Scientific management – Frederick Taylor and Foyal’s principles

OPINION

Frederick Taylor seemed to be on right track with his scientific management to solve natural and systematic soldering but then things fell apart. The part that I believe is correct is to look at finding ways to make the team more motivated, he observed that people in debt worked harder so he should have then tried to offer employees good debts. Bringing into the organisation advisors and financial services for staff to help them buy a home or investment property would be a better motivator. Incentivizing staff by offering them title promotions without major pay rises to only target ego’s would help motive them to work harder as long as the promotions are based on measure of staff productivity. For large pay rises they should be only associated with bringing in large sales or driving down costs and they should of course be associated with a larger title.

Taylorism definitely exists today in operations jobs like telco network operations centres (NOC’s). I did shift work for 3 years in Sydney at a NOC like this. Shift work is very focused on process. Natural soldering occurs because of the pressure to constantly be capturing and ticketing faults while sitting for twelve hours looking at monitors, the more ticket you close the more that is expected. Systematic soldering helped with controlling expectations. The processes are now industrialized and are a commodity that can be done cheaper overseas, the culture of innovation was suppressed having simple processes is not expected while in reality an innovative better motivated team can do a lot more with less. One positive out of Taylorism is repetition bread perfection and people working in repetitive processes can learn develop some strong foundations in understand the job.

Foyal’s principles that managers are more important then the workers, this is flawed. A manager is not always more important then the technical expert. This is all to do with timing, the founder is usually the technical expert and therefore has the right balance of expert and manager usually. To be a great manager you need to know the business in small to medium companies, in large companies then the manager needs to focus on coordination or work and developing competence of her/his team. Centralization and chain of authority is valid but that chains goal should be predict the correct competence to develop in the team and make sure they have work in the future.

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