Techniques of Scientific Management

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What Do You Mean By Scientific Management?

Scientific Management is another special sense of an approach to management in which it undertakes the responsibility for deciding the proper standards and all the methods of work which gives close supervision on the workers.

In simpler words, scientific management is the art of knowing accurately ‘what is to be done’ and ‘how this is will be done’. Under this approach, the scientific techniques are applied in the recruitment, at the time of selection, and on training, the workers and are also used in tackling various industrial problems. Also, we will know about the man behind these techniques in our next section and will be introduced to his scientific techniques. 

FW Taylor

F.W. Taylor led to the emergence of the concept of ‘Scientific Management’. Frederick Winslow Taylor’s philosophy of scientific approach was developed and was popularised by his associates like Frank Gilbreth, H.C. Gantt, H. Emerson, and H.S. Person.

Taylor’s thinking on management is the subject-matter of the two books - Shop Management and the Principles of Scientific Management that were published in 1903 and 1911 respectively. For the efforts of Taylor, scientific management became popular in the U.S.A. at the beginning of the twentieth century.

“Scientific management means knowing exactly what you want men to do and seeing that they do it in the best and the cheapest way”. —F.W. Taylor.

Techniques of Scientific Management by FW Taylor

Taylor has led down various techniques of scientific management which were as follows: 

1. Work-Study 

2. Standardisation of Tools and Equipments

3. Scientific Task Setting 

4. Scientific Setting of Wage Rates 

5. Scientific Selection and Training 

6. Functional Foremanship 

7. Differential Piece-Rate Plan.

We will discuss all seven techniques in good detail. 

1. Work-Study:

Work-study implies an organized based study. This objectifies, systematizes, the efficiency of various operations in an enterprise. All around, this technique analyses the whole system. 

These techniques are also used in the examination of human work in all its context and which lead systematically to the investigation of all the factors.

2. Standardization of Tools and Equipment:

Taylor standardized tools and couplings, the cost system, and several other items. Thus, efforts made to provide a standardized working environment with methods of production to the workers. Standardization technique helps to reduce the spoilage and wastage of the materials, improve the quality of work and thereby reduce the cost of production. This technique is also effective for improving fatigue among the workers.

3. Scientific Task Setting:

This is essential to set a standard task which an average worker will do during a working day. Taylor called it a fair day’s work. He put together the need for fixing a fair day’s work as this will prevent the workers from doing work that is much below their capacity. 

4. Scientific Setting of Wage Rates:

Wage rates should be fixed in such a way that the average worker is induced to attain a standard output that is leveled up than his level. Taylor thus suggested that the differential piece - wage system is to be introduced. 

5. Scientific Selection and Training:

The management is required to design the scientific selection procedure so that the right men are selected for the right jobs. The first step in this scientific selection is determining the jobs for which the workers are required. After this, the employees are appropriately qualified, trained, experienced and the level of efficiency for the post is then determined. The employees are selected according to the predetermined standards in an impartial way.

6. Functional Foremanship:

Taylor specified in this technique that specialization is to be introduced in a factory. He advocated ‘functional foremanship’ for this purpose. A functional foremanship is a form of an organization that involves supervision of a worker by several specialist foramen. Example - matters relating to the speed of work and repairs of machinery is to be supervised by the speed boss and the repair boss respectively in this case.

7. Differential Piece-Rate Plan:

This plan as suggested by Taylor is to attract highly efficient workers. In this plan, there are two-piece work rates, the one which is lower and the other is higher.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Meant By the Differential Piece Wage System?

Ans. Differential Piece Rate System was introduced by Taylor, who is known as the father of scientific management. The principle in this system is authorized to penalize the slow worker by paying him a low piece rate for low production and to reward an efficient worker by giving him the higher piece rate for higher production.

This is a method of wage payment whereby after the tests have been set, a standard time for a task the worker then receives a high piece rate for doing the job in task time and then a lower piece rate for taking longer than the task time.

2. What is the Purpose of this Scientific Management?

Ans. Scientific management is the theory of management which analyses and synthesizes the workflows. The main objective of Scientific Management is to improve economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. This was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes to the management.

3. What is the Limitation of Scientific Management?

Ans. Scientific management somewhere neglected to acknowledge the importance of the workers. Subsequent research on improving workplace productivity took into account the importance of the employees, their knowledge, and their needs. Poor treatment of workers led to the rise of unions and which increases the strikes and unrest.