Scientific Management

The missing input, viz., management ,was ably provided by Scientific Management—a philosophy which was propounded by business leaders ,consultants ,educators and researches. Table1 given below presents the players and their parts in Scientific Management.

Table1 showing contribution to scientific management

S.no Contributor Life span Contributions

1 F.W.Taylor 1856-1915 Scientific Management principals, exception principle, time study, method analysis, standards, planning and control

2 Frank B Gilbreth 1868-1924 Motion study, methods , construction contracting , consulting.

3 LillanM Giberth 1878-1973 Fatigue studies, human factor in work ,employee selection and training

4 HenryL Gantt 1861-1919 Gantt charts ,incentive pay systems, humanistic approach to labor ,training

5 Carl G Barth 1860-1939 Mathematical analysis, slide rule, feeds and speeds studies ,consulting to automobile industry.

6 Harrington Emerson 1885-1931 Principles of efficiency, million dollars-a-day savings in rail roads, methods control

7 Morris L Cooke 1872-1960 Scientific Management its application to education and government.

The essential principles of Scientific Management are:

1. Developing a science for each element of a person’s work ,which would replace the old rule-of-thumb method;

2. Selecting workers scientifically and training and developing them;

3. Cooperating with workers so as to ensure that all the work would be done according to the principles of science that have been developed; and

4. Dividing work and responsibility almost equally between management and workers .Management should take over all the work for which, it is better fitted than the workers

Scientific Management became a powerful force as it contributed to increased efficiency in industrial establishments .This force was so successfully applied during the US build up of output for World War I and after the War, European countries imported Scientific Management methods to develop their factories.

Scientific Management has dramatically affected today’s management approaches ,Table 2 lists a few modern management concepts and practices that find their genesis in Scientific Management .Its struggle to find the one best way to operate factories leads logically to a questioning attitude on the part of managers in every phase of production system .The questioning attitude and analytical investigations are perhaps Scientific Management’s greatest legacy to modern management .

Table 2

OrganizationFunctions: Concept and practice from Scientific Management

Management

Exception principle

Identifying management tasks that are distinctly different from Worker tasks.

Placing responsibility for organizational performance on Management

Formal education of managers

Staff experts

Control systems as sensing mechanisms

Decision – making based on analysisCost and budgeting

Industrial Engineering

Time study

Motion study

Workplace layout and design

Work sampling

Standardisation of tools and work methods

Slide rules and mnemonic devices

Assembly lines and mass production methods

Personnel Management

Incentive pay systems

Scientific selection of employees for jobs

Employee training Co-operation between workers and management

Operations Scheduling and Control

Labour and materials standards

Graphic scheduling devices

Planning departments

Standardisation of product designs

However, the main thrust of Scientific Management was workers at the shop floor ,fore men, superintendents and lower middle management .Taylor and his associates concentrated on the shop level because it was here that management problems of the day were found .What was needed was production and efficiency , which means doing things right and implies focusing on the details of operations .Scientific Management methods met the challenge .Later, focus was shifted on developing the overall organization’s effectiveness ,which meant doing the right things.

From India , New Delhi

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