Scientific Management also termed as Taylorism or the Classical Perspective is a method in management
theory that determines changes to improve labour productivity. (Wikipedia, 2007). This was essentially the brainstorming idea
of Frederick Winslow Taylor in “The Principles of Scientific Management”. Taylor held the belief that traditional decisions and guidelines
should be replaced by accurate procedures that are developed after careful research and study of an individual’s work.
The need for scientific management is propelled by the fact that the demand of the competent man surpasses the supply. Countries
and organizations are always on the look out for a man who has already been trained. There is a seeming lack of opportunity
and contribution towards systematically training and making a man competent. If this lacuna is filled up, it would lead to
“a national efficiency”.
Fundamentals of Scientific Management:
The principal goal of scientific management is to successfully acquire maximum prosperity for the
employer as well as the maximum prosperity of each employee. (Melbecon, 2001)
The term prosperity here not only refers to the net profits or dividends of the company as a whole
or its owner for that matter. It encompasses the successful development of every branch of the particular business that functions
at peak efficiency, thereby retaining the prosperity on a permanent basis. Similarly, for each employee of the company, maximum
prosperity not only implies higher salaries but enhancing and developing their state of maximum efficiency. This in turn would
increase and produce the highest grade of work that perfectly befits the capabilities of a particular individual. When an
individual reaches a peak of efficiency, he is in turn producing largest daily output. In Taylor's
(1911) book, The Principles of Scientific Management, he has discussed what
he called a struggle for control of production between management and labour. (Engr.sjsu, 1998)
The guiding principal behind Taylor’s
concept was to design a production system comprising of both men as well as machines in order to enhance efficiency. He believed
that this design would function as good as a well-oiled machine.
The resultant of Scientific Management was reduced cost of the manufactured products, thereby making
it more affordable for buyers. It also resulted in increased wages while the product cost was dropping. This change further
created employment of machine operators who were more highly paid as compared to the unskilled labourer. Taylor was one of the first industrial managers who perceived "the interrelated character
of the new manufacturing systems and the need for a disciplined, comprehension change if the manufacturer and the industrial
sector were to attain the optimum results" (Nelson, 1980).
The entire concept of Scientific Management gained more popularity after World War I. Taylor’s
theory and views met much resistance from the labour. He held the belief that by adopting methods of management control and
a systemized method of production, increases prosperity per se. The general approach of Scientific Management includes selection
of work force with appropriate abilities for specific tasks, training, planning, wage incentives for increasing output and
standard method of performing each job.
Backer, Patricia (1998) “Scientific Management”
Available from: http://www.engr.sjsu.edu/pabacker/ scientific_mgt.htm
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (2007) “Scientific
Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Scientific_management
Elred, Eric (2001) “The Principles Of Scientific Management”
Available from: http://melbecon.unimelb.edu.au/het/ taylor/sciman.htm