How Influential Is Scientific Management in 21st Century?

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Date Submitted: 02/20/2011 05:46 AM

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Question: How influential

is Scientific Management in

21st Century?

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essay is NOT the Harvard System and therefore

INCORRECT practice. Please ignore this style of

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Frederick Taylor (1856-1915), lead developer of scientific management

Scientific management was a theory

of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. Its main

objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labor

productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to

the engineering of processes and to management. Its development

began with Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1880s and 1890s within

the manufacturing industries. Its peak of influence came in the

1910s; by the 1920s, it was still influential but had begun an era

of competition and syncretism with opposing or complementary ideas.

Although scientific management as a distinct theory or school of thought

was obsolete by the 1930s, most of its themes are still important parts

of industrial engineering and management today. These include analysis;

synthesis; logic; rationality; empiricism; work ethic; efficiency and

elimination of waste; standardization of best practices; disdain for tradition

preserved merely for its own sake or merely to protect the social status

of particular workers with particular skill sets; the transformation of craft

productioninto mass production; and knowledge transfer between workers

and from workers into tools, processes, and documentation.

How influential is scientific management in the 21st century?

1. Scientific management was originally developed in the 1800s by an economist, Adam

Smith. He was interested in a factory that operated and produced pins, and through

the breaking down of tasks e.g. division of labour he increased output from 20 pins

per employee per day to 4,800 pins. However the greatest break...