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Critical Evaluation Of Taylorism And Fordism

1465 words - 6 pages

Taylorism is also known as scientific management which named after Frederick W. Taylor. It is a production efficiency methodology that breaks works into small and simple segments which can be easily analysed and taught. Taylorism was first mentioned in 1920s and 20 years later. Henry Ford, who was the founder of the Ford Motor Company, used the scientific management in the form of assembly line production as a method on the T-model car production of his company. This kind of production method then was developed into a new efficient methodology which is called Fordism. In this essay, it is going to critically evaluate the main features of Taylorism and compare it to Fordism and other later-developed production methodology. Firstly, it will illustrate the main features of Taylorism by using some typical examples from contemporary times. Secondly, it is going to show the principal criticisms from other socialists and critique some of them by using some modern features. Finally, Fordism, Post-Fordism and McDonaldisation are going to be mentioned for some further analysis.
The main and first principle of Taylorism is that “management should reduce the industry knowledge to ‘rules, laws, and formulae.’”(Haralambos&Holborn 2004:635) The main cause of the division of industrial knowledge of three main parts is ‘inefficiency’ which is the waste of resources, especially the waste of time. According to Taylor, before implement the scientific management, workers and managers are the two groups seen by him as causing inefficiency of work. For workers, they try to work as slow as they can and are not interested to give their best; this kind of act of omission to work is human nature, in Taylor’s word, called ‘natural soldiering’. More importantly, another kind of soldiering is called ‘systematic’, which is apart from the individual nature but mainly due to group work and group control of output. According to Michael Rose, “He (Taylor) did so not because it shows any inherent ‘group instinct’ towards sociability and solidarity but because it ‘results from careful study on the part of the workmen of what will promote their best interests’.”(Rose 1975:33) Meanwhile, for the managers, the inefficiency is incompetence. Although managers understand the market very well and know how to operate the marketing stuff, they do not understand what is happening on shop floor and the production process as well. “Managers lacked information about workers’ abilities and the time which are reasonably required to perform industrial tasks.”(Rose 1975:33) Still, time is the main problem; the time of the production process is not set by the specific experts who understand the production and can maximum economic returns but the workers themselves who have the characteristic of natural and systematic soldiering.
According to Taylor’s solution, the essence of solving inefficiency is to introduce the work study and understand how the work can be done, what can be improved and to...

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