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Born in 1856 into a wealthy Philadelphia family, Taylor disappointed his parents by working in a metal products factory, first as a machinist and next as a foreman. Shocked at the factory’s inefficiency, and the practice of its skilled workers of purposely working slowly. As an engineer he was more interested in the practical outcome and not the psychology Taylor proposed solutions that he believed would solve both problems. By studying the time it took each worker to complete a step, and by rearranging equipment, Taylor believed he could discover what an average worker could produce in optimum conditions.
The promise of higher wages, he figured, would create added incentive for workers to exceed this “average” level. Taylor’s time-and-motion studies offered a path away from the industrial wars of a century ago. Now what was needed was a way to apportion the wealth created by manufacturing enterprises. Taylor’s answer sidestepped the class struggle and interest group politics. He believed his principles would create a partnership between manager and worker, based on an understanding of how jobs should be done and how workers are motivated. These workers are motivated by money.
He believed a fairs day work deserved a fair day bonus. He thought keeping his workforce happy would keep them producing at a high quality. He died in 1915, whilst on a speaking tour in the mid west he contracted influenza, he was admitted to hospital and celebrated his 59th birthday there and died the next day. Taylor’s second and third theory is used in the McDonalds. The McDonalds ethos is that the food preparation must be done to specific instructions. For instance the fries must be cooked for a 3 minutes at a temperature of 175o, then the buzzer tells the employee to take them out and salt them.
Throughout all McDonalds are a series of dedicated, purpose-built machine for producing milkshakes, toasting buns and squirting chocolate sauce and much else. After 150 years this is the most active period working in industry, F W Taylor would feel very much at home ordering a Big Mac. The biggest person that Taylor’s theory’s influenced was Henry Ford. Henry Ford was the first person to try mass production and it was a massive success. Taylor’s practices were first used in 1911 in the factory; by 1913 Ford had introduced a conveyor belt system and had achieved the ultimate Taylorite idea. This method was also used in Nazi death camps.
They did not plan whom they would kill until the day they did it. Both Mussolini and Stalin both used his techniques during their communist uprisings. Taylor also wrote many books of these the most famous is ‘The Principles of Scientific Management’ he wrote this in 1911. He split the book into two chapters the first ‘the fundamentals of scientific management” and the second “The principles of scientific management”. In the first chapter he stated that the principal object of management should be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for each employee.
In the second chapter he stated that people should be told what to do and how they do it. They should be motivated by a money incentive. Before Taylor, skilled workers chose their own methods of work, but after Taylor workers were far more likely to have limited, repetitive tasks and were forced to work at a pace set by their manager. To maximise efforts of workers Taylor introduced an incentive system known as a differential piece-rate. This offered a meagre payment per unit produced.
2p per unit for the first 500 per day 5p per unit all those above 500 per day The threshold was set a t a level which those producing barely 500 received barely a living wage. To make 700 was a great incentive, as you would earn double what you would at the 500 mark. But the workers in many places resented this theory that the theory was abandoned soon after introduction. Problems with Taylor’s methods With Taylor’s notion of a ‘quickest and best way’ for all workers does not take into account individual differences. There is no guarantee that the ‘best way’ will suit everyone.
Also some people naturally will be able to work faster than others creating a disadvantage for those he is not so fast. Taylor also viewed people as machines, with financial needs, than as humans in a social setting. People felt pressured and did not like being treated this way. He also overlooked the fact that some people work for other reasons than money. In a financial survey in 1982, a large sample of British people were asked whether they would carry on working if they financially did no need to. Nearly 70% of men and 655 of women said they would.
Taylor’s Core values The rule of reason, improved quality, lower costs, higher wages, higher output, labour management, co-operation, experimentation, clear tasks and goals, feedback, training, stress reduction and the careful selection and development of people. He was the first to present a systemic study of interaction an d job requirements, tools, methods and human skills, to fit people into jobs both psychologically and physically, and to let data and facts do the talking rather than prejudice, opinions or egomania.