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Fordism Versus Taylordism Compare and Contrast Essay

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Updated: Jul 2nd, 2019

The Taylordism production strategy differs from the Fordism production Strategy. The research focuses on the importance of Frederick Taylor’s emphasis of using work benchmarks to improve the company’s production output. The research includes a study of the advantages of Henry Ford’s centralized machine-based production process. The Taylordism production strategy is better than the Fordism strategy.

In terms of Taylordism, Frederick Taylor (2003) is the father of Taylordism. Taylor is the father of scientific management. Taylor is often nicknamed as speedy for reducing the production process time. Taylor presented his method to increase factory production. Taylor authored the book entitled Principles of Scientific Management and the book entitled Shop Management.

Frederick Taylor (2003) learned scientific management from his experiences. Taylor started out as a laborer. Management promoted Taylor to the supervisor position while working in the Midvale Steel Company. During his stay, he devised a working plan to determine the average work done by the factory workers. Management used Taylor’s work plan as the benchmark for the workers’ payment scheme.

Frederick Taylor focuses on pegging the salaries on the workers’ output. Taylor studied how much time the average worker finished an average task. Frederick Taylor used a stopwatch to measure the average amount of work output performed by the average workers. Taylor successfully established the workers’ output as the basis for pay scales. This is the very essence of scientific management.

Scientific management enhances labor production output. Scientific management includes offering incentives to workers who exceed their daily production quota. In addition, management offers scientific training t to the employees to increase their current work output. Scientific management entails teaching all employees the optimum way of accomplishing each job responsibility (Taylor, 2003).

To implement Taylor’s theory successfully, management pays employees using a differential piece rate system. The company pays a higher salary to employees who produce higher units of the company’s products. On the other hand, low production output equates to low salaries.

When compared to the more energetic and zealous production workers, lazy production workers normally produce lesser product outputs. The system is fair because each employee receives payments in accordance to individual outputs (Taylor, 2003).

The scientific management process incorporates cooperation. Successful management includes the cooperation between management and labor. A brainstorming session offers additional benefits to both the employees and management. Labor eagerly contributes its own comments, suggestions, recommendations, and criticisms pertaining to management’s proposed production process change.

The contributing employees are eager to implement the job process change. In the same light, management will be happy to explain their side of the production process. Management explains to the workers the need to meet their daily production quota.

Management explains to the workers the importance of producing high quality products. High quality products meet the minimum requirements of the company’s discriminating clients. Taylordism states management’s aim is to instill a positive cooperation between management and employee (Taylor, 2010).

Taylordism includes the scientific study of the effect of work on the employees’ tiredness status. Frederick Taylor espouse that too many unnecessary work motions increase the increase in the employees’ tiredness level.

Some employees have the capacity to produce more quality goods compared to the other average employees. The employees’ years of experience reduce their tiredness level. On the other hand, apprentice training physically drains the new employee (Taylor, 2010).

Taylordism has its own set of models. Taylordism includes the critical path method model. The Program Evaluation Review Technique or PERT is another Taylordism model. Management uses both models extensive to increase production quantity (Taylor, 2010).

Scientific management includes finding the best way to accomplish an assigned task. One way is reducing allowable fixed production expenses (retrench regular employees).

Second, management reduces avoidable variable expenses (retrench part time factory labor during slow sales periods). Third, management lessens the time needed to produce the workers’ finished products. Fourth, management prioritizes waste and spoilage reduction.

Taylor used the time and motion studies to validate his scientific findings. The studies focused on the production output of several employees to determine the mean, standard deviation, and the variance production process. Further, the Taylor research indicated that management assigns only one repetitive function or job to the employee.

The Taylor research shows repetitive jobs increase the workers’ job dexterity and speed. For example, the grinding department’s job mastery will increase because the employee repetitively grinds the work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

On the other hand, an employee who performs three different jobs (grinding, polishing, and finishing one product) will be producing lesser amounts of finished products when compared to an employee who works in the grinding department alone. To increase production output, the company assigns a training officer to teach the factory employees the optimum way of complying with their production tasks (Taylor, 2010).

Hindy Schachter (1989) reiterated Taylorism shows the production facilities use the production output framework to measure the advantages of Taylordism’s production strategies. The Taylordism theory states there are four production supervisor levels. The gang boss is responsible for setting the machines and tools under the direct control of the production employees.

The speed boss is responsible for the ensuring the proper work speed is maintain. Management persuades the employees to increase their current production to ensure compliance with the company’s monthly production output quota.

The repair boss has the ability to lead the repair and maintenance of the company’s machines, equipments, and buildings. The inspector boss is responsible for ensuring the company’s products meet established quality standards.

