Economic needs motivation

Essay by aston_martin81B, April 2006

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Rational Economic Model

Writers such as FW Taylor (1856 - 1915) believed workers would be motivated by obtaining the highest possible wages through working in the most efficient / productive way. In short, the more money you offer the worker, the more motivated they will be to work. Taylor, identified as the Father of Scientific Management, was obsessed with optimising efficiency and productivity in all areas of life. ( Whilst out walking he would attempt to ascertain the optimum length of stride required to cover a distance ! ). His most well known research focused on scientifically analysing the tasks performed by workers, and it is through these studies that we can understand Taylor's approach to motivation of the worker.

Through the scientific study of work Taylor sought to enable the worker to achieve the maximum level of output, and in return gain the maximum financial reward for their labour.

The best way to pay a worker according to Taylor was on a performance related basis. In one study he looked at the work of steel workers, and by identifying the optimum load of coal per shovel, which would enable the worker to lift the maximum tonnage each day, the steel works plant reduced its workforce from 600 to 140. The reward for those workers lucky enough to keep their jobs - 60% higher wages if they met their scientifically calculated targets for the week, by following the instructions laid down by Taylor, on how to do their jobs.

Unfortunately, the way in which Taylor appeared to view the 'worker' as just a pair of hands, and the job losses which seemed to follow him round the companies he advised, labeled Taylor as 'The Enemy of the Worker'. In truth, F.W.Taylor only sought to enable the worker to reach their...