The origin of scientific management dates back to the year 1832 when Charles Babbage discussed the principles of scientific management in his book “The economy of manufactures”. In real sense, scientific management owes its origin to Frederick Winslow Taylor, who is commonly regarded as the father of scientific management.
MEANING OF SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT
Scientific management may be regarded as a set of scientific techniques that are supposed to increase the efficiency of an enterprise. Under scientific management, the selection of men, machines, materials is made by a scientific approach. Here, all the organizational activities are performed by rationality and proper discipline, this scientific management is a logical approach towards the solution of management and it assumes that the methods of scientific inquiry, analysis and experimentation can be applied to the activities of managers. It means approaching the problems of management in the manner and spirit of scientific research using tools such as definition, analysis, experiments, etc. It is ‘Scientific Management’ as opposed to ‘Traditional Management’ based on the rule of thumb, trial, error. As said by Peter F. Drucker “The cost of scientific management is the organized study of work, the analysis of work into its simplest elements and the systematic management of the worker’s performance of each element”.
We can summarise scientific management as:
- Scientific study and analysis of work.
- Scientific selection and training of employees.
- Standardization of raw material, equipment, and working conditions.
- Reasonable remuneration to employees.
- Scientific management is an economical method that makes the best possible use by integration and coordination of available resources.
MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT
1. A definite plan: To achieve predetermined definite objectives, management needs a definite plan, and the plan should be goal-oriented.
2. A definite objective: In scientific management, every organization has to establish the basic objectives and efforts are to be made by applying physical and human resources to achieve these predetermined objectives.
3. A set of rules: To make scientific management more effective, a set of rules are framed and these sets of rules are tested and verified as regards their effectiveness in the real business situations by a group of persons.
4. Economy: The main aim of scientific management is to achieve the economy of time, money, and labor, and the technique of economy is used for producing maximum at a minimum cost.
5. Scientific analysis and experiment: Before starting any work, the utility, effectiveness, and suitability of plans are to be tested and analyzed, and thus by scientific analysis and experiment, we can choose the best course of action.
6. Increase in efficiency: The techniques of scientific management help in increasing the efficiency of workers and new techniques and improved tools are used for increasing efficiency.
7. Time study: Time study is concerned with labor productivity and according to it, an estimate is made of the amount of work required to be done to perform a job.
8. Cooperation: In the present competitive situation, efforts should be made to establish a cordial relation between labor and capital. Cooperation is essential for efficient management and group efforts for group benefit can be the active cooperation of each individual.