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Describe and evaluate the work of any one researcher who you consider to have made a particularly significant contribution to our understanding of organisations. Frederick Taylor

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Introduction

Describe and evaluate the work of any one researcher who you consider to have made a particularly significant contribution to our understanding of organisations. Frederick Taylor's work was taking place in a time period when the United States of America was undergoing mass industrialisation after the Civil War. National industries grew out of local trades; what were once small factories rapidly became large organisations with new technologies for production and mass workforces.1 Many large corporations such as Ford, Esso and United States Steel were developed in this time; however they all faced the same problem; there was only a limited pool of skilled workers to recruit from. Many labourers were based in the agricultural regions of America or were immigrants from Europe. Directing the efforts of workers with little understanding of the English language, few required skills and no experience of working in the disciplined region of a factory, left the organisation with key problems.2 Scientific management solved these problems and was one of the first practices to be used in many different types of organisations. Frederick Winslow Taylor was born in 1856 into an upper class, liberal Philadelphia family. His upbringing was constrained as both parents were Quakers and believed in high thinking and plain living. Taylor grew up to be a resourceful person. ...read more.

Middle

Managers concern themselves with the planning and supervision of the work whilst employees carry it out.12 Taylor summed up the difference between his principles of management and more traditional methods with this quote; "under the management of initiative and incentive, practically the whole problem is left up to the workman, while under the scientific management fully one half of the problem is up to the management... The principal object of management should be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer coupled with the maximum prosperity for each employee."13 Maximum prosperity for the employer, in its broad sense meant not only large dividends for the company or owner, but the development of every subsidiary component of the business to its highest potential, so that the prosperity may be permanent.14 In the same way maximum prosperity for each employee meant not only higher wages than would be usually received by a man of his class, but, it also meant the development of each man to achieve his own maximum efficiency, so that he may be able to do the highest grade of work for which his natural abilities will let him. 15 Generally speaking the fundamental interests of employees and employers are antagonistic Scientific management, on the contrary, has the firm conviction that the true interests of the two are intertwined; that prosperity for the employer cannot exist in the long term unless it is accompanied by prosperity for the employee, and vice versa. ...read more.

Conclusion

This led to the achievements of other researchers such as Max Webster, Henry Ford and the Glbreths. The originality of Taylor's insights and there importance are in little doubt. Scientific management ushered a revolution.26 Peter Drucker stated in The Practice of Management that "few people had ever looked at human work systematically until Frederick Taylor started to do so around 1885. Work was taken for granted and it is an axiom that one never sees what one takes for granted. Scientific management was thus one of the great liberating, pioneering insights." Lyndall Urwick adds 'at the time Taylor began his work, business management... was usually regarded as incidental to, and flowing from knowledge... of a particular branch of manufacturing, the technical know-how of making sausages, steel or shirts. The idea that a man needed any training or formal instruction to become a competent manager had not occurred to anyone.' Frederick Taylor showed the industrialised world of the early 20th century how to manage the newly emerged mass workforces. He taught corporations to scientifically deal with employees and achieved results in doing so. He claimed that efficiency standards were a matter of science and human behaviour would have to adapt to them. Taylor played an important role in aiding our understanding of job allocation and how to achieve increased productivity. Although his methods were not without problems his work led to the achievements of many other researchers. Word Count: 2349 words. ...read more.

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