Father Of Scientific Management- Frederick W. Taylor

Frederick W. Taylor, a mechanical engineer sometimes called the “father of scientific management.” Taylor’s approach to improved performance was based on economic incentives and the premise that there is “one best way” to perform any job. As a manager at the Midvale and Bethlehem Steel companies in Philadelphia in the early 1900s, Taylor was frustrated at the inefficiency of the laborers working in the mills.


Convinced that productivity could be improved, Taylor studied the individual jobs in the mill and redesigned the equipment and the methods used by workers. Taylor timed each job with a stopwatch and broke down every task into separate movements. He then prepared an instruction sheet telling exactly how each job should be done, how much time it should take, and what motions and tools should be used.

Taylor’s ideas led to dramatic increases in productivity in the steel mills and resulted in the development of four basic principles of scientific management:
1) Develop a scientific approach for each element of a person’s job.
2) Scientifically select, train, teach, and develop workers.
3) Encourage cooperation between workers and managers so that each job can be accomplished in a standard, scientifically determined way.
4) Divide work and responsibility between management and workers according to who is better suited to each task.

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Taylor published his ideas in The Principles of Scientific Management. His pioneering work vastly increased production efficiency and contributed to the specialization of labor and the assembly-line method of production. Taylor’s approach is still being used nearly a century later in companies such as UPS, where industrial engineers maximize efficiency by carefully studying every step of the delivery process looking for the quickest possible way to deliver packages to customers. Though Taylor’s work was a giant step forward in the evolution of management, it had a fundamental flaw in that it assumed that all people are primarily motivated by economic means. Taylor’s successors in the study of management found that motivation is much more complex than he envisioned.

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