What is meant by scientific management? Discuss briefly the main elements of scientific management.

What is meant by scientific management? Discuss briefly the main elements of scientific management.

Ans. Scientific Management- The term ‘scientific management’ was first used in U.S.A. in 1910 by Louis Brandies. As a process, it was first seen in U.K. in 1832 by Charles Babbage. Frederick W. Taylor was the first person who insisted on the introduction of scientific methods in management and it was he who, along with his associates made the first systematic study of management. He launched a new movement in 1910 which ·is known as ‘scientific management’. Therefore, he is regarded as the father of scientific management. According to Taylor, “Scientific management is the substitution of exact scientific investigations and knowledge for the old individual judgment or opinion in all matters relating to the work done in the shop”.

Scientific management is defined as the “art of knowing exactly what is to be done and the best way of doing it”. Scientific management is the outcome of applying scientific knowledge and the scientific techniques to the various aspects of management and the problems that arise from them.

According to Taylor, the main elements of scientific management are as


(i) Replacement of Old Rule of Thumb Method – Analyses the work scientifically, rather than using thumb rule i.e., an attempt is made to find out what is to be done by a particular worker, how he is to do it, what equipment will be required to do it. This information is provided to the worker

so as to reduce wastage of time, material etc., and improve; the quality of work.

(ii) Scientific Selection, Placement and Training of Workers According to this principle, select the workers best suited to perform the specific tasks and then train them within the industry in order to achieve the objectives of the enterprise. This eliminates the possibility of misfits in the organization and

ensures better working. Workers should be trained from time to time to keep them informed of latest development in the techniques of production.

(iii) Division of Labour (Separation of Planning Function from Doing Function) Principle of specialization states that division of work in smaller tasks and separation of thinking element of job from doing element of the job. It is necessary for efficiency in all spheres of activities as well as in

supervision work.

(iv) Standardization of Methods, Procedures, Tools and Equipment The success of scientific management largely depends upon standardization of system, tools, equipments and techniques of production. By using standardization, time, labour and cost of production can be reduced in a great extent.

(v) Use of Time and Motion Study- Taylor introduced time and motion study to decide standard work. Taylor undertook studies on fatigue incurred by the workers and the time required to perform the task. Taylor also suggested that the work of each person should be planned in advance and he should be allotted a definite work to complete by a given time using a predetermined method for increasing production rate.

(vi) Differential Wage System- The differential piece rate scheme of Taylor provides an incentive for a worker to attain high level of optimum output. It differentiates the more productive workers from less productive workers and motivates more productive workers to produce more. According

to Taylor, if a labour is suitably rewarded and is satisfied with job, he will

work wholeheartedly to attain the goals of the enterprise.

(vii) Co-operation between Labour  and Management- Scientific management also makes great efforts to get the thinking of management changed so as to make the management feel that mutual respect and cooperation between the workers and management helps in providing proper and effective leadership. The labour’s thinking becomes that it is their work and they must put their heart and soul in the work allocated to them. Actually, the scientific management revolutionizes the mind of both workers and management for mutual profit and also for the profit of the enterprise.

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