The scientific theory of management was among the earliest theories of Fredrick Winslow Taylor. He began the movement of scientific management, and with the help of associates, they were able to conduct a study on how people performed work and the impact the performance had on the productivity. The philosophy was important because it focused on a belief in the fact that influencing and ensuring that someone worked as hard as they possibly could be not as effective as ensuring optimization for the work being carried out.
Taylor came up with principles of scientific management in the year 1909. He made a proposition that by ensuring optimization and simplification of jobs, the level of productivity would go up. He also ensured an advance on the concept of cooperation between workers and managers. Before he saw the need for this, work was handled differently. The manager of a factory had limited contact with the people who were working for the factory. The manager would leave the workers to produce a product on their own. Standardization did not exist, and the major motivation for a person working was the fact that they were continually employed. The workers, therefore, ended up not having any incentive that would facilitate effectiveness and speed of how they would perform a certain task.
According to Taylor, all people working had money as their sources of motivation. He therefore greatly promoted the concept of fair payment for the work done fairly. This is to say that if a certain worker did not work hard enough to deserve a day’s pay, then he did not deserve to get equivalent pay to someone whose production levels were higher (Witzel, 2015). Since he had an engineering background, Taylor carried out a series of experiments in the workplace that would help him be able to come up with performance levels which were optimal. For instance, he did an experiment on the design of a shovel until he was able to come up with a design that facilitated workers to be in a position where they could straightforwardly shovel for many hours. He was also able to come up with the best way of laying bricks. In developing the most optimal way of performing a task at the workplace, he realized that by being in a position where he could calculate the needed time to complete an element of a task, he would be able to come up with the best means of finishing a task.
The studies on time and motion made Taylor conclude that some people were in a position to perform a certain job in a more efficient means than other people. He believed that these were the type of people that managers were supposed to look to employ (O’Neill, 2016). Having the right person for the right job was part of achieving efficiency in the workplace.
The Four Scientific Principles Developed By Taylor
The first principle was to ensure that application of scientific method to study work and come up with the best way to perform certain tasks. The second principle was instead of assigning any job to workers; the workers should be matched to the jobs they would perform best. It is after this that it would be best to train them to work very efficiently. The third principle was based on monitoring the performance of a worker, give instructions and supervise them to make sure that they used the most effective means of performance. The fourth principle was that work should be allocated between managers and workers to ensure that managers spent their time performing training and planning while giving the workers the allowance to do their work efficiently.
Benefits of Scientific Theory of Management
The employees can utilize resources once they apply scientific techniques. Selection and training of employees lead to increased efficiency in the workplace. By applying scientific methods, there are improved conditions for working, reducing fatigue among workers.
Limitations of Scientific Theory of Management
The theory lays its focus on the performance of individuals and does not emphasize on the need for teamwork. The theory focuses on a specialized and repetitive way of performing a task, minimizing creativity and innovation. It also motivates workers to only work for money rather than for human resource development.
Witzel, M., & Warner, M. (2015). Taylorism revisited: culture, management theory, and paradigm shift. Journal of General Management, 40(3), 55-70.
O’Neill, C. (2016). Taylorism, the European Science of Work, and the Quantified Self at Work. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 0162243916677083.