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Frederick W. Taylor's Scientific Management - Part 3

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4

Taylor's Philosophy and Principles

"The main objective of the Scientific Management must be to ensure the maximum of prosperity, as much for the employer as for the employee"
F. W. Taylor

The philosophy of the Scientific Management was to reconcile the economical interests, generally opposed, as much of the businessmen as of the workers. Taylor was pragmatic, he thought that applying his science he would then make his philosophy to be understood and accepted.
The businessmen would be favored by the increase of the productivity and therefore of the utilities. The workers would feel rewarded by an increase of the amounts of money received as their better performance. In the reality, this happened during the first stages of the taylorism, and especially when it came to the increase of the owners' earnings. When it came to the workers, their resistance about the model -tells Taylor in this work- appeared already during the first intents of its application.

Philosophy and Beliefs

To solve all these problems, the Scientific Management is created, establishing, according to the speech of Taylor in the presence of the Special Commission of the Representatives Chamber, the following: "Essentially, the scientific management implies a total mental revolution from part of the workers... about their duties in their work, their co-workers, and their bosses. And implies the equally total mental revolution from the directive sector side..."

One of the strongest beliefs in Taylor was to think that "almost every worker linked to the mechanical arts, employed in something similar to the cooperative work, considers his duty to do it slowly instead of fast. This is the most unlucky fact related to the Scientific Management". Taylor establishes two causes for the low performance of the worker:

-"First: the instinct and natural tendency of men to be unconcerned and search for comfort, which could be called innate laziness"

Taylor, when he goes into the subject of the worker's laziness, comments, as an opposed thing, about other situations where the behavior of the worker is completely different:
"Whenever an American worker plays baseball, or an English worker plays cricket, we can safely say that he uses all his nerves to achieve victory for his team. This universal feeling is so strong, that any man who stops giving all he can in sports is qualified as "deserter" and treated with disdain by those who surround him."
F. W. Taylor

-"Second: reasoning that is more or less confuse, born from their relationships with other workers, which could be called systematic laziness". Is precisely on this point that Taylor emphasizes, Given the importance of this aspect, he tries to discover which would have been the causes of such attitude in the workers: "Is more our fault than theirs, that almost every worker considers his duty to make as scarce as he can the work of one day instead of as abundant as he could". If it was asked " the average worker of this country (the causes of this behavior) he will tell that if in his particular occupation, each worker produced double of the work he produces now, only one result would be obtained: half of the workers in that occupation would be fired from work throughout the entire country, nineteen of every twenty workers believe in this delusion".
However, Taylor recognizes as one of the causes to such beliefs, the fact that in many companies where he could increase the production, there had also been an increase of the standard and a decrease of the salary.
Other aspect to focus on in the Scientific Management was that "The second cause of the slow work is entirely due to us. It lies on our own inefficient management systems."
Scheid clarifies that Taylor is the founder of the movement known as scientific organization of the work, which has as one of its main goals to pull down the obstacles putted by the workers. According to Taylor's warnings: "there's a fake belief since long ago, reinforced in the worker's thought, that an increase of the production will bring unemployment" (and that) "... when (the worker) increases his working pace, the boss finds a way to not to increase his salary."
Following Scheid, "Taylor thinks that the goal of the scientific organization of work is to pull down those obstacles and discover the most efficient methods to do a task and direct the workers:... the tight, close, personal cooperation, between the administration and the workers is the essence itself of the scientific organization of work".
F. W. Taylor adds: "... more than anything else what the workers ask their employers is a high salary, and what the employers want... is low production costs... the existence or absence of these two elements are the best sign of a good or bad management". - Business Management - Business Administration


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