Words of Wisdom:

"John Kerry walks into a bar and the bartender says "Hey buddy, why the long face?" - Flofloomspaerhr

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  • Date Submitted: 07/05/2011 09:22 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 36.9 
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Prior toscientific management, work was performed by skilled craftsmen who hadlearned their jobs in lengthy apprenticeships. They made their own decisions abouthow their job was to be performed. Scientific management took away much of thisautonomy and converted skilled crafts into a series of simplified jobs that could beperformed by unskilled workers who easily could be trained for the tasks.Taylor became interested in improving worker productivity early in his career whenhe observed gross inefficiencies during his contact with steel workers.


Working in the steel industry, Taylor had observed the phenomenon of workers'purposely operating well below their capacity, that is, soldiering. Frederick Taylorattributed soldiering to three causes:1.The almost universally held belief among workers that if they became moreproductive, fewer of them would be needed and jobs would be eliminated.2.Non-incentive wage systems encourage low productivity if the employee willreceive the same pay regardless of how much is produced, assuming theemployee can convince the employer that the slow pace really is a good pacefor the job. Employees take great care never to work at a good pace for fearthat this faster pace would become the new standard. If employees are paidby the quantity they produce, they fear that management will decrease theirper-unit pay if the quantity increases.3.Workers waste much of their effort by relying on rule-of-thumb methodsrather than on optimal work methods that can be determined by scientificstudy of the task.To counter soldiering and to improve efficiency, Taylor began to conduct experimentsto determine the best level of performance for certain jobs, and what was necessaryto achieve this performance.

Time Studies

Taylor argued that even the most basic, mindless tasks could be planned in a waythat dramatically would increase productivity, and that scientific management of thework was more effective than the "initiative and...


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