Scientific Administration

Scientific administration] (or Taylorism) is the model of administration developed by the American engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915), who is considered the father of scientific administration. It is characterized by the emphasis on tasks, aiming at increasing efficiency at the operational level.

Frederick Taylor 1856-1915


  • 1First essential studies developed by Taylor
  • 2Study methodology
  • 3Rational Labor Organization
  • 4Principles of Scientific Administration
  • 5References

First essential studies developed by Taylor [ edit | edit source code ]

  • Regarding the development of the personnel and their results objectively: he believed that, offering systematic and adequate instructions to workers, that is, training them, there would be a possibility to make them produce more and with better quality.

Regarding the planning of the performance of the processes: I thought that any and all work needs, preliminarily, a study to determine its own methodology, always aiming at its maximum development.

  • In relation to productivity and the participation of human resources: it established the co-participation between capital and labor, the result of which reflected lower costs, higher wages and, mainly, increases in productivity levels.
  • In relation to the self-control of the activities developed and the procedural rules: it introduced control with the objective that the work is carried out according to a pre-programmed sequence and time, so that there is no operational waste. It also inserted functional supervision, establishing that all phases of a job must be monitored, in order to verify that the operations are being carried out in accordance with the programmed instructions. Finally, he pointed out that these programmed instructions must, systematically, be transmitted to all employees.

Study methodology [ edit | edit source code ]

Taylor began his study by observing the work of the workers. His theory followed a path from the bottom up, and from the parts to the whole; emphasizing the task. For him, management had to be treated as a science . In this way, he sought to have a higher income from the service of the working class at the time, which was disqualified and neglected by the companies. At the time, there was no interest in qualifying the worker, in the face of a huge and supposedly inexhaustible “industrial reserve army”. The “times and movements” study showed that a disqualified industrial “army” meant low productivity and diminishing profits, forcing companies to hire more workers. Taylor had the objective of accelerating the production process, that is,

Rational Labor Organization [ edit | edit source code ]

  • Analysis of the work and study of times and movements: it aimed at the exemption of useless movements, so that the worker could perform his function in a simpler and faster way, establishing an average time, so that the activities could be done in a shorter time and with quality, increasing production efficiently.
  • Study of human fatigue: fatigue predisposes the worker to decreased productivity and loss of quality, accidents, diseases and increased staff turnover.
  • Division of labor and specialization of the worker, each would specialize and develop the activities in which they had more skills.
  • Designing jobs and tasks: Designing jobs means specifying the job content of a role, how to perform it and the relationships with other existing jobs.
  • Salary incentives and productivity bonuses
  • Working conditions: The comfort of the worker and the physical environment gain value, not because people deserve it, but because they are essential for gaining productivity
  • Standardization: application of scientific methods to obtain uniformity and reduce costs
  • Functional supervision: workers are supervised by specialized supervisors, not by a centralized authority.
  • Economic man: man is motivated by salary, economic and material rewards.
  • Differentiated payment for those who produced above a certain standard.

The company was seen as a closed system, that is, individuals did not receive external influences. The closed system is mechanical, predictable and deterministic. However, the company is a system that moves according to internal and external conditions, therefore, an open and dialectical system.

Principles of Scientific Administration [ edit | edit source code ]

Taylor intended to define scientific principles for business management. It aimed to solve the problems that result from the relations between the workers, as a consequence the human relations inside the company are modified, the good worker does not discuss the orders, nor the instructions, does what he is told to do. Management plans and the worker only executes the orders and tasks that are assigned to him.

The four fundamental principles of Scientific administration are:

  1. Principle of planning
  2. Principle of worker preparation
  3. Principle of control
  4. Principle of execution


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