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American Political Science

By the 1920s, scholars of public administration had responded to Wilson’s solicitation and thus textbooks in this field were introduced. A few distinguished scholars of that period were, Luther GulickLyndall UrwickHenri FayolFrederick Taylor, and others. Frederick Taylor (1856–1915), another prominent scholar in the field of administration and management also published a book entitled The Principles of Scientific Management (1911). He believed that scientific analysis would lead to the discovery of the “one best way” to do things or carrying out an operation. This, according to him could help save cost and time. Taylor’s technique was later introduced to private industrialists, and later into the various government organizations (Jeong, 2007).[32]

Taylor’s approach is often referred to as Taylor’s Principles or Taylorism. Taylor’s scientific management consisted of main four principles (Frederick W. Taylor, 1911):

  • Replace rule-of-thumb work methods with methods based on a scientific study of the tasks.
  • Scientifically select, train, and develop each employee rather than passively leaving them to train themselves.
  • Provide “detailed instruction and supervision of each worker in the performance of that worker’s discrete task” (Montgomery 1997: 250).
  • Divide work nearly equally between managers and workers, so that the managers apply scientific management principles to planning the work and the workers actually perform the tasks.

Taylor had very precise ideas about how to introduce his system (approach): ‘It is only through enforced standardization of methods, enforced adoption of the best implements and working conditions, and enforced cooperation that this faster work can be assured. And the duty of enforcing the adoption of standards and enforcing this cooperation rests with management alone.’[33]

The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) the leading professional group for public administration was founded in 1939. ASPA sponsors the journal Public Administration Review, which was founded in 1940.[34]