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Taylor’s Management Principles and Maximum Prosperity for Employees and Employers Essay Example

  • Category:
    Business
  • Document type:
    Research Paper
  • Level:
    High School
  • Page:
    3
  • Words:
    1991

Introduction

Different thinkers have contributed enormously to the establishment of modern management. F.W Taylor is an outstanding name in the management field. His is recognised as the leading scientific management advocate. According to Taylor, scientific management entails understanding exactly what one want employees to do and ensuring that they do it in the best way possible and efficiently. Taylor’s philosophy of scientific management is founded on several principles, which include establishment of a science of each element of work, scientific training, selection and development of employees, equal division of work and responsibility, and close cooperation amid management and workers. Taylor maintains that the purpose of management should be to ensure maximum prosperity for each worker and the employer. Maximum prosperity for each worker and the employer can be attained when both output and efficiency are maximised in the sense that maximum output and optimal use of resources bring higher profits to the employers thereby triggering higher salaries or wages for the employees. Attainment of maximum prosperity for both the employer and employee can be achieved through the attainment of an organisation’s objectives and provision of higher wage and salaries for employees. In the contemporary business world, firms employ Taylor’s principles to meet their objectives and needs while at the same time meeting the needs of their employees. Based on review of pertinent literature, this paper highlights the basic principles of scientific management and assesses Taylor’s claim that his scientific management principles would instigate maximum prosperity for both employees and employers.

The Concept of Maximum Prosperity for both Employee and Employer

According to Taylor, maximum prosperity for the employer, combined with maximum prosperity for the employee should be the two major objectives of management (Crainer 2003, p.47). The words maximum prosperity according to Taylor means not only huge dividends for the owner or company, but the growth of each business branch to its highest excellence state to allow permanent prosperity. Similarly, maximum prosperity for each worker entails not only increased wages but also the growth of every employee to a state of utmost efficiency. In this regard, it is evident that maximum prosperity for employer and employee are the major objectives of management. Based on Taylor’s principles, the prosperity of the owner of a business or employer cannot subsist over long-term unless it is coupled with prosperity for the worker or employee (Crainer 2003, p.47). It follows that the highest permanent prosperity for employee, combined with the highest prosperity for the employer can be attained when establishment of work is completed through the smallest integrated use of human effort, nature resources and capital costs. The greatest prosperity only exists when the greatest probable productivity of machines and men turn out the biggest possible output. Unless machines and men are turning out increased work on daily basis, employers can be prevented from paying higher salaries or wages to their employees thereby hindering maximum prosperity of employers as well as that of employees. Maximum prosperity for employees can only exist following maximum productivity (Wren 2011, p.15). The mutual interests between workers who need higher wages and employers who need low costs can be achieved via principles of scientific management. According to Giannatonio, Hurley and Hanson (2011), Taylor’s principles of efficiency are applicable in all types of businesses.

Establishment of a Science of Each Element of Work

Various researchers have investigated the impact of Taylor’s scientific management principles on maximum prosperity for both employers and workers. With respect to Taylor’s first scientific management principle, a scientific study and assessment of every element of job helps in establishing the best way of doing work. The decision on how certain work should be carried should be based on facts instead of beliefs and opinions. According to Derksen (2014, p.150), rendering work calculable by assessing it into units tasks helps employees in measuring the time it takes for one to complete a given task. According to Crainer (2003, p.44), understanding the scientific element of each job provides an incentive to work more efficiently and productively. Assessing every element of a given task improves efficiency of work through eliminating unnecessary and wasteful motions. Allowing employees to know what is expected of them helps in establishing correct work rates with more valid penalties and bonuses. According to Taylor, measurement increases production given that every employee understands what is required of him/her. Augmented production is attained with reduced costs and this instigates bigger profits for a firm, hence higher salaries for employees. Taylor’s concept of analysing the scientific element of each job promotes higher wages for workers and reduced labour costs hence, attainment of maximum prosperity for both the employer and employees.

Scientific Selection, Training and Development of Workers

According to Taylor, workers should be selected and trained based on the requirement of the jobs assigned to them (Myers 2011, p.9). People who do not qualify for a given job should not be selected. The mental and physical needs should be specific for every job and employees should be selected and trained to ensure they fit the job. According to Zuffo (2011, p. 29), selection of a first-class workman increases the efficiency of a firm. According to Taylor, constructive imagination, common sense, honesty and grit are essential qualities that employers should aim at when selecting their employees. Systematic development and training helps in the improvement of efficiency and skills of workers. In this view, Taylor’s second principle of scientific management helps in instigating maximum prosperity for both employees and employers. Pane Haden, Humphreys, Cooke and Penland (2012) assert that identification and training of employees helps them in performing their jobs in the best way possible. A degree of training is needed to ensure development of employees that in turn help them to function to their fullest capacity. A good example of a firm that employs Taylor’s principle of employee training and development is McDonald’s. According to Bell and Martin (2012, p.106), employee working in fast food industries require training because in most cases they do not have a college degree. The employers of such firms offer a foundation for how things should be done. In such firms, the efficiency of employees is directly linked to corporate profit. Pane Haden, Humphreys, Cooke and Penland (2012) assert that training is a crucial aspect in effective team functioning and building. Derksen (2014) who claims that employees are trained for perfection supports these sentiments. He further asserts that when men work perfectly, they are paid well for their efficiency. Whether men are trained to work like machines, they profit more by attaining higher wages and greatly benefit their organisations. Similarly, Pane Haden and associates assert that when team members and their leaders function to their full ability, the productivity of the firm increases an aspect that promotes the maximum prosperity of the firm. Similarly, when a firm attain maximum prosperity, the employees attain maximum prosperity in terms of growth and higher salaries and wages.

