ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Job Design for Managers: Taylor’s Scientific Management Method

Updated on September 18, 2012

Given the importance of motivating employees based on their needs, expectations, and desire for equity, it’s no surprise that many organizational behavior professionals often spend a significant amount of time thinking about job design. Job design is the process of linking specific tasks to specific jobs, and also deciding how those tasks should be performed (in terms of techniques, tools, and rules). Jobs should be designed in a manner that promotes the achievement of organizational goals by motivating employees to perform at a high level.

One of the earliest approaches to job design was laid out by Frederick Taylor in his 1911 The Principles of Scientific Management. Taylor’s premise behind scientific management was that for any given job, there is an “optimal” or “best” way to structure that job to maximize performance. He also developed two principles to help managers structure jobs appropriately. The first is job simplification, which means deconstructing work into the “simplest individual components.” Just like everything around us is made up of atoms and molecules, in Taylor’s theory, each piece of work has tiny individual components. For example, the production of a piece of clothing could be divided into individual steps like “cutting fabric,” “sewing together,” and “adding designs.”

The second principle, job specialization, is related to the first. Once these “simple tasks” have been determined, employees should be tasked to perform these specific tasks and focus on them exclusively – hence, specialization. One employee specializes in cutting the fabric, one employee specializes in sewing the fabric, and so on.

Determining the best way to perform each task is not easy, but can be done through time and motion studies, which analyze body movements to determine the fastest or most efficient way employees can perform a given task. Based on the results, managers can then set realistic expectations and performance goals for employees.

One of the flaws in scientific management is that it only focuses on extrinsic motivation – that is, it only uses factors like pay/compensation to motivate employees to perform. It is now known, of course, that intrinsic motivation is an important factor too. Employees who are only there for the paycheck are likely to “jump ship” more often than employees who actually enjoy their work.

While the scientific management method can be beneficial in “assembly-line” settings like factories or fast food restaurants, it has its drawbacks. Creativity is important in any business setting, and the scientific management approach deemphasizes creativity. Since it by nature requires employees to follow strict protocols and engage in the exact same behaviors day in and day out, it often precludes employees coming up with new ways to solve problems and increase efficiency. Furthermore, the “rigidity” can be demoralizing to employees if they start to feel like drones or machines.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)