“Scientific Management was the product of the 19th century industrial practices and has no relevance to the present day” What comes to your mind when you hear the words “Scientific Management”? Is it Taylorism? Fordism? Or its relevance today? Scientific Management refers to a theory of Management that optimized the way tasks were performed and increased the productivity of the workforce. The Scientific Management theory was founded in 1880’s by Frederick Taylor, who was exposed to poor management techniques whilst working himself, and developed the Scientific Management theory to increase the efficiency of the workforce, increase the control by introducing a hierarchical system, and to increase productivity by standardizing tasks (Buchanan, 2010). Because of Taylor’s contribution to Scientific Management, some also call it Taylorism. Since the introduction of Scientific Management, many businesses started to apply this new style to their own business as it proved to increase employee productivity and efficiency. The principal objective of management should be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer and their employees (Taylor, 1967), Taylor believed in his initiative and incentive system, which meant that if employees worked more efficient and productive by taking the initiative to do their work, they would be rewarded with incentives (mainly financial). This system supported the principles of management, as employers would get more out of their employees, and employees would get rewarded for their work, which would often secure maximum prosperity. When looking at the present day, one could argue that Taylors initiative and incentive system is still relevant today, in today business world managers and employees often get a bonus for their performance. And although Scientific Management was present in the 19th century, it also has relevance in the present day. This essay will explain the theories of Scientific Management before answering the given statement, as it is important to know the different principles of Scientific Management in order to analyze its relevance today. This essay will also argue the extent to which Scientific Management is relevant to the present day. Scientific Management is an important foundation of Modern Management and is therefore still very relevant to the present day, however there are exceptions. Who were the main Theorists in Scientific Management?
When talking about Scientific Management there are certain theorists that need to be mentioned, these theorist include, Frederick Taylor, Henry Ford, and Adam Smith, each of the theorists have contributed in some way to Scientific Management. As mentioned before Frederick Taylor is seen to be the founder of Scientific Management, he developed the principles of scientific management, which he believed to be the core of scientific management. His principles include his beliefs that there had to be a clear division of tasks and responsibilities between the management and the workers, this way the business was more organized and efficient because the tasks were clearly divided. The management was also in charge of ensuring that the workers had the knowledge and training to perform their tasks (Taylor, 1967). In order to find the “best way” of organizing a business in terms of efficiency and productivity Taylor conducted several studies, including the Midvale Steel Company study. He noticed that few workers actually worked at the speeds they were capable of working; he called this systematic soldiering (Buchanan, 2010). He found out that workers were not working as productively because “the view among the workers [was] that an increase in output would result in redundancies (Buchanan, 2010). He also discovered that there were inadequate management controls which let the workforce work slowly for their best interest. By introducing Scientific Management workers were rewarded with increased wages based on their output. This was further...
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