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Frederick winslow taylor business management

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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