Copyright

Frederick Taylor: Theories, Principles & Contributions to Management

  • Lesson
  • Quiz
  • Like?
Taught by

Shawn Grimsley

Frederick Taylor was an inventor, engineer and the father of scientific management theory. You will learn about Frederick Taylor, scientific management and its effects on industrial management. You will also be given an opportunity to reinforce your knowledge with a short quiz.

We also recommend watching Fredrick Taylor & Management: Maximizing Productivity & Efficiency and Management Roles and Principles

Why Is Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management Important?

Frederick Taylor's scientific management theory can be seen in nearly all modern manufacturing firms and many other types of businesses. His imprint can be found in production planning, production control, process design, quality control, cost accounting, and even ergonomics. If you understand the principles of scientific management, you will be able to understand how manufacturers produce their goods and manage their employees. You will also understand the importance of qualitative analysis (analysis of data and numbers) to improve production effectiveness and efficiency.

Frederick W. Taylor -- Father of Scientific Management Theory

Frederick W. Taylor

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) was an American inventor and engineer that applied his engineering and scientific knowledge to management and developed a theory called scientific management theory. His two most important books on his theory are Shop Management (1903) and The Principles of Scientific Management (1911).

Definition and Principles of Scientific Management Theory

In broad terms, scientific management is the application of industrial engineering principles to create a system where waste is avoided, the process and method of production is improved, and goods are fairly distributed. These improvements serve the interests of employers, employees and society in general.

Taylor's theory can be broken down into four general principles for management:

1. Actively gathering, analyzing and converting information to laws, rules, or even mathematical formulas for completing tasks.

2. Utilizing a scientific approach in the selection and training of workers.

3. Bringing together the science and the worker so that the workers apply the scientifically developed techniques for the task.

4. Applying the work equally between workers and managers where management applies scientific techniques to planning and the workers perform the tasks pursuant to the plans.

Frederick Taylor approached the study of management quantitatively (the collection and analysis of data). For example, he and his followers performed motion studies to improve efficiency. He studied the motions required to complete a task, devised a way to break the task down into component motions, and found the most efficient and effective manner to do the work.

An example of a motion study is observing the number of distinct motions required to shovel coal into a furnace. The task is then broken down into its distinct components, such as picking up the shovel, walking to the coal, bending over, manipulating the shovel to scoop the coal, bending back up, walking to the furnace, and manipulating the shovel to deposit the coal. The most efficient way to perform the task was developed and workers were instructed on how to apply the method.

Contributions to Modern Management

Scientific management helped bring about many modern management techniques for manufacturing companies. You can see its influence in task specialization and the assembly line where an employee focuses on one part of the production, such as putting spark plugs in an engine. You can see its effects in the way companies utilize data, accounting, and mathematical analysis to improve efficiency and effectiveness of production. And you can even see scientific management behind the subjects of human engineering and ergonomics, such as the development of chairs with lumbar support and anti-glare computer screens.

Summary

Frederick Taylor used his engineering background to develop his theory of scientific management. He believed that use of engineering principles could lead to a reduction of waste and increase in production and efficiency that would benefit not only the business but employees and society in general. His theory can be broken down into four principles that focus on using scientific techniques by both management and workers to improve efficiency and effectiveness. One of his tools was motion studies that broke down a particular task into its component parts to determine the most efficient and effective series of motions needed to complete a work task. You can see Taylor's hand in nearly every area of industrial management, including task specialization, the assembly line, data analysis, cost accounting, and ergonomics.

Ace Your Next Test & Improve your Grades

As a member, you'll get unlimited access to over 5,000+ video lessons in Math, English, Science, History, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed. Learn More

Start your free trial to take this quiz
As a premium member, you can take this quiz and also access over 8,500 fun and engaging lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Get access today with a FREE trial!
Free 5-day trial
It only takes a minute to get started. You can cancel at any time.
Already registered? Login here for access.


  • Management Courses
  • Supplemental Lessons
  • Popular Articles

Search Our Courses

Did you like this?
Yes No

Thanks for your feedback!

What didn't you like?

What didn't you like?

Education Portal Video Lessons

The smarter way to study Short videos, Real results
  • More affordable than tutoring
  • All major high school and college subjects
  • Unlimited access to all 8,500+ video Lessons
  • Study on your own schedule
Try it Free