Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Douglas E. Mitchell
One of the signal events in the history of modern organizational management was the 1911 publication of Fredrick W. Taylor's Principles of Scientific Management . This work, along with Taylor's widespread personal influence and the invention of the automobile assembly line by Henry Ford, gave the term scientific management a central place in the lexicon of both scholarly research and professional management practice. Although Taylor had used the phrase in an 1895 paper, it was the publication of the influential 1911 volume that moved the concept from innovative idea to established managerial practice. At its inception, scientific management consisted of aggressive task specification and intense worker supervision. Time and motion studies were used to break production tasks into the smallest possible units, examine in detail how the most productive workers performed each task, and then carefully supervise all workers to ensure that each performed his or her tasks in the ...