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Frederick Winslow Taylor

By: Clarisa Bartol

Brief Story

on March 20, 1856 An American mechanical engineer Began his career as the first management theorist, consultant, and "guru” His direct observations of men at work led him to develop what we would call "motivation" theory His theories on management would be promoted worldwide  Died March 21, 1915

The Problem:
Workers were inefficient because: Workers tended to ration their work load or work less than they could, because working faster and harder would mean that there would be less or no work to do in the future. 4. Management failed to structure work effectively and to provide appropriate incentives. (Notion of what is "a fair day's work for a fair day's pay" was arbitrary) (This was figured before the establishment of the minimum wage)

The Piece-rate System
Workers were paid on the basis of output, this generally failed because standards were poorly set, employers cut rates when workers earned "too much", and workers would conceal their real capacity for production to keep standards low

“Task allocation"
"Task allocation" which meant that a job would be studied by sub-dividing it into discrete tasks, each element of the job would be investigated to discern the optimal efficiency by which it could be accomplished. The criticism of this approach is that it omits the worker's own contribution to the design of work and, thereby, alienates the worker from the job.

The main elements of his theory:
1. Management is a true science: The solution to the problem of determining fair work standards and practices could be discovered by experimentation and observation. There is "one right way" for work to be performed. 2. The selection of workers is a science: Taylor's "first class worker" was someone suitable for the job. It was management's role to determine the kind of work for which an employee was most suited, and to hire and assign workers accordingly.

3. Workers are to be developed and trained: It is management's task to not only engineer a job that can be performed efficiently, but management is responsible for training the worker as to how the work is to be performed and for updating practices as better ones are developed. This standardizes how the work is performed in the best way. 4. Scientific management is a collaboration of workers and managers: Managers are not responsible for execution of work, but they are responsible for how the work is done. Planning, scheduling, methods, and training are functions of the manager.