Regulation of workflow is one of the oldest areas of activity. The first ideas concerning administration appeared before the year 1700. But it was the twentieth century that presented the most outstanding research in this direction. One of the popular concepts is rightly considered Taylorism, to which we will devote our attention.
Introduction to Taylor and his Work
Together with his colleagues, Frederick Taylor stood at the source of scientific management of the working process. He carefully studied the links between productivity and methods. His philosophy was founded on the assertion that you cannot make people work, but you may try to optimize their responsibilities.
Main observation was based on the fact that a lot of companies fail because of improper supervision and distribution of duties. In the pages of his book, he put forward an idea about mutual cooperation and simplification of job functions. His hypotheses were strikingly different from the then state of things. So, the enterprise’s chief seldom communicated directly with coworkers and never left them without watch of senior specialist, being afraid for the quality of a commodity.
The key motivation was a single rate, so the laborer did not have a desire to work for the company’s prestige or to put forward new proposals. Taylor was well aware of the value of money, so he offered a fair compensation principle. In other words, if a wage-earner has not fulfilled the required volume, he or she does not deserve a payment commensurate with that received by a more efficient colleague.
Positioning himself as a steel producer, Taylor had all the conditions for conducting labor experiments. In particular, he spent hours mulling over the shovel’s design would allow the workers to rake the garbage for several hours in a row. For masons, the scientist has developed a new way of laying bricks. The industrialist aspired to use the time with the maximum benefit, demanding a similar attitude from other performers.
His research over time and movement led to the conclusion that some individuals toil more efficiently than others. They should make up the most part of the team. This reflection served as an incentive for the development of management principles.
Five Principles of Scientific Management by F.W. Taylor
American sociologist believed that regulation of employees is akin to science. Like any hypothesis, it has certain laws can lead to clearly verified consequences. The scientist formulated the next principles:
Orientation to the scientific approach. According to the researcher, one should rely on the already available theories and concepts, not trying to come up with innovations or blindly follow the authorities’ instructions. Smart persons have already checked all calculations, so, you just have to apply them correctly in practice. For instance, when counting the volume of necessary raw materials, follow mathematical algorithms, not the opinion of the header. The method of trial and error is chosen by non-professionals. Competent experts are guided by scientific analysis.
Harmony is above all. Taylor preached a balance in the work team. Contradictions and conflicts between collaborators violate a calm atmosphere, causing chaos and slowing down. To reach a full mutual understanding, conduct some “reset” of intellectual and moral qualities, both among the directors and the staff. Analogous thinking serves one way to act in one vector.
Mental revolution. The stated rule says that the opinions of toppers and laborers regarding each other should change in accordance with the company’s growth. I.e. if a business is booming, it is not superfluous to raise the salary not only to higher authorities but also to ordinary employees. In the event that the firm suffers losses, the whole team must take the will into a fist and continue to work for the result.
Cooperation instead of individualism. It is not about herd behavior or collective thinking. Aggressive individualism in relation to strategic aims can adversely affect the entire group. Internal competition should be based on the principles of honesty and healthy partnership at all levels of government. The scholar advises sharing functions among subordinates according to their specialization. In those days, Taylor's idea does it.
The progress of each person within his/her maximum effectiveness. Through training and mentoring you create not only competent wage-earners but also enhance the effectiveness of your organization. To work is not in vain, first conduct an interview with selected individuals to comprehend their motives.
Disadvantages of Taylorism
Taylor advocates an idea of the only correct path to cope with the assignment. Such installation is fundamentally contrary to modern approaches about continuous improvement or re-engineering of business processes. The latter is aimed at fostering personal accountability and active participation in the decision-making process.
Headers need to be flexible, giving employees some autonomy and responding adequately to their initiatives. Strict orders cannot quickly adapt to the situation. Besides, solutions of superiors do not always differ by rationality and common sense.
Teamwork on Taylorism also raises a lot of doubts. According to the method, each task should be divided into separate small steps. The collaborator requires concentration on compliance with a verified sequence of actions. The more rigidly he/she adheres to it, the better the result. Modern technologies allow you to automate numerous operations and prefer to use creative, then physical, abilities of a person. Similar attitudes contribute to a sense of gratification.
Thus, Taylorism is useful in situations requiring physical endurance and discipline. Wherever it comes to critical thinking, it is much inferior to current trends. These scientific principles are good for mechanical work with soldiering, but they do not attach special importance to the respect, incentives and personal potential of employees.