Ford and Taylor - A lexander Zouev M anagement , SPC Week 5...

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Alexander Zouev Management , SPC Week 5 What contributions did Ford and Taylor make to the organisation of work? Frederick Taylor and Henry Ford can be regarded as the pioneers of revolutionizing the organization of work. Taylor’s introduction of the concept of scientific management has, in many ways, changed the ways in which we solve the problems of low productivity. Henry Ford, to some extent, took the theories of Taylor and applied them on a large scale to capture those benefits and drastically increase the productivity in his car factories. In this essay I will briefly look at both the history of the work between the two men, discuss the contributions they made, look at the influence of Taylor on Ford and look at the criticisms people have made of both men and their theories. Frederick Taylor, an American engineer described by some as having a flamboyant and disturbed personality (Morgan, 1997) focused on the practical problems faced by managers of industrial organizations – he embodies what organizational theorists sometimes like to call “Classical management theory” as oppose to more sociological approaches (Hatch, 1997). Taylor proposed applying scientific methods to determine the most efficient ways of working for manual labour. This was given the name of “scientific management” and Taylor claimed that its successful application would maximize efficiency of labour through close administration of employees doing specific physical work. As the father of scientific management, Taylor was fascinated by the inefficiencies of a lot of the manual work that he observed, most notably the work of pig-iron handlers, and he later went on to observe coal-shovellers and was bewildered by the discovery that the workers did not change shovel size when shovelling different coal size (Handy, 1985). Taylor’s ideas and contributions to the organisation of work are certainly varied and clearly influential. Taylor introduced the idea that efficiency should be encouraged by a piece-rate incentive system where workers are paid according to how much work they do in a given period of time (Morgan 1997). Taylor had established a list of 5 principles that allowed management to define the tasks that workers do and establish how to approach these tasks. They included: shifting all responsibility for the organization of work from the worker to the manager, using scientific methods to determine the most efficient way of doing work, selecting the best work specific employees and monitoring work performance (Morgan 1997). Taylor, in short, shifted control of work tasks from the hands of craftsworker into the hands of management. His system undermined the authority of workers/craftsmen by implementing managerial control and by offering differential pay for performance, effectively eroding “worker
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Alexander Zouev Management , SPC Week 5 soldiering”. His contribution has been of revolutionary influence to the organisation of work, and in Taylors own words, “when the principles of scientific management have
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2010 for the course ECON DEAM taught by Professor Vines during the Spring '10 term at Oxford University.

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Ford and Taylor - A lexander Zouev M anagement , SPC Week 5...

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