Performance Analysis Of Fredrick Winslow Taylor

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Frederick Winslow Taylor (March 20, 1856-March 21, 1915), widely known as F. W. Taylor, was an American mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. He is regarded as the father of scientific management, and was one of the first management consultants.

Taylor was one of the intellectual leaders of the Efficiency Movement and his ideas, broadly conceived, were highly influential in theProgressive Era.


Taylor was born in 1856 to a wealthy Quaker family in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Taylor's ancestor, Samuel Taylor, settled in Burlington, New Jersey, in 1677. Taylor's father, Franklin Taylor, a Princeton-educated lawyer, built his wealth on mortgages. Taylor's mother, Emily Annette Taylor (née Winslow), was an ardent abolitionist and a coworker with Lucretia Mott. Educated early by his mother, Taylor studied for two years in France and Germany and traveled Europe for 18 months. In 1872, he entered Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire

On October 19, 1906, Taylor was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Pennsylvania.Taylor finally became a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Late winter of 1915 Taylor was affected by pneumonia and one day after his fifty-ninth birthday, on March 21, he died. He was buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania

Frederick W. Taylor was the first man in the history who deemed work deserving of systematic observation and study. On Taylor's 'scientific management' rests, above all, the fantastic surge of richness in the last seventy-five years which has lifted the working masses in the developed countries well above any level recorded before, even for the well-to-do. Taylor, though the Isaac Newton (or perhaps the Archimedes) of the science of work, laid only first foundations, however. Not much has been added to them since - even though he has been dead all of sixty years.

Scientific management

Taylor firmly believed that the industrial management of his day was unskilled, that management could be formulated as an academic discipline, and that the best results would come from the partnership between a trained and qualified management and a cooperative and advanced workforce. Each side needed the other, and there was no need for trade unions.

Future U.S. Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis minted the term scientific management in the course of his argument for the Eastern Rate Case before the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1910. Brandeis debated that railroads, when governed according to the principles of Taylor, did not need to raise rates to increase wages. Taylor used Brandeis's term in the title of his monograph The Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1911. The Eastern Rate Case propelled Taylor's ideas to the forefront of the management agenda. Taylor wrote to Brandeis "I have rarely seen a new movement started with such great impulse as you have given this one." Taylor's approach is also often referred to, as Taylor's Principles, or frequently slightingly, as Taylorism. Taylor's scientific management consisted of four principles:

1. Replace rule-of-thumb work methods with methods based on a scientific study of the tasks.

2. Scientifically select, train, and develop each employee rather than passively leaving them to train themselves.

3. Provide "Detailed instruction and supervision of each worker in the performance of that worker's discrete task" (Montgomery 1997: 250).

4. Divide work nearly equally between managers and workers, so that the managers apply scientific management principles to planning the work and the workers actually perform the tasks.



Organizational Behaviour studies covers the study of organizations from multiple viewpoints, methods, and levels of analysis. For instance, one textbook divides these multiple viewpoints into three perspectives: modern, symbolic, and postmodern. Another traditional difference, present especially in American academia, is between the study of "micro" organizational behavior -- which refers to individual and group dynamics in an organizational setting -- and "macro" organizational theory which studies whole organizations, how they adapt, and the strategies and structures that guide them. To this distinction, some scholars have added an interest in "meso" -- primarily interested in power, culture, and the networks of individuals and units in organizations -- and "field" level analysis which study how whole populations of organizations interact. In Europe these differences do exist as well, but are more rarely reflected in departmental divisions.

Whenever people interact in organizations, many factors come into play. Modern organizational studies attempt to understand and model these factors. Like all modernist social sciences, organizational studies seek to control, predict, and explain. There is some controversy over the ethics of controlling workers' behaviour. As such, organizational behaviour or OB (and its cousin, Industrial psychology) have at times been charged of being the scientific tool of the powerful.[citation needed] Those charges not withstanding, Organizational Behaviour can play a major role in organizational development and success.

