Scientific Management – Meaning, Principles, Techniques, Criticism

Techniques of Scientific Management

There are following techniques of scientific management.
(i) Work study
This is the study of finding the best possible way of performing a specific job. It is an analytical study of the use of workers, materials and equipment in order to improve existing methods and work performance by elimination of every types of waste. While conducting the work study all the responsible factors must be duly considered. Work study covers both time study and motion study for work measurement and work improvement.
(ii) Time study
This is the study of finding the standard or optimum time to be taken to perform a given task or to complete an activity. Time study is very useful in management because performance appraisal of the worker can be possible only after knowing the standard time for completing a task.
(iii) Motion study
This is the study to eliminate or reduce the unnecessary motions of the workers during the work, so that the speed of work can be increased.
(iv) Fatigue study
This study is to know about the frequency and duration of interval given to worker between the work schedule. Since after continuous work, the workers are tired so rest or interval is necessary to improve their performance.

Contributions of Scientific Management

i. Through the time and motion studies we understand that the tools and physical activity concerned in a job can be made better balanced and organized.
ii. Scientific Management discovered how important scientific selection of workers was and comprehended that without capability and training a person cannot be expected to do his job properly.
iii. It gave importance to work design and encouraged managers to seek “one best way” of doing a job.
iv. Thus, it has developed a rational approach to solve the organisation’s problems and contributed a great deal to the professionalism of management.


Criticism of Scientific Management

i. Taylor convicted that monetary incentives are strong enough to motivate workers for improved production has been proved wrong. Man’s only need is not money. He has different types of needs such as safety needs, self-esteem needs, social needs, etc which motivate him to work better especially when he has risen above starvation level. Taylor’s time and motion study has not been accepted as entirely scientific.
ii. Taylor’s S.M emphases the management of only muscular tasks at the floor level and neglects the areas of problem solving and decision making, which are of key importance at the other managerial levels.
iii. Usage of better tools and machines as well as innovative methods led to the removal, of some workers, who found it challenging to get other jobs. This caused discontent among them. It was found to be more relevant from engineering point of view than throwing a light upon the broader aspects of management; because of which it was opposed by Trade Unions, Industrialists and General Public.
iv. The work used to be performed under close and strict supervision based on authoritarian approach.
v. The concept of Functional Foremanship is not feasible in practice as it violates the principle of Unity of demand.

Main Features

i. Aggressive mechanical view and sidelined human relations.
ii. Authoritarian approach.
iii. Scientific standardization of production without considering other factors.
iv. New methods of exploitation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top
You cannot copy content of this page. The content on this website is NOT for redistribution