increases as when a 300 per cent productivity increase resulted in a 30 per cent pay increase. The efficiency also led to the requirement for fewer workers. CRITICISM OF TAYLORISM:

1)Neglected the subjective side of work- the personal and interactional aspect of performance, the meaning that employees give to work and the significance to them of their social relationships to work. 2)Did not take into account the meanings that workers would put on new procedures and their reactions to being timed and closely supervised. 3)Failed to understand the interpendence on the individual with the immediate work group. He attributed underwork to group pressures but he did not realized it might just as easily keep the production and morale up. 4)Ignored the psychological needs and capacities of workers. The one-best-way of doing a job was chosen with the mechanistic criteria of speed and output, but this might easile cause psychological disturbances. 5)Assumed that the motivation of the employee was simply linked to getting the maximum earning for the effort expanded and neglected the importance of other rewards from work (achievement, job satisfaction, recognition). 6)Functional foremanship was deemed to be too...
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