Scientific management theory was developed in the late 19th century by Fredric Winslow Taylor. At that time, the business environment was experiencing a revolution from agricultural to industrial dependency. As a result, a majority of the workers migrating from rural to industrial areas seeking employment opportunities were untrained and generally less effective. Taylor therefore sought to establish how an organization can enjoy maximum efficiency and productivity. He did this by scientifically studying the work flow process. Particularly, he was interested on how work was being conducted and the effect this had on individual productivity. He concluded that the level of efficiency and productivity between individual varied due to a number of reasons, mainly motivation, talent and intelligence. This therefore implied making workers work harder was not as effective as optimizing the work process and conditions (Khurmana 2009).
Principle of Scientific Management
To optimize the workflow process, Taylor suggested a number of things which are summarized under the 4 principle of scientific management. The first recommendation was to increase efficiency and consequent productivity through eliminating the rule of thumb that characterized the preceding working conditions. Generally, workers used to exercise extreme autonomy by applying knowledge previously acquired and following general rules (rule of thumb) in the process of performing their duties. Taylor suggested worker should instead apply scientifically tried and tested method to perform these duties. Manager should therefore actively monitor and consequently reduce the autonomy of the workers, to ensure the recommendation is followed to the letter. Considering he had established that the efficiency and productivity of each individual varied, he recommended for each worker to be scientifically chosen and actively trained. This would eliminate wastage in time and resources associated with employing less capable employees and leaving them on their own to train themselves. To ensure these recommendations are being followed Taylor suggested another principle of scientific management; that is for manager to actively cooperate with workers through continuous monitoring and supervision. Although Taylor’s theory generally reduced workers autonomy, the last principle advices for the workers to be given an opportunity to practice what they have learned through the training. This involves equally dividing the work, whereby managers focus on scientifically planning and training the workers, while the workers execute the plan following precisely the instruction given (Khurana 2009).
Indisputably, industries that applied scientific management benefited massively from increase efficiency and a consequent improved productivity. Precisely that is the reason why it is an important management subject. Important to note is the fact that the business environment has evolved from the industrial age,...