Scientific Management, and its basic principles.

The term “Scientific Management’ is for the first tine coined by Louis D. Brandies in the USA in 1910. Subsequently it was issued by F.W. Taylor in his book Principles and Method of Scientific Management. The term “Scientific Management’ implies the application of science to the management of a business concern. It aims at replacement of traditional techniques by scientific techniques.

According to Harlow Person, “The term scientific management” characterizes that form of organisation and procedure in purposive collective efforts which rest on principles or laws denied by the process of scientific investigation and analysis, instead of any tradition or a policy determines imperially and casually by the process of trial and error”.

According to F.W. Taylor, “Scientific Management is the substitution of exact scientific investigation and knowledge for the old individual judgement or opinion and either of the workmen or the boss, in all matters relating to the work done in the shop.”

Scientific Management was the contribution of F.A. Taylor, which paved the way for the modern management approaches and techniques. Taylor’s main thesis is that management rests upon clearly formulated laws and principles which is universally applicable in all organisations. Scientific Management was the first systematic theory of organisation.

It solve the problems of complex organisation that have emerged as a result of industrial development It stressed rationality and predictability. Taylor suggested for the adoption of scientific methods in the field of industrial work, processes and management.

Basic Principles of Scientific Management:

Taylor’s experience as an apprentice, a common laborer, a foreman, a master-mechanic and then the chief engineer of a steel company gave him amply opportunity to know the defects of the management. To eradicate these defects of the management.

Taylor formulated four new principles which are known” as the principles of scientific management Taylors principles of management were “Scientific” as they were based on hard experimentation and observation of work procedure and conditions in industrial enterprises. The major goals of scientific management were to raise industrial output by systematic appreciation of the methods of science, to managerial problems and work procedures in industrial establishment.

The major principles of scientific management are:

  1. Standardization of work and methods.
  2. Equal division of work between management and workers.
  3. Scientific selection of workers and their progressive development.
  4. Mutual collaboration of the workers and management. 

Standardization of Work Methods:

Taylor’s first principle related to the development of a scientific method for each task which would replace adhesion selection of work procedures. This could be achieved, by scientifically investigating the working condition and the quantum of work to be undertaken in any enterprise in a given period, and then fixing daily task assignments so that the workers may work in a planned way. By using standardized work method, it eliminates wastes of time and resources.

Equal Division of Work between Workers and Management:

In this principle, Taylor suggested for equal division of work and responsibility between workers and management. At that time the management bears lesser responsibility and the workers has the entire responsibility of the work.

Taylor advised that half of the worker’s work should be taken over by the management. The management had to undertake the functions for which it was best suited i.e. planning, organizing, controlling and determining the methods of work.

According to Taylor, division of work and responsibility between worker and management creates mutual understanding and dependence between them. As a result, there is a elimination of conflict and mistrust between them. Taylor believe that scientific management can be justly and truthfully characterized as management in which harmony is established rather than discard.

Scientific Selection of Workers and Their Progressive Development:

Taylor’s third principle is related to the selection, placement and training of workers in a scientific manner. It is the duty of the management to study the nature and working condition of each work and placed suitable pension.

Those workers are physically and intellectually able to formed these task. Also this principle speaks every worker must be systematically and thoroughly trained. It is the duty of the management to trained workers for their tasks and provides them all facilities for development of their personalities.

It is also important that the worker accepts the new methods, tools and conditions in their own interest. Scientific selection of workers means selecting right person for a right job.

Mutual Collaboration of the Workers and Management:

It means there is an active cooperation and cordial relations between management and workers. Instead of fighting they should work together for increasing the production and efficiency of the organisation. To Taylor efficiency and productivity can be best promoted by creating a healthy environment in the organisation which is the joint responsibility of both workers and the management.

By maximizing the productive efficiency of each worker, scientific management would also maximize the earnings of workers and employees. Hence, all conflicts between employees and workers would be resolved by the findings of science.


These four principles of Taylor constitute the base of Scientific Management. It brought a drastic change in the industrial management. It suggested for equal division of work and responsibilities between management and workers. As a result harmonious relationship will be established between them.

It provides proper selection and training to the workers in their specific field. It helped in the standardization of work procedures and improvement of working conditions in factories. It also minimized wastage of human and material resources by providing better and efficient utilization of labor and material.

Labor was greatly benefited by Taylor’s principle, as it provide better working condition, limited working hours, better placement and training and higher wages to the laborers. These scientific principles of management provide effective guidelines to the management to develop an effective organisation. It form the crux of every successful management.

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