1910 - 1929
The Principles of Scientific Management was authored by Frederick Winslow Taylor, which later earned him the title "Father of Scientific Management." As early as the 1900s, F.W. Taylor observed that the Earth’s natural resources were diminishing because of mankind’s ill-directed activities and methodologies. Accordingly, the only remedy to this worsening condition was to approach all human activities by way of systematic management.
F.W. Taylor specifically directed his presentations to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers as they gave emphasis to the following key concepts for operational activities:
Maximum Prosperity – That which upholds the interests of workers, in which their efforts to generate output are well compensated. As a result, the business prospers and the profits reaped should be distributed not only in the form of dividends to its investors but also as higher wages for the employees.
Optimized Productivity – Scientific management delves into the concept that the worker’s efforts are greatly wasted by “rule-of-thumb-methods," which mean there are no standards for accuracy and efficiency but merely rough estimates learned from practical experience. Taylor asserted that jobs can be simplified by following a set of standards and procedural guidelines, which allows even the most unskilled worker to perform a particular task with minimal training. This stands opposed to the concept of artisan skills that were developed through years of practice.
Hence, F.W. Taylor’s four principles of scientific management dwell on:
(1) Implementing work methods based on scientific studies of the work performed, which includes conducting time studies.
(2) Applying scientific methods in selecting, training and developing workers rather than relying on their self-taught artisan skills.
(3) Motivating the employees to adopt scientific methods toward higher productivity that will equate to higher compensatory rewards.
(4) Applying the principle of teamwork between managers and workers, in which the former develops strategic plans while the latter performs work based on the strategic plans.