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Scientific Management Theory

Scientific Management Theory

Scientific management theory attempts to improve labor productivity by analyzing measurable data. It is also known as scientific management and Taylorism, after Frederick Taylor, one of the theory's lead developers.

Scientific management theory was developed in the late 1800s as more manufacturing companies turned to mass production methods to create more products with less labor. According to the theory, employees can work more efficiently when they know the best way to perform an action at work. Rather than relying on an individual's personal skills, scientific management theory asks individuals to follow carefully planned processes that have been established by managers. Taylor spent years intricately studying movement efficiency.

Scientific management theory relies on a substantial amount of information and managerial oversight. Companies that adopted this perspective on efficiency often had to hire a disproportionately large number of managers to oversee workers. While this approach could improve productivity by giving managers control and access to more information, in many cases it leads to micromanaging that actually slows productivity. Increased demand for workers to produce more can also lead to disgruntled employees and increased friction between workers and managers.

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