Scientific Management Theory: Advantages and Disadvantages - Wisestep (2023)

What is Scientific Management Theory?

The Scientific Management theory or concept is about the progress of science to substitute the approximation principal or hypothesis of the awareness and education of workers.

Scientific information always methodical, standardized and authorized knowledge; as scientific knowledge is logical and rational.

The main intention of scientific management theory is to enhance economic efficiency, specifically labor productivity. This theory considered one of the best and initial efforts where science applied to management and engineering of process.

Scientific management theory by FredrickTaylor was a technique that was developed to enhance the efficiency of a work process.

Scientific Management Theory: Advantages and Disadvantages - Wisestep (1)

Scientific Management Theory byTaylor :

The theory centered on the systematic study of people, behavior, and tasks. The core of Taylor’s theory that they followed the technique of breaking the work process into sub-tasks or least possible units to regulate the most efficient method for accomplishing a particular task.

Also mentioned as classical management theory, scientific management theory made its entry in the early 1900s to enhance worker productivity.

Functions of Scientific Management Theory:

Though the scientific theory of management provided tools for workers to enhance their output and efficiency, employees did only menial work and hence the theory criticism of the classical theory of management faced critics for developing an assembly-line atmosphere. With this as a reason, the theory falls out of favor by various companies but still consider as a valuable tool in many companies for its principles.

A good example where techniques of classical and scientific management theory can apply is in factories where repetitive tasks achieved. The importance of scientific management theory and principles are,

  • Employees must be selected based on their skills and abilities related to the job.
  • Incentives and wages provide to employees should base on encouraging them and enhancing their output.
  • The leadership within the organization should be one that develops a standard method for doing a certain job with the assistance of scientific management theory.
  • There should be attention to eradicating interruptions while planning work.
  • Rule of thumb work methods replaced with other methods which are based on the scientific study of tasks.

6 Main Principles of Scientific Management

  1. Science, not Rule of Thumb
  2. Scientific Selection, Training, and Development of Workers
  3. Harmony, not Discord (Conflict)
  4. Cooperation, not Individualism
  5. Maximum, not Restricted Output
  6. Equal Division of Responsibility between Management and Workers

Advantages and Disadvantages of Scientific Management Theory: Advantages Disadvantages
1 Enhanced production Requires huge capital
2 Ability to control Management takes control
3 Decreases inaccuracy Planning reduces productivity
4 Decreased autocracy Demotivating approach
5 Cost of production reduced Overly bureaucratic
6 Pay system Mechanistic
7 Quick decision making Not suitable for teams
8 A benefit to customers Work division
9 Efficiency increased Avoids bargaining
10 Best use of resources and development Loss
11 Beneficial to the nation Unemployment
12 Less production time Adverse effects
13 Worker instructions Stress
14 Good working conditions Wrong assumption
15 Owners and investors benefitted Follows narrow application
16 Avoids labor and management disputes Time-consuming

Advantages of Scientific Management Theory:

Let us discuss the scientific management theory’s advantages or benefits.

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1. Enhanced production:

The scientific management theory is responsible for enhanced production as it concentrates on steady improvements in business operations. There is fruitful cooperation between managers and workers and hence enhanced teamwork achieved. The harmonious relationship between the management and workers assists in production in the organization.

2. Ability to control:

The best part of scientific management theorists is that the managers can have good control overproduction. Employees become specialists in their field as they do the same task repeatedly; this makes it easy for the manager to have control over employees.

3. Decreases inaccuracy:

Inaccuracy decreased as the theory based on experiment and observation for context-specific solutions. With better planning and improved decision making, the accuracy achieved.

4. Decreased autocracy:

The theory stimulates the management to adopt a positive relationship with leadership. Cooperation amongst employees and managers enhances democracy in the workplace. Hence there decreased autocracy by following scientific management theory.

5. Cost of production reduced:

The mechanization and the latest use of technology in the production of goods enhance productivity. Since there is enhanced large scale production, there is a decrease in per unit cost of production.

