Lecture 8: Fredrick Taylor and Scientific Management
Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management
Wrote a book which he believed included new theories and suggestions –
Principles of Scientific Management – 1911
He believed that just like scientific laws governed the natural world around
us, he was convinced his theories were scientific.
It contained new theories and ideas. He blamed management for lacking the
technical knowledge they needed.
The foremen were individuals who needed supervision during at the time
and the position was greatly abused their position by taking bribes from
their workers to prevent them from getting fired. Notorious for hiring their
family and friends.
Blamed that the workers weren’t working as hard as they could and claimed
this had lead to a common problem called soldiering.
Manufacturing and production levels were not high as they should be and
the blame could be laid
Aspects of Scientific Management
Substituting science for individual judgment
Scientifically selecting workers
Greater cooperation between management and workers
Work should be governed by scientific laws
Scientific way of doing work was based on the idea of what we call ‘Time and
Pay workers through a Peace Rate system. Reward and punishment review.
Workers who produced less = paid less. Produce more = paid more.
Why was Scientific Management Introduced in Early 20 Century?
According to Braverman, Taylor introduces his work during this time
exclusively to control the labor force.
Key component missing from Braverman’s perspective: techno-science based
Took a lot of money to get the industries off the ground, so much science and
technology was required for the production of goods. Need to make a profit,
they can’t make these profits to survive because of inefficiency.
Braverman (orthodox) – Scientific Management > control of labour Revisionist – Scientific Management > rise of techno science industries > need the
greater efficiency (profits) > control of labor > control machines
Taylor focuses on inventory and budgeting controls – more efficient.
Scientific management was introduced in early 20 century because of the
rise of techno science industries.
Controlling machines and people
Impact of Taylorism
Orthodox POV: Braverman claims scientific management was a theory, which
cheapened and exploited labor in a way we have never s