Principles of Scientific Management


The purpose of this essay is to recognize the principles and various criticisms of Taylor's methodical management and to discuss whether Frederick Taylor's guidelines and ideas can be used successfully in today's modern-day organizations.

Fredrick Winslow Taylor (1856 - 1915), was a leading pioneer in the studies of management, and was often known as the father of medical management. Taylor (1915) revolutionized management in the twentieth hundred years by concentrating on mass creation of inexpensive products, resulting in economy balance and a standardization of major commercial procedures. The publication of his book titled ˜Key points of Scientific Management' was influential in its contribution to management studies throughout the world (Bedelan and Wren, 2001).

Principles of Scientific Management

Taylor (1911) reported that managers, in his time, relied on the personal initiative of workers for achieving productivity, although high levels of productivity were almost never achieved. In contending that staff performed at levels beneath their true capacities, he developed four guidelines of scientific management to be followed by managers

The First Process focused how the employees would perform their daily jobs. To find out the most efficient method of performing specific responsibilities, Taylor studied them in great fine detail and considered the ways different employees went about accomplishing their everyday jobs. Once Taylor comprehended the prevailing way of performing a task, then experimented to increase expertise (Taylor 1911). The reason for the success of the principle is the fact that it made careers simple for personnel and reduce needless motions. Taylor also wanted to find ways to improve each worker's ability to perform a particular task.

The Second Principle was to set up the new techniques of doing tasks into written rules and standard operating types of procedures. Once the best method of performance activity was determined, it would be communicated to all or any workers.

The Third Process required the selection of staff who possessed skills and skills to complement the needs of the duties, and to train them to execute the task against established procedures. To increase specialization, Taylor believed personnel had to understand the task which were required and be trained to perform them at the required level. Staff who cannot be trained to do this level were to be used in a job where they were able to reach the minimum amount required degree of proficiency.

The Fourth Process was to set a fair degree of performance for an activity, and then develop a pay system that delivers an incentive for performance above the acceptable level. To encourage personnel to execute at a high degree of efficiency, and supply them with a motivation to reveal the most efficient techniques for carrying out a task, Taylor advocated that personnel should be paid a benefit and receive some percentage of the performance profits achieved through the better work process.

According to Taylor, as cited in Butler (1991), greater results achieved through scientific management were obtained, not through the proclaimed superiority in the device of one type of management over the device of another, but instead by the substitution of 1 beliefs for another school of thought in industrial management. It really is instructive to examine Taylor's viewpoint of scientific management with its emphasis after the human aspect, not generally associated with Taylor. This idea is perhaps more important and befitting today than individual principles of clinical management. Human source developments should be considered a matter of national concerns by any means levels. As technology changes, so do skill models and other worker requirements (Butler, 1991).

Criticisms of Scientific Management

Over the years there were some key criticisms against Taylor's Scientific Management. Among these critics has costed Taylor's system as having "viewed man as a machine -a cog in a steering wheel- and programmed every important action a workman was required to perform to complete an designated activity" (Halpern, Osofsky, & Peskin, 1989). Those critics thought that that could leave workers with no discretion by any means and it is tedious for all those, but the most apathetic workers. Another critic added that medical management mandates an exceptionally high section of labor which requires lowest skills. This remaining workers with no incentive to increase and develop on the job. Also, Taylor's systems were criticized for not analyzing the sentiments of personnel nor were they briefed on the reason for Taylor's time study methods. Taylor's system also didn't identify the communal and psychological needs of the worker, and the problems of unsatisfactory working conditions and humiliating treatment (Halpern, Osofsky, & Peskin, 1989). Employees in modern-day organizations were more highly educated and could have a better understanding of their job scope therefore they are simply more actively involved in decision making. Taylor's concepts seem to suppose that the employees of the past period would only perform simple work responsibilities and do not need much knowledge to complete their work.

Another criticism about Taylor's system was that its prize structure was destined by how an individual performed. However, it stands to reason that changing the original incentive structure to extend to a team or workgroup, the result would be appropriate to today's corporation (Halpern, Osofsky, & Peskin, 1989).

