Frederick Winslow Taylor is known as the father of scientific management. His approach, often referred to as “Taylorism”, sought to systematically analyze and improve industrial production techniques. Taylor believed that there were scientific principles that, if applied correctly, could increase productivity. Here are the principles of scientific management as proposed by Taylor:
1. Science, Not Rule of Thumb: Taylor believed that there should be a systematic study of tasks to understand the most efficient way to do them. Instead of relying on traditional methods or “rule of thumb”, every task should be studied scientifically to determine the “one best way” to perform it.
2. Harmony, Not Discord: He emphasized the importance of harmonious and cooperative relations between management and workers. Conflicts, according to Taylor, should be avoided as they lead to inefficiency.
3. Cooperation, Not Individualism: Both workers and management should work together to implement scientific management principles. It’s a joint effort, where management provides the necessary tools and training, and workers perform their tasks based on the prescribed methods.
4. Development of Each and Every Person to His Greatest Efficiency and Prosperity: Every worker should be scientifically selected and then trained to perform his/her job in the most efficient manner. This would not only make the worker more efficient but also help in their personal growth and development.
While Taylor’s principles of scientific management introduced many innovative concepts that improved productivity, they also faced criticism over the years. Many argue that the approach reduces workers to mere cogs in the machine, not accounting for human needs and leading to job dissatisfaction. Nonetheless, the impact of Taylor’s work on modern management and industrial engineering cannot be denied.