One of the main goals of organizational theorists is, according to Simms (1994) "to revitalize organizational theory and develop a better conceptualization of organizational life.An organizational theorist should carefully consider levels assumptions being made in theory, and is concerned to help managers and administrators.


The Greek philosopher Plato wrote about the essence of leadership. Aristotle addressed the topic of persuasive communication. The writings of 16th century Italian philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli laid the foundation for contemporary work on organizational power and politics. In 1776, Adam Smith advocated a new form of organizational structure based on the division of labour. One hundred years later, German sociologist Max Weber wrote about rational organizations and started discussion of charismatic leadership. Soon after, Frederick Winslow Taylor introduced the systematic use of goal setting and rewards to motivate employees. In the 1920s, Australian-born Harvard professor Elton Mayo and his colleagues carried on productivity studies at Western Electric's Hawthorne plant in the United States.

Though it draws its roots back to Max Weber and earlier, organizational studies is generally considered to have begun as an academic discipline with the advent of scientific management in the 1890s, with Taylorism representing the peak of this movement. Proponents of scientific management held that rationalizing the organization with precise sets of instructions and time-motion studies would lead to increased productivity. Studies of different compensation systems were carried out.

After the First World War, the focus of organizational studies shifted to analysis of how human factors and psychology affected organizations, a change propelled by the identification of the Hawthorne Effect. This Human Relations Movement focused on teams, motivation, and the actualization of the goals of individuals within organizations.

Big early scholars included Chester Barnard, Henri Fayol, Frederick Herzberg, Abraham Maslow, David McClelland, and Victor Vroom.

The Second World War further shifted the field, as the invention of large-scale logistics and operations research led to a renewed interest in rationalist approaches to the study of organizations. Interest grew in theory and methods native to the sciences, including systems theory, the study of organizations with a complexity theory perspective and complexity strategy. Influential work was done by Herbert Alexander Simon and James G. March and the so-called "Carnegie School" of organizational behavior.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the field was strongly influenced by social psychology and the emphasis in academic study was on quantitative research. An explosion of theorizing, much of it at Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon, produced Bounded Rationality, Informal Organization, Contingency Theory, Resource Dependence, Institutional Theory, and Organizational Ecology theories, among many others.

Starting in the 1980s, cultural explanations of organizations and change became an important part of study. Qualitative methods of study became more acceptable, informed by anthropology, psychology and sociology. A leading scholar was Karl Weick.

Specific Contributions

Frederick Winslow Taylor

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) was the first person who attempted to study human behavior at work using a systematic approach. Taylor studied human characteristics, social environment, task, physical environment, capacity, speed, durability, cost and their interaction with each other. His overall objective was to reduce and/or remove human variability. Taylor worked to achieve his goal of making work behaviors stable and predictable so that maximum output could be achieved. He relied strongly upon monetary incentive systems, believing that humans are primarily motivated by money. He faced some strong criticism, including being accused of telling managers to treat workers as machines without minds, but his work was very productive and laid many foundation principles for modern management studies. An illuminating book about the life of Frederick Winslow Taylor and his studies is that by Kanigel (1997).

Elton Mayo

Elton Mayo, an Australian national, headed the Hawthorne Studies at Harvard. In his classic writing in 1931, Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization, he advised managers to deal with emotional needs of employees at work.

Mary Parker Follett

Mary Parker Follett was a pioneer management consultant in the industrial world. As a writer, she provided analyses on workers as having complex combinations of attitude, beliefs, and needs. She told managers to motivate employees on their job performance, a "pull" rather than a "push" strategy.