In terms of Fordism, Bob Jessop (2006) emphasized Fordism is the creation of Henry Ford. The system teaches the importance of machines in increasing production. This is reminiscent of the 20th century production process. For example, Henry Ford implemented the Model T production plant design at Highland Park, Michigan in 1914.

Consequently, the factory workers’ outputs had increased as much as ten times the original production outputs. The savings in production costs translated to the lowering of the company’s selling prices. Management lowered the selling prices of Ford’s vehicle models. The price cuts ranged from $800 in 1910 to $400 in 1914 alone.

There are several versions of Fordism. The Fordism production model includes the Japanese production management process. Another Fordism model is the recent total quality management process. Other types of Fordism models include the just in time model and the leaderless work groups model (Jessop, 2006).

With the use of machines, production output increased. Compared to using human labor, Ford understood that machines could produce more products. A person picked several agricultural fruits single-handedly, but a farm machine extracted more agricultural fruits.

Henry Ford transformed the human labor-intensive production lines to labor-intensive production lines. Consequently, car outputs increased significantly. The machines of Henry Ford created the giant multinational corporations (Nolan, 1994).

Further, Henry Ford introduced the use of the segregation of the production facility tasks. For example, Ford management assigned one work group to the finishing department. Ford Management assigned another work group of workers to the grinding department.

Ford Management assigned a third work group to the mixing department. The segregation of tasks increases the workers’ expertise. Compared to the unskilled employees, expert workers produce more outputs (Nolan, 1994)

Henry Ford was responsible for the success of the mass production assembly line. The implementation of the process-engineering concepts precipitated to the success. Under the new system, each department or individual was required to meet established deadlines.

For example, the mixing department is required to finish the mixing within two days. Next, management gives the grinding department four days to polish the mixed products. Finally, management gives the finishing department one day to finish the design of the grinded products (Nolan, 1994).

Harry Dhams (2010) stated Henry Ford was instrumental in the introduction of the electric motor to the work place. Electricity replaces many of the human labor’s jobs.

With electricity, the production output increased significantly. With electricity, the production workers worked with lesser effort compared to working in an electricity-absent work environment. Likewise, electricity aids in increasing the speed of the production process.

Management maximizes the assembly lines’ waste reduction process. Normally, production facilities generate wastes. New employees generate production allowable wastes during their apprenticeship training. Compared to the waste output of human workers, the machines will generate lesser production wastes (Dhams, 2010).

The winning Fordism idea made the customers happy. Machine labor cost lower than human labor. Consequently, management can profitably lower the selling prices of the Ford vehicles. With lower vehicle prices, more customers can purchase the Ford. More customers can buy the Ford vehicle’s spare parts.

Mary Nolan (1994) insists Fordism created a stir in the strategic management circles. A German intellectual, Theodor Luddecke, opined that Fordism and Americanism are new mentalities. Others agreed the Fordism theory is based on service to the customers.

Another group affirmed the Fordism theory incorporates firm leadership. A different group accepted Ford’s emphasis on ensuring social peace. When applied to the production setup and the marketing setup, many sectors agreed the Fordism management theory had different strategies (Dhams, 2010).

However, General Motor’s new production concept overwhelmed the Fordism theory. Under the General Motors’ plan, each car production department must generate its own revenues and costs data. Management defined the General Motors plan as decentralization. Each General Motors production department is independent of the other departments.

Each department is given the authority to make its own decentralized decisions. Each department does not directly influence the other departments. Management authorizes s each department to manage the production and selling of its own product lines (Amin, 1994).

Concusion. Based on the above discussion, the Taylordism production strategy differs from the Fordism production strategy. The Frederick Taylor strategy places more importance on maximizing scarce human resources to increase production output.

On the other hand, the Fordism centralization strategy focuses on the use machines to increase the workers’ production output. Indeed, the Taylordism production strategy is better than the Fordism strategy (humans run the machines).


Amin, A. (1994). Post-Fordism. New York, Wiley Press.

Dhams, H. (2010). Theorizing the Dynamics of Social Pressure. New York, Emerald Press.

Jessop, B. (2006). Beyond The Regulation Approach: Putting Capitalist Economies in Place. New York, Edgar Elgar Press.

Nolan, M. (1994). Visions of Modernity: American Bsuinesses and the Modernization of Germany. New York, University Press.

Schachter, H. (1989). Frederick Taylor and the Public Administration Community. New York, Suny Press.

Taylor, F. (2003). Scientific Management. New York, Routledge Press.

Taylor, F. (2010) The Principles of Scientific Management. New York, Routledge Press

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