n South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences - Using Taylorism to make work easier : a work procedure perspective - original research

Volume 21 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1015-8812
  • E-ISSN: 2222-3436



Background: Complexities generally are conundrums that inhibit efficiency and effectiveness in research and practice; one of the symptoms of this is nebulous obstruction to task completion in the workplace. Complexities in work procedures create complications in the application of procedures for completing tasks. Recent trends in the Auditor General’s report have demonstrated the metastasising culture of non-compliance to work procedures in municipalities in South Africa. Research, as well as the audit outcomes for the Eastern Cape in particular, is a testament to this assertion. Therefore, there is no need to make work more complex. 

Aim: To ascertain whether the application of Taylorism in the workplace could improve performance and to access the utilisation of work procedure in municipalities in the Eastern Cape. 

Setting: This study was carried out using quantitative data collected from a District Municipality and its five local municipalities at the Transkei area of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. 

Method: A survey completed by 593 municipality workers (junior workers) was collected and analysed using statistical methods and triangulation. 

Results: Findings from the article reveals that work procedures in the organisation might be old and archaic. It may be relevant to workers who have little or no interference from externalities with regard to their job commitments. It recommends that those officials that perform routinised functions in municipalities should use a work procedure manual when completing their task. Based on the notion that work procedures engender compliance, increase outcome and output, increase productivity, save time, reduce stress and organisational friction or conflict in organisations. 

Conclusion: It concludes that procedures that are comprehensible (simple), accessible (organically inputted and communicated) and accurate (effectively designed) will improve the daily functionality of lower echelon staff in the municipalities, especially those requiring little or no external influence on the completion of a task.

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