scientific management

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scientific management

an approach to JOB DESIGN advocated by F. W. Taylor (1856-1915), an American WORK STUDY engineer. Taylor sought to increase output by improving management competence and by careful attention to job design. Specifically, he advocated close analysis of job tasks through the methods of work study as a basis for achieving an extreme degree of job specialization. All decisionmaking about task performance was to pass to management, who were to create ‘thinking departments’ to analyse and plan work tasks. Supervision of performance was to be undertaken by ‘functional foremen’, responsible for particular aspects of the production process (for example maintenance). Workers would be motivated by pay incentives to work to the full extent of their abilities, and the best workers should be selected for each particular job. Taylor believed that adoption of his system would lead to high levels of efficiency In reality his theory ignored the importance of JOB SATISFACTION. Adoption of his methods led to STRIKES and CONFLICT. See FORDISM, METHOD STUDY.