Introduction to Scientific Management

Management is a true science as it rests on clearly fixed laws, rules, principles which have universal applicability in all organizations. Scientific management focused on application of scientific methods to managerial practices and production processes in industrial organizations. It focused on the lowest levels of the organization. It aims to study the relationship between physical nature of work and physiological nature of workers. It stressed upon specialization, predictability, rationality, efficiency, economy, technical competence.

Taylor came across phenomenon of 'soldering' i.e. tendency on part of workers to restrict the operations due to personal factors like laxity or to keep expectations of supervisor low.

Assumptions for Scientific management:
  1. Every worker is motivated by money factor.
  2. Good worker accepts orders of management
  3. Organization functioning can be improved by application of scientific methods.
Principles of Scientific management:
  1. Develop a science for each element of a mans work instead of traditional ways. By this best way of doing a task can be found and standard operation can be determined.
  2. Scientifically select, train, teach and develop workmen by determining initial qualifications and future potential for development i.e. earlier workers chose his work and trained himself.
  3. Management should fully cooperate with workers to ensure work is done in accordance to scientific principles.
  4. Equal division of work and responsibility between management, workers. Earlier workers had more responsibility. Management should become involved in job by planning, organizing, controlling than just being authoritarian.
None of these principles work in isolation.

Philosophy of Management:
  1. Objective of management should be to have low unit production cost and pay high wages to have high increased efficiency.
  2. Management have to apply scientific methods of research, experiment to managerial problems.
  3. Standard work conditions , place workers on basis of scientific criteria.
  4. Management must give formal training to workers.
  5. Friendly cooperation between workers, management on basis of scientific system of work organization.
Characteristics of Scientific management:
  1. Empirical test to find best way not rule of thumb
  2. Higher productivity by having harmony, cooperation between workers, employers, consumers.
  3. Maximum output.
  4. Development of each man to his greatest efficiency and prosperity.
A mental revolution is needed in both sides workers and management to realise that mutual interest isn't antagonistic and mutual prosperity is possible by cooperation. Thus Taylor believed in human relations as an important part.

Techniques of Scientific management:
  1. Functional foreman-ship: Each worker should be supervised by 8 people. 4 dealing with planning and 4 execution. Thus he wanted separation of planning and execution.
  2. Motion study: Determine best set of motions by observing all.
  3. Time study: Find standard time for completion of work.
  4. Pay higher wage if worker exceeds expectation.
  5. Mnemonic aids to be used for easing the work of worker.
  6. Other techniques like instruction card, routing system, standard tools.

  1. Criticized as a physiological organization theory and pro capitalist, anti labor.
  2. Focus only on lower levels of organization.
  3. Neglects human side of organization. Treats staff as machine.
  4. Assumes only financial motive for work ignores socio - psychological factors.
  5. Taylor believed worker is psychologically lazy. He wanted separation of planning and execution so workers participation is less. He also depersonalized work.
  6. Management opposed this theory as their workload increased.
  7. Taylor's theory would have reduced conflicts between workers and management and so was against trade unionism.
  8. It treated work as coordination of small, autonomous units and so would have led to automation and increase in unemployment.

Classical Theory of Public Administration

This theory was proposed by Mary Parker Follet, Gulick and Fayol.

  1. Concerns both organizational structure as well as process of administration.
  2. Specialization, hierarchy, rationality, order, economy, structure and efficiency.
  3. Main tenet is division of labor.
  4. Assumes worker's are motivated by only economic factors.
  5. Believed that administration is a science with principles having universal applicability.
  6. Principles can be arrived at inductively from study of human organization.

Fayol's Contribution to Classical Theory on Public Administration

Activities of an industrial undertaking
  1. Technical: Manufacturing
  2. Commercial:Transactions
  3. Financial: Best use of money
  4. Security: Protection
  5. Accounting: Balance sheets
  6. Administrative: Planning, Organization, Command, Control, Coordination

Elements of the Administration
  1. Planning: Foresee and plan
  2. Organization: Build up the dual structure of the organization i.e. material , human
  3. Command: Maintain activity among personnel
  4. Control: Bind together, unify, harmonize all activities.
  5. Coordination: See that everything occurs in conformity with established rules and commands.

Managerial ability is needed at higher levels and technical at lower levels.

Principles of Administration
  1. Division of work: Produce more, better work with same efforts.
  2. Authority and responsibility: Right to give orders, exact obedience.
  3. Discipline:Respect for agreements
  4. Unity of command
  5. Unit of direction: One head, one plan for a group of activities with one objective.
  6. Remuneration should be adequate.
  7. Subordination of individual interest to general interest.
  8. Centralization of control
  9. Narrow span of control
  10. Order: A place for everyone in the organization.
  11. Equity: Treat people with kindness.
  12. Stability of tenure
  13. Initiative should be encouraged.
  14. Espirit de Corps: Harmony amongst all personnel.
concentrated on floor level concentrated on top level
worked from bottom to top worked from top to bottom
improve productivity of labor, eliminate wastage. concerned with developing universal principles of management
standardize and simplify work improve overall administration by observing principles
functional foreman-ship unity of command
stressed on technical side of work focus on managerial side
approach was rigid flexible
principles relevant in production activities relevant to all functional areas

  1. Recognized efficiency in management of personnel for achieving organizations goals.
  2. Scientific methods were applied to study.
  3. Believed in science of administration.
  4. Believed in only economic incentives of workers.
  5. Both developed ideas by experimentation and training.

Criticism of Fayol's work:
  1. Mutually contradictory
  2. Most principles are proverbs.
  3. Only situation-ally relevant.