Scientific Management Theory
Scientific Management Theory is a management philosophy that was first introduced by Frederick Winslow Taylor in the late 1800s. It is based on the idea that there is always a scientific way to manage an organization i.e. using data and statistics to identify the most efficient way of conducting business.
Different fields, including engineering, manufacturing, and human resource management uses this theory Today it is a popular method for improving productivity and efficiency in organizations. This theory was originally developed to improve efficiency on factory sites.
The theory was one of the first theories to come up with a systematic way of analyzing and improving industrial efficiency. The idea behind it was to increase production and decrease labor cost by using the best possible machines and equipment, as well as by training workers in the most efficient ways of working.
The main idea behind scientific management is to make every task as efficient as possible so that there’s no wasted motion or time spent on anything that doesn’t contribute to the work.
Characteristics of Scientific Management Theory
Taylor rejected the idea of single foremanship i.e. Unity of Command. Taylor believed that an employee needed to be supervised and guided by eight different functional foramen (supervisors). He categorized such 8 bosses into two categories:
|Planning Bosses||Execution Bosses|
|Order-of -work and Route Clerk||Gang Boss|
|Time and Cost Clerk||Speed Boss|
This theory has also led to the invention of time-and-motion studies, which are used to measure how long it takes for an individual to perform a task at a particular speed and accuracy.
This involved observing all the motions in a particular job and through this determining the best set of motions to perform on the job.
This theory has also led to the invention of time-and-motion studies, which are used to measure how long it takes for an individual to perform a task at a particular speed and accuracy. This theory contributed to increased efficiency in manufacturing.
Differential Piece Rate System
It has also led to the use of incentive systems, such as piece rates and bonuses, in order to increase output and productivity from workers who are paid by their output rather than their hours worked.
Top managers should not focus too much on achieving average performance and put more attention into exceptional results if they want to keep the company strong. This will only increase the chance that they are producing mediocre work. The best thing a manager can do is focus on great work, not just standard performance.
Some of other characteristics of Scientific Management Theory
- Scientific Management Theory has led to the introduction of assembly lines and production lines in factories.
- It has also led to the use of incentive systems, such as piece rates and bonuses, in order to increase output and productivity from workers who are paid by their output rather than their hours worked.
- It has led employers to take advantage of economies of scale by using large factories with more machines and workers.
- It has led to the labor theory of value, which states that the value of a commodity is determined by how much human labor it takes to produce it, rather than by its intrinsic qualities.
Benefits of Scientific Management Theory
- This theory enhanced the production capabilities in manufacturing.
- Scientific management decreased inaccuracies in operational activities.
- This management theory improved the payment system in an organization.
- There was an dramatical change in the efficiency of the organization.
- This theory focused on time and motion study which resulted in the reduction in cost.
- This theory eased the workload and decentralized the decision making, making organization more organic and less autocratic.
Shortcomings of Scientific Management Theory
- The Scientific Management Theory requires huge capital to implement.
- This theory makes organization less autocratic but more bureaucratic.
- Scientific Management Theory is time consuming.
- This theory focuses on planning which makes work inflexible and rigid.
- The time and motion focus on performance and result which may make employees demotivated.
- This theory sets a pay system which leaves no chance for any realistic bargaining.