scientific management

A leading example of technicism and a theory of work behaviour based on the highly influential and controversial writings of Frederick William Taylor (1856-1915). Taylorism sought to eradicate the industrial inefficiency and loss of leadership supposedly due to the growth in scale of enterprises and the managerial revolution . It sought a new legitimacy and discipline for management by basing it on the authority of science-time-and-motion studies. The result would be a supposed mental revolution in which worker-management conflict would be replaced by: scientific redesign of supervision and work organization, including the celebrated notions of functional foremanship, and a thinking department to research into task performance; detailed study and fragmentation of individual tasks so as to identify the ‘one best way’ to be adopted by all workers; selection and motivation of workers to give systematic matching of tasks and abilities; and incentive payments to determine by scientific (implicitly incontestable) means ‘a fair day's work for a fair day's pay’. In this way, individual economic reward was to be linked directly to task completion, as the only means of compelling workers to labour-the assumption being that, unlike management, workers are of limited intelligence, innately idle, and driven by a need for immediate gratification.
Scientific management was the beginning of systematic work study in industry, and impressed not only industrialists (notably Henry Ford) but also leading figures elsewhere, including Lenin. However, it was resisted strongly at grassroots level by workers, trade unionists, and even managers, because of its very tight control of personal work-life. Taylor viewed workers as if they were, or ought to be, human extensions of industrial machinery. Scientific Management (or ‘Taylorism’) ignores the nature of work as a social process, has a dehumanized view of workers, and treats work motivation in crude instrumental terms-defects later criticized by the ‘Human Relations’ school of industrial organization and organizational sociology. In recent sociological studies of the labour process , a lively controversy has surrounded the question of whether Taylorism was unique, or expressed a general tendency for capitalism to divide mental from manual labour (see manual versus non-manual distinction ).

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Scientific Management —   [saɪən tɪfɪk mænɪdʒmənt, englisch], wissenschaftliche Betriebsführung, Betriebswissenschaft, von F. W. Taylor begründete (daher auch als Taylorismus bezeichnete) Methode zur Produktivitätserhöhung von physischer Arbeit in der industriellen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Scientific management — Taylorism redirects here. For other uses, see Taylorism (disambiguation). Frederick Taylor (1856 1915), lead developer of scientific management Scientific management, also called Taylorism,[1] was a theory of management that …   Wikipedia

  • Scientific Management — Frederick Winslow Taylor Das Scientific Management (deutsche Übersetzung: Wissenschaftliche Betriebsführung) bezeichnet ein Managementkonzept, welches der US Amerikaner Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856–1915) im Laufe seines Lebens entwickelte und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • scientific management — Gen Mgt, HR an analytical approach to managing activities by optimizing efficiency and productivity through measurement and control. Scientific management theories, attributed to Frederick Winslow Taylor, dominated the 20th century, and many… …   The ultimate business dictionary

  • scientific management — Taylorism One of the classic approaches to management theory, which emphasizes the rationality of organizational systems and holds that operational efficiency can be optimized by applying the appropriate scientific management principles.… …   Big dictionary of business and management

  • scientific management — /ˌsaɪəntɪfɪk mænɪdʒmənt/ noun a school of management which believes in the rational use of resources in order to maximise output, thus motivating workers to earn more money …   Marketing dictionary in english

  • scientific management — noun : planned management of production or other industrial or business activity that is based on the use of codified and verified knowledge of the knowable factors and directed toward the drawing up and carrying out of an overall plan… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Scientific Management — ⇡ Taylorismus …   Lexikon der Economics

  • Scientific Management, Socialist Discipline, and Soviet Power — is a book by Sovietologist Mark R. Beissinger which discusses the implementation of scientific management in the Soviet Union …   Wikipedia

  • The Principles of Scientific Management — is a monograph published by Frederick Winslow Taylor in 1911. This influential monograph is the basis of modern organization and decision theory and has motivated administrators and students of managerial technique. Taylor was an American… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.