INTEGRATED 20

Well, when managers tried out these principles of scientific management in their factories in the early twentieth century, things did not work out as expected. Many factory managers did not find the improved efficiency, lower costs, and higher profits they expected from scientific management. Instead, they often found the exact opposite.

The first problem managers ran into was with the time-and-motion studies. Very thorough time-and-motion studies were necessary to improve productivity, and very thorough time-and-motion studies were very costly, so they added to costs and did not improve profits. In addition, these time-and-motion studies were often difficult to conduct because the workers in the factory were so resistant to them.

In addition to the problem with the time-and-motion studies, there was also a problem with the lower-skilled workers. When the principles of scientific management are applied to lower-skilled workers, these lower-skilled workers must work like machines. They must change the way they work so that they work in exactly the same way as other workers, and they must do the same single repetitive motion over and over again, thousands of times a day. The low-skilled workers were not eager to work this way and often took steps to make the process less efficient.

Finally, there was also a serious problem with the high-skilled workers. One of the components of scientific management was to break down the jobs of higher-skilled workers into smaller tasks that lower-skilled workers could do, in order to save money. The result of this for the higher-skilled workers was that they would no longer have high-paying jobs. Thus, the higher-skilled workers were extremely resistant to attempts to institute scientific management.

Overall, managers who tried to employ the principles of scientific management found that they had lower efficiency, higher costs, and lower profits than they had expected.