PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology

Chapter 2: Scientific Management Model

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4

Appendix

Definition

Scientific management, also called ‘Taylorism’, is a theory of management that analyzes and synthesizes workflows. Scientific management is the use of scientific method to define the ‘one best way’ for a job to be done. 

The managerial philosophy that emphasizes the worker as a well-oiled machine and the determination of the most efficient methods for performing any work related task.

F.W. Taylor (1911) – “Scientific management is the substitution of exact scientific investigations and knowledge for the old individual judgement or opinion in all matters relating to the work done in the shop.”
Peter F. Drucker – “Scientific management is the organized study of work, the analysis of work into its simplest element and the systematic improvement of the workers”.
Jones – “Scientific management is a body of rules, together with their appropriate expression in physical and administrative mechanism and specialized executives, to be operated in coordination as a system for the achievement of a new strictness in the control and process of production.”
Harlow Person – “Scientific management characterizes that form of organization and procedure in purposive collective effort which rests on principles or laws derived by the process of scientific investigation and analysis instead of tradition or policies determined empirically and casually by the process of trial and error”.
The concept of scientific management grew out of the need to increase productivity. Its main objective is improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes and to management. The pioneers in applying scientific methods to the workplace were not psychologists but Engineers. Among them was Frederick Winslow Taylor, the mastermind of the idea of scientific management. Taylor (1911) suggested the following guidelines, which have continuing influence today:

  • Jobs should be carefully analyzed to identify the optimal way to perform them.
  • Employees should be hired according to the characteristics associated with success at a task. These characteristics should be identified by examining people who are already successful at a job.
  • Employees should be trained at the job they will perform.
  • Employees should be rewarded for productivity to encourage high levels of performance.

Features of Scientific Management

The features of scientific management are given below:

  1. It is a systematic and analytical approach of direction and control through the use of scientific methods.
  2. It involves replacement of old and outdated production and management techniques
  3. It is based on experimentation and research in management and production.
  4. It is concerned with joint efforts by management and workers. 
  5. It is based on rational approach to motivation of workers.

Author – Dr. Niyati Garg

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