Critcal Thinking on Frederick Winslow Taylor's "Scientific Management".

Essay by betsykwaUniversity, Master'sA+, February 2004

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Frederick W. Taylor

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) is from well-settled family in Philadelphia. He graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in New York.

After finishing his studies he joined Midvale Steel Company as a shop clerk and quickly got promoted to chief engineer of the company. At Midvale Steel Company, he introduced piecework in the factory with the objective of finding the most efficient way of performing tasks.

Around the turn of the Twentieth Century, he developed a set of ideas designed to get employees in manufacturing industries to produce more output. His term for this collection of strategies was scientific management, although they are sometimes referred to simply as Taylorism. Taylor's objective was to attain high productivity by eliminating inefficient motions in human labour hence he divided work process into the smallest elements or motions based on 'time and motion studies' he conducted, separated intellectual and manual work, searched for the 'first class' employee, who will then be trained and specialised on specific task, provided them with good tools and paid high incentives for their good performance.

These set of strategies he referred as "Scientific Management", which in other terms known as "Taylorism". In order to implement his ideas, Taylor contracted with companies to rearrange their production processes to simplify the tasks each employee performed.

Scientific Management

Taylor and his disciples cited the search for efficiency, "one best way" to do a job, as justification for such changes. Because scientific management consultants claimed they understood the "natural laws" of human behaviour and endurance, they argued that the implementation of scientific management would benefit both workers and society at-large. Nevertheless, skilled workers and their unions often vociferously protested these changes because Taylorism made their work monotonous and also trespassed upon what they...