What Are the Main Features of Taylor’s Approach to ‘Scientific Management’, and What Criticisms Have Been Made of It? Do Firms Use Scientific Management Today?

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What are the main features of Taylor’s approach to ‘Scientific Management’, and what criticisms have been made of it? Do firms use Scientific Management today?

A term “Scientific production management” was initially introduced in the 1800s by the famous economist Adam Smith in his book “The Wealth of Nations”(Beechmont ) Later on, in 1911, American engineer Frederick Taylor made a research in this field and on its’ basis developed key principles that changed factory management and improved economic efficiency. These principles are presented in his monograph “The Principles of Scientific Management”(1911). The theory improved a link between workers and managers and significantly increased production efficiency in many companies. (Rose) Some people believe that Taylor’s work has become a fertile ground for new theories and researches or even herald ‘technocracy’, others differently criticise his idea. This essay will outline the main principles of Taylor’s theory, major obstacles for the efficient work, criticisms and usefulness of the theory in a modern life.
The main technical prescriptions of “Scientific Management” can be separated into three broad sets. The first set is regarding the Labour selection and motivation. Taylor believed that the main obstacles for efficient work are the waste of time and resources caused by “soldering” and “slacking”. He used the term “soldering” to describe workers’ reluctance do the work in their full capacity caused by motivation lack, apathy or laziness. Taylor’s solution for this is to make appropriate incentives for workers so that they will be more motivated to work efficiently. In order to be more effective the incentives should be in the form of money such as extra wages (Rose, M. (1985), pp.31-33). Also Taylor believed that work should be performed by the ‘first-class men’. Example, the Bethlehem Steel factory, labour selection for pig-iron handling. According to Taylor, money encourages labour to work in a more

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