Monthly Archives: April 2014


You’re a college student working at your fast food job trying to make some money to keep your parents off your back, every day it’s the same thing and every burger is built the same way. Bun, burger, pickle, onions, lettuce, ketchup, and bun. Your first day at work and your boss has specifically told you “this is the way to make these burgers, this is the best and the fastest way to do it and that’s how you’re going to do it.” Yeah, it’s a really specific script.

Frederick Taylor, the creator of Scientific Management

Since the turn of the 20th century businesses have been structured around efficiency and it is all down to the vision of one man Frederick Winslow Taylor who was the catalyst behind a management tactic that is known as Scientific Management. This tactic of management has continued to live on in businesses to this day and while it is not as glorified as it once was, scientific management still looms in the background of each company.

Let’s look closer at Scientific Management and why it’s still a cornerstone in pretty much every business out there:

  • Each job has its own specific guidelines for the most effective output
  • Your job description is best suited for you as an employee
  • You are rewarded and recgonized for what you do

 Effective output

As I mentioned in the example within the introduction to this post, some jobs have a set list of actions necessary to complete a task in the most effective way. Businesses like McDonalds have a set routine to make their burgers, some companies have a specific chain of actions necessary to pitch their ideas. It all comes down to the principles included scientific management.

Frederick Taylor realised that in order to get the most out of employees there should be a structure in place that has been thought out and proven to be the fastest and most efficient course of action for that particular task. Sounding familiar? It should, every business still aims for efficiency from it’s workers in order to make sure they are getting the most out of them for the customers they cater too.

Fitting the role

Next on the list is how Taylor’s principle of having the right man (or woman, of course) for the job is still important in each business. There is a lot of emphasis in the modern business world placed on having the right employees filling the right roles and this article from Forbes titled Successful Companies put the Right People in the Right Jobs highlights the importance of having the right people and what that can do for a company.

Once you have the right people in the role Taylor’s principle also includes that these employees continue to be trained in that role to further develop their understanding and maintain a steady output of quality work. A lot of companies still put their employees through training programmes that can not only improve their work but also refresh them on techniques and strategies that are relevant to their job.

Rewards and Recognition

Employee of the Month, Christmas Bonus, Promotion. These are all examples of Taylor’s principle that includes management being supportive and recognising achievement of their employees. Now while this article titled 5 tips for Effective Employee Recognition highlights employee of the month as an ineffective form of recognition the rest of the article still reinforces Taylor’s ideas towards the importance of awarding employees that deserve it.

Taylor understood that in order to get good work from employees, it was important to provide incentives that they could strive for. This strategy is the epitome of what Taylor’s Scientific Management tactic is all about, mutually beneficial behaviour for both employer and employees. The employers will get better work for employees and employees will get rewards for doing good work.

Mind your Business

To conclude, Scientific Management is still alive and kicking in the business world, although it isn’t the overbearing power that it once was it still lurks in the deep realms of each business. These management tactics have been modified and revamped but Taylor’s inital management ideas are still the basis of each organization from fast food restaurants to PR firms around the world.

Remember that when you go in to your job that there’s always going to be the best way to do something a set of specific guidelines for your tasks, you were hired in you your role for a reason so go with it and improve in each aspect of that job and who knows, you could get that reward of the promotion you were seeking or that bonus you wanted.

Daena Bodie.

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