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Scientific Management Theory

Autor:   •  July 3, 2019  •  Essay  •  9,694 Words (39 Pages)  •  249 Views

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  1. Scientific management theory

        The scientific management theory was developed by Fredrick Taylor who was an American mechanical engineer. His ideas first came into play in the classical management theory system in 1911 when he published them as a way of encouraging industries to proceed to mass production of goods. Fredrick’s management movement acquired the name Taylorism with a principle aimed at the efficient deployment of workers since humans were considered as extensions of machinery during that period. The idea behind Taylor’s theory originated from him trying to figure out the best possible ways of making workers more efficient. To understand how workers carried themselves, Taylor embarked on studying human labour and analysis or work conducted by workers. His research pushed him into studying activity analysis, times studies and methodology studies (Mulder, 2015). Through these studies, Taylor was able to come up with Taylorism as a management theory based on science.

        After Taylor finished carefully studying how work was conducted and the best ways to boost efficiency, he came up with four principles meant to improve work efficiency. The first principle relied upon the use of scientific methods in studying work to help determine the most efficient ways by which tasks can be performed rather than the use of “rule of thumb” or other options like common sense (Mulder, 2015). Taylors second principle revolved around the elementary division of labour. He proposed that work efficiency can significantly increase if workers got assigned jobs that matched their capabilities and motivation rather than assigning anyone any job that is available (Mulder, 2015). Taylor also proposed that efficiency could be further increased through training the specialized worker even more in their allocated fields. The third principle developed by Taylor revolved around careful monitoring of worker performance coupled with instructions and supervision to ensure efficiency in every work. Taylor also suggested that managers be given ample time to plan and train themselves and the heavy load of work left for workers so as to increase efficiency.

        I believe Taylor’s theory suffers from limitations because it works on one key idea that there is only one right way in doing something and that this process should be followed to the latter for efficiency to be realized. Taylors theory lacks practicality in the current management roles because there are other forms of management like the use of objectives where workers can be free to use their own judgment rather than follow stiff procedure. Taylors scientific management theory also disfavours teamwork because workers are side-lined to specific tasks which are contrary to current ideas of efficiency.


Taylor, F. W. (2004). Scientific management. Routledge.

Mulder, P. (2015). Scientific Management and Taylorism. Retrieved [3/14/2019] from ToolsHero:

Frederick Taylor and Scientific ManagementUnderstanding Taylorism and Early Management Theory. (2019). Retrieved from

  1. Frank and Lillian Gilbreth's Time and Motion Studies

        Frank and Lillian Gilbreth were an American couple, and engineers interested in both scientific management, and time and motion studies. The main focus for the couple was in time and motion studies based on the conservation of human in a search for the best efficient method that can be used in carrying out tasks. Efficiency in regards to work ethic is a term that gained popularity in the late 19th and early 20th century and was considered one of the most important concepts during this time (Harper & Mousa, 2016). Frank and Lillian did not condone the idea of an organization working in many parts, but instead, they valued efficiency.


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