Douglas McGregor

Douglas McGregor proposed two theories, which are very nearly the opposite of each other, about human nature based on his experience as a management consultant. His first theory was "Theory X", which is pessimistic; and according to McGregor it is how managers traditionally perceive their workers. Then, in order to help managers replace that theory, he gave "Theory Y" which takes a more modern and positive approach. He believed that managers could achieve more if they start perceiving their employees as self-energized, committed, responsible and creative beings. By means of his Theory Y, he in fact challenged the traditional theorists to adopt a developmental approach to their employees. He also wrote a book, The Human Side of Enterprise, in 1960; this book has become a foundation for the modern view of employees at work

Key elements of Organizational Behavior:

1. People: They make up the internal social system of the organization consisting of individuals and groups(large and small).Work force is a complicated resource to be managed. This process deals with.

a. Individuals who are expected to perform the task assigned to them.

b. Superior-subordinate interactions.

c. Teams who have the responsibility of getting the job done.

d. The external interface as the customers and the government officials.

2. Structure: This defines the official relationship of individuals in an organization. Various people with various roles as managers, accountants, assemblers etc. are related in some structural way so that the output can be effective.

The key concepts related to this are:

a. Hierarchy of Authority: Distribution of authority among positions along with the rights assigned to them.

b. Division of labor: This is the way the duties are distributed among various members and is a major element of the social structure.

c. Span of Control: Total number of subordinates over whom a manager has authority.

d. Specialization: Existence of specialities performed in the organization.

e. Standardization: Existence of procedures for recurring events.

f. Formalization: Extent of rules, procedures and communication laid out.

g. Centralization: Concentration of authority to make the decision.

h. Complexity: It includes both vertical differentiation(outline number of hierarchical levels) and horizontal differentiation(number of units inside the organization as departments).

3. Mechanistic form: A mechanistic system is characterized by centralized decision making at the top level management, a rigid hierarchy of authority, narrowly defined job responsibilities and extensive rules and regulations explicitly disclosed to the employees through written documents.

4. Organic form: An organic system can be defined in terms of decentralization of decision making which allows people directly involved in the job to make their own decisions, few levels in hierarchy with flexible authority and reporting levels, loosely defined job responsibilities and very few written rules & regulations.

5. Job and tasks: Job is the sum total of an individual's assignment at the workplace and the task refers to the various activities that need to be performed to get the job done.

6. Technology: This provides the physical and economic resources with which poeple work. The organization has the technology for transforming inputs and outputs. These consists of physical objects, activities and process, knowledge, all of which are brought to bear on raw materials labor and capital inputs during a transformation process.The technology can be classified in three categories namely Long linked technology in which tasks are broken into a number of concecutive and interdependent steps and the output of 1 unit becomes the input to the next, Mediating technology which links different parties who need to be brought together in a direct or an indirect way and Intensive technology which is used when a group of specialists are brought together to solve complex problems using a variety of technologies.

7. Environment: All organizations operate within an external environment. All organizations mutually influence each other in a complex system that influence the attitudes of people, affects working conditions and provides competition for resources and power. Two different sets of environment exist. Specific environment which includes the suppliers, customers, competitors, government's agencies, employees, unions, political parties etc. General environment includes the economic, political,technological and social factors in which the organization embedded. Firms facing a rapid changing or turbulent external environment were very effective when they had more organic structures which provided flexibility for quick changes to be make within the internal environment of the system. Similarly, firms which operated in a relatively stable external environment were very effective when they had more mechanistic structures since it allows the system to operate in a predictable manner since authority, responsibility, procedures, and rules are clearly defined.

Approaches for Management:

1. Interdisciplinary approach: We can integrate Social Sciences and other disciplines to improve relationships between people and organization.

2. Scientific management approach: This is used to increase the efficiency of a worker through good job design and appropriate training of the workers.

3. Human resources(supportive approach): This is concerned with the growth and development of people towards higher levels of competency, creativity and fulfillment as the people are the central resource in any organization and society.

4. Contingency approach: This approach proposers define that the external environment and several aspects of the internal environment govern the structure of the organization and the process of management.

5. System approach: This implies that organization consists of many inter related and inter dependent elements affecting one another in order to achieve the overall results. Systems theorists describe the organization as "open to its external environment", receiving certain inputs from the environment such as human resources, raw materials etc, and engaging in various operations to transform those raw materials into a finished products and finally turning out the "outputs" in its final form to be sent to the environment.

