Scientific Management

Watt, Peter and Amiridis, Kostas (2023) Scientific Management. In: Encyclopedia of Organizational Psychology. Edward Elgar. (In Press)

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This entry provides a historical overview of Scientific Management. We begin by explaining what Scientific Management refers to and how it emerged at the turn of the Twentieth Century as a set of clearly defined management principles which were also central to a more general movement of Progressive Era America seeking to mobilize the promise of scientific methods to the ‘problem of work’. We then outline Scientific Management’s ‘Principles and Aims’ which we break down into eight categories: 1) The accurate and scientific determination of the quickest time required to accomplish a particular task, 2) The standardisation of methods and tools 3) Task setting and instruction cards, 4) Routing and scheduling, 5) Selection and Training 6) Incentives (remuneration and promotion) 7) Functional Management, and 8) Mental Revolution. In the final section, we consider the legacy of Scientific Management, bringing attention to ongoing debates and sources of critique, as well as instances where Scientific Management can still be seen at work and in development today.

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12 Sep 2023 03:30
In Press
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12 Sep 2023 03:30