Close Cooperation between Workers and Management and Mental revolution

This principle focuses on harmonising the interests of the employees and the employer in order to establish a mutually valuable relationship. Taylor put more emphasis on maintenance of proper personal relations between employees and employers (Schwarz 2007, p.46). Myers 2011, p.9) asserts that the management should work together with workmen, assisting, supporting and smoothing the way for them. Cooperation amid the workers and management promotes attainment of maximum prosperity. Mental revolution demonstrates a full change in the view of both the employees and management with regard to their mutual relations. This principle stresses the importance of the workers and management working together in efforts of augmenting the surplus for their own benefit. According to Derksen (2014, p.153), mutual support and friendly cooperation boosts the morale of employees thereby increasing their level of productivity. Employers focus on reduced labour costs while workers focus on high wages. The incompatibility of these interests requires employees and employers to work cooperatively to increase the surplus so that everyone can attain maximum prosperity. Based on the scientific management theory, employers can pay higher salaries to fewer workers and augment the productivity level in their organisations. For employers to attain maximum prosperity, a level of friendship and cooperation between employers and employees is paramount. The constant personal contact and close cooperation between employers and employees lowers discontent and friction. Pane Haden et al. (2102, p. 14) assert that provision of required support and monitoring of employees increases their efficiency. In this perspective, Taylor’s scientific management principles promote harmonious cooperation to promote attainment of maximum prosperity for both the employer and employee.

Equal Division of Work and Responsibility

Scientific management provides a structure categorised by an apparent division of functions and role. With respect to this principle, the responsibility for work and planning should be equally divided between the workers and the management. The management should focus on deciding the techniques for work and set good working conditions and time for completion of work. While workers should be concerned with execution of plans, the management should take responsibility for supervision and planning of work (Pane Haden, Humphreys, Cooke & Penland 2012, and p.14). The concept of division of work and responsibility increases efficiency thereby promoting high profits and wages, hence harmony between employees and employers (Caldari 2007, p.57). The high profits realised as a result of equal division of work and responsibility instigate high wages for employees, thereby attaining the maximum prosperity of both the employer and employees.

Conclusion

Taylor’s scientific management principles are relevant in the 21st century given their ability to promote employers and employees’ prosperity. These principles are applicable beyond the historical milieu in which they were established. Taylorism proves to hold a considerable capacity as it augments employee efficiency. Based on the assessment, the scientific management principles are a source of economic success for employers and employees. The establishment of a science of the job with practical rules improves the efficiency of employees, hence increased organisational productivity. Scientific selection and training of employees helps in boosting the efficiency of employees and that of the organisation while careful monitoring of employees by the management and close cooperation promote the overall productivity of a firm and that of the employees. Equal division of work and responsibility between the management and worker promotes the productivity of employees and that of the organisation hence attainment of maximum prosperity for the employer and employee.

Reference list

Bell, RL & Martin, JS 2012, ‘The Relevance of Scientific Management and Equity Theory in Everyday Managerial Communication’, Journal of Management Policy & Practice, vol. 13(3), pp. 106-115.

Caldari, K 2007, ‘Alfred Marshall’s critical analysis of scientific management’, The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 14:1, March, pp. 55-78.

Crainer, S 2003, ‘One hundred years of management’, Business Strategy Review, vol. 14, issue 3, pp. 41-49.

Derksen, M 2014, ‘Turning Men Into Machines? Scientific Management, Industrial Psychology, and the “Human Factor”’, Journal of the History of the Behavioural Sciences, vol. 50(2), Spring, pp. 148-165.

Giannantonio, CM & Hurley-Hanson, AE 2011, ‘Frederick Winslow Taylor: Reflections on the Relevance of the Principles of Scientific Management 100 Years Later’, Journal of Business and Management, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 7-10.

Myers, LA 2011 ‘One Hundred Years Later: What Would Frederick W. Taylor Say?’ International Journal of Business and Social Science, vol. 2, no. 20, pp. 8-11.

Pane Haden, SS, Humphreys, JH, Cooke, J, & Penland, P 2012, ‘Applying Taylor’s Principles to Teams: Renewing a Century-Old Theory’, Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, vol. 90(4), pp. 11-20.

Schwartz, M 2007, ‘The “business ethics” of management theory’, Journal of Management History, vol. 13, issue 1, pp. 43-54.

Wren, DA 2011, ‘The Centennial of Frederick W. Taylor’s The Principles of Scientific Management: A Retrospective Commentary’, Journal of Business and Management, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 11-22.

Zuffo, RG 2011, ‘Taylor is Dead, Hurray Taylor! The “Human Factor” in Scientific Management: Between Ethics, Scientific Psychology and Common Sense’, Journal of Business and Management, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 23-41.