Scientific Management was used widely by the managers in the early 1900s. It was defined as the way of conducting business activities using pre-defined standards, information based on systematic observations, experiments and reasoning. In simple words, it is a classical management study which focuses on scientific approaches so as to improve the efficiency level of the workers in an organization.
In the initial phase of 20th century, the concept of scientific management was announced by Frederick Winslow Taylor in U.S.A. This theory of management was strongly recommended by many theories like Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, Henry Gantt, George Berth, Edward Felen, etc. It is primarily emphasizes on refining the functional activities at the workmen level.
According to Taylor___” Scientific management is concerned with knowing exactly what you want men to do and then see in that they do it in the best and cheapest way”.
F.W.Taylor was named as the “Father of scientific Management“. He was a scientist and conducted many researches on the efficient utilisation of workmen. In one of his researches, he found that improper use of scientific methods by workmen and managers led to the wastage and inefficiency in factories. Therefore, he further developed ‘Scientific Management Theory’.
In this theory, he advocated that the efficiency of a factory can be attained by proper surveys, analysis and measurement. The concept of scientific management opposed the rule of thumb and is considered to solve several management problems by applying scientific methods.
Features of Scientific Management
- Separation of Planning and Doing: Before the emergence of scientific management theory, the workers themselves decided the plan of action, i.e., how the work has to be done and what machines and equipment would be required to implement the work. However, F.W. Taylor separated the functions of planning and doing. He considered that planning is most crucial task which should be taken up by specialists only, Thus, when the planning is prefect then the process of doing will be smoothly accomplished itself.
- Functional Foremanship: It was introduced by Taylor, which deals with the supervising and directing activities of the organization. Under functional foremanship, Taylor proposed ‘Eight-Boss-Scheme’ which categorized four persons for planning function such as Route clerk, Instruction card clerk, Time and cost clerk, and Disciplinarian. While remaining four persons where appointed for operating function such as Speed-boss, Inspector, Maintenance foreman and Gang-boss. These eight persons help in the carrying out all the functions of the organization.
- Financial Incentives: Taylor introduced the differential piece-rate system to motivate and reward the proficient and better workers. This system also helps in improving the performance and quality of work.
- Economy: It involves scientific and technical aspects. But for the overall growth and prosperity of the company, economy and profits should be given sufficient amount of consideration. Cost estimating and controlling techniques should be used to evaluate the profits. This further contributes in improving the economy growth as well.
Principles of Scientific Management
- Replacing Rule of Thumb with Science.
- Harmony in Group Action.
- Cooperation between Management and Workers.
- Maximum output in Place of Restricted Output.
- Development of Workers through Scientific Selection and Training.