Ford Motor Company, one of the leading car manufacturers in the world, adopted a management style that improved business efficiency. You may have heard about assembly lines. It was Henry Ford who developed and implemented this idea, where employees were organized in a sequence that helped them assemble car parts in lesser time.
Did you know what inspired this technique? It was the Scientific Management Theory. Read on to explore how the theory evolved and its guiding principles.
Understanding Principles Of Scientific Management Theory
It was Fredrick Winslow Taylor, an American mechanical engineer, who proposed the Scientific Management Theory. He studied workplaces, especially in factories, to see how work was performed and how it affected productivity. By starting the scientific management movement, he encouraged several other theorists to expand this school of thought. In Taylor’s seminal work The Principles of Scientific Management, he argued that making people work hard wasn’t as effective as optimizing the way they worked. This came to be known as Taylorism and he was called the Father of Scientific Management.
Taylor’s principles of scientific management analyze and synthesize workflows. He introduced a scientific approach to productivity, which meant an increase in efficiency can lead to higher productivity and profits. He also believed that there were universal laws that governed efficiency and were independent of human judgment. In short, the principles of scientific management highlighted the importance of management in employee productivity and development. By focusing on monetary incentives and training activities, both employers and employees would benefit from this management style.
Although the principles of scientific management by Fredrick Taylor form one of the oldest management theories, they hold relevance in modern workplaces. Here’s how:
It helps define and delegate responsibilities, therefore reducing the turnaround time for projects
It standardizes the most effective work procedures, reducing the amount of time taken to complete tasks
It helps you play to employees strengths and use their skills to their maximum potential, encouraging them to be as productive as possible
Therefore, the principles of scientific management believe in transferring control from employees to managers and proper training and recruitment can make a big difference.
F.W. Taylor’s Principles Of Scientific Management
Now that you understand the context in which Taylor’s principles of scientific management emerged, let’s see what these principles are.
Focusing On Science
The principles of scientific management by Fredrick Taylor rejected the traditional philosophy related to managing work and employees. Moving beyond the rule-of-thumb techniques of managing the workforce, Taylor proposed that all industries should adopt scientific techniques for essential management decisions. Through data collection, analysis and standardized procedures, there is lesser scope for biases and personal judgments.
Cooperation between managers and employees is crucial. Organizations should take active measures and promote collaboration. This will prevent employees from working in silos and avoid any unhealthy internal competition. When everyone is treated as an important contributor, there is greater efficiency. Minimizing friction is necessary to improve productivity.
Creating Internal Change
To improve workplace efficiency, the principles of scientific management suggest that there should be a complete change in outlook, both in the management and among employees. Change in attitude and behavior towards each other is instrumental in rolling things out in a time-efficient manner. Improvement in working conditions, recognizing individual contributions and providing monetary incentives are some examples of creating emotional change.
By focusing on employee needs, interests, skills and abilities, the principles of scientific management by Fredrick Taylor revolutionized the management approach. Maximizing employee and manager prosperity can further maximize output. Therefore, helping employees utilize their strengths leads to greater economic efficiency.
Recruitment And Training
Businesses should hire the right employees for the job, otherwise, it may lead to inefficiency. A scientific system of selecting and tailoring an organization’s workforce can reduce the chances of hiring underperforming or unsuitable employees. Organizations must select and train individuals to meet job requirements. They should even offer opportunities to improve performance levels, efficiency and prosperity.
Employee training and development continues to be a priority even in modern workplaces. Several leading learning and development programs and online courses are dedicated to boosting organizational efficiency by recognizing employee needs and expectations. If you want to enhance your world of work by applying the principles of scientific management, you need to understand how your team functions first. Harappa’s Managing Teamwork course will equip you with tools to imbibe team culture and collaborate with people with different working styles using emotional intelligence. It will even help you master the art of giving and receiving feedback. You'll learn to utilize the various skills of team members and meet common objectives easily. Give yourself a leg up, with Harappa!
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