Frederick Winslow Taylor

Lenoir Community College
Frederick Winslow Taylor
Business Management
David Mercer
Tuesday, February 04, 1997


I. Introduction 6
II. The Younger Years 7
III Midvale Steel Company n
IV Inventions n
V. Pig-Iron Handling Experiments n
VI. Shoveling Experiments .....................................................n
VII. Conclusion .....................................................................n

1. Illustration 1 n
2. Illustration 2 n
3. Illustration 3 n
4. Illustration 4 n
5. Illustration 5 n

1. Differential Piece Rate Wages n
2. Table 2 n
3. Table 3 n
4. Table 4 n
5. Table 5 n


This paper is in response to the assignment for a paper and short speech concerning a
person with relevant contributions to the world of management. Frederick Taylor is
affectionately referred to as the “Father of Scientific Management.” The modern systems of
manufacturing and management would not be the examples of efficiency that they are today,
without the work of Taylor. Frederick Taylor was instrumental in bringing industry out of the
dark ages by beginning to revolutionize the way work was approached. Taylor was able to
increase wages, productivity and reduce per piece costs at the same time. Taylor’s work was
eventually adopted in a wide array of applications. Taylor’s ideas had a significant influence on
the industrial life of all modernized countries. Even Lenin went as far as to publish an article in
Pravda , “Raising the Productivity of Labour,” based on the writings of Taylor. Thus Taylor
changed the way the world conducted business. Taylor’s work was an extension of technology.
It was a marriage of human work and technology. His Priniciples of Scientifiic Management
was conceived to be free of value judgement.

The Younger Years

Frederick W. Taylor was born into a well-to-do family in Philadelphia in 1856 . His
family was not wealthy , but they were well exposed to the high culture of the local society.
Growing up it was expected that Taylor would study to become an attorney. Taylor attended
Phillips-Exeter Academy. He was a devout student, doing very well with his studies. To achieve
good grades, Taylor studied many long hours. It was quite unfortunate that Taylor was to miss
Harvard Law School due to bad eyes that doctors attrributed to studying in the poor light of a
kerosene lamp. In later years it was realized that his eye problem was actually caused by stress,
as it improved after he left Phillips. Taylor moved back home after graduating from Phillips. He
realized that he should take up a trade and got a job as an apprentice machinist and pattern
maker. Having spent four years learning his trade, Taylor got a job as a yard laborer at Midvale
Steel Company.
Taylor realized that at this point he needed to continue his education. He convinced the
people at Stevens Institute of Technology to allow him to attend classes long distance. He would
study in his spare time in Philadelphia and go to the school in New Jersey to take his exams. In
June of 1883, Taylor graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree. He subsequently
joined the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Midvale Steel Company
The Midvale Steel Company was part of the post Civil War expansion of industrialized
Philadelphia. They made steel railroad tires. Due to poor management, Midvale failed in 1873.
Fortunately for Taylor, the company was sold and prospered under the direction of the new
owners. There were two reasons for the success of the company. The first was that the company
was able to improve their scientific processes. The second reason was they were to receive
contracts to manufacture Naval gun forgings. By the 1890’s, Midvale was one of the countries
largest defense contracters. The company was in period of rapid growth. Taylor advanced
quickly at Midvale. In eight years he would be promoted from ordinary laborer through the ranks
of time keeper, machinist, gang boss, foreman, assistant engineer to chief engineer of the plant.
Taylor was promoted to gang boss due to the business turn around and the subsequent influx of
orders. As gang boss Taylor was well aware that the workers could be producing at much
higher levels than they were. As Taylor tried to increase production, he met a lot of resistance
from the workers. This fight to increase production gave Frederick Taylor his first look at the
unsystemized managerial methods commonplace in industry. Typically the fly by the seat of the
pants approach was used to manage manufacturing facilities. Taylor realized that there was a
scientific approach to technical problems. Yet, the current approach to dealing with production
problems such as worker behavior was destructive. There needed to be a way to combine
scientific techniques with constructive management. Conditions were favorable for Taylor