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Essay/Term paper: Frederick winslow taylor: business management

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Economics

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Frederick Winslow Taylor: Business Management

Lenoir Community College
Frederick Winslow Taylor
Business Management
David Mercer
Tuesday, February 04, 1997


I. Introduction......................6
II. The Younger Years.................7
III Midvale Steel Company.............n
IV Inventions........................n
V. Pig-Iron Handling Experiments.....n
VI. Shoveling Experiments ............n
VII. Conclusion .......................n

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY..................n

1. Illustration 1.................n
2. Illustration 2.................n
3. Illustration 3.................n
4. Illustration 4.................n
5. Illustration 5.................n

1. Differential Piece Rate Wages..n
2. Table 2........................n
3. Table 3........................n
4. Table 4........................n
5. Table 5........................n


This paper is in response to the assignment for a paper and short speech
concerning a person with relevant contributions to the world of management.
Frederick Taylor is affectionately referred to as the "Father of Scientific
Management." The modern systems of manufacturing and management would not be
the examples of efficiency that they are today, without the work of Taylor.
Frederick Taylor was instrumental in bringing industry out of the dark ages by
beginning to revolutionize the way work was approached. Taylor was able to
increase wages, productivity and reduce per piece costs at the same time.
Taylor's work was eventually adopted in a wide array of applications. Taylor's
ideas had a significant influence on the industrial life of all modernized
countries. Even Lenin went as far as to publish an article in Pravda , "Raising
the Productivity of Labour," based on the writings of Taylor. Thus Taylor
changed the way the world conducted business. Taylor's work was an extension
of technology. It was a marriage of human work and technology. His Priniciples
of Scientifiic Management was conceived to be free of value judgement.
The Younger Years

Frederick W. Taylor was born into a well-to-do family in Philadelphia in
1856 . His family was not wealthy , but they were well exposed to the high
culture of the local society. Growing up it was expected that Taylor would
study to become an attorney. Taylor attended Phillips-Exeter Academy. He was a
devout student, doing very well with his studies. To achieve good grades,
Taylor studied many long hours. It was quite unfortunate that Taylor was to
miss Harvard Law School due to bad eyes that doctors attrributed to studying in
the poor light of a kerosene lamp. In later years it was realized that his eye
problem was actually caused by stress, as it improved after he left Phillips.
Taylor moved back home after graduating from Phillips. He realized that he
should take up a trade and got a job as an apprentice machinist and pattern
maker. Having spent four years learning his trade, Taylor got a job as a yard
laborer at Midvale Steel Company.
Taylor realized that at this point he needed to continue his education.
He convinced the people at Stevens Institute of Technology to allow him to
attend classes long distance. He would study in his spare time in Philadelphia
and go to the school in New Jersey to take his exams. In June of 1883, Taylor
graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree. He subsequently joined the
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Midvale Steel Company

