When an employee is told to do his/her work, they do and they get paid for it. This has been the standard work style since the beginning of man; but what if there was a way to work that the employees were not just a cogs in a machine but a real worker. Frederick Taylor outlines this idea in his essay entitled “Scientific Management”. Taylors essay describes the “initiative and incentive” system and how this system is good, but the initiative is obtained with irregularity. With scientific management, absolute regularity is almost always the outcome (Taylor 37). This is achieved because the management takes on huge burdens that used to fall to the employee. In this new system of management, the employee is not just a number.
This system is more personal so that way employees feel more in touch with management and will do more and better work. Taylor stated in his essay that management takes on extraordinary burdens and duties (Taylor 37). So what burdens does management take on? The burdens taken on by management are divided into four sections. First, the deliberate gathering of traditional knowledge of the work place (Taylor 37). This is done to reduce the amount of red tape so that management is left with laws, rules and mathematical formulas for the workplace (Taylor 37). With this being done it makes the workplace a safer and friendly environment to work in. Output is higher, in quality and quantity, wages go up for the workers, and gives the company larger profits. Public administration tries to apply this to bureaucracy so it can streamline policy enforcement and get constituents services faster.
The second section from Taylors essay describes how management needs to study there employees for their strengths and weaknesses. When management sees an employee’s strength and weaknesses, they need to focus on training the employee’s weaknesses to make it a strength (Taylor 38). In public administration, this principle is put to use to better a public servants relationship with their constituents. Taylor’s third section describes the bringing of science into the workplace and its effect on individual workers. Taylor describes that unless you bring some sort of scientific management into the workplace, all of your labor will be for nothing (Taylor 38). That is why the job of management is to tell the workers what specific job they need to accomplish for the day.
In public administration, we see this on a day to day basis. Management tells you your task for the day and you do it. Simple enough? The last piece of Taylor’s essay describes that the work for any business has to be almost split in half in the sense of labor production. The division is so great that, until recently, companies that use the scientific management principles had never had employees go on strike. This is one section that public administration lacks in. This is the principle that would make everyone in the work place equal and the amount of labor would be equally split between management and employees. Mr. Taylor’s essay talks in great detail on how companies need to focus less on better services toward individuals and focus on more on their employees.
Mr. Kettl explains why this is the best course of action. Public administration draws some principles form scientific management but needs to incorporate more in there day to day business. As Kettl states “bureaucratic work takes the humanity out of individuals” (Kettl 90). Taylor says that companies need to focus on more there employees so that production levels will increase. Kettl has almost the exact same idea but applies it to the bureaucracy instead of a company. The main point Kettl and Taylor are trying to get across is this; if employers will focus more on employees and less about making money, then there profits will increase and employees will stay with companies longer. Overall, Fredrick Taylor’s ideas and principles are worth putting into action. I know in my first job, if management had been more personal with myself and other employees of their business then I would have stayed longer with that business. Taylor’s ideas should be put into action around the US and the world to make the workplace friendlier and employees happier.