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Lecture 8

NATS 1775 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Stelco, Scientific Management, Stopwatch

Natural Science
Course Code
NATS 1775
Vera Pavri

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Unit Eight: Scientific Management (TAYLORISM)
I. Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management
Fredrick Taylor first published his book Principles of Scientific Management in 1911
book synthesizes work he began in 1860s
Taylor believed that scientific laws which govern natural world should be applied to
claimed that workers would be more productive if the same scientific axioms used for
machines were applied to activities of labor
Was there anything actually “scientific” about Taylor’s ideas – not really
wanted to design management system that would reorganize the conditions of work
in factory
aware of inefficiencies that hamper factory production – although trained as an
engineer, had worked as manager and foreman at Midvale Stelco Plant
convinced low production fault of both managers and workers: foreman (shop floor
managers) would abuse power and take advantage of position to bribe friends,
protect friends
management also did not have technical knowledge to keep track of labor production
workers engage in soldiering: work slowly to keep piece rates high and protect jobs
II. Key Aspects of Scientific Management
A. substitution of science for individual judgment
B. scientific selection of workmen
C. greater cooperation between management and workers
D. work should be governed by scientific laws
Scientific management based on four major principles and Taylor believed that
implementing each principle would create a more efficient workplace
For instance, consider the idea of substituting science for individual judgment and
work being governed by “scientific” laws
Taylor believed that traditional working knowledge gave laborers an unfair
advantage over management and that workers could essentially do run the
machines however they wanted to
He thought management should acquire more technical knowledge through time
and motion studies so that “brain work” removed from shop floor and placed within
his new idea of a planning department
The planning department would time a worker using a stopwatch as the worker
would perform one task in a variety of different ways. Once the manager figured
out the fastest way to do a job, that planning department would write this out as a
work order and then present it to the worker
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