The Midvale Steel Company was part of the post Civil War expansion of
industrialized Philadelphia. They made steel railroad tires. Due to poor
management, Midvale failed in 1873. Fortunately for Taylor, the company was sold
and prospered under the direction of the new owners. There were two reasons for
the success of the company. The first was that the company was able to improve
their scientific processes. The second reason was they were to receive
contracts to manufacture Naval gun forgings. By the 1890's, Midvale was one of
the countries largest defense contracters. The company was in period of rapid
growth. Taylor advanced quickly at Midvale. In eight years he would be promoted
from ordinary laborer through the ranks of time keeper, machinist, gang boss,
foreman, assistant engineer to chief engineer of the plant. Taylor was promoted
to gang boss due to the business turn around and the subsequent influx of orders.
As gang boss Taylor was well aware that the workers could be producing at much
higher levels than they were. As Taylor tried to increase production, he met a
lot of resistance from the workers. This fight to increase production gave
Frederick Taylor his first look at the unsystemized managerial methods
commonplace in industry. Typically the fly by the seat of the pants approach
was used to manage manufacturing facilities. Taylor realized that there was a
scientific approach to technical problems. Yet, the current approach to dealing
with production problems such as worker behavior was destructive. There needed
to be a way to combine scientific techniques with constructive management.
Conditions were favorable for Taylor to begin his studies in management. First,
his chief, William Sellers, was an engineer who supported research. The second
beneficial condition was that the machines his men were using worked on heavy
locomotive parts. The operating times on these machines were long, distinct and
easily measured.
After his appointment to gang boss, Taylor began to put pressure on the
men to increase production. The ensuing struggle caused Taylor to realize that
the basis for the conflict was that management did not understand a proper day's
work. Thus Taylor set out to evaluate a "fair day's work." By 1885 Taylor had
devise a sysyem of production controls. He had introduced stopwatch time
studies, that he conducted to set production standards. Adifferential piece
rate system was set up to mandate that men increase production. In order to get
the men to increase their production and be happy about it, Taylor devised an
incentive wage. This scientific piecework system reconciled the managers desire
for increased production and the workers desire for a higher wage. Taylor found
that on a task where production should have been 10 per day, when a worker was
paid 50 cents per unit that the worker finished only 4 or 5 pieces each day.
Taylor set a new per piece pay rate of 35 cents if the worker made 10 or more
pieces. If the worker produced 9 pieces or less, his piece rate was only 25
cents. Anyone who refused to cooperate was terminated. For two or three years,
Frederick Taylor discharged some workers and lowered the wages of others. All
through this period, he always had the support of upper management. This
differential piece rate system was applied to every task from unloading pig iron
and sand, white washing walls, painting, and even changing light bulbs. This
system waas the answer to the inefficiencies of workers performing manual tasks.
The company was able to pick the best workers available, since the worker would
be earning a higher than average wage. Taylor was also conducting a trial and
error search for a set of laws governing the application of cutting tools. He
was experimenting with different combvinations of material,speed and angles, the
rate of feed and the power required. The results of ths study had management
hooked. Taylor was allowed to hire Henry L. Gantt, a classmate at Stevens, as an
assistant. There were three significant results of the combined efforts of
Taylor and Gantt.

1883- The starting of a set of experiments on belting
1884- Construction of a room for storing and issuing tools already
ground to the
1885-1889- The making of a series of practical tables for a number of
machines...[by] which it was possible to give definite tasks each
to the machinists who were running machines.
Taylor."Art of Cutting Metals," p38

Taylor writes of four steps to utilize standard information. The first
basic satep is to experiment. The initial managerial procedure is to
continually measure, classify and file standards related information. The
second step is the formulation of manufacturing laws of economy, standards.
These standards would include:
_Specifications of Materials
_Material Handling
_Machine Setup
_Tools,Dies, Cutters, etc.
_Proper Opreation Times
_Properly Trained Operator

The use of standards removes all variability from the process and the need for
guesswork. The third step is to plan the work. One must establish Standard
Operating Procedures (SOPs). This step will eliminate idle times and miapplied
efforts. Teh fourth step is to maintain the standards. To achieve this one
would establish a system of control. These controls would establish procedures
for inspection of conditions and performance and compare them to the standards.


Until 1885, Frederick Taylor's experiments were conducted only as a gang
boss trying to improve his crew's performance. He would study problems as they
arose. At this time Taylor was promoted to chief engineer and he became more
familiar with the machinery in other departments. He began to develop a
broader perspective and to study and experiment in different departments.
Most of Taylor's inventions involved metal cutting. He devised a tool
grinder, a machine tool table, a chuck, a tool-feeding devise for lathes, a work
carrier for lathes, a boring-bar puppet, and two boring and turning mills. The
most impressive of his invemtions was an elaborate set of forging equipment.
This made use of a powerful and reliable steam hammer. In designing this hammer,
he studied the strengths and weaknesses of other hammers. He incorporated the
best parts, using flexible components.


Kaker, Sudhir. Frederick Taylor: A Study in Personality and Innovation. MIT:
Cambridge,1970. Nelson, Daniel. Frederick W. Taylor and The Rise of
Scientific Management. U
Wisconsin P: Madison,1980. Person, H.S.,ed. Scientific Management in
American Industry. Hive P: Easton,1972. Taylor, Frederick W. Scientific
Management. Greenwood Press: Westport, 1947. Thompson, Clarence Bertrand.
Scientific Management: A Collection of the More
Significant Articles Describing the Taylor System of Management. Hue P:
Easton. 1972. Wrege. Charles D. and Ronald G. Greenwood. Frederick W Taylor.
The Father of
Scientific Management: Myth and Reality. Business One Irwin: Homewood,


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