A Sailor’s Guide to Scientific Management

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Business ・MLA ・4 Sources

Skaters are referred to as people who are trying to escape service in the Navy and Taylor (1911) describes this propensity to "underwork" as "soldier." This is the product of over-reliance on the rule of thumb, non-inciting pay structures and the assumption that if you work more, some jobs will be lost because one person can work a large number of different departments. The phenomenon of working under the ability of a person Everyone grew up believing in this epidemic and thus affects not only sailors but also people worldwide. One would avoid being fired by working just enough and remain reluctant in doing extra work and avoiding the possibility of becoming better than the co-workers. In my real life work situation, I have been experiencing some dilemmas regarding the application of Taylors’ principles concerning strategic management. I remember I used to work harder in the USS George Washington during the first time of onboard reporting. I added more efforts and did a lot of work within the allocated time and could go extra hours to make sure that I accomplish all the duties when there is no customer interruption.

Despite my determined attempt to ensure everything was more than the expectations from the management, the other colleagues seemed to remain relaxed as they worked at a slow pace that suited them. The shipmates could tease me up when I am relaxing as they had used to see me ever working hard within the allotted time and going further to work extra hours. However, what kept me going forward is Taylor’s words that fellow workers will always abuse you if you put more efforts and excel successfully throughout the profession. Although, Taylor continues to argue that why should one go extra miles towards working more and get the same pay as fellows who perform half of what one is doing. This statement together with the lazy supervisor who could not go above and beyond to motivate us to avoid laziness while on duty discouraged me completely and developed a habit of under working which I regret until now. All I could do is to deliver just enough and relax not knowing that maximum prosperity results from the efficient and satisfactory of both employees and the employer.

Effective leadership plays a significant role in the military because as the sailor becomes promoted to the third class, there is a need to make quick and informed decisions in the highly chaotic environments (Taneja et al., 2011). Therefore, learning the scientific management principles provided by Taylor and applying them in the navy management will reduce the possibilities of one to skate through performing minimal work like everyone in the organization. Hence, implementing successful change necessitates that it starts from the leaders and managers and then down the ranks to enhance a culture of hard work accompanied with various incentives to improve employee morale.

It is paramount for the navy managers to scientifically measure the productivity as well as setting targets for the workers to achieve in response to the motivational problem termed by Taylor as soldiering. It contrasts the alternative method I knew earlier that includes initiative and incentives where employees get rewards or promotion for the high productivity and performance due to working extra and not just sending enough emails where you work to avoid being fired by the management.

When it comes to the approach of humanistic management, it is necessary to respect the dignity of human rightfully. Although the shipmates never did so as they did not see my extra efforts to be contributing towards maximum prosperity. We did not have interpersonal interactions that could result in the collaborative decision making together with close cooperation with the management. In the elimination of soldiering and slow working within the navy, it compels that management focus on the convenience decision making that empowers a team and maintains an individual’s sanity (Taneja et al., 2011). Henceforth, there will be optimization and simplification of jobs which will increase the productivity. The navy compels that the leaders develop their skills to help the subordinates make quick decisions during the unique situations. If a sailor is used to doing what just enough may not be in a better position to handle a challenging problem.

Best management relies upon the defined rules, laws and principles and therefore applying the principles of scientific management can aid in most elaborate cooperation to achieve maximum prosperity (Wagner-Tsukamoto, 2007). The supervisors in the navy have done a little in implementing Taylor's thoughts on improving efficiency by monitoring worker performance and provision of instructions on what should be done. Furthermore, they have failed in the replacement of the rule of thumb where people apply common sense with the scientific method in studying work and determining most efficient ways of performing specific tasks.

Ethical reflection has to form the integrated part of the decisions that impact people within an organization. There are those individuals who are overworked and underpaid, but management fails to take into consideration their cries and this a term usually referred to as sweatshops (Wagner-Tsukamoto, 2007). It can be seen from my experience at USS George Washington where I was overworking while the shipmates were just delivering what is enough to avoid being fired. They could tease me up while forgetting the humanistic management principle that necessitates the respect for the human dignity. Such perspectives go contrary to the humanistic management guide that criticizes the focus on profit maximization to please some stakeholders while others suffer by working hard to achieve higher productivity and the superiors are just soldiering. The modern task management requires intimate and personal interaction between management and men, and it will become achievable via pursuit of the practices and strategies that aim at creating sustainable human welfare.

The navy management style has remarkable effects on the employees and hence plays an essential role in designing as well as maintaining an encouraging work environment where individuals work together in teams to efficiently accomplish the selected items. There is a need to break jobs into the different tasks and establishing the steps that significantly contribute to an accepted end product. As I continued working with the USS George Washington, the managers decided to apply the third rule of matching workers coherently with their jobs basing on motivation and capability. Additionally, they should aim at giving regular training to achieve the maximum efficiency rather than assigning a person to any job that may require technical skills, knowledge, and capabilities.

