Who Criticized the Scientific Theory of Taylor?


Jane Flores

The scientific theory of Taylor, also known as “Taylorism,” has been criticized by several prominent figures throughout history. Frederick Winslow Taylor proposed this theory in the late 19th century, with the main objective of increasing productivity and efficiency in manufacturing industries. However, his ideas have been subjected to criticism for various reasons.

Henry Ford: One of the most vocal critics of Taylorism was Henry Ford, who was a contemporary of Taylor. Although Ford initially adopted some of Taylor’s principles, he later criticized his theories as being too focused on individual tasks and not enough on the overall process. Ford believed that workers should be involved in every aspect of production, including decision-making.

Mary Parker Follett: Mary Parker Follett was a management theorist who criticized Taylor’s approach to management for its overemphasis on control and efficiency. She believed that management should focus on collaboration and cooperation among workers rather than treating them as mere cogs in a machine.

Elton Mayo: Elton Mayo was another critic of Taylorism who believed that it ignored the social and psychological factors that influence worker productivity. Mayo conducted studies at the Hawthorne Works factory in Chicago and found that worker productivity could be improved by addressing social needs such as recognition and appreciation.

Peter Drucker: Peter Drucker was a management consultant who criticized Taylorism for its narrow focus on efficiency at the expense of innovation and creativity. He argued that businesses should focus on developing their human resources rather than simply trying to extract more work from them.

In conclusion, although Frederick Winslow Taylor’s scientific theory has had a significant impact on modern management practices, it has also faced criticism from many notable figures throughout history. These criticisms have focused on issues such as control, collaboration, social needs, innovation, and creativity. While some aspects of Taylor’s theories may still be relevant today, they must be viewed within the broader context of modern management practices.