While Taylor's theory could make for more efficient workers, it is not without its flaws.
While Frederick Taylor's theory makes for more efficient workers, it is not without flaws.
Frederick Taylor's scientific management theory, also called the classical management theory, emphasizes efficiency, much like Max Weber's. However, according to Taylor, rather than scolding employees for every minor mistake, employers should reward workers for increased productivity.
"The principal object of management should be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for each employee," said Taylor. "The words 'maximum prosperity' are used, in their broad sense, to mean not only large dividends for the company or owner, but the development of every branch of the business to its highest state of excellence, so that the prosperity may be permanent."
While the theory makes for more efficient workers, it is not without flaws. Many of these subtasks are menial, causing workers to feel like part of an assembly line, rather than creative additions to their team.
However, productivity is still a valuable result of this practice; and depending on the industry, the theory could be a great addition to businesses today. Here are four principles of Frederick Taylor's management theory.
Editor's Note: Looking for performance management software for your business? If you're looking for information to help you choose the one that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:
Break down assignments into subtasks
Rather than assigning an entire project to one individual and allowing them the proper time to complete it, managers break down larger tasks into smaller parts. These subtasks are meant to make the process more organized and efficient, with multiple employees working on one assignment – each taking care of their own piece.
Delegate responsibilities and train workers
Executives measure the most efficient way to do a given task, then delegate the subtasks only to employees with the proper skills and abilities. Those workers are then trained by management.
Workers' roles tend to be specific and fixed, and their tasks basic and repetitive. Often, employees feel insignificant, completing the same chore hours on end. But to Taylor, each worker plays a crucial role in the company's success.
Supervisors ensure each worker below them is doing their job efficiently; and if a more productive practice is discovered, workers are re-trained to implement it in their work.
Because employees must repeat the same mundane tasks, incentives are high. Workers are motivated to deliver quality work because they are financially rewarded based on their performance. The more efficient the worker is, the higher their pay will be.
Allocate work between managers and employees
Most companies have various levels of workers, from supervisors to part-timers. Typically, the more experience and drive you have, the more likely you are to land an executive position. This is how much of the business world operates.
Taylor believed in a similar hierarchy of three levels, with the most powerful workers on top. Each level is given exact responsibilities and detailed instructions specific to their role. They respect and adhere to those above them and do only what is assigned to them.