Describe and critique the Scientific Management approach pioneered by Frederick Taylor.
1.0 Executive Summary
This article is a reflective paper on Frederick Winslow Taylor’s theory “The Principles of Scientific Management” published in 1911. The paradigm of scientific management focuses on production workers efficiency by breaking down every action, job, or task into small and simple segments that can be easily performed with minimal skills and without acquired knowledge (Taylor, 1911). Taylor, often known as “father of scientific management” (Barkley, 1969), with his standardization of scientific methodology, unquestionably, set the foundation for unprecedented scale of factory output from United States in the early 20th century. His turn-of-the-century theory influenced management in various industries and remained a milestone in the theory and practice of modern management (Shenhav, 1992).
1.1 Conceptualization of the Principles
Taylorism is a process of determining the division of work into its smallest possible skill elements, and how the process of completing each task can be standardized to achieve maximum efficiency (Bratton, Sawchuk, Forshaw, Callinan & Corbet, 2012). The key elements to Taylor’s approach of scientific management: 1.1.1
1.2 Critiques on Taylor’s Scientific Management
Controversially, Taylorism is often criticized as destroying the soul of work, dehumanizing to the extent of reducing men into automatons (Vincenzo Sandrone, 2004). As jobs fragment into constituent elements, the negative aspects of scientific management became apparent. With the division of labour, work is reduced to mundane repetitive tasks resulting in frustration and boredom. Innovation gave way to production targets, workers’ morale destroyed and humans became little more than machines in the chain. The birth of fordism further increased worker’s frustration and dissatisfaction and decimate any worker’s commitment to organization. Interestingly, 55 years...
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