Scientific Management Theory

Scientific Management Theory


ScientificManagement Theory

ScientificManagement Theory

Amongthe other organizational theories and approaches, scientificmanagement stands out as a practical theory in management. This isbecause the theory focuses on the practical aspects of theorganizational processes and seeks to achieve the intendedorganizational results. However, the use of the theory of the modernmanagement practice depends on the ability of the managers tounderstand the positive and negative aspects of the theory. Bydiscussing these aspects, and the industries, scientific managementis applicable, this discussion will illustrate that the theory is arelevant approach to the modern management practice.

Scientificmanagement is an organizational theory that applies science toimprove the efficiency of completing tasks in an organization. Thetheory uses scientific principles and analysis in the management ofwork in an organization to reduce waste and increase efficiency(Williams &amp Kinicki, 2006). Scientific management seeks toincrease efficiency by improving production processes, creatingproper distribution and reducing wastage. The scientific managementfurther seeks to synthesize on the flow of work in an organization inorder to increase the output of the organizational processes.Developed by FrederickTaylor, thescientific management theory was applied in industries because of anumber of positive aspects.

Oneof the positive aspects is its focus on increasing production. Thetheory focuses on the efficiency of the production processes in anorganization (Williams &amp Kinicki, 2006). The primary focus ofthis aspect of the theory is to increase the level of output of anorganization at any amount of input. The second positive ofscientific management is better utilization of organizationalresources. The theory applies scientific techniques with an aim ofreducing inaccuracies in the production processes (Daft &ampArmstrong, 2009). These techniques help the organization tostreamline the production processes. The third positive aspect ofscientific management theory is that it standardizes the productionprocesses, techniques, tools and materials of the production process.This helps an organization to efficiently utilize processes andresources and reduce costs.

However,there are negative aspects of the scientific management that make thetheory challenging for managers. One negative aspect is that itencourages the human resource to work for monetary gains other thanorganizational or personal growth (Tompkins, 2005). Therefore, thetheory neglects the human factor of an organization, which influencesorganizational performance. The second aspect is that it focuses moreon individual efforts other than group performance (Daft &ampArmstrong, 2009). This may divide workers in the organizationalprocesses, which may make them inefficient and ineffective. The thirdnegative aspect is that it limits creativity because of the emphasison repetition of jobs and specialization. In addition, its emphasison manager sanctioned processes limits the space and the ability ofthe employees to be creative.

Thescientific management theory is appropriate in the manufacturingindustries, especially those that deal with factory production.Examples of the industries include mining industries, processing ofraw materials and industries producing mechanical products like motorand machinery (Tompkins, 2005). This is because the theory focusesmore on processes and standardization of materials and procedures.These aspects of the theory are commonly followed in themanufacturing industries.

Thescientific management theory focuses primarily on efficiency and taskcompletion as the basis of the role of the managers. The theory’stendency to standardize processes, improves its relevance in themanufacturing industries and factories. However, the application ofthe scientific management should overcome the tendency of the theoryto limit creativity through repetition and emphasis on managerialsupervision. Even if the scientific management theory was developedin the twentieth industry, it is still applicable in currentmanagement practice.


Daft,R., &amp Armstrong, A. (2009). OrganizationTheory and Design. Toronto:Nelson

Tompkins,J. (2005). &quotOrganizationTheory and Public Management&quot.Stamford: Thompson Wadsworth

Williams,B., &amp Kinicki, A. (2006). Management:A practical introduction. (2nd ed.).New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin