Scientific Management Theories Essay Sample

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Scientific Management is a management theory that analyzes work flow to improve economic efficiency, mostly labour productivity, also referred to as Taylorism.

Some major components of scientific management include analysis, synthesis, logic, rationality, empiricism, work ethic, elimination of waste, and standardized best practices, These combined components focus on the efficiency of the worker, not on behavioural qualities.

Taylor was not the only person who developed the scientific management theory. (Boundless, 2014) While taylor was conducting his studies, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth completed their own work in motion studies. The Gilbreth’s based the analysis of work motions, such as filming the details of a worker’s activities and recording the time taken to complete the activities. The videos helped to emphasize areas for improvement in work, and also to help train workers to perform their best.

The scientific method allowed the Gilbreth’s to build upon their best elements of the workflow and create a standardized practice to further build on. To implement new work methods, time and motion studies were used together to achieve rational and reasonable results in finding the beat practice.

Taylor’s and the Gilbreth’s work are often associated together, but there is a clear philosophical difference between the two scientific-management theories. (Boundless, 2014) Taylor was more focused on the reduction of the process time, while the Gilbreth’s were more heavily focused on reducing the motions involved, making the overall process more efficient.

Scientific management continues to make significant contributions to management theory today. There has been an advancement in statistical methods used in scientific management, such as quality control and quality assurance, which started between the 1920s and 1930s.

Speed ahead to the 1940s and the 1950s, scientific management turned into operations management, operations research, and management cybernetics.

In the 1980s, TQM, which stands for total quality management, became increasingly popular. (Boundless, 2014) In the 1990s, what also became popular was “re-engineering.” Some could validly argue that Taylor’s work built the groundwork for the large, influential fields that are practiced today.

Boundless. “Scientific Management: Taylor and the Gilbreths.” Boundless Management. Boundless, 14 Nov. 2014. Retrieved 03 Mar. 2015 from extbook/organizational-theory-3/classical-perspectives-29/scientific-management- taylor-and-the-gilbreths-165-4019/

Administrative Principles- Henry Fayol

According to Henry Fayol, managerial excellence is a technical ability that can be acquired. He developed 14 principles of management which are universally accepted and meet the requirements of modern management.

The first principle is division of work. This principle explains that the worker is not capable of doing all types of work, there must be specialization. (Sumon, 2010)The worker always works the same post, and the manager always is concerned with the same matters. Division of work promotes efficiency.

Authority and responsibility is the next principle of management. Authority and responsibility co-exist. If someone is made responsible of a job, that person should also have the concerned authority. An efficient manager makes best possible use of ones authority and does not escape their responsibilities.

The third principle of management is discipline. A well disciplined work
force is essential to improve the quality of production. Discipline is proven through the obedience, application, energy, and respect to the superior, or the manager.

Unity of command is the fourth principle of management. A worker should only take orders from one boss, and the boss should be responsible and accountable for said worker. (Sumon, 2010) Further, if the unit of command is violated, there is an undermine of authority, therefore a discipline of danger, and order and stability threatened. This principle creates harmony throughout the relationship between the managers and the workers.

The fifth principle Fayol created was unity of direction. The quote “One Head and one plan” explains the principle very well. Every group effort follows a plan led by a single person. This principle enables co-ordination of the individuals efforts and their energy, it also brings uniformity.

The sixth principle is the subordination of individual interests to general interests. This principle states that the employees should put aside their personal interests before the general interest of the enterprise and focus on the final product.

The next principle is the fair remuneration to employees. Fayol thought that the wages and method of payment should be fair and proper. He thought that both current and previous employees should agree on the wages. The logical and appropriate wage rate eased tension and differences between the workers and management.

Centralization and decentralization is the eighth principle of the administrative principles. This principle explains that there should be one central point in the organization and control of the situation. There should be centralization in small units, and the proper decentralization in the big organizations, according to Fayol. Taking into consideration the nature of work, the efficiency, experience, and decision-making capacity of executives, is what is based on the choice between central and decentralization.

Scalar chain is the ninth principle, and it is the chain of supervisors from highest to lowest rank. The scalar chain is a way for an employee to contact his or her superior. The flow of information between workers and management is a requirement. The chain makes direct contact much simpler.

The order is the tenth principle. Fayol explains that there should be a proper, orderly arrangement of physical and social factors, like raw materials, tools, and equipment (Sumon, 2010). Every article should have a safe place to be stored, and for every place to be used effectively.

Equity, the eleventh principle, explains that there should be no discrimination to workers, or managers regarding religion, sex, or caste. Workers should be treated at par level.

Stability of use of personnel is the twelfth principle. This principle explains that there should always be organization in the teams. The workers should be efficient and follow clear instructions to improve quality of work.

Initiative is the thirteenth principle in Fayol’s administrative principles. This princes explains that initiative is used to ensure success. (Sumon, 2010)The employees suggest new ideas and experiences to find more convenient methods of work. Employees who have worked on a specific job now discover alternative approaches to their work.

Spirit of co-operation is the fourteenth and final principle. This principle explains that individual and group efforts should be integrated and coordinated. For an effective production team, the members should have whole-hearted support and co-operations. This principle refers to the loyalty, faithfulness of the group members, and importance of members valuable contribution.

Sumon, A. (2010, August 6). Henry Fayol’s 14 Principles of Management. Retrieved March 1, 2015, from

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