Frederick Taylor published The Principles of Scientific Management in 1911, describing how to increase productivity of workers by using the principles of the scientific method. He proposed there was a “one best way” to perform any task and that by training any worker in this standard operation, production could be made more efficient. Taylor outlined four principles:
• Replace rule-of-thumb work methods with methods based on a scientific study of the tasks.
• Scientifically select, train, and develop each employee rather than passively leaving them to train themselves.
• Provide detailed instruction and supervision of each worker in the performance of that worker's discrete task
• Divide work nearly equally between managers and workers, so that the managers apply scientific management principles to planning the work and the workers actually perform the tasks.
‘It is only through enforced standardization of methods, enforced adoption of the best implements and working conditions, and enforced cooperation that this faster work can be assured. And the duty of enforcing the adoption of standards and enforcing this cooperation rests with management alone.’ – Taylor, 1911
In contrast to Taylor and the scientific approach, Mayo developed the human relations movement, which focused on the individual and his motivation and behavior. Specifically, Mayo conducted the Hawthorne Studies, observing employees’ motivation when changing factors like lighting. Ultimately, he concluded that communication and not external factors was the greatest motivation. The study and movement changed public administration, introducing the concept of the individual within the workforce.
Weber published his masterpiece Economy and Society in 1922, introducing many terms and ideas, most importantly, bureaucracy and a hierarchal organization. Weber's ideal bureaucracy is characterized by the hierarchical organization, well-defined lines of authority, written rules guiding all actions taken, expert training, and career advancement solely as a result of technical qualifications.
“The decisive reason for the advance of the bureaucratic organization has always been its purely technical superiority over any other form of organization.” - Max Weber
Simon wrote Administrative Behavior: a Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organization, asserting that decision-making is the most important aspect of public administration. Simon shared the views of public administration pioneer, L.D. White, focusing on the activities of the executive branch. Simon also subscribed to Mayo’s human relations school of thought.
Dwight Waldo saw public administration as a commonality among many disciplines, not as an isolated discipline itself. He rejected the scientific method and advocated for public servants to become informed and active politically. He offered his four ideas:
• a natural tension between democracy and...