Scientific management

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Frederick Taylor (1856–1915), leading proponent of scientific management

Scientific management is a theory of management that analyzes and synthesizes workflows. Its main objective is improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes and to management. Scientific management is sometimes known as Taylorism after its founder, Frederick Winslow Taylor.[1]

Taylor began the theory's development in the United States during the 1880s and '90s within manufacturing industries, especially steel. Its peak of influence came in the 1910s;[2] In 1913 Vladimir Lenin wrote that the "most widely discussed topic today in Europe, and to some extent in Russia, is the 'system' of the American engineer, Frederick Taylor"; Lenin decried it initially as a "'scientific' system of sweating" more work from laborers.[3] Taylor died in 1915 and by the 1920s, scientific management was still influential but had entered into competition and syncretism with opposing or complementary ideas.

Although scientific management as a distinct theory or school of thought was obsolete by the 1930s, most of its themes are still important parts of industrial engineering and management today. These include analysis; synthesis; logic; rationality; empiricism; work ethic; efficiency and elimination of waste; standardization of best practices; disdain for tradition preserved merely for its own sake or to protect the social status of particular workers with particular skill sets; the transformation of craft production into mass production; and knowledge transfer between workers and from workers into tools, processes, and documentation.

Name[edit]

Taylor's own names for his approach initially included "shop management" and "process management". However, "scientific management" came to national attention in 1910 when crusading attorney Louis Brandeis (then not yet Supreme Court justice) popularized the term.[4] Brandeis had sought a consensus term for the approach with the help of practitioners like Henry L. Gantt and Frank B. Gilbreth. Brandeis then used the consensus of "scientific management" when he argued before the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) that a proposed increase in railroad rates was unnecessary despite an increase in labor costs; he alleged scientific management would overcome railroad inefficiencies (The ICC ruled against the rate increase, but also dismissed as insufficiently substantiated that concept the railroads were necessarily inefficient.) Taylor recognized the nationally-known term "scientific management" as another good name for the concept, and adopted it in the title of his influential 1911 monograph.

History[edit]

The Midvale Steel Company, "one of America's great armor plate making plants," was the birthplace of scientific management. In 1877, at age 22, Frederick W. Taylor started as a clerk in Midvale, but advanced to foreman in 1880. As foreman Taylor was "constantly impressed by the failure of his [team members] to produce more than about one-third of [what he deemed] a good day's work."[5] Taylor determined to discover, by scientific methods, how long it should take men to perform each given piece of work; and it was in the fall of 1882 that he started to put the first features of scientific management into operation.[6]

Horace Bookwalter Drury, in his 1918 work, "Scientific management; A History and Criticism", identified seven other leaders in the movement, most of whom learned of and extended scientific management from Taylor's efforts[7]:

  • Henry L. Gantt (1861 – 1919)
  • Carl G. Barth (1860 – 1939)
  • Horace K. Hathaway (1878 - 1944)
  • Morris L. Cooke (1872 – 1960)
  • Sanford E. Thompson (1867–1949)
  • Frank B. Gilbreth (1868 – 1924). Gilbreth's independent work on "motion study" is on record as early as 1885; after meeting Taylor in 1906 and being introduced to scientific management, Gilbert devoted his efforts to introducing scientific management into factories. Gilbreth and his wife Dr Lillian Moller Gilbreth (1878 – 1972) performed micro-motion studies using stop-motion cameras as well as developing the profession of industrial/organizational psychology.
  • Harrington Emerson (1853 – 1931) began determining what industrial plants' products and costs were compared to what they ought to be in 1895. Emerson did not meet Taylor until December 1900, and the two never worked together.

Emerson's testimony in late 1910 to the Interstate Commerce Commission brought the movement to national attention[8] and instigated serious opposition. Emerson contended the railroads might save $1,000,000 a day by paying greater attention to efficiency of operation. By January 1911, a leading railroad journal began a series of articles denying they were inefficiently managed.[9]

When steps were taken to introduce scientific management at the government-owned Rock Island Arsenal in early 1911, it was opposed by Samuel Gompers, founder and President of the American Federation of Labor (an alliance of craft unions). When a subsequent attempt was made to introduce the bonus system into the government's Watertown Arsenal foundry during the summer of 1911, the entire force walked out for a few days. Congressional investigations followed, resulting in a ban on the use of time studies and pay premiums in Government service.

Taylor's death in 1915 at age 59[10] left the movement without its original leader. In management literature today, the term "scientific management" mostly refers to the work of Taylor and his disciples ("classical", implying "no longer current, but still respected for its seminal value") in contrast to newer, improved iterations of efficiency-seeking methods. Today, task-oriented optimization of work tasks is nearly ubiquitous in industry.

