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Taylor's Scientific Management Principles Essay

904 words - 4 pages

Frederick Taylor's "The principles of Scientific Management" discusses the steps to achieve "national efficiency", which is when all employees and machines work to their fullest potential to achieve maximum prosperity for both the employer and the employee. Taylor argues that the present day workforce is in no way efficient, but is the main cause of our economic turmoil. We must remember that Taylor wrote in a time when factories were creating problems for management who needed new methods to deal with the management challenges brought on by the influence of the Industrial Revolution on organizations. But is his statement "maximum prosperity can exist only as the result of maximum productivity" still accurate today, what impact on working conditions and society did this philosophy have, and are these ideas of scientific management still in effect today?Many workers condemned his time-and-motion studies because his system sought to remove decision making from labor and hand it over to management. Before Taylor introduced scientific management onto the factory floor, production was largely in the hands of skilled craftsmen, who followed their own routines and worked at their own pace. Relationships between owner-managers and their workers were also quite personal. Large organizations, however, required layers of management, complex personal functions to handle "human relations" and, in unionized firms, elaborate work rules and formal grievance procedures. (Porter ;1920) One basic of Scientific Management was that employees were not highly educated and thus were unable to perform anything but the simplest of tasks. Modern thought is that all employees have intimate knowledge of job conditions and are therefore able to make useful contributions. Rather than dehumanizing the work and breaking it down into smaller and smaller units to maximize efficiency without giving thought to the job satisfaction of the workers, encourage work based teams in which all workers may contribute. Such contributions increase worker morale, provide a sense of ownership and generally improve worker-management relations. However, using this "drive system" there was virtually no job security and very little in the way of benefits beyond the day's or the week's wages.(Brody : 1960) Scientific management, on the contrary, has for its firm foundation the firm conviction that prosperity for the employer cannot exist through a long term of years unless it is accompanied by prosperity for the employee and vice versa; and that it is possible to give the workman what he most wants- high wages- and the employer what he wants - a low labor cost - for his manufactures.( Taylor ; 1911)Taylor's solution to these problems was to create more direct interaction between supervisors and workers and have them observe what a good amount of work should be. The whole...

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