Impact of Taylorism and Fordism on Management

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Management is a very complex field and has evolved over a long period of time. Globalization has affected every part of our lives and not even management has been spared, thus forcing new approaches to management to be developed in line with global demands. The oldest school of thought was the scientific management by Frederick Winslow Taylor. His main objective was to improve economic efficiency through application of scientific principles to labour process and establish one best way to do things. Its main impact was efficiency along with deskilling and dehumanisation of workers. Fordism was another school named after Henry Ford after spending much devising ways improving productivity of automobile companies ,especially Ford Motor Company. However, the term was popularised by the italian Antonio Gramsci in 1930s. Ford applied most of Taylor’s ideas but concentrated on standardised mass production and mass consumption. What followed was the Post-fordism which is prevalent today characterised by use of technology, shift from manufacturing to service economy and flexibility. This essay will critically discuss the impact of Taylorism and Fordism on contemporary management approaches and practices. I will argue that both management processes led to deskilling and outsourcing, leading to increased labour turnover, low wages, job insecurity, deunionisation, and many other changes in work organisation.


According to Taylor (2007) his main objective when developing scientific management was to “maximise prosperity of the employer coupled with maximum prosperity for each of the employees.” In this regard, Taylor assumed that the interests of the management were similar to those of the workmen as each had something to gain fr...

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