Pursuit of economic efficiency[edit]

Flourishing in the late 19th and early 20th century, scientific management built on earlier pursuits of economic efficiency. While it was prefigured in the folk wisdom of thrift, it favored empirical methods to determine efficient procedures rather than perpetuating established traditions. Thus it was followed by a profusion of successors in applied science, including time and motion study, the Efficiency Movement (which was a broader cultural echo of scientific management's impact on business managers specifically), Fordism, operations management, operations research, industrial engineering, management science, manufacturing engineering, logistics, business process management, business process reengineering, lean manufacturing, and Six Sigma. There is a fluid continuum linking scientific management with the later fields, and the different approaches often display a high degree of compatibility.

Taylor rejected the notion, which was universal in his day and still held today, that the trades, including manufacturing, were resistant to analysis and could only be performed by craft production methods. In the course of his empirical studies, Taylor examined various kinds of manual labor. For example, most bulk materials handling was manual at the time; material handling equipment as we know it today was mostly not developed yet. He looked at shoveling in the unloading of railroad cars full of ore; lifting and carrying in the moving of iron pigs at steel mills; the manual inspection of bearing balls; and others. He discovered many concepts that were not widely accepted at the time. For example, by observing workers, he decided that labor should include rest breaks so that the worker has time to recover from fatigue, either physical (as in shoveling or lifting) or mental (as in the ball inspection case). Workers were allowed to take more rests during work, and productivity increased as a result.[11]

Subsequent forms of scientific management were articulated by Taylor's disciples, such as Henry Gantt; other engineers and managers, such as Benjamin S. Graham; and other theorists, such as Max Weber. Taylor's work also contrasts with other efforts, including those of Henri Fayol and those of Frank Gilbreth, Sr. and Lillian Moller Gilbreth (whose views originally shared much with Taylor's but later diverged in response to Taylorism's inadequate handling of human relations).

Soldiering[edit]

Scientific management requires a high level of managerial control over employee work practices and entails a higher ratio of managerial workers to laborers than previous management methods. Such detail-oriented management may cause friction between workers and managers.

Taylor observed that some workers were more talented than others, and that even smart ones were often unmotivated. He observed that most workers who are forced to perform repetitive tasks tend to work at the slowest rate that goes unpunished. This slow rate of work has been observed in many industries and many countries[12] and has been called by various terms.[12][12][13] Taylor used the term "soldiering",[12][14] a term that reflects the way conscripts may approach following orders, and observed that, when paid the same amount, workers will tend to do the amount of work that the slowest among them does.[15] Taylor describes soldiering as "the greatest evil with which the working-people ... are now afflicted." [11]

This reflects the idea that workers have a vested interest in their own well-being, and do not benefit from working above the defined rate of work when it will not increase their remuneration. He therefore proposed that the work practice that had been developed in most work environments was crafted, intentionally or unintentionally, to be very inefficient in its execution. He posited that time and motion studies combined with rational analysis and synthesis could uncover one best method for performing any particular task, and that prevailing methods were seldom equal to these best methods. Crucially, Taylor himself prominently acknowledged that if each employee's compensation was linked to their output, their productivity would go up.[15] Thus his compensation plans usually included piece rates. In contrast, some later adopters of time and motion studies ignored this aspect and tried to get large productivity gains while passing little or no compensation gains to the workforce, which contributed to resentment against the system.

Relationship to mechanization and automation[edit]

A machinist at the Tabor Company, a firm where Frederick Taylor's consultancy was applied to practice, about 1905

Scientific management evolved in an era when mechanization and automation were still in their infancy. The ideas and methods of scientific management extended the American system of manufacturing in the transformation from craft work (with humans as the only possible agents) to mechanization and automation, although proponents of scientific management did not predict the extensive removal of humans from the production process. Concerns over labor-displacing technologies rose with increasing mechanization and automation.

By factoring processes into discrete, unambiguous units, scientific management laid the groundwork for automation and offshoring, prefiguring industrial process control and numerical control in the absence of any machines that could carry it out. Taylor and his followers did not foresee this at the time; in their world, it was humans that would execute the optimized processes. (For example, although in their era the instruction "open valve A whenever pressure gauge B reads over value X" would be carried out by a human, the fact that it had been reduced to an algorithmic component paved the way for a machine to be the agent.) However, one of the common threads between their world and ours is that the agents of execution need not be "smart" to execute their tasks. In the case of computers, they are not able (yet) to be "smart" (in that sense of the word); in the case of human workers under scientific management, they were often able but were not allowed. Once the time-and-motion men had completed their studies of a particular task, the workers had very little opportunity for further thinking, experimenting, or suggestion-making. They were forced to "play dumb" most of the time, which occasionally led to revolts.

The middle ground between the craft production of skilled workers and full automation is occupied by systems of extensive mechanization and partial automation operated by semiskilled and unskilled workers. Such systems depend on algorithmic workflows and knowledge transfer, which require substantial engineering to succeed. Although Taylor's intention for scientific management was simply to optimize work methods, the process engineering that he pioneered also tends to build the skill into the equipment and processes, removing most need for skill in the workers. Such engineering has governed most industrial engineering since then. It is also the essence of successful offshoring. The common theme in all these cases is that businesses engineer their way out of their need for large concentrations of skilled workers, and the high-wage environments that sustain them. This creates competitive advantage on the local level of individual firms, although the pressure it exerts systemically on employment and employability is an externality.

