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Scientific Management

F. W. TAYLOR and his contribution to MANAGEMENT

Scientific management was basically introduced by Frederick W. Taylor. And the same concept was carried forward by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, George Berth, Henry Gantt, Edward Felen, etc.:

Scientific management is concerned with knowing exactly what you want men to do and then see in that they do it in the best and cheapest way.

Since Taylor has put the emphasis on solving managerial problems in a scientific way, often, he is called as father of scientific management and his contributions as the principles of scientific management. Though his contributions have become traditional in present-day context, still the label scientific management is used for his contributions. It does not mean that present-day management thoughts and practices are not scientific. In fact, management as a science has been taken much later than the contributions of Taylor.

Taylor Joined Midvale Steel Company in U.S.A. as a worker and later on became supervisor. During this period, he continued his studies and eventually completed his M.E. (Master of Engineering). Subsequently, he joined Bethlehem Steel Company. At both these places, he carried experiments about how to increase the efficiency of people. Even after his retirement, he continued to develop scientific management. On the basis of his experiments, he published many papers and books and all his contributions were compiled in his book Scientific Management.

Taylors main contribution was not in the field of higher management but mainly at the shop-floor level. He defined the basic problem of managing as the art of knowing exactly what you want men to do and then see in that they do it in the best and cheapest way. He carried experiments regarding how to increase the efficiency of people.

Features of Scientific Management : (1) He emphasised on separation of planning aspect from actual doing the work. (2) He evolved the concept of functional foremanship based on specialisation of functions. He separated the two functions of planning and doing in the organisation of the plant. (3) Job analysis is undertaken to find out one best way of doing the thing. Time and motion studies should be conducted to remove the wasteful and unproductive motions on the job. (4) Workers should be selected on the basis of their education, work experience, aptitude, physical strength etc. (5) He insisted on the training of workers for making them more efficient and effective. (6) He suggested maintenance of standardisation in respect of instrument and tools, period of work, amount of work, working conditions, cost like production etc. (7) Financial incentive can motivate workers to put in their maximum efforts. He suggested the system of differential piece-rate wages for ensuring efficiency and speed of works. (8) He insisted on co-operation of management and workers to ensure the accomplishment of work according to scientific methods. (9) He stressed for applying scientific management an economy and profit over and above the scientific and technical aspects.