Scientific principles of management by frederick winslow taylor

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Scientific principles of management by frederick winslow taylor

  1. 1. Sunday, February 05, 2012Scientific Principles Of Management By Frederick Winslow TaylorF.W.Taylor, well-known management expert, worked as an apprentice, machinist, foremanand ultimately as the chief engineer of a steel company in U.S.A. Taylor suggested a newapproach to management early in the twentieth century. This is known as ‘ScientificManagement’. Such experiments laid the groundwork for the principles of scientificmanagement which were first published in 1911. These included time studies, standardizationof tools and implements, standardization of work methods and the use of “slide-rules andsimilar time-saving devices”. Taylor called these elements “merely the elements or details ofthe mechanisms of management” and The basic principles developed by Taylor as principles ofscientific management were:1) Development of a true science of management replacing the old rule of thumb method,which would enable managers among other things, to determine the best method ofperforming each task;2) Scientific selection of workers so that each worker could be assigned the task for which he isbest suited;3) Scientific training and development of workers so as to achieve the highest level ofefficiency;4) Close cooperation between management and labour to ensure that work is carried out inaccordance with the scientific principles which are developed.In 1911, Frederick Winslow Taylor published his work, The Principles of ScientificManagement, in which he described how the application of the scientific method to themanagement of workers greatly could improve productivity. Scientific management methodscalled for optimizing the way that tasks were performed and simplifying the jobs enough sothat workers could be trained to perform their specialized sequence of motions in the one"best" way.Prior to scientific management, work was performed by skilled craftsmen who had learnedtheir jobs in lengthy apprenticeships. They made their own decisions about how their job wasto be performed. Scientific management took away much of this autonomy and convertedskilled crafts into a series of simplified jobs that could be performed by unskilled workers whoeasily could be trained for the tasks. Taylor became interested in improving workerproductivity early in his career when heobserved gross inefficiencies during his contact withsteel workers.Under scientific management the “initiative” of the workmen (that is, their hard work, theirgood-will, and their ingenuity) is obtained with absolute uniformity and to a greater extentthan is possible under the old system; and in addition to this improvement on the part of themen, the managers assume new burdens, new duties, and responsibilities never dreamed of inthe past. The managers assume, for instance, the burden of gathering together all of thetraditional knowledge which in the past has been possessed by the workmen and then ofAssignment By Rajat Sharma Page 1
  2. 2. Sunday, February 05, 2012classifying, tabulating, and reducing this knowledge to rules, laws, and formulæ which areimmensely helpful to the workmen in doing their daily work. In addition to developing ascience in this way, the management take on three other types of duties which involve newand heavy burdens for themselves.“The Principles of Scientific Management” excerptsThese new duties are grouped under four heads: 1) They develop a science for each element of a man’s work, which replaces the old rule- of-thumb method. 2) They scientifically select and then train, teach, and develop the workman, whereas in the past he chose his own work and trained himself as best he could. 3) They heartily cooperate with the men so as to insure all of the work being done in accordance with the principles of the science which has been developed. 4) There is an almost equal division of the work and the responsibility between the management and the workmen. The management take over all work for which they are better fitted than the workmen, while in the past almost all of the work and the greater part of the responsibility were thrown upon the men.It is this combination of the initiative of the workmen, coupled with the new types of workdone by the management, that makes scientific management so much more efficient than theold plan. . . .Perhaps the most prominent single element in modern scientific management is the task idea.The work of every workman is fully planned out by the management at least one day inadvance, and each man receives in most cases complete written instructions, describing indetail the task which he is to accomplish, as well as the means to be used in doing the work.And the work planned in advance in this way constitutes a task which is to be solved, asexplained above, not by the workman alone, but in almost all cases by the joint effort of theworkman and the management. This task specifies not only what is to be done but how it is tobe done and the exact time allowed for doing it. And whenever the workman succeeds indoing his task right, and within the time limit specified, he receives an addition of from 30 percent. to 100 per cent. to his ordinary wages. These tasks are carefully planned, so that bothgood and careful work are called for in their performance, but it should be distinctlyunderstood that in no case is the workman called upon to work at a pace which would beinjurious to his health.Taylor’s ideas were especially successful because it was easy for captains of industry to seewhat a difference they were making to costs and productivity. For example, the introductionof his ideas at the Watertown Arsenal reduced the labour cost of making certain moulds forthe pommel of a packsaddle from $1.17 to 54 cents and the labourcost of building a six-inch gun carriage fell from $10,229 to $6,950. The logic was simple.Measurement ensured that everyone knew what he or she had to do and this increasedAssignment By Rajat Sharma Page 2
  3. 3. Sunday, February 05, 2012production. Furthermore, increased production was achieved with lower costs and this led tobigger profits.The rights of the people are therefore greater than those of either employer or employee. Andthis third great party should be given its proper share of any gain. In fact, a glance at industrialhistory shows that in the end the whole people receive the greater part of the benefit comingfrom industrial improvements. In the past hundred years, for example, the greatest factortending toward increasing the output, and thereby the prosperity of the civilized world, hasbeen the introduction of machinery to replace hand labor. And without doubt the greatestgain through this change has come to the whole people, the consumer. . . .It is no single element, but rather this whole combination, that constitutes scientificmanagement, which may be summarized as:  Science, not rule of thumb.  Harmony, not discord.  Cooperation, not individualism.  Maximum output, in place of restricted output.The development of each man to his greatest efficiency and prosperity.The writer wishes to again state that: “The time is fast going by for the great personal orindividual achievement of any one man standing alone and without the help of those aroundhim. And the time is coming when all great things will be done by that type of cooperation inwhich each man performs the function for which he is best suited, each man preserves hisown individuality and is supreme in his particular function, and each man at the same timeloses none of his originality and proper personal initiative, and yet is controlled by and mustwork harmoniously with many other men.”Assignment By Rajat Sharma Page 3

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