Impact[edit]

Market economies[edit]

Taylor's view of workers[edit]

Taylor often expressed views of workers that may be considered insulting.[11] He recognized differences between workers, stressed the need to select the right person for the right job, and championed the workers by advocating frequent breaks and good pay for good work.[15] He often failed to conceal his condescending attitude towards less intelligent workers, describing them as "stupid" and comparing them to draft animals in that they have to have their tasks managed for them in order to work efficiently.[16]

Other thinkers soon offered more ideas on the roles that workers play in mature industrial systems. These included ideas on improvement of the individual worker with attention to the worker's needs, not just the needs of the whole. James Hartness published The Human Factor in Works Management[17] in 1912, while Frank Gilbreth and Lillian Moller Gilbreth offered their own alternatives to Taylorism. The human relations school of management evolved in the 1930s to complement rather than replace scientific management, with Taylorism determining the organisation of the work process, and human relations helping to adapt the workers to the new procedures.[18] Today's efficiency-seeking methods, such as lean manufacturing, include respect for workers and fulfillment of their needs as integral parts of the theory. (Workers slogging their way through workdays in the business world do encounter flawed implementations of these methods that make jobs unpleasant; but these implementations generally lack managerial competence in matching theory to execution.) Clearly a syncretism has occurred since Taylor's day, although its implementation has been uneven, as lean management in capable hands has produced good results for both managers and workers, but in incompetent hands has damaged enterprises.

Taylorism, anomie, and unions[edit]

With the division of labor that became commonplace as Taylorism was implemented in manufacturing, workers lost their sense of connection to the production of goods. Workers began to feel disenfranchised with the monotonous and unfulfilling work they were doing in factories. Before scientific management, workers felt a sense of pride when completing their good, which went away when workers only completed one part of production. "The further 'progress' of industrial development... increased the anomic or forced division of labor," the opposite of what Taylor thought would be the effect.[19] Partial adoption of Taylor's principles by management seeking to boost efficiency, while ignoring principles such as fair pay and direct engagement by managers, led to further tensions and the rise of unions to represent workers needs.

Taylor had a largely negative view of unions, and believed they only led to decreased productivity. Although he opposed them, his work with scientific management led disenfranchised workers to look to unions for support.

Early decades: Making jobs unpleasant[edit]

Under scientific management, the demands of work intensified. Workers became dissatisfied with the work environment and became angry.[citation needed] During one of Taylor's own implementations at the Watertown Arsenal in Massachusetts, a strike led to an investigation of Taylor's methods by a U.S. House of Representatives committee. The committee reported in 1912, concluding that scientific management did provide some useful techniques and offered valuable organizational suggestions,[need quotation to verify] but that it also gave production managers a dangerously high level of uncontrolled power.[20] After an attitude survey of the workers revealed a high level of resentment and hostility towards scientific management, the Senate banned Taylor's methods at the arsenal.[20]

Scientific management lowered worker morale and exacerbated existing conflicts between labor and management. As a consequence, the method inadvertently strengthened labor unions and their bargaining power in labor disputes,[21] thereby neutralizing most or all of the benefit of any productivity gains it had achieved. Thus its net benefit to owners and management ended up as small or negative. It took new efforts, borrowing some ideas from scientific management but mixing them with others, to produce more productive formulas.

Later decades: Making jobs disappear[edit]

Scientific management may have exacerbated grievances among workers about oppressive or greedy management. It certainly strengthened developments that put workers at a disadvantage: the erosion of employment in developed economies via both offshoring and automation. Both were made possible by the deskilling of jobs, which was made possible by the knowledge transfer that scientific management achieved. Knowledge was transferred both to cheaper workers and from workers into tools. Jobs that once would have required craft work first transformed to semiskilled work, then unskilled. At this point the labor had been commoditized, and thus the competition between workers (and worker populations) moved closer to pure than it had been, depressing wages and job security. Jobs could be offshored (giving one human's tasks to others—which could be good for the new worker population but was bad for the old) or they could be rendered nonexistent through automation (giving a human's tasks to machines). Either way, the net result from the perspective of developed-economy workers was that jobs started to pay less, then disappear. The power of labor unions in the mid-twentieth century only led to a push on the part of management to accelerate the process of automation,[22] hastening the onset of the later stages just described.

In a central assumption of scientific management, "the worker was taken for granted as a cog in the machinery."[23] While scientific management had made jobs unpleasant, its successors made them less remunerative, less secure, and finally nonexistent as a consequence of structural unemployment.

