Frederick Taylor’s ‘Scientific Management’
Was for a Different Time and a different Place
“The principal object of management should be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for each employee.”
-Frederick Winslow Taylor
Scientific Management was introduced by Frederick Taylor in the late 19th century. In this essay, I will address the question whether Scientific Management was for a different time and a different place. In this essay, I will analyze Taylor’s Scientific Management from different angles and base my argument on both sides. I will discuss that Scientific Management was introduced for manual labor industry, ...view middle of the document...
According to Drucker Taylor ideas made management bureaucratic. Taylor’s principles made managers to centralize power, separate planning from performing and specialize tasks. His study created a standardized method of how work should be completed and everyone had to work up to that standard; forgetting that workers are human beings making them to work as a functional, repetitive, effective and unquestioning machine. Own initiative, choice and decisions were eliminated; according to Ritzer Scientific Management is as a method used by managers to gain control over employees, a procedure that “produced nonhuman technology that exerted great control over workers” (Ritzer, 2010: 34). This does not apply today. In today’s business world employees are encouraged to use their best endeavors, their skills, their good will and initiative to earn the highest return possible for their employers. Taylor’s philosophy of "production first, people second" allowed measurable benefits to overshadow social benefits completely (Mintzberg, 1989: 333). Looking at it from this perspective Taylor’s Scientific Management was for a different time and has no place in today’s business world.
From the other side, some take the view that Taylor created a beginning, a start for something new, for something better. He was the first to lay down the principles of Scientific Management and view management as a discipline. He created a rigid system, but more a model which can be adapted to suit future business world. According to Drucker a new version of Scientific Management was needed to fit for “knowledge workers and technologists” of today’s business (Drucker, 1999). He sought to improve industrial efficiency and when he found out the answer to his question he explained how he did so. He tells us the method how he achieves efficiency and let us to decide whether we follow it or not. Efficiency is the principle of all the business objectives; where managers and workers perform their tasks in perfect harmony, output and profit is at maximum and costs are kept at minimum. This perfect equilibrium is what Taylor always wanted to achieve.
Taylor, eventually achieved what he wanted, he contributed to a revolution of the industrial workplace. The average industry in the early 1900 was inefficient with managers asking for a better way and a better system. Before Taylor, all economies were underdeveloped. An underdeveloped economy today is one that has not yet tried to make manual worker more productive. After studying and learning the science of work and how to make a more effective way of doing things, the productivity began to rise. Since then, it has been growing steadily at the rate of 3 % per annum compound. However, the opportunity of making the step to raise the productivity of the worker depends on the ability of the “developed countries-and of every industry in it, of every company in it, of every institution in it” (Drucker, 1999). The countries that emerged as...