Elton Mayo

George Elton Mayo (26 December 1880 - 7 September 1949) was an Australian psychologist, sociologist and organization theorist.

Mayo is known as the founder of the Human Relations Movement, and is known for his research including the Hawthorne Studies, and his book The Human Problems of an Industrialized Civilization (1933). The research he conducted under the Hawthorne Studies of the 1930s showed the importance of groups in affecting the behavior of individuals at work. However it was not Mayo who conducted the practical experiments but his employees Roethlisberger and Dickinson. This enabled him to make certain deductions about how managers should behave. He carried out a number of investigations to look at ways of improving productivity, for example changing lighting conditions in the workplace. What he found however was that work satisfaction depended to a large extent on the informal social pattern of the work group. Where norms of cooperation and higher output were established because of a feeling of importance, physical conditions or financial incentives had little motivational value. People will form work groups and this can be used by management to benefit the organization. He concluded that people's work performance is dependent on both social issues and job content. He suggested a tension between workers' 'logic of sentiment' and managers' 'logic of cost and efficiency' which could lead to conflict within the organizations.

Summary of Mayo's Beliefs:

§ Individual workers cannot be treated in isolation, but must be seen as members of a group.

§ Monetary incentives and good working condition are less important to the individual than the need to belong to a group.

§ Informal or unofficial groups formed at work have a strong influence on the behavior of those workers in a group.

§ Managers must be aware of these 'social needs' and cater for them to ensure that employees collaborate with the official organization rather than work against it.

Human Relations Movement

Human Relations Movement refers to those researchers of organizational development who study the behavior of people in groups, in particular workplace groups. It developed in the 1920s' Hawthorne studies, which examined the effects of social relations, motivation and employee satisfaction on factory productivity. The movement looked workers in terms of their psychology and fit with companies, rather than as exchangable parts.

"The hallmark of human-relation theories is the primacy given to organizations as human cooperative systems rather than mechanical contraptions."

George Elton Mayo emphasized the following:

1. Natural groups, in which social aspects take precedence over functional organizational structures

2. Upwards communication, by which communication is two way, from worker to chief executive, as well as vice versa.

3. Cohesive and good leadership is needed to communicate goals and to ensure effective and coherent decision making.


1) Human Relations Movement refers to those researchers of organizational development who study the behavior of people in groups, in particular the workplace groups. It developed in the 1920s' Hawthorne studies, which analyzed the effects of social relations, motivation and employee satisfaction on factory productivity. The movement viewed workers in terms of their psychology and fit with companies, rather than as exchangable parts.

Scientific management (also called Taylorism or the Taylor system) is a theory of management that analyzes and synthesizes workflows, with the objective of improving labor productivity. The core ideas of the theory were developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1880s and 1890s, and were first published in his monographs, Shop Management (1905)[1] and The Principles of Scientific Management (1911).[2] Taylor believed that decisions based upon tradition and rules of thumb should be replaced by precise procedures developed after careful study of an individual at work. Its application is contingent on a high level of managerial control over employee work practices.

2) Taylorism is a variation on the theme of efficiency; it is a late-19th-and-early-20th-century instance of the larger recurring theme in human life of increasing efficiency, decreasing waste, and using empirical methods to decide what matters, rather than uncritically accepting pre-existing ideas of what matters. Thus it is a chapter in the bigger narrative that also includes, for eg, the folk wisdom of thrift, time and motion study, Fordism, and lean manufacturing. It overlapped considerably with the Efficiency Movement, which was the wider cultural echo of scientific management's impact on business managers specifically.

The hallmark of human-relation theories is the primacy given to organizations as human cooperative systems rather than mechanical contraptions."

George Elton Mayo stressed the following:

Natural groups, in which social aspects take precedence over functional organizational structures

Upwards communication, by which communication is two way, from worker to chief executive, as well as vice versa.

Cohesive and good leadership is needed to communicate goals and to ensure effective and coherent decision making