Relationship to Fordism[edit]

It is often assumed that Fordism derives from Taylor's work. Taylor apparently made this assumption himself when visiting the Ford Motor Company's Michigan plants not too long before he died, but it is likely that the methods at Ford were evolved independently, and that any influence from Taylor's work was indirect at best.[24] Charles E. Sorensen, a principal of the company during its first four decades, disclaimed any connection at all.[25] There was a belief at Ford, which remained dominant until Henry Ford II took over the company in 1945, that the world's experts were worthless, because if Ford had listened to them, it would have failed to attain its great successes. Henry Ford felt that he had succeeded in spite of, not because of, experts, who had tried to stop him in various ways (disagreeing about price points, production methods, car features, business financing, and other issues). Sorensen thus was dismissive of Taylor and lumped him into the category of useless experts.[25] Sorensen held the New England machine tool vendor Walter Flanders in high esteem and credits him for the efficient floorplan layout at Ford, claiming that Flanders knew nothing about Taylor. Flanders may have been exposed to the spirit of Taylorism elsewhere, and may have been influenced by it, but he did not cite it when developing his production technique. Regardless, the Ford team apparently did independently invent modern mass production techniques in the period of 1905-1915, and they themselves were not aware of any borrowing from Taylorism. Perhaps it is only possible with hindsight to see the zeitgeist that (indirectly) connected the budding Fordism to the rest of the efficiency movement during the decade of 1905-1915.

Planned economies[edit]

Scientific management appealed to managers of planned economies because central economic planning relies on the idea that the expenses that go into economic production can be precisely predicted and can be optimized by design. The opposite theoretical pole would be laissez-faire thinking in which the invisible hand of free markets is the only possible "designer". In reality most economies today are somewhere in between. Another alternative for economic planning is workers' self-management.

Soviet Union[edit]

In the Soviet Union, Taylorism was advocated by Aleksei Gastev and nauchnaia organizatsia truda (the movement for the scientific organisation of labor). It found support in both Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky. Gastev continued to promote this system of labor management until his arrest and execution in 1939.[26] In the 1920s and 1930s, the Soviet Union enthusiastically embraced Fordism and Taylorism, importing American experts in both fields as well as American engineering firms to build parts of its new industrial infrastructure. The concepts of the Five Year Plan and the centrally planned economy can be traced directly to the influence of Taylorism on Soviet thinking. As scientific management was believed to epitomize American efficiency,[27] Joseph Stalin even claimed that "the combination of the Russian revolutionary sweep with American efficiency is the essence of Leninism."[28]

Sorensen was one of the consultants who brought American know-how to the USSR during this era,[29] before the Cold War made such exchanges unthinkable. As the Soviet Union developed and grew in power, both sides, the Soviets and the Americans, chose to ignore or deny the contribution that American ideas and expertise had made: the Soviets because they wished to portray themselves as creators of their own destiny and not indebted to a rival, and the Americans because they did not wish to acknowledge their part in creating a powerful communist rival. Anti-communism had always enjoyed widespread popularity in America, and anti-capitalism in Russia, but after World War II, they precluded any admission by either side that technologies or ideas might be either freely shared or clandestinely stolen.

East Germany[edit]

East German machine tool builders, 1953.

By the 1950s, scientific management had grown dated, but its goals and practices remained attractive and were also being adopted by the German Democratic Republic as it sought to increase efficiency in its industrial sectors. In the accompanying photograph from the German Federal Archives, workers discuss standards specifying how each task should be done and how long it should take. The workers are engaged in a state-planned instance of process improvement, but they are pursuing the same goals that were contemporaneously pursued in capitalist societies, as in the Toyota Production System.

Organized Labor Reactions[edit]

In 1911, organized labor erupted with strong opposition to scientific management[30], spreading from Samuel Gompers, founder and president of the American Federal of Labor (AFL), in the US to far around the globe. By 1913 Vladimir Lenin wrote that the "most widely discussed topic today in Europe, and to some extent in Russia, is the 'system' of the American engineer, Frederick Taylor"; Lenin decried it as merely a "'scientific' system of sweating" more work from laborers.[31] Again in 1914, Lenin derided Taylorism as "man’s enslavement by the machine."[32] However, after the Russian Revolutions brought him to power, Lenin wrote in 1918 that the "Russian is a bad worker [who must] learn to work. The Taylor system... is a combination of the refined brutality of bourgeois exploitation and a number of the greatest scientific achievements in the field of analysing mechanical motions during work, the elimination of superfluous and awkward motions, the elaboration of correct methods of work, the introduction of the best system of accounting and control, etc. The Soviet Republic must at all costs adopt all that is valuable in the achievements of science and technology in this field."[33]

[The early US history of labor relations with scientific management was described by Dr Drury thusly:} ...for a long time there was thus little or no direct [conflict] between scientific management and organized labor... [However] One of the best known experts once spoke to us with satisfaction of the manner in which, in a certain factory where there had been a number of union men, the labor organization had, upon the introduction of scientific management, gradually disintegrated.

...From 1882 (when the system was started) until 1911, a period of approximately thirty years, there was not a single strike under it, and this in spite of the fact that it was carried on primarily in the steel industry, which was subject to a great many disturbances. For instance, in the general strike in Philadelphia, one man only went out at the Tabor plant [managed by Taylor], while at the Baldwin Locomotive shops across the street two thousand struck.

