In his book “The Principles of Scientific Management” Frederick Winslow Taylor lays out his method of scientific management to increase efficiency in the workplace, which in turn was supposed to increase the happiness of everyone. Throughout his essay Taylor shows many examples where he implements scientific management which in turn increased the amount of work the “oxes” were able to do. One of the main passages in Taylor’s essay pertaining to my life, found on pages 15-16, outlines his plan to cut out the long used “rule of thumb” method:
First. They develop a science for each element of a man’s work, which replaces the old rule-of-thumb method. Second. They scientifically select and train, teach, and develop the workman, whereas in the past he chose his own work and trained himself as best as he could. Third. They heartily cooperate with the men so as to insure all of the work being done in accordance with the principles of the science which has been developed. Fourth. There is an almost equal division of the work and the responsibility between the management and the workmen. The management takes over all work for which they are better fitted than the workmen, while in the past almost all of the work and the greater part of the responsibility were thrown upon the men.
Over the years I have held a variety of odd jobs. Scientific management pertained to each of these jobs, particularly my job at Regal Cinemas. Throughout the year that I worked there, I worked under two managers. The first was very relaxed, and let the employees do whatever they wanted. When new recruits would come on their first few days the responsibility of teaching them fell on to the shoulders of the more experienced, low level employees. As expected there was a lot of “soldering” going on between these employees who were expected to teach the new recruits. So, this soldiering continued to get passed down, therefore hurting the efficiency of the company. Also, there were many rule-of-thumb methods integrated into the average workday, whether it was the amount of salt/butter put on the popcorn or how early/late to start closing down.
Later in my career at Regal Cinemas I was graced with a new, harsher manager. He had worked his way up from a Staff Lead, which is one step above the regular employee, up to General Manager at another theater. Because of this, he was aware with all of the soldiering that went on between the employees while they worked. He made many changes while I was there that would greatly increase how everyone worked, therefore increasing efficiency as a whole. He gave the responsibility of teaching new employees to actual managers instead of employees, which symbolizes the fourth sub-division laid out by Taylor. He also broke down all of the rule-of-thumb methods, such as the salt, and gave us exact amounts to use and when the prime time to restock would be. One of the most admirable things that he did, in my opinion, was that he took part in everything that went on during the day from helping with trash to counting out multiple registers.
For not really knowing what scientific management was, it actually has played a big part in my life. Scientific management greatly improved the efficiency of my workplace while I worked for Regal, therefore helping the company make larger profits then they were previously. This, according to Taylor should have made everyone happier, but that is a completely different subject in this case.