Scientific management, as defined by Frederic W. Taylor (1856-1917), initiated from the premise of the inability of "ordinary" management to grasp the productive capacity of workers.
Management proved inadequate to utilise human resources effectively in order to better production, and thereupon was solely reliant on the initiative and expertise of the workforce to do so.
Taylor's insight was a redefinition of the role of management in the production process. Applying scientific methodology to work management would result, according to him, into improved worker performance and the adaptation of labour to the needs of capitalism (all in favour of management).
In practice, Taylor's extensive experimentation resolved in the articulation of "scientific management", a form of labour organisation that involved the standardisation of labour techniques.
Taylor's ingenuity laid in the design of a universal managerial blueprint of work, which could be employed to address efficiency problems at different levels of complexity.
Production did no longer "wish" of workers to consume themselves mentally, but strictly physically. Man was now unconsciously caught up in a repetitive, mechanical production process founded on the premises of what once was his own mastery.
In time, Taylor's theories caught on with the industrial world and further ground for experimentation was provided. Taylor proceeded strong to formulate the principles of labour management that later on culminated in the publication of the Principles of Scientific Management (1911).
* More produced, at a lower cost. This actually implies "commodification" of labour under the piece-rate system. As man is enabled to produce more, he is expected to produce more than previously and hence his gain per unit produced diminishes.