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Describe and Critique on Scientific Management

Tailor’s framework for Scientific Management. Discussions within will focus on positive effects of production with the aid of scientific management and the negative social repercussions that follow. Lastly, personal views and impacts of scientific management on today’s capitalist society will be discussed. Who Is Frederick W. Taylor? Frederick Taylor was an American industrial engineer, also known as the father of scientific management. He was constantly looking to Improve efficiency. Discipline and standardization through studying the movements and motions of laborers up to the asses.

Frederick Tailor’s work was more commonly known as Tailors, motion studies, or efficiency research. Taylor was a superintendent, and later chief engineer at Medieval steel factory, which was also the birth place of Tailors, a management framework that would shape the world. (Wren, 1 994) Scientific Management Frederick Taylor, like Adam Smith, based theories and practices on the assumption that workmen were lazy and extrinsically motivated by money by nature (des Smith ; Canaan, 2003). Terminology associated with laziness during work is the act of “soldiering”, where workmen deliberately work slowly to avoid a full days work.

Taylor (1911) classified soldiering Into two categories. Natural soldiering and systematic soldiering. Taylor, during his employment at Medieval factory, attributed soldiering

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of workmen to three different reasons. Baseless assumptions that increasing unions forced workers to work slowly to protect their own interests. Lastly, rule-of- thumb methods which had been handed down from generations of laborers were inefficient and unquestioned. (Wren, 1994) Taylor (1997) describes scientific management as an incorporation of science into labor processes. He based scientific management on several fundamental principles.

Distinct division of tasks and responsibilities between management and laborers, application of science in determining the best way of completing a task efficiently, selection of people for a particular Job, training of workmen to perform a task in a specific manner and lastly, constant watch of workmen through the use of supervisors (Taylor, 1947). According to Taylor, (1947) management should always been responsible for the efficiency of workers. The division between the “mental and menial” described a shift in responsibility of efficiency from workmen to management.

As a result management enthroned ideas and innovation while employees concentrated solely on producing and following instructions of the management. Taylor (1947) also reinforced “Job fragmentation”, where tasks were broken down to simple and repetitive steps as much as possible, causing the obsolescence of skilled craftsmen. “Job specialization” was the idea of improving efficiency and speed of each worker through repetitive and routine motions. This led to the ease of replacing and training workers. A “Piece- rate” system, where rewards were proportional to productivity was also put in place o discourage workers from soldiering.

Forbids Scientific management is best observed and applied during 1917 where Henry Ford, the father of mass production and the assembly line used methods and ideologies almost identical to that of Frederick Tailor’s. Ford revolutionized car-making methods. Identical to Tailor’s concepts, Ford separated responsibilities of efficiency between management and employees and broke down the car-making process into hundreds of simple steps which did not require skilled craftsmen and introduced single- purposed machinery for production of standard items.

Ford eventually invented the assembly line that most factories have in place in the world today. Tailors was the back bone of the fast growing economy during the 19th century, Forbids and everything that followed after. Because of the idea of efficiency factories now produce commodities such as cars, electronic gadgets, and clothing at a speed that no one would have imagined before the 19th century. Criticisms of Tailors and Forbids revolve mainly around the psychological aspect of workmen and a phenomenon called “Anomie”, which was pursued by Druthers (1893), who studied the irrational behavior of workmen.

Because of Tailor’s distinct division of responsibilities between management and employee, innovation, research and development for improvements never came across to any of the common workmen. This shift in responsibility greatly reduced the need for skill and innovation for the common workmen. Workmen were also disallowed to communicate as it would hinder efficiency during work. <Encyclopedia. Com> suggests that Kurt Lenin criticized that the practice of scientific management were turning workmen into production line.

Foxing, located in Sheehan, a province in China, is the largest IT gadget production company in China whose management strategies resemble Tailor’s ideologies. However, an interview with employees of the company suggests that they had lost the meaning of working amidst the repetitive work flow in the assembly lines. This, among other conditions led to a series of employee suicides that took place in the vicinity of Foxing, creating much controversy on management practices and work flow processes.

Neo – Tailors Scientific management practices can still be observed in companies everywhere, from performance standards, to Job descriptions and key performance indicators. Neo – Tailors, as it is more commonly known today has evolved into a more flexible framework with a balance of standardization and welfare for the employee. Scientific management practices have been creeping into service sectors in the form of automated replies and standard operation procedures.

In McDonald’s, Job fragmentation, specialization can be observed in the workplace and aims to standardize and routine products and work processes. Conclusion Tailors is nothing more than a skeleton for a more sophisticated and an ever growing framework of management. Although it led to the growing of the middle lass workers and has indirectly led to a comfortable life for most people, it is also the foundation of capitalism and mass consumption, a problem that is ever growing.

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