6. Pay system:

With the theory piecework pay system follow, where payment is monitored based on piecework. Here incentives considered to enhance productivity and provide high wages for employees. With higher productivity, there is an increase in wages for employees. The differential incentive plan provides higher wages to efficient workers. In this way, the standard of living of the employees made better.

7. Quick decision making:

Planning ahead of time and prompt decision making are few good aspects of scientific management theory.

8. A benefit to customers:

With the help of scientific management theory, there are triple benefits for the consumers. Consumers pay fewer prices and can get the best quality products. They are also able to attain better living standards.

9. Efficiency increased:

They follow early working methods and control where a management methodology developed for training, selecting and supervising them in a close manner. Since scientific selection and training methods follow, it leads to a workforce that is best and enhances efficiency.

Efficiency also increased with the standardization of techniques, tools, equipment, and materials. The workers also benefit with development and scientific training as they can enhance their competency and knowledge.

10. Best use of resources and development:

With the scientific techniques followed, there is better utilization of resources this, in turn, leads to increased productivity. Wastage and inefficiency of all means eradicated with the theory. Also with the help of scientific investigation, it leads to technological development. They also follow other quantitative techniques and modern studies are based.

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11. Beneficial to the nation:

With the help of scientific management theory, there enhanced beneficial aspects for the nation. Some of them increase production and less cost of production, industrial harmony, and peace, every phase of society meet the high standard of living, the national income enhanced, and there is also quick industrial development with this theory. The role of Scientific management theory plays a crucial part in developing the nation.

12. Less production time:

Work in lesser time achieves with scientific management theory. The operations regarding productions pre-established and lead to fewer production delays.

13. Worker instructions:

With the assistance of this theory, work carried out regularly according to pre-determined plans. Complete guidance and instructions provided to workers to carry on with work as planned.

14. Good working conditions:

A proper atmosphere for working and conditions are developed with scientific management theory. Proper working schedules follow with ventilation; adequate lighting, rest pauses, proper safety, and other facilities provided to patients.

15. Owners and investors benefitted:

Large scale production and enhanced productivity leads to enhanced turnovers and more profit for investors. High profits can reap for self-financing so that the concern has a sound financial base.

16. Avoids labor and management disputes:

Since there are a healthy relationship and cooperation between management and labors, hence they have a cordial and harmonious relationship with one another. In this way, industrial disputes reduce and peace in an industry achieved.

The mental revolution is a concept evolving by Taylor for the development of mutual trust, understanding, and confidence between management and labor.

Disadvantages of Scientific Management Theory:

The following mentioned are a few limitations or disadvantages of scientific management.

1. Requires huge capital:

The theory requires an investment of huge capital and consider as a costly system. The establishment of work study, planning department, training of workers, and standardization requires more money.

2. Management takes control:

The management takes complete responsibility related to the control and planning of workplace activities. Since the managers take up control of the employees, they lack creativity, another reason for this is that since they repeat the same task, their chore is meaningless, monotonous, and tedious which reduces employee motivation.

3. Planning reduces productivity:

Though the capability to plan is an advantage, the downside of planning is that it makes work inflexible and rigid and may lead to carelessness and dissatisfaction. This directed to less productivity.

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4. Demotivating approach:

With the application of the scientific approach of management, the employees focused on how well they perform their job and their statistics and results produced along with a time frame. With this result, the employees may feel underestimated and also feel alienated which may direct them to absenteeism.

5. Overly bureaucratic:

Over bureaucratic activity may be a major disadvantage in any organization. A bureaucratic and strict organization may make the employees feel dissatisfied and this may lead to high staff turnover rates and may affect productivity.

New staff must be trained to adapt to new changes in the sector which leads to wastage of productivity time.

6. Mechanistic:

The theory follows a specific approach for organizations and the employers gain control over the workers. This activity makes work mechanistic and treats workers like machines.