...Serious opposition may be said to have been begun in 1911, immediately after certain testimony presented before the Interstate Commerce Commission [by Harrington Emerson] revealed to the country the strong movement setting towards scientific management. National labor leaders, wide-awake as to what might happen in the future, decided that the new movement was a menace to their organization, and at once inaugurated an attack... centered about the installation of scientific management in the government arsenal at Watertown.[34]
TRADE UNION OBJECTIONS TO SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT: ...It intensifies the modern tendency toward specialization of the work and the task... displaces skilled workers and... weakens the bargaining strength of the workers through specialization of the task and the destruction of craft skill. ...leads to over-production and the increase of unemployment... looks upon the worker as a mere instrument of production and reduces him to a semi-automatic attachment to the machine or tool... tends to undermine the worker's health, shortens his period of industrial activity and earning power, and brings on premature old age. -- Scientific Management and Labor[35], Robert F. Hoxie, 1915 report to the Commission on Industrial Relations
Owing to [application of "scientific management"] in part in government arsenals, and a strike by the union molders against some of its features as they were introduced in the foundry at the Watertown Arsenal, "scientific management" received much publicity. The House of Representatives appointed a committee, consisting of William B. Wilson, William C. Redfield and John Q. Tilson to investigate the system as it had been applied in the Watertown Arsenal. In its report to Congress this committee sustained Labor's contention that the system forced abnormally high speed upon workmen, that its disciplinary features were arbitrary and harsh, and that the use of a stop-watch and the payment of a bonus were injurious to the worker's manhood and welfare. At a succeeding session of Congress a measure [HR 8665 by Clyde Howard Tavenner] was passed which prohibited the further use of the stop-watch and the payment of a premium or bonus to workmen in government establishments. -- [36] -- John P. Frey. "Scientific Management and Labor". The American Federationist. XXII (1): 257 (January 1916)

The Watertown Arsenal in Massachusetts provides an example of the application and repeal of the Taylor system in the workplace, due to worker opposition. In the early 1900s, neglect in the Watertown shops included overcrowding, dim-lighting, lack of tools and equipment, and questionable management strategies in the eyes of the workers. Frederick W. Taylor and Carl G. Barth visited Watertown in April 1909 and reported on their observations at the shops. Their conclusion was to apply the Taylor system of management to the shops to produce better results. Efforts to install the Taylor system began in June 1909. Over the years of time study and trying to improve the efficiency of workers, criticisms began to evolve. Workers complained of having to compete with one another, feeling strained and resentful, and feeling excessively tired after work. There is, however, no evidence that the times enforced were unreasonable.[37][need quotation to verify] In June 1913, employees of the Watertown Arsenal petitioned to abolish the practice of scientific management there.[38] A number of magazine writers inquiring into the effects of scientific management found that the "conditions in shops investigated contrasted favorably with those in other plants".[39]

Continuing current reactions to Taylorism[edit]

Criticism of Taylor's principles of effective workmanship and the productivity of the workers continues today. Often, his theories are described as man-contemptuous and portrayed as now overhauled.[40] In practice, however, the principles of Taylor are still being pursued,[by whom?] which are based on the development of working methods and courses based on systematic analysis rather than relying on tradition and rule of thumb.[41]

Taylorism is, according to Stephen P. Waring, considered very controversial, despite its popularity. It is often[quantify] criticized for turning the worker into an "automaton" or "machine."[42] Due to techniques employed with scientific management, employees claim to have become overworked and were hostile to the process. Criticisms commonly came from workers who were subjected to an accelerated work pace, lower standards of workmanship, lower product-quality, and lagging wages. Workers defied being reduced to such machines, and objected to the practices of Taylorism. Many workers formed unions, demanded higher pay, and went on strike to be free of control issues. This ignited class conflict, which Taylorism was initially meant[by whom?] to prevent.[citation needed] Efforts to resolve the conflicts included methods of scientific collectivism, making agreements with unions, and the personnel management movement.[43]

In the middle of 1960 some counter-movements to Taylorism arose.[citation needed] Representatives of the so-called Human Relations movement urged humanization and democratization of the working world. The criticism of Taylorism supports the unilateral approach of labor. Strictly speaking, Taylorism is not a scientific theory. All theories of F.W. Taylor are based on experiments. On the basis of samples, conclusions were made, which were then generalized. There is no representativeness of the selected sample.[44]

Another reason for criticizing Taylor's methods stemmed from Taylor's belief that the scientific method included the calculations of exactly how much time it takes a man to do a particular task, or his rate of work. However, the opposition to this argument is that such a calculation relies on certain arbitrary, non-scientific decisions such as what constituted the job, which men were timed, and under which conditions. Any of these factors are subject to change, and therefore can produce inconsistencies.[45]

Some dismiss so-called "scientific management"/Taylorism as pseudoscience.[46]

Legacy[edit]

