Managing Formal Organizations in the 21st Century: A Critique of Fredrick Taylor’s Scientific Management Theory

Olu Awofeso


Fredrick Taylor is popularly acknowledged as the father of the scientific management theory in the literature. As a strand of the classical theory of organization, the scientific management aimed at ensuring efficiency, standardization of job performance and discipline in complex organizations. When applied to bricklaying, shoveling, and metal cutting by Taylor, the scientific management approach proved to be very efficient and highly productive. Despite its remarkable success in these organizations, the scientific management has been subjected to series of criticism by scholars and authors alike. The study rely on secondary source of data to engage in a continuous academic scrutiny on the efficacy of the scientific management theory, especially, in modern organizations. The paper critically assesses the relevance or otherwise, of the scientific management theory in the 21st century.

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Journal of Public Management Research   ISSN 2377-3294

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