Fredrick Winslow Taylor
• One of the first contributors to Motivation Theory
• Formulated the Scientific Principles of Management with
which he sought to improve industrial efficiency
• A mechanical engineer himself, he tried to establish a theory
for what could improve worker and industry efficiency
• He suggested that workers are primarily motivated by pay, and
probably just pay alone.
• He also propagated that the workers should be closely
supervised and controlled to ensure maximum productivity
from the workers.
• Any surprises if we reveal that this greatly inspired Henry
• Ford adopted these principles and designed his assembly line.
This eventually led to the inception of concepts like mass
production and economies of scale
The Scientific Principles
• I – Science, not Rule of Thumb
Taylor maintained that the rule of thumb should be replaced by
While rule of thumb emphasizes mere estimation, scientific
method denotes precision in determining any aspect of work.
This should be done with the help of careful scientific
• II – Harmony, not discord
Taylor emphasized that harmony rather than discord should be
obtained in group action.
Harmony means that a group should work as a unit and contribute
to the maximum.
Within it there should be mutual give and take situation and
• III - Cooperation, not individualism
Scientific management requires that parts of industrial body co-
operate with each other, scientific management is based on
mutual confidence, co-operation and goodwill.
It requires a complete mental revolution on the part of both
workers and management.
• IV - The Development of each man to his greatest efficiency
In order to maximize production all possible efforts are made to
increase the efficiency of workers.
Workers are selected according to the nature of work. It includes
scientific training, scientific allotment of work, implementation
of incentive wage plan above all, development of workers to the
fullest extent for themselves and also for the companies highest
Most strongly propagated
Incentive Wage System
Taylor for the first time advocated an incentive wage system in
the form of differential piece wages instead of time wages.
Under differential piece system two wage rates are prescribed, i.e.
one lower and the other higher. Those who are unable to perform
standard work within standard time are paid wages at lower rate
On the contrary, those who attain standard or even more within
the standard time are paid wages at higher rate per unit.
Thus, there is considerable difference in wages between those
who attain and those who do not attain standards.
For instance, if the standard for unloading wooden boxes is 20 in
an hour, anyone who manages to unload 20 would get a wage of
$5 and also an extra dollar for each extra box unloaded within
that stipulated time.
On the other hand, anyone who is unable to attain the standard of
20 boxes in an hour just gets $3 as his final wage.
So Taylor suggested that this difference of $2 and more is enough
to motivate the workers to improve their efficiency, effectiveness
and the overall productivity of the factory.
What if the same was applied to us? Imagine this.
Our college creates an arbitrary standard of completing 5
assignments in a week out of 25.
Anyone who manages to complete 5 gets an assured GPA of 1.6,
and every time we complete another assignment over and above
5, we score a little more.
Anyone who does not complete even the minimum number
assignments, scores lower than 1.6
Here the assumption is that those extra marks are a great
motivator for us to be on fire with our assignments. However,
what the authority will fail to realize is that the quality of the
work in the assignment will degrade tremendously because of the
monotony and undue pressure.
Our lives would probably revolve solely around assignments
(little different from the present scenario) and would make us a
fossil of our own times.
• This brings us to the criticism of Taylor’s philosophy. Harry
Mintzberg, a Management Theorist suggests – “an obsession
with efficiency allows measureable benefits to overshadow
less quantifiable social benefits completely, and social values
get left behind.”
• Also among Taylor’s more favourable scientific principles are
– Standardisation of tools and techniques, Scientific
recruitment of labour, Scientific allotment of tasks.
One of the best motivational messages by a single
man. (Abhishek would particularly agree)
• "Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the ones
who think differently. While some may see
crazy, we see genius.”
• "Remembering that you are going to die is the
best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking
you have something to lose. You are already
naked. There is no reason not to follow your
heart. Stay hungry. Stay foolish."