Scientific Management, also called Taylorism, 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.
Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915)
Frederick was an American inventor and engineer that applied his engineering and scientific knowledge to management and developed a theory called scientific management theory. His two most important books on his theory are Shop Management (1903) and The Principles of Scientific Management(1911). Frederick Taylor’s scientific management theory can be seen in nearly all modern manufacturing firms and many other types of businesses. His imprint can be found in production planning, production control, process design, quality control, cost accounting, and even ergonomics. If you understand the principles of scientific management, you will be able to understand how manufacturers produce their goods and manage their employees. You will also understand the importance of quantitative analysis, or the analysis of data and numbers to improve production effectiveness and efficiency.
Principles of Scientific Management Theory
In broad terms, scientific management theory is the application of industrial engineering principles to create a system where waste is avoided, the process and method of production is improved, and goods are fairly distributed. These improvements serve the interests of employers, employees, and society in general. Taylor’s theory can be broken down into four general principles for management:
- Actively gathering, analyzing, and converting information to laws, rules, or even mathematical formulas for completing tasks.
- Utilizing a scientific approach in the selection and training of workers.
- Bringing together the science and the worker so that the workers apply the scientifically developed techniques for the task.
- Applying the work equally between workers and managers where management applies scientific techniques to planning and the workers perform the tasks pursuant to the plans.