The theory focuses on efficiency, where workers viewed as robots to speed up work. The workers lose skill level and autonomy work level; they aren’t beneficial for state of the art working conditions.

7. Not suitable for teams:

Scientific management theory doesn’t work fruitful for teams and groups as they have the capability to abuse and exploit human beings which may lead to conflicts. There is no scope for individual preference with this theory.

Functional foremanship followed by Taylor, where the workers required to report to eight bosses. In this way, the unity of command broken, where the worker needs to report to just one boss. When there is no unity of command, there is confusion and disorder in the organization.

8. Work division:

By applying scientific management theory there is a separation of work such as in planning any function and executing them. Since management takes complete responsibility, there is a reduction in workers’ role in rigid and adherence procedures where the workers have no idea.

9. Avoids bargaining:

Since the scientific approach follows the piece work pay system, there is no chance for any realistic bargaining regarding the wage rates, as the tasks timed, measured and rated scientifically.

10. Loss:

There are more chances for financial loss as there are more changes that take place within the organization.

11. Unemployment:

With the application of this theory, men replaced by machines which in turn lead to unemployment. In this way, fewer employees required and many chucked out from work.

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12. Adverse effects:

The scientific management theory pushes workers to rush to complete their work and complete work within the stipulated time. In this way, there is an adverse effect on the health of the workers.

13. Stress:

With managerial decisions, there is strictness and stress for managers as they need to take responsibility for having complete control over the workplace. In this way, there is pressure influenced in the workplace for the workers too.

Productivity and profitability give importance which leads to exploitation of employees and they associated in trade unions. This led to the mistrust amongst employees and management.

14. Wrong assumption:

According to Frederick Winslow Taylor’s theory of motivation, employees do not naturally enjoy work and they require close observation and control. Taylor’s assumed that workers focus and motivated by employing financial gains. But the real truth is that the employees not motivated by finance aspects but by non-finance incentives such as social needs and more.

15. Follows narrow application:

The scientific management theory focuses on a narrow application. They are applied only at times when there is a quantitative measuring of the employees. The theory applies only to certain factories where the performance measure quantitatively. The theory not adopted in the service sector as here the performance not measured quantitatively.

16. Time-consuming:

The scientific management theory is considered time-consuming as it requires complete reorganizing and mental revision of the organization. The theory when adopted needs more time for standardization, study, and specialization, or else at the time of overhauling, the workers suffer.

These are considered a few advantages and disadvantages of scientific management theory. Hence it is suggested to make a complete research about the theory and review if it would be suitable for the organization and later adopt it.

The principles of scientific management” was published in 1911 by Frederick Winslow Taylor, where this theory was applied to the management of workers.

This theory was adopted mainly by many organizations to improve productivity.

To simplify jobs, tasks are optimized and the employees are trained to perform such tasks in the best way.

Scientific management theories have worked in many concerns and made them beneficial, though it had minimal disadvantages.

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There are many sources that best explains the good aspects of the theory. The experimentation was followed for some years and was concluded with classical scientific approach principles, advantages, and disadvantages.

Scientific Management Theory Pdf


What are the advantages of the scientific management theory? ›

Scientific management provides many advantages to a nation in the form industrial peace and harmony, increased production and lesser cost of production, higher standard of living for every section of society, higher national income, rapid industrial development etc.

What are the problems of scientific management? ›

Limitations of scientific management are as follows: Exploitative devices: The benefits of increased productivity were not shared with the workers, therefore there was no change in the economic condition of the workers. Depersonalised work: The workers were doing the same kind of work everyday, which led to monotony.

What is the main trust of scientific management theory? ›

The scientific theory of management focuses on individual efficiency and productivity. The father of this theory is Fredrick Winslow Taylor (1890-1940), from his text Principles of Scientific Management (1911). His proposal was to apply principles of the scientific method to the practice of management.

