Techniques of Scientific Management Limitations of Scientific Management Features of Scientific Management

Scientific Management

Scientific management grew out of the need to increase productivity.  At the beginning of the 20th century, skilled labour in the United States was in short supply and it was necessary to improve the efficiency of workers.  Fredrick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) is regarded as the “father of scientific management.”  He believed that management is a science resting on well-recognized and clearly defined principles.  He exhorted managers to adapt scientific and systematic approach to managerial problems in place of rule of thumb or trial and error methods. 

Read About Management and It’s Functions

Techniques of Scientific Management

Taylor and his associates developed the following techniques:

  1. Time Study:  Time study or work measurement is designed to establish the job under specified conditions.  It involves analysis of job into its constituent elements and recording the time taken in performing each element.  Taylor suggest the use of time study to lay down a “a fair day’s work” so as to avoid guesswork and uncertainty on the efforts and productivity expected of each worker.
  2. Motion Study:  It is a systematic and critical study of the movement of both the worker and the machine so as to identify and eliminate unnecessary and wasteful movements.
  3.  Scientific task planning:  It is the technique of forecasting and picturing ahead every step in a long series of separate operation each step to be taken in the performed at the optimum efficiency.  It provides answers to questions like what work is to be done.  More efficient routing system and work scheduling were developed for effective planning of work.
  4. Standardization and simplification:  Under scientific management predetermined standard are laid down regarding the task, materials, methods, time, quality and cost, and working conditions.  Standardization helps to simplify work to ensure interchangeability of parts to ensure uniformity of operations and to facilitate comparisons of efficiency.
  5. Differential piece rate system:  Taylor suggested that a direct link should be created b/w remuneration and productivity for motivating workers.  For this purpose, he develops the differential piece rate system of wage payment.  Under this system two-piece rate are laid down:  One, low rate for those failing to achieve the standard output and the second higher rate for those achieving or exceeding the standard output.
  6. Functional foremanship: According to Taylor, one supervisor cannot be an expert in all aspect of work supervision.  He suggested to system of Functional Foremanship in which eight supervise a worker’s job.  Four of them are concerned with planning of work in the factory office and the other four are involved in the execution of work at the shop floor.
Techniques of Scientific Management Limitations of Scientific Management Features of Scientific Management

Features of Scientific Management Approach

Time & Motion Study: – Taylor Advocated Science not a rule of thumb Knowledge of a work man. He started Time & Motion Study Under which each Motion Of the job was to be timed with the help of stop watch & shorter & fewer motion was developed.

Differential Payment:- Taylor introduced a new payment plan called the Differential Piece work in which he linked Incentive with Production.

Re- Organization Of Supervision:- Taylor suggested two new concepts Separation of Planning Doing

Functional Foremanship -Taylor suggested that the work should be planned by the Foreman & not by a worker. Further, he said that there should be as many foremen as there are special function involved in doing a job. Moreover, foreman should give orders to workers on his specialty.

Scientific Recruitment & Training:- Taylor emphasis the need of Scientific Selection & Timing of the workers. he said that mgt. should developed & Trained every workers to bring out his best faculties & to enable him to do a higher more interesting & more Profitable class of work.

Intimate Friendly Cooperation B/W Mgt. & Workers:- Taylor said that for friendly Cooperation a complete mental revolution rather than worrying about profit, they should both try to increase productivity. By doing so, profit would also increase. In short, Taylor believe that Mgt. & Workers had a common interest in Increasing Productivity.

Techniques of Scientific Management Limitations of Scientific Management Features of Scientific Management

Limitations of Scientific Management Approach

Taylor believed that economic incentives are strong enough to motivate people for increase in production. The principles of Scientific Mgt. were confined to production Mgt. & ignored aspects like Marketing & Finance. Trade union is regarded as the Principle of Scientific Mgt. also Exploit Labour.

The concept of Functional Foremanship was not feasible as workers cannot take instructions from different Functional foremen. The word Scientific In scientific Mgt. was object because it actually meant Scientific Approach to Mgt. Time & Motion study is not accepted by as entirely scientific because no two individual can work in some rhythm, attention & learning speed.

 The salient features of classical approach are as follows :- 

  • Management is viewed as a systematic network (process) of interrelated functions.  The nature and content of these functions, the mechanics by which each function is performed and the inter relationship between these functions is the case of the classical approach.
  • On the basis of experiences of practising  managers, principles are developed. These principles are used as guidelines for the practising executive and basis of Management training.
  • Functions, principles and skills of Management are considered universal.  They can be applied in different situations.
  • Formal education and training is emphasised for developing Managerial skills in would-be Managers.  Case study method is often used for this purpose.
  • Emphasis is placed on economic efficiency and the formal organisation structure.
  • People are motivated by economic gains. Therefore, organisation control economic incentives.
  • The classical approach, refers from several shortcomings. Classical approach is criticised because of the following reasons:-
  • Classical approach offers a mechanismic framework that underlines role of human factor.
  • Classical approach the environmental dynamics and their effect on management have been discounted.
  • There is a positive danger in relying too much on past experiences because a principle or technique found effective in the past may not fit a situation of future.
  • The totality of real situation can seldom incorporated in a case study.
  • The classical approach is based on over simplified assumptions. Its principles are ambiguous and contradictory.


1 It is too formal:-Taylor theory is said to be very formal. However in any scientific and analytical study, facts and observations have to be presented in a formal manner. 

2 Vague: – some of the concepts have not been properly defined. For e.g. principle of division of work does not tell that how the work is to be divided 

3 Inconsistency: – principle of administrative theory were based on personal experiences and limited observations. They have not been verified under control scientific conditions. 

4 This theory did not consider the external environment of business.

5 It did not pay attention to the workers.

Techniques of Scientific Management Limitations of Scientific Management Features of Scientific Management Techniques of Scientific Management Limitations of Scientific Management Features of Scientific Management

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Techniques of Scientific Management Limitations of Scientific Management Features of Scientific Management Techniques of Scientific Management Limitations of Scientific Management Features of Scientific Management

By Hassham

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