Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management Notes

Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management Notes

Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management Notes:- 

Frederick Winslow Taylor is generally acknowledged as the father of scientific management. His experiences as an apprentice, a common laborer, a foreman, a master mechanic, and then the Chief Engineer of the Steel company gave Taylor ample opportunity to know at first hand the problems and attitudes of workers and to see the great opportunities for improving the quality of Management.

Taylor principal concern throughout most of his life was that of increasing efficiency in production, not only to lower costs and raise profits, but also to make possible increased pay for workers through their higher productivity. Taylor saw productivity as the answer to both higher wages and higher profits, and he believed that the application of Scientific methods, instead of custom and rule of thumb, could yield productivity without the expenditure of more human energy or effort.

Taylor‘s famous work entitled the The Principles of Scientific Management‖ was published in 1911.Scientific Management is not any efficiency device, in its essence, scientific management involves a complete mental revolution on the part of the working man in any particular establishment or industry and is equally complete mental revolution on the part of those on the management side. The great mental revolution that takes place in the attitude of two parties is that together they turn their attention towards increasing the surplus than dividing the surplus.

The fundamental Principles that Taylor was underlying the Scientific approach of Management may be summarized as follows:-

  1. Replacing rules of thumb with science.

2.Obtaining harmony in group action, rather than discord

3.Acheiving co-operation of human beings, rather than chaotic individualism.

4. Working for maximum output rather than restricted output.

5. Developing all workers to the fullest extent possible for their own and their company‘s highest prosperity.

The contributions of Henry Fayol Henri Fayol (Istanbul, 29 July 1841–Paris, 19 November 1925) was a French mining engineer, director of mines, who developed independently of the theory of Scientific Management, a general theory of business administration also known as Taylorism. His contributions are generally termed as operational management or administrative management.

He was one of the most influential contributors to modern concepts of management. Fatalism is one of the first comprehensive statements of a general theory of management developed by Fayol. He has proposed that there are six primary functions of management and 14 principles of management. The primary function of management is forecasting planning organizing commanding coordinating and controlling. Fayol‘s contributions were first published in the booking form titled as Administration Industrielle at Generale in the French language, in 1916. Fayol looked at the problems of managing an organization from top management point of view. He has used the term administration instead of management emphasizing that there is the unity of science of administrator. For him, the administration was a common activity and administrative doctrine was universally applicable. Fall found that the activities of an industrial organization could be divided into six groups.

  1. Technical [relating to production]
  2. Commercial [buying, selling and exchange]
  3. Financial [search for capital and its optimum use]
  4. Security [protection of property and person]
  5. Accounting [including statistics] and
  6. Managerial [planning, organization, command, coordination, and control]

Pointing out that these activities exist in business of every size, Fayol observed that the first five were well known, and consequently he devoted most of his book to analyse the sixth one, that is, managerial activity.

Fayol has divided his approach of studying management into three parts

[1] managerial qualities and training

[2]general principles of management and

[3] elements of management


Managerial qualities and training:- Fayol was the first person to identify the qualities required in a manager. According to him, there are six types of qualities that a manager requires.these are as follows:

  1. Physical [health, vigour, and address]
  2. Mental [ability to understand and learn, judgment, mental vigor, and adaptability
  3. Moral [energy, firmness, initiative, loyalty, tact, and dignity]
  4. Educational [general acquaintance with matters not belonging exclusively to the function performed]
  5. Technical [peculiar to the function being performed] and 6. Experience [arising from the work]

General Principles of Management:- Fayol has given fourteen principles of management. He has made a distinction between management principles and management elements. While management principle is a fundamental truth and establishes a cause-effect relationship, the management element denotes the function performed by a manager. Henry Fayol strongly felt that managers should be guided by certain principles while giving the management principles, Fayol has emphasized two things.

  1. The list of management principles is not exhaustive but suggestive and has discussed only those principles which he followed on most occasions.
  2. Principles of management are not rigid but flexible.

