What are the Principles of Scientific Management?

The Principles of Scientific Management

In general, scientific management is a philosophy that rejects the traditional theories related to managing work and employees. In a fundamental sense, it is all about acceptance and implementation of scientific investigation method to find the solution of the issues of industrial management.

Let us know more about the principles of scientific management.

Who Wrote the Principles of Scientific Management?

Frederic Winslow Taylor is called the ‘Father of Scientific Management’. He founded the principles of scientific management. He got the opportunity to experience the problems of the workers during his early years of career. Then, he worked at the bottom-most level of organization. His primary concern was to increase efficiency in production with the aim to lower costs, raise profits and increase pay for workers through their higher productivity as well.

Principles of scientific management by Taylor

Taylor advocated the approach to scientific management in the form of the 6 principles.

 1. Development of Science as a replacement of rule of thumb

This principle emphasized on adopting new scientific ways to do work quickly and efficiently instead of following the old, traditional techniques. According to him, the science for rule of thumb should be considered as the starting point of differences between scientific and traditional approach. It covers the following principles of scientific management:

  • He suggested that work assigned to an employee should be monitored and analysed in context of part and time involved in doing it.
  • It emphasized on replacing the traditional ‘rule of thumb’ with the method of analysis, data collection, examination and formation of rules.
  • This is because decisions under scientific management are made on the basis of facts and by using scientific ways.
  • According to him, even small production activity an be planned scientifically as it saves time and human energy.
  • Also, implementing rule of thumb involves decision by managers based on their personal judgements. This should be replaced with decisions based on scientific inquiry with cause and effect approach.

 2. Scientific Procedures to Select, Train and Develop leaders

Taylor emphasized on scientific system of selection of an organization’s workforce. He said that selecting workers using scientific techniques can help reduce the chances of choosing underserving candidates. An organization that fails to choose the right workers on the right job may lead to inefficiency of the organisation.

  • Physical, mental & other requirements for employees should be enlisted for each job.
  • Employees should be selected & trained accordingly to make them fit for the job.
  • Management should offer good opportunities for the development of employees with better potential and skills.
  • Efforts should be made to improve employees to their greatest level, efficiency & prosperity.

 3. Co-operation between Management & Employees  

According to Taylor, cooperation between the workers and management is of great significance for any organization. This mental revolution can lead to increased profits for the organization.

  • There should be no individualism and managers and workers should consider each other as “important” for the organization.
  • Only co-operation can help achieve company goals efficiently.
  • There should be no discord between managers & employees.
  • Interest of both managers and employees should be harmonized to secure understanding and cordial relations between them.

 4. Equal Division of Responsibility

This principle of scientific management emphasises determining the real nature of roles to be played by managers & workers at different levels.

  • The management is responsible for planning and organising the work while the workers should execute the work assigned to them by their managers.

 5. Mental Revolution

This technique emphasises a change in the attitude of management and workers towards each other. Taylor found that for organizational efficiency, the management and workers should work together with cooperation and require complete change in the outlook for each other.

  • Both employees and managers should completely respect and value each other’s efforts and work. They should change their outlook towards their mutual relation also.
  • Managers are required to create appropriate working conditions for the peers and solve all the issues scientifically.
  • Likewise, employees should perform their jobs with extreme attention, dedication and carefulness, without wasting the resources of enterprise.
  • Managers should offer handsome remuneration to the employees to boost their moral. This also creates a sense of belongingness among them.
  • When employees get satisfactory remuneration, they work sincerely in a disciplined manner and with loyalty.
  • This, in turn, helps in increased productivity and economic growth of the organization at a faster rate.

 6. Maximum Success for Employer & Workers

This principle states that organizations should take care that managers and employees are being allotted work according to their ability and interest and even paid accordingly.

  • The aim of scientific management is to maximize the prosperity of both managers and employees.
  • It is possible only when each worker gets opportunity to attain the highest level of efficiency.
  • With maximum output & optimal utilization of resources, employers can gain higher profits and workers can get better wages.
  • Organizations should follow the principle of “maximum output in place of restricted output”.

Also Read: What are the Techniques of Scientific Management?

Principles of Scientific Management Summary
The Principles of Scientific Management by Taylor focussed more on productivity and wages based on efficiency of the workers. Besides, Taylor also empathised on humanistic approach He emphasised harmonising the interests of managers, workers and the owners. All these principles aim to achieve cooperation between managers and employees that eventually develops into teamwork.

Scientific management has made many significant contributions to the development of management practice.

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