What Are Examples of Scientific Management?

Examples of scientific management for organizing production include the assembly line at Henry Ford’s automobile plants and using production schedules and records systems at Pullman and Remington Typewriter companies. These factories used elements of Taylor’s scientific management system.

American industrial engineer Frederick W. Taylor developed a system of industrial engineering or scientific management at the start of the 20th century, but only few separate elements from this system have ever been implemented at any given factory. Taylor aimed to optimize the work process of each worker. His system’s goal was to make each stage of the process as efficient as possible so that efforts of an individual worker were reduced and productivity increased. Taylor’s system treats a worker as another machine that can be tweaked to the point of maximum efficiency.

Motions studies developed by Frank B. and Lillian M. Gilbreth were also an important part of scientific management. Taylor watched workers perform their tasks and noted where time and effort was wasted, such as leaning or bending for tools. Usual tasks of workers at factories were observed by special employees, who timed each step of the process with a stop-watch.

Some of the tools of scientific management, such as inventory tracking methods and routing slips, were implemented in machine shops in the U.S in the early 20th century. Scientific management of industrial production was popular in the Soviet Union in the 1920s.