Fayol evolved 14 general principles of management which are still considered important in management. These are:

  1. Division of work:- This principle suggests that work should be assigned to a person for which he is best suited. Work should be divided up to that stage where it is optimum and just. This division of work can be applied at all levels of the organization. Fayol has advocated division of work to take the advantage of specialization
  2. Authority and responsibility:-Responsibility mean the work assigned to any person, and authority means rights that are given to him to perform that work. It is necessary that adequate authority should be given to discharge the responsibility. Authority includes official authority and personal authority. Official authority is derived from the manager‘s position and personal authority is derived from personal qualities. In order to discharge the responsibility properly, there should be parity of authority and responsibility.
  3. Discipline:-This principle emphasizes that subordinates should respect their superiors and obey their orders. On the other hand, superiors’ behavior should be such that they make subordinates obedient. If such discipline is observed, there will be no problem with industrial disputes. Discipline is obedience, application, energy, behavior, and the outward mark of respect shown by employees. Discipline may be of two types; self-imposed discipline and command discipline. Self-imposed discipline springs from within the individual and is in the nature of the spontaneous response to a skillful leader. Command discipline stems from a recognized authority.
  4. Unity of command:-Subordinates should receive orders from one superior only. If he receives orders from more than one person, he can satisfy none. The more completely an individual has a reporting relationship to a single superior, the less is the problem of conflict in instructions and the greatest is the feeling of personal responsibility for results. Fall has considered the unity of command as an important aspect in managing an organization.
  5. Unity of Direction:- Each group of activities having the same objective must have one head and one plan. In the absence of this principle, there may be wastage, over expenditure and useless rivalry in the same organisation. Unity of direction is different from Unity of command in the sense that former is concerned with the functioning of the organization in respect of its grouping its activities or planning while later is concerned with personnel at all levels in the organization in terms of reporting relationship.
  6. Subordination of individual to general interest:- While taking any decision, the general interest, i.e., the interest of the organization as a whole should be preferred to individual interests. Individual interest must be subordinate to general interest when there is a conflict between the two. Superiors should set an example in fairness and goodness.
  7. Remuneration:-Management should try to give fair wages to the employees and employees should have the satisfaction of being rightly paid. Remuneration must give satisfaction to both the employers and employees.
  8. Centralization:-Everything which goes to increases the importance of the subordinate‘s role is decentralization and everything which goes to reduce it is centralization. When a single person controls the affairs of an organization, it is said to be complete centralization. In small concerns, a single manager can supervise the work of the subordinates easily, while in a big organization, control is divided among a number of persons. Thus centralization is more in small concerns and it is less in big concerns. Fayol‘s opinion was that the degree of centralization should be fixed on the basis of the capabilities of the persons.
  9. Scalar Chain:-This is the chain of superiors from the highest to the lowest ranks. The order of this chain should be maintained when some instructions are to be passed on or enquiries are to be made It suggests that each communication going up or coming down must flow through each position in the line of authority. It can be short circuited only in special circumstances when its rigid following would be detrimental to the organization. For this purpose, Fayol has suggested gang Plank which is used to prevent the scalar chain from bogging down action.
  10. Order:-This is a principle relating to the arrangement of things and people. In material order, there should be a place for everything and everything should be in its place. In social order, there should be right man in the right place. Placement of men and materials should be properly made. Proper space should be made available where materials can be kept safely. Each man should be provided the work for which he is best suited.
  11. Equity:-This principle requires the managers to be kind and just so that loyalty can be won from the subordinates. Equity is a combination of justice and kindness. The application of equity requires good sense, experience, and good nature for soliciting loyalty and devotion from subordinates.
  12. Stability of Tenure:-Employees should be selected on the principles of stability of employment. They should be given the necessary training so that they become perfect. There should not be frequent termination of employees. The stability of tenure is essential to get an employee accustomed to new work and succeeding in doing it well.
  13. Initiative:-Within the limits of authority and discipline, managers would encourage their employees for taking initiative. The initiative is concerned with thinking out and executing a plan. The initiative increases zeal and energy on the part of human beings.
  14. Esprit de Corps:-This is the principle of  Union is strength‘ and extension of unity of command for establishing teamwork. Managers should infuse the spirit of teamwork in their subordinates.

Fayol made it clear that these principles can be applied to most organizations, but these are not absolute principles. Organizations are at liberty to adopt those which suit them or to delete a few according to their needs.


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