Frederick Winslow Taylor known as the father of scientific management has had a major impact on the way businesses operate today. Born March 20, 1856 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Taylor, who had problems with his eyes and could not attend college. Instead, he went to work as a laborer in a machine shop. He later worked at Midvale Steel Works and became a manager in addition to attending night school to get a mechanical engineering degree. He saw the inefficiency and waste at his Job and decided to dedicate himself to stopping this waste and improve efficiency Kreitner 2001).
Frederick Winslow Taylor and Frank and Lillian Gilbreth all made great contributions in the area of operational approach to management. As the United States moved into the industrial age, management faced with the challenge of changing the pre industrial revolution people (Eldred 2000a). Before the industrial revolution and the creation of large factories and assembly lines, artisan workers took great pride in their individual abilities and techniques. This pride led many tradesmen to go to great pains to keep the secrets of their trade a secret.
The tradesmen would pass their techniques and tips onto their sons and apprentices (Eldred 2000b). The tradesmen were not concerned with efficiency, but rather their artistic ability. There was no standardized way to accomplish various tasks; each individual worker performed their tasks as instructed or as they had learned through observation and trial and error. Frederick Taylor and the Gilbreths’ in particular realized that there must be “one best technique”. Frederick Taylor also recognized the importance of standardization to improve fficiency, but developing and designing systems that are more efficient was his focus.
He believed that by designing facilities for more efficient operation and by educating the workers and management that the success of the company would be mutually, beneficial maximum efficiency could be achieved (Robbins 2001 a). He felt that it would be detrimental for management to attempt to force a change in the organizational culture; however, by a process of education and designing systems that facilitated efficiency then maximum efficiency would eventually be achieved (Robbins 2001 b).
The Gilbreths’ and Frederick Taylors’ concept of efficiency through standardization is evident in nearly every industry. From the automobile assembly lines to the bread bakeries, the benefits of standardization and the well designed production facilities allow manufactures to produce large quantities of reliable products in the most cost effective manner possible. It was through studying individual tasks and the time taken to perform the individual tasks that allowed the Gilbreths to find the best way to perform each task (“Frank and Lillian” n. d. a). management decision making By AlberthJd