Therefore, many decisions made have to base on the scientific inquiry by determining the cause and effect relationships. It is crucial to select best ways of performing tasks via application of the scientific analysis and not through the hit or institution or the trial methods. When assigning duties and responsibilities to any employee one has to observe and analyze each task concerning any element (Wagner-Tsukamoto, 2007). Taylor emphasized on harmony and not discord between the management and the workers and henceforth there will no regular conflicts and if they arise they can be solved appropriately and reach the best possible solution. It is paramount to realize the need for each other and Taylor suggested the mental revolution achievable through the complete change of outlook and attitude of everyone within the navy. There cannot be the existence of the employer prosperity without success of employees and vice versa.

After a thorough comparison and contrast of my experience at the work place and what I have learned as a student regarding scientific management principles, I can argue that organization prosperity will rely on various components. They include equal sharing of the surplus among the workers who contributed towards success directly or indirectly, proper training, specialization, and division of work, team spirit, sense of discipline, positive attitude and sincerity. As explained in Taylor’s article (1911) sharing of gains will contribute towards efforts and full cooperation aiming at achieving common goals. This principle aids in producing the synergy effect which leads to a reduction in the strikes as the demands of the sailors will be met, and colleagues will aim at shaping up their colleagues.

Taylor's scientific management has gained significant influence on the modern day navy management style and how sailors help others to accomplish their task and responsibilities for the betterment of all the stakeholders of a firm and in particular through the profit maximization. Human resource is a crucial part and therefore utilizing the scientific techniques to improve and obtain the optimum efficiency and productivity via the task specification and giving the subordinates authority and responsibility before commencing their work officially in a particular department.

The complexity in management requires functional staff, application of the standardized procedures, the concept of the work time studies and the shop floor architecture towards promotion of output flow (Taneja et al., 2011). Summarizing Taylor’s principles one can argue that dividing work between managers and workers, giving instructions apparently from supervisors, selecting and training individuals and replacing the rule of thumb methods can achieve maximum prosperity.

The theory of Taylor promotes an idea that there is always one right way of doing something affecting people within a working environment. However, with the current technological advancements in the world, there are other approaches which the theory did not take into consideration. They include management by objectives, business process re-engineering, continuous improvement initiatives among others that can promote the individual responsibility and seek to push collaborative decision making among all levels in the navy management style. However, there has been the tendency of abusing scientific management by applying Taylor’s techniques without taking into consideration the philosophy behind them. There have been soldiering at the individual and also systematic soldiering. It is essential for one to first address the causes behind under working which may include the perception that increased output can result in a less number of workers (Taneja et al., 2011). Furthermore, inefficiencies in the control system of management such as failure to link hourly pay rates with the productivity and also having poorly designed incentive systems plus rule of thumb can result in the act of "loafing".

During Taylor's times, many workers were not highly trained and educated, and thus they were unable to multitask and concentrated more on the simplest tasks that did not need technical skills and informed decisions in challenging environments. Nowadays, employees have the intimate knowledge of the job conditions, and henceforth they are capable of making useful contributions. Hence, there is no need to dehumanize work and break it down into the smaller units as a strategy to maximize as proposed by Taylor. Team work is the key to success in many navy activities, and the leader has to ensure that there is close coordination, collaboration, cooperation and effective among those involved and afterward there will be the achievement of the expected results.

When looking at Taylor’s theory, it brings an element of separation of manual from the mental work that is contrary to the modern navy management style of productivity enhancement practices where incorporation of worker’s ideas, knowledge and experience is more important. The scientific management approach purely focuses on mechanics and thus fails to the other part of the value of people where workplace satisfaction and motivation are the key elements in achieving productive organization. Naval operations are complex, and when the fleet is in the sea, different challenging situations may arise, and it means that if the team rely only on manual and mental ability to make quick decisions, success cannot be achieved (Taneja et al., 2011). Some ethical complexities do not need the knowledge of scientific management as by the time Taylor was developing the principle for maximum prosperity, the issue of corporate social responsibility had not emerged.

Conclusively, the principles of scientific management as elaborated by Taylor (1911) have significantly contributed towards the efficient navy management. There has been a reduction of the concept of under working as supervisors and managers are pulling up their efforts that the sailors remain motivated and focus towards the achievement of common goals. Team spirit and effective communication plus the respect for one another as provided by the humanistic management approach are facilitating maximum productivity and efficiency in the naval yards. The concept of soldiering is not portrayed among many workers as those in the lower level are going extra miles to bring more on the table as a strategy to seek promotion into higher levels and earn higher salaries.


Taneja, S., Pryor, M.G. & Toombs, L.A. (2011). Frederick W. Taylor's Scientific Management Principles: Relevance and Validity. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 16(3).

Taylor, F.W. (1911). The Principles of Scientific Management. http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/economics/taylor/principles/index.htm

Wagner-Tsukamoto, S. (2007). An institutional, economic reconstruction of scientific management: on the lost theoretical logic of Taylorism. Academy of Management Review, 32(1), pp.105-117.

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