Frederick W. Taylor's Scientific Management - Part 4
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4
Powerful gentleman, Mr. Money?
Taylor mentions the "worker's psychology". About this, he establishes two big elements that were motivational for the worker (although the monetary incentive is the main and exclusive):
-The concept of task, this means when the worker has a clearly delimited and demanding task, he will tend to carry it out. This coincides, in certain aspect, with the theory of fixation of goals established by Edwin Locke during the 70's, which establishes which specific and hard goals drive towards a better performance. But for Taylor this is efficient as long as the following motivational element is present:
-The concept of rational and economical man. Throughout all the work of Taylor it is always present and deeply-rooted the belief that what motivates the worker is, simply and practically, the economical remuneration, this means what some authors qualify as a conception of a Rational and Economical Man.
In such a way that if what drives the worker is the money, a remuneration related to his performance and/or with the menace of loosing such remuneration will be enough to obtain his greatest effort.
Taylor's Testimonies in the presence of the Special Commission (January 1912)
The taylorist model was resisted and gave birth to strong controversies. This happened in such a way that the Representatives Chamber of the USA created in 1911 a special commission "to analyze Taylor's System and others for the Management of Workshops", and in special the serious conflicts which had been generated in a State's arsenal. (According to Pini "Taylor was far from being successful at the most ambitious part of his conception: the social wellbeing through a greater productivity. This was achieved, but instead of obtaining the cooperation between employees and workers, picked up oppositions and criticisms, particularly from the trade unions and even from the federal government, which in 1917 prohibited the application of the techniques of Taylor in some State plants"). According to Merrill: "In January 1912, after many audiences during which Taylor believed the scientific management had been distorted and twisted, he started speaking and gave his testimony":
"The scientific management is not a plan of efficiency... nor a new form o pay the workers; is not a piecework form of payment; is not assigning a stopwatch to a worker and write down the data concerning to it, is not a study of times; is not a study of movements or an analysis of them in the individuals... It is not divided direction or functional direction... The average man things of one or more of these things when hears the words scientific management, but the scientific management is not any of those inventions. I'm not speaking with disdain about the systems... what I'm remarking is that those plans, as a whole or in parts, are not scientific management; they are useful attachments of the scientific management...".
"Essentially, the scientific management implies a 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 part of the directive sector,... without this mental revolution, complete in both sides, the scientific management doesn't exist."