Scientific management was one of the first attempts to systematically treat management and process improvement as a scientific problem. It may have been the first to do so in a "bottom-up" way and found a lineage of successors that have many elements in common. With the advancement of statistical methods, quality assurance and quality control began in the 1920s and 1930s. During the 1940s and 1950s, the body of knowledge for doing scientific management evolved into operations management, operations research, and management cybernetics. In the 1980s total quality management became widely popular, and in the 1990s "re-engineering" went from a simple word to a mystique. Today's Six Sigma and lean manufacturing could be seen as new kinds of scientific management, although their evolutionary distance from the original is so great that the comparison might be misleading. In particular, Shigeo Shingo, one of the originators of the Toyota Production System, believed that this system and Japanese management culture in general should be seen as a kind of scientific management.[citation needed]

Peter Drucker saw Frederick Taylor as the creator of knowledge management, because the aim of scientific management was to produce knowledge about how to improve work processes. Although the typical application of scientific management was manufacturing, Taylor himself advocated scientific management for all sorts of work, including the management of universities and government. For example, Taylor believed scientific management could be extended to "the work of our salesmen". Shortly after his death, his acolyte Harlow S. Person began to lecture corporate audiences on the possibility of using Taylorism for "sales engineering"[47] (Person was talking about what is now called sales process engineering—engineering the processes that salespeople use—not about what we call sales engineering today.) This was a watershed insight in the history of corporate marketing.

Google's methods of increasing productivity and output can be seen to be influenced by Taylorism as well.[48] The Silicon Valley company is a forerunner in appying behavioral science to increase knowledge worker productivity. In classic scientific management as well as approaches like lean management or business process reengineering leaders and experts develop and define standard. Leading high-tech companies use the concept of nudge management to increase productivity of employees. More and more business leaders start to make use of this new scientific management.[49]

Today's militaries employ all of the major goals and tactics of scientific management, if not under that name. Of the key points, all but wage incentives for increased output are used by modern military organizations.[citation needed] Wage incentives rather appear in the form of skill bonuses for enlistments.[citation needed]

Scientific management has had an important influence in sports, where stop watches and motion studies rule the day. (Taylor himself enjoyed sports, especially tennis and golf. He and a partner won a national championship in doubles tennis. He invented improved tennis racquets and improved golf clubs, although other players liked to tease him for his unorthodox designs, and they did not catch on as replacements for the mainstream implements).[50]

Modern human resources can be seen to have begun in the scientific management era, most notably in the writings of Katherine M. H. Blackford, who was also a proponent of eugenics.

Practices descended from scientific management are currently used in offices and in medicine (e.g. managed care) as well.[51]

In the 21st century the tendency to overcome Taylorism is very great. The trend is moving away from assembly line work, since people are increasingly being replaced by machines in production plants and sub-processes are automated, so that human labor is not necessary in these cases. The desire for automated workflow in companies is intended to reduce costs and support the company at the operational level.[52]

Furthermore, it can be observed that many companies try to make the workplace as comfortable as possible for the employees. This is achieved by light flooded rooms, Feng Shui methods in the workplace or even by creative jobs. The efficiency and creativity of the employees is to be promoted by a pleasant atmosphere at the workplace. Approaches of the Scientific Management, in which attempts are also made to make the work environment pleasant, are partly recognizable here.[53]

In the works of Gouldner and Crozier, the recognition of the plurality of industrial forms is being discussed.[54] In the 21st century, we have a modern corporate management, where managers are given the available positions in companies and are given the right to take legal action.[55]

The working world of the 21st century is mainly based on Total Quality Management. This is derived from quality control. In contrast to Taylorism, by which products are produced in the shortest possible time without any form of quality control and delivered to the end customer, the focus in the 21st century is on quality control at TQM. In order to avoid error rates, it is necessary to hire specialists to check all the products which have been manufactured before they are delivered to the end customer. The quality controls have improved over time, and incorrect partial processes can be detected in time and removed from the production process.[56]

Taylorism approaches are largely prevalent in companies where machines can not perform certain activities. Certain subprocesses are still to be carried out by humans, such as the sorting out of damaged fruit in the final process before the goods are packed by machines. It turns out that the quality control is ultimately to be verified by the individual man. Certain activities remain similar to the approach of Taylorism. There are no "zero error programs", employees have to be trained and thus reduce error rates.[57]

Through the invention of the management one managed positions, which are equipped with disposition rights. The positions are occupied by paid employees and form the basis for the current, modern corporate management. In order to be able to perceive these positions, it was no longer necessary to bring in resources such as capital, but instead qualifications were necessary. Written rights are also passed on to employees, which means that the leaders of an organization tend to fall into the background and merely have a passive position.[55]

The structure and size of a company must be distinguished. Depending on which dispositions are predominant, the size of the company, the sector, and the number of employees in an organization, one can examine whether approaches of Taylorism are prevalent. It is believed to be predominant in the automotive industry. In spite of the fact that a lot of activities have been replaced by machines during the production, it is ultimately the person who can check the quality of a product.[58]

Taylorism led to a performance increase in companies. All superfluous working steps are avoided. The company benefits from the productivity of the workers and this in turn from higher wages. Unused productivity resources were effectively exploited by Taylorism.[59]