Can methodical management be utilized successfully in contemporary organizations?

In today's organizations, many companies still use Frederick Taylor's basic theories of scientific management in managing and planning their jobs despite the fact that many managers and production technicians may not actually subscribe to the hypothesis behind Taylor's theory (Pruijt, 2000). Many big companies took up Taylor's ideas and applied them very effectively, even changing the procedure. (Peaucelle, 2000).

An exemplory case of an established company using Taylorism is General Motors (GM). GM has publicly acknowledged the importance of employee performance and team performance (Butler, 1991). In one of its programmes, GM placed employees against each other, essentially grading the employees' specific performance. Predicated on the performance, bosses were required to enforce pay dissimilarities between your tiers. On top of that, GM also create a "recognition honor" account to be doled out in lump sums to high performers, whatever the "competitiveness" of these salaries. This motivated better cooperation among co-workers, allowing better efficiency within the business. This is an effective implementation of Taylor's Fourth Theory which rewards the individual for their specific task performance,

There are a number of points that make the ideas of clinical management appealing to today's managers. Among the core attractions is the guarantee that the perfect method, "the one easiest way" will be utilized. However, Taylor's strong notion that a one easiest way to work might be considered a subject of idealistic controversy.

When we compare today's organizations, another main appeal of Taylorism is: it claims to be always a means against what Taylor called "systematic soldiering". This matter is as highly relevant to today's managing organization as ever. Pruijt (2000) backed that affirmation by studying the productivity gap in a Western and a Japanese business; at Daimler in Germany, the existing strategy was founded more on in charge autonomy, whilst in Japanese plants, standard worksheets are used to specify the order of operations and the time allowed for them. Therefore, regarding Taylorism, when granted autonomy, workers in mass creation do not put in a maximum effort. It would seem then that for certain organizations, the Second and Third Key points work.

Despite the benefits of Taylorism in the current organization, there are still some drawbacks. Pruijt (2000) mentioned any particular one of the disadvantages identified is the fact Taylorism is expensive because it entails creating careers for non-value adding supervisors and other indirect individuals. In addition, Pruijt (2000) also mentioned that Taylorism is not beneficial to flexibility, although it boosts numerical overall flexibility by rendering it simpler to quickly come up with new employees in a creation process, and it allows personnel to be laid off without sacrificing knowledge from the business.

In today's corporate management, "Post-Taylorism"', as mentioned by Peaucelle (2000) is followed but it generally does not abandon Taylorism's aims, rather, there is the addition of new aims which includes production (efficiency), versatility, deadlines (timeliness) and quality variety (variety). Although these new targets are occasionally pursued through totally new activities when executed, the Taylorism's traditional methods could also sometimes be used.

However, Peaucelle (2000) argues that new aims are unachievable without adversely affecting efficiency in a modern company using Taylorism. Peaucelle (2000) further discussed that increasing resource would be the only path to reduce delivery cycles, which is costly anticipated to limited product range and the whole operation becomes more unaffordable as the product range is diversified. In addition, diversity would also look like very expensive as it diminishes the size of the produced series. Furthermore, quality would be attainable only when inspection factors are increased, and by making use of qualified, and therefore more expensive workforce, hence adding more cost to development. Lastly, overall flexibility would also emerge as ambiguous in relation to heavy and rigid assets in heavy commercial equipment purchased at lower prices.

For illustration, in Japan, since it was essential to have a higher school certificate to be able to work on the automobile creation line, the higher level of education corresponded to added competence, and was certainly paid for. As reviewed by Peaucelle (2000), this is steady with the examination of efficiency-wage reactivity. Therefore, in looking at to the traditional Taylorism, employees are paid above the minimum amount wage whereas the post-Taylorism company compensates its workers an increased wage for increased competence since it is a way of attaining its goals.


The findings claim that Frederick Taylor's theory still is available in today's organizations. His principles of management can still be used successfully in the current organizations, with alterations to cater for the modern work environment and its requirements.

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)