The Principles of Management were introduced by Taylor as a set of twelve rules of conduct for management to follow. These were later refined and named after the original thinker, who was born in New York City and attended Harvard University. The main purpose of this book was to offer management principles as a guide for their behavior in business. It also tries to show that managers are not helpless in the face of adversity and can rise above the limitations of normal human competence. In essence, this book offers management principles that managers should live by.
There are four general principles included in The Principles of Management by Taylor. The first principle is, “The goal of management is to achieve the maximum possible result through the least possible effort”. This principle may sound simple enough, but can be modified into two more complex expressions. The first one states, “The manager’s function is to direct the work of other people” while the second one states, “The responsibility of management is to provide for the support of other people”. Both of these principles can clearly state that the primary focus of management should be on providing for the needs of others, rather than simply concentrating on its own needs.
The third principle of management principles by Taylor is “the effect of any change on the environment is indirect and cumulative”. By using this concept, management can avoid situations where one action affects the results of another and so on. Taylor goes as far as to state that one cannot expect a change to bring about a positive result for the entire enterprise. According to Taylor, one must learn to adapt to any change and not expect any change to happen in one go.
The fourth principle is “a man is only as productive as the relation which he forms with his work”. By this, Taylor means that one man can be as productive as another but still not achieve his objective as quickly as the latter. Taylor defines productivity as “the means to produce more useful results, that may be useful to other people”. The fifth principle of management is “action through communication”. This means that an action motivated by a thought or a desire is productive when it results in the communication of information to other persons.
The sixth and last principle is that “the results of management are always progressive, and consequently no permanent institution can be established which will not sooner or later give way to more progressive institutions”. By the use of this principle, Taylor saw that managerial authority is given by the class of managers themselves. He said that there can be no true leadership until the membership of that body becomes large enough to control the administration. These are the principles of management that many people consider the most important.
Taylor’s Principles of Management, though, was never followed and his theory, though it gave voice to some of the theories of his time, aroused severe criticism from other prominent figures of his time including the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham. Taylorism is also credited with having inspired the American Thomas Edison’s idea of the electric battery. Taylorism is also credited with having led the Chicago businessman Harry Warren Pugley to establish the first business school in the world, the Chicago Institute of Business Administration. Taylorism and its principle of relative independence have been criticized, however, by some prominent economists of the 20th century including the Nobel Prize winner W.E.G. Barry.
A number of companies throughout the years have adopted the principles of Taylorism and used them to improve their methods of management without changes in their principles. A modern variation of Taylorism is sometimes referred to as the Warren-Dalbey Principle. This principle states that the key to success is in getting the cooperation of all the stakeholders in an organization. By acquiring this cooperation, companies were able to increase Taylor’s concept of company size by developing smaller units within larger ones. Other management principle concepts include the theory of value evolution, which suggests that change is a natural part of an organization’s growth process.
There are a number of different management principles and philosophies that have been developed throughout time. Some of these management principles are more controversial than others. One of the most widely accepted management principles states that the only way to manage is to manage by learning from mistakes. Although there are many management principles and philosophies that have been developed over the years, one of the most popular management principles still remains today; the principle of “the wise man can do more than his hands can do.”