Or Examine critically the merits and demerits of scientific management and explain are these criticisms justified.Ripunjay Tiwari
Ans. The merits and demerits of scientific management can be explained
from worker’s view point and management’s view point.
Worker’s Viewpoint –
(i) Exploitation of Workers – According to worker’s viewpoint, “scientific management is a clever device for the exploitation of the workers. Their wages do not rise in the same proportion in which their productivity increases. A major portion of the profits from increased productivity is taken away by the employers.” But, it should be noted that the owners have to invest a lot of money on introducing scientific management. However, the share of profits given to the workers should be just and fair.
(ii) No Scope of Initiative – As there is a divorce between the functions of planning and doing, the workers have no chance to take initiative. They are supposed to do whatever they are told to do.
(iii) Speeding-up of Workers – Workers feel that scientific management attempts to force them to work their maximum. it does not bother about the adverse effect of such speeding-up on the mental and physical well-being of the workers. Here, it should be noted that scientific management improves methods of work, tools and equipment and working conditions in order to obtain higher productivity. In addition, scientific management undertakes fatigue study to provide suitable rest pauses to the workers in the course of work.
(iv) Weakening of Trade Union – Scientific management recommends harmony in the organization. It discourages disputes over the distribution of profits from increased productivity. This in a way weakens the trade union movement.
(v) Unemployment– Workers think that scientific management increases the efficiency through standard methods, working conditions, tools and equipment. Because the output per worker is increased, there will be a cut in employment opportunities.
(vi) Boredom- Scientific management introduces specialization in the enterprise. Workers are supposed to do the routine work just like automatic machines, which generates the problem of monotony among the workers who start looking for better jobs in other organizations.
Management Viewpoint –
(i) Reorganization– Scientific management involves reorganization of the entire industrial unit. Whether it is acquiring new standardized tools or equipment, or standardizing the working conditions, a lot of time has to be consumed in the process. The work has to be stopped during the intervening
period. Hence, the management has to suffer a great loss because of organization. Small scale industrial units cannot bear this burden.
(ii) Impracticable Functional Foremanship – Functional foremanship advocated by Taylor is not practicable. It is not possible for a worker to receive commands from eight foreman a time and to satisfy them all.
(iii) Expensive Process – Introduction of scientific management is very costly. It is essential to spend a large amount of money on standardization of methods of work, tools and equipment and working conditions. The employers have also to meet the extra cost of planning department.
(iv) Lack of Control– Scientific management does not emphasize cost and financial control, which may lead to inefficiency in the enterprise. Many of the above criticisms were later remedied by the other contributors to scientific management like Henri Elegant, Frank Gilbreth, Lillian Gilbreth and Harrington Emerson. Many of the recommendations of Taylor are still being applied by the modern business undertakings.