What is the advantage and disadvantages? ›

As nouns, the difference between disadvantage and advantage is that disadvantage is a weakness or undesirable characteristic; a con while the advantage is any condition, circumstance, opportunity, or means, particularly favorable to success, or any desired end.

What are the disadvantages of scientific? ›

The disadvantages of science and technology are :
  • it can be easily handled by irresponsible people.
  • We will be too dependent on that. ...
  • Sometimes it affects our health and our lifestyles (we will be complacent and lazy.) ...
  • It destroys our simple and healthy life (the traditional lifestyle I miss).

What is a scientific management theory? ›

Scientific management theory is a method of improving efficiency in the workforce. As its name implies, this management theory uses scientific methods to assess work processes. The scientific method consists of three steps: observation, experimentation, and analysis.

What was the main benefit of scientific management 8 points? ›

What was the main benefit of scientific management? It encouraged workers to create goods more quickly and efficiently.

What are four scientific management theories? ›

Scientific management can be summarized in four main principles: Using scientific methods to determine and standardize the one best way of doing a job. A clear division of tasks and responsibilities. High pay for high-performing employees. A hierarchy of authority and strict surveillance of employees.

What was the impact of scientific management? ›

The discovery and implementation of scientific management in the organization has created division of labor among the employees. Division of labor in an organization produces better results and high standards. This helps to create better productivity in the organization and contribute to enhanced product quality.

What are scientific problems? ›

A scientific problem is something you don't understand but you can do an experiment to help you understand. Scientific problems are usually based on observation of scientific phenomena.

What is an example of scientific management? ›

One well-known example of scientific management theory being applied is the pig iron experiment.

How do you apply scientific management? ›

The 4 Principles Of Scientific Management
  1. Not the rule of thumb method but science! ...
  2. Focus on harmony! ...
  3. Improve Cooperation! ...
  4. Assigning the right role for greater efficiency! ...
  5. Be more employee-centric. ...
  6. Recognize your employees. ...
  7. Make room for fun at the workplace. ...
  8. Focus on employee wellbeing.
16 Aug 2022

What was the main goal of scientific management? ›

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 to management. Scientific management is sometimes known as Taylorism after its pioneer, Frederick Winslow Taylor.

What are the functions of scientific management? ›

8 Essential Features of Scientific Management
  • (1) Systematic Approach:
  • (2) Brings Complete Mental Change:
  • (3) Discards Traditional Management:
  • (4) Requires Strict Observance of Rules:
  • (5) Improves the Efficiency of Workers:
  • (6) Gives due Weightage to Specialisation:
  • (7) Useful for Large Organisations:

What are examples of disadvantages? ›

44 Examples of a Disadvantage
BullyingCommunity Exclusion
Lack of Financial ResourcesLack of Free Time (e.g. working two jobs)
Lack of InfrastructureLack of Rights and Freedom
Lack of SecurityLack of Social Connections & Support
Language ProficiencyLearning Disabilities
17 more rows
14 Apr 2022

What is advantages and disadvantages essay? ›

In an advantages and disadvantages essay your task is to describe the positive and the negative sides of a specific topic. You must include examples and reasons to support your ideas. Sometimes you will also be asked to give your opinion.

What is the disadvantages of scientific management? ›

The leading objection to Scientific Management that comes from workers is that it leads to excessive job standardization. Under Scientific Management, methods of work are all standardized and instructions are given to the workers by the foreman.

What is disadvantage theory? ›

Cumulative disadvantage theory emphasizes how early advantage or disadvantage is critical to how cohorts become differentiated over time. Not only do the early risk factors shape trajectories in the short-term outcomes but in the long-term outcomes as well.

What are the disadvantages and limitations? ›

They're not exactly the same thing, but they have many things in common. In fact, a limitation is technically a disadvantage, but the opposite is not always true.

Why it is called scientific management theory? ›

In 1911 Frederick Winslow Taylor published his monograph “The Principles of Scientific Management.” Taylor argued that flaws in a given work process could be scientