The Principles of Modern Management by Frederick Taylor

Frederick Taylor, known as the Father of Scientific Management, conducted many studies at Bethlehem Steel Company in Pittsburgh. His experience as an apprentice, a common labor, a foreman, a master mechanic, and then a chief engineer of a steel company gave Taylor an excellent opportunity to know first hand the problems and attitudes of workers and to see the great possibilities for improving the quality of management. To improve productivity, Taylor examined the time and motion details of a job, developed a better method for performing that job, and trained the workers. Taylor also offered a piece rate that increased as workers produced more.

In 1911, published a book “Principles of Scientific Management” in which he proposed work methods designed to increase worker productivity. He defined management as art of knowing exactly what do you want to do and seeing that they do it and in the best and cheapest way. He taught that there was one ‘way of doing’ things that applicable to all situations. He said “scientific management is not an efficiency device, nor time study, nor motion study, nor it is a new system of figuring cost, nor a new system of paying workers.” But it involves a complete mental revolution on the part of both workers and management, without this mental revolution, scientific management does not exist.

The Principles of Modern Management by Frederick Taylor

The fundamental principles given by Taylor are as follows.

  1. Replacing rules of thumbs with science.
  2. Obtaining harmony in group action, rather than discord.
  3. Achieving cooperation of human beings, rather than chaotic individualism.
  4. Working for maximum output, rather than restricted output.
  5. Developing all workers to the fullest extent possible for their own and their company’s highest prosperity.

The features of the scientific management are as follows.

1. Reorganization of Supervision:

Taylor suggested two new concepts (1) separation of planning and doing and (2) functional foremanship. Taylor suggests that the work should be planned only by the foremen and the worker should concentrate on doing the work as per the directions of the foremen. Taylor developed the theory called foremanship based on the specialization of the function and many foremen should be involved to control the work either directly or indirectly.

2. Job Analysis:

Every job should be analyzed properly and the best method for doing each job is determined. This can be determines by

  • Time Study: Each movement of the job is timed out and the movement which takes the minimum time is selected.
  • Motion study: The unwanted movements in the working situations are eliminated and the necessary movements are only performed.
  • Fatigue study: The fatigue study determines the amount and frequency of rest required for the employees in their working environment.

3. Standardization:

Standards must be achieved and maintained for the working environments such as instruments, tools, technology, period of work, amount of work, cost of production, etc.

4. Scientific Selection and Training:

Taylor emphasized the need for scientific selection and development of the workers. The management should develop and train all the workers and improve their skills thereby to make them more efficient and effective.

5. Differential Payment and Incentive schemes:

Taylor introduced a new payment called the differential piecework, in which he kinked incentives with production. According to this scheme a worker gets the normal pay if achieves the standards and get higher pay if he surpasses the standards. This can motivate the workers to put their maximum efforts.

6. Economy:

Scientific Management enhances profit and economy. Profit and economy can be achieved by optimum utilization of resources and elimination of resources.

7. Intimate friendly cooperation between the management and workers:

Scientific management is based on cooperation between the management and workers. Cooperation enhances effective managerial activities and mutual conflict should be replaced by mutual cooperation.

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