Today's work environment in the 21st century benefits from the humanity of working conditions. Corporate strategies are increasingly focused on the flexibility of work. Flexible adaptation to demand should be possible. The qualifications of the employees, the work content as well as the work processes are determined by the competition situation on the market. The aim is to promote self-discipline and the motivation of employees in order to achieve their own tasks and at the same time to prevent monotonous work. Technical progress has led to more humane working conditions since inhumane work steps are done by the machines.[59]

Taylorism's approach is called inhuman. The increased wage alone is not a permanent incentive for the workers to carry out the same monotonous work. Worker-friendly work structures are required. People no longer want to be perceived merely as executive organ. The complete separation from manual and headwork leads to a lack of pleasure in the execution of the work steps.[59]

In the 21st century the rising level of education leads to better trained workers, but the competitive pressure also rises. The interplay of economic as well as the pressure to innovate also lead to uncertainty among employees. The national diseases in the 21st century have become burn-out phenomena and depressions, often in conjunction with the stress and the increased performance pressure in the work.[60]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mitcham 2005, p. 1153 Mitcham, Carl and Adam, Briggle Management in Mitcham (2005) p. 1153
  2. ^ Woodham 1997, p. 12
  3. ^ https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1913/mar/13.htm
  4. ^ Drury 1915, pp. 15–21
  5. ^ https://archive.org/stream/cu31924002406647#page/n25/mode/2up/search/constantly+impressed+by+the+failure+of+his+neighbors
  6. ^ https://archive.org/stream/cu31924002406647#page/n25/mode/2up/search/gang+boss
  7. ^ https://archive.org/stream/cu31924002406647#page/n13/mode/2up/search/lives+of+the+leaders
  8. ^ Drury, Horace Bookwalter (1918). "Scientific management; a history and criticism". Studies in History, Economics and Public Law (edited by the faculty of political science of Columbia University). XXII (1): 274. Emerson has done more than any other single man to popularize the subject of scientific management. His statement that the railroads could save $1,000,000 a day by introducing efficiency methods was the keynote which started the present interest in the subject. His books, Efficiency (a reprint in 1911 of periodical contributions of 1908 and 1909), and The Twelve Principles of Efficiency (1912), taken with his magazine articles and addresses, have perhaps done more than anything else to make "efficiency " a household word. 
  9. ^ https://archive.org/stream/cu31924002406647#page/n21/mode/2up/search/day+by+paying+greater+attention+to+efficiency
  10. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0320.html
  11. ^ a b c Taylor 1911
  12. ^ a b c d Taylor 1911, pp. 13–14.
  13. ^ Taylor 1911, pp. 19, 23, 82, 95.
  14. ^ Merriam-Webster.com, "soldier (intransitive verb)", sense 2
  15. ^ a b c Taylor 1911, pp. 13–29, 95.
  16. ^ Taylor & 1911, p. 59
  17. ^ Hartness 1912
  18. ^ Braverman 1998.
  19. ^ Melossi, Dario (December 2008). Controlling Crime, Controlling Society: Thinking about Crime in Europe and America. Wiley. 
  20. ^ a b Mullins 2004, p. 70.
  21. ^ Drury 1915, pp. 170–174
  22. ^ Noble 1984.
  23. ^ Rosen 1993, p. 139
  24. ^ Hounshell 1984, pp. 249–253.
  25. ^ a b Sorensen 1956, p. 41
  26. ^ Beissinger 1988, pp. 35–37.
  27. ^ Hughes 2004.
  28. ^ Hughes 2004, p. 251, quoting Stalin 1976 p. 115.
  29. ^ Sorensen 1956, pp. 193–216.
  30. ^ https://archive.org/stream/cu31924002406647#page/n199/mode/2up/search/for+a+long+time+there+was+thus+little+or+no+direct
  31. ^ https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1913/mar/13.htm
  32. ^ https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/mar/13.htm
  33. ^ https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1918/mar/x03.htm
  34. ^ Drury, Horace Bookwalter (1918). "Scientific management; a history and criticism". Studies in History, Economics and Public Law (edited by the faculty of political science of Columbia University). XXII (1): 274. 
  35. ^ Hoxie, Robert F. (1915). "Scientific Management and Labor". 
  36. ^ Frey, John F. (January 1916). "Scientific Management and Labor". The American Federationist (Official Magazine of the American Federation of Labor). LXV (2): 257. Owing to its application in part in government arsenals, and a strike by the union molders against some of its features as they were introduced in the foundry at the Watertown Arsenal, "scientific management" received much publicity. The House of Representatives appointed a committee, consisting of Congressman William B. Wilson, William C. Redfield and John Q. Tilson to investigate the system as it had been applied in the Watertown Arsenal. In its report to Congress this committee sustained Labor's contention that the system forced abnormally high speed upon workmen, that its disciplinary features were arbitrary and harsh, and that the use of a stop-watch and the payment of a bonus were injurious to the worker's manhood and welfare. At a succeeding session of Congress a measure was passed which prohibited the further use of the stop-watch and the payment of a premium or bonus to workmen in government establishments. When the federal Commission on Industrial Relations began its work it was decided that a further investigation of "scientific management" should be made, and Mr. Robert F. Hoxie, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, was selected to undertake the work... Mr. Hoxie was to devote a year to his investigation, and... it was deemed advsiable that he should be accompanied by two men... One of those appointed was Mr. Robert G. Valentine [formerly Commissioner of Indian Affairs, but "at this time a management consultant in private practice" according to Aitken] The other expert was to be a trade unionist, and I [John P. Frey] was honored with the appointment. 
  37. ^ Aitken 1985, p. 85
  38. ^ Drury 1915, p. 141
  39. ^ Drury 1915, p. 194
  40. ^ Hebeisen, W. (1999). F.W. Taylor und der Taylorismus. Über das Wirken und die Lehre Taylors und die Kritik am Taylorismus. Zürich: vdf Hochschulverlag AG. p. 7. 
  41. ^ Hebeisen, W. (1999). F.W. Taylor und der Taylorismus. Über das Wirken und die Lehre Taylors und die Kritik am Taylorismus. Zürich: vdf Hochschulverlag AG. p. 188. 
  42. ^ Drury 1915, pp. 195-198
  43. ^ Waring 1991, p. 14
  44. ^ Henke, J. (2004). "Infoblatt Taylorismus. Frederick Winslow Taylor stellte Theorien zur Optimierung der Arbeit bzw. Unternehmen auf.". Klett. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2017. 
  45. ^ Aitken 1985, p. 21
  46. ^ For example: Yaszek, Lisa (2013) [2002]. "4: Of Fossils and Androids: (Re)Producing Sexuality in Recent Film". The Self Wired: Technology and Subjectivity in Contemporary Narrative. Literary Criticism and Cultural Theory. New York: Routledge. p. 130. ISBN 9781136716164. Retrieved 2017-06-03. Meanwhile, the pseudo-science of Taylorism justified heightened outside surveillance of the laboring body, positing a rational 'technology of the productive human body' [...]. Significantly, Taylorism altered previous Cartesian notion of the body as a kind of working machine by redefining 'work' in the more narrow sense used in physics, as 'force working against resistance' [...]. 
  47. ^ Dawson 2005.
  48. ^ Carr, Nicholas G. (June 2010). The Shallows. New York City: W. W. Norton & Company. 
  49. ^ Ebert, Philip; Freibichler, Wolfgang (2017). "Nudge management: applying behavioural science to increase knowledge worker productivity". Journal of Organization Design. 6:4. 
  50. ^ Kanigel 1997
  51. ^ Head 2005.
  52. ^ Dumas, M., La Rosa, M., Mendling, J. & Reijers, H. (2013). Fundamentals of Business Process Management. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer Verlag. p. 372. 
  53. ^ Laube, H. (2014). "Arbeiten im Silicon Valley. Wann ist endlich wieder Montag? In der Spiegel. 04. Mai 2014". Der Spiegel. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2017. 
  54. ^ Bonazzi, G. (2014). Geschichte des organisatorischen Denkens. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien. p. 261. 
  55. ^ a b Freriks, R. (1996). Theoretische Modelle der Betriebsgröße im Maschinenbau. Koordination und Kontrollmechanismen bei organisatorischem Wachstum. Opladen: Leske+ Budrich. p. 117. 
  56. ^ Koch, S. (2011). Einführung in das Management von Geschäftsprozessen. Berling Heidelberg: Springer Verlag. p. 185. 
  57. ^ Koch, S. (2011). Einführung in das Management von Geschäftsprozessen. Berling Heidelberg: Springer Verlag. Berling Heidelberg: Springer Verlag. p. 185. 
  58. ^ Freriks, R. Theoretische Modelle der Betriebsgröße im Maschinenbau. Koordination und Kontrollmechanismen bei organisatorischem Wachstum. Opladen: Leske+ Budrich.: 1996. p. 114. 
  59. ^ a b c Von Berg, A. (2009). Humanisierung der Arbeit. Neue Formen der Arbeitsgestaltung als Determinante von Arbeitszufriedenheit am Beispiel teilautonomer Arbeitsgruppen. Georg- August Universität: Göttingen. pp. 1–2. 
  60. ^ Von Berg, A. (2009). Humanisierung der Arbeit. Neue Formen der Arbeitsgestaltung als Determinante von Arbeitszufriedenheit am Beispiel teilautonomer Arbeitsgruppen. Georg- August Universität: Göttingen. p. 1. 
  61. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=WJlEAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA275&lpg=PA275&dq=H.L.+Le+Chatelier,+"Le+Systeme+Taylor"&source=bl&ots=0dZgTMXGuI&sig=dyt4xmkLvlqgDTU_wy62yuqvRFk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjgkIm5oonVAhVD7SYKHfL4DIwQ6AEIJDAA#v=onepage&q=H.L.%20Le%20Chatelier%2C%20%22Le%20Systeme%20Taylor%22&f=false

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]