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Lecture 7

Lecture Seventeen: Scientific Management

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Natural Science
NATS 1775
Vera Pavri

Lecture Seventeen: Scientific Management November 17, 2011 Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management Frederick Taylor - Trained as an engineer - Scientific management was his way of reforming what he claimed to be inefficiencies in the workplace, especially in the factory system - Published a book in 1911 which expressed all his ideas about this - Believed that there should be specific laws that could govern workplace behavior (scientific management) - Despite its name, this was not really scientific Reforms were made to fix any inefficiencies that were present in the workplace - Taylor believed that many different groups had to change in order to increase production Managers - Believed to lack adequate technical knowledge to properly oversee workers on the shop floor - Believed that workers had more knowledge of the machines that the managers, which gave them an advantage over their superiors - Wanted to increase the level of technical knowledge of the managers to help them do their jobs Foreman - This is the manager that directly oversaw people on the shop floor - Believed that they abused their positions of power - Thought that people were hired on the basis of bribes, family or friend status as opposed to the person who would be best qualified for the job Workers - Were believed to have been involved in the process of soldiering - This is when people work at the slowest rate possible, especially if they are being paid by the hour, to keep their wages up - This decreased productivity significantly Four Major Principles of Scientific Management 1. Substituting Science for Individual Judgement 2. Scientific Selection of Workmen 3. Greater Cooperation between Management and the Workers 4. Work should be Governed by Scientific Laws Taylor wanted to take away the individual judgement of the worker, and instead replace all the brainwork by scientific laws which the workers would follow. Over time, Taylor wanted to eliminate the problematic position of the foreman. - Instead, there would be a new managerial system - This new system would have a group of people who worked together to find the most efficient ways of doing a certain task Time and Motion Studies - The manager would go down to the workshop with a stop watch - He would ask the workers to perform the same task in a variety of different ways - The way which was the most efficient and took the least amount of time would be the standard way of doing that task - Notes would be written up and the workers would be given the instructions - There was no more liberty for a worker to choose which way they wanted to do a certain task Managerial Knowledge - To be able to manage the workers, there would be a necessity for the managers to have more knowledge of the machines - They needed this knowledge to conduct the time and motion studies - Managers would only be hired if they had this knowledge of technical arts Prevention of Soldiering The Incentive Based System - There would be a system of incentives and punishments for workers - You would be paid for the amount of output you create - Those who produced more would be paid more by the hour Why Was Scientific Management Introduced in the Early 20th Century? Henry Braverman’s Traditional Viewpoint of Taylorism Ideas of Control - Believed that Taylor was designed to control the worker - Wanted to take away power from the worker and give it to the manager - Told workers the way that they had to do a certain task - The incentive pay system took away control from the worker of the pace of work Problem with Bravermans Idea - It only tells half of the story: Scientific Management = Controlling Labour Revisionist Perspective of Taylorism Braverman’s theory neglects to account for scientific and technical changes that were happening during this time. - The invention of the techno-science based industries Techno-Science - Required a significant amount of capital, as well as more personnel - There was a need to make more profit to cover all the costs to start up this industry - There was too much inefficiency, which is why Taylor came up with Scientific Management Controlling Labour - This idea from Bravermans theory is correct, Taylor want
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