Many managers resisted Taylor’s approach because they opposed his substitution of the scientific method and techniques for their own judgment and discretion. “Taylor had questioned their good judgment and superior ability which had been the subject of public celebration for many years. Hence, many employers regarded his methods as an unwarranted interference with managerial prerogatives”.
Taylor’s scientific management was not only opposed by managers but by workers also. Workers were opposed to time study procedures and standardization of all aspects of their performance, as they did not like to be treated as machines.
Greatest resistance came from the labour leaders who found in Taylorism a threat to their role and to the growth of trade union movement. It was Taylor’s conviction that effective cooperation between employer and employee would flow from better management through the application of the scientific principles. Unions would then be unnecessary.
Taylor and his followers had viewed organisation mechanistically where workers were treated like cogs in well oiled machines. They were essentially practitioners who were interested in improving worker’s performance at the level of the shop floor. The neglect of the human side of the organisation has been one of the major criticisms of Taylorism.
It is wrong to under estimate the importance of scientific management. It would be important to mention that in Taylor’s work the human relations aspect was under emphasised but certainly not entirely ignored.
He fully recognised the importance of working conditions as well of collaboration between management and workers. It was because of his recommendations that workers started getting training and commensurate salaries.
Nevertheless Taylor remains as the principal figure associated with the scientific management movement. And the ideas of scientific management greatly influenced the administrative thought and management practices.