Frederick Taylor (1856-1915) developed his management principles in response to the problems he was seeing in the workplace. IN this post, we will look at these principles and the backdrop to their origins.
Industrial Revolutions and its Problems
The Industrial Revolution led to major changes in the production of goods. Items went from being produced at home to being produced in factories. The work went from families working as a team to individuals working away from home. Natural these changes had pros and also cons.
The main pro has already been mentioned and involves the boost in productivity. However, among the cons was a lack of motivation, issues with determining how much to produce with workers and managers manipulating each other, and a general lack of standardization. Lastly, workers were concerned with wages, working conditions, and justice.
Life of Fredrick Taylor
In this context, Fredrick Taylor (1856-1915) emerges. Unable to go to college due to an injury, Taylor went to work in a factory and saw workers destroy tools to prevent overproduction, which they believed could threaten their employment. Witnessing this, Taylor decided to take an empirical approach to this problem.
Taylor applied several different methodologies to examine production, such as time series, standardization, division of labor, time management, and incentives in such context as piecework production. He was also a huge proponent of finding the right person for the job and moving people as necessary to achieve this benefit to the person and the employer.
Four Principles of Management
Below are the four principles of management according to Taylor
- Managers should use science for each aspect of a job.
- Select and train workers scientifically.
- Workers and management should work together to make sure work is done according to principles of management
- Responsibility and work should be divided equally between workers and managers
Managers need to make sure science is the tool used for making decisions. Science relies on and observation and analysis of data. Using a scientific process is considered superior to making intuition or gut decisions. When science is used, employees may not agree, but they can see the thought process behind the decision. The principle of data-driven decision is a foundational concept in data science today.
Workers should also be trained and selected scientifically. Again this gives the impression of objectivity and fairness in the decision-making process. Using intuition or other means makes management decision-making questionable.
The third principle emphasizes that everyone should work together from a scientific perspective. Through a united worldview, the assumption is to improve cooperation. The enemy appears to be subjectivity, and both workers and management should avoid this.
The final principle speaks to how management and workers must have a joint interest in responsibilities. The motivation behind this idea is to reduce the hostility that can sometimes arise in the workplace. Suppose everyone is a part of the decision-making. In that case, everyone should have a vested interest in the endeavor’s success.
Taylor and the Classroom
It is hard to see how Taylor’s principles apply in the classroom at the surface level. However, two ideas that come out of Taylor’s principles for teachers are the idea of fairness and dialog. A teacher must demonstrate fairness through the decisions that they make. Students will not agree with a decision at times made by a teacher, but it is important to know that the decisions teachers make are not arbitrary and capricious.
Dialog is also important. Students need to raise concerns openly even if their commands are not implemented. When people are allowed to share, they are often invested in the achievement, which is the same for many students.
Taylor’s principles of management were groundbreaking for them. Even after almost a century, the ideas laid down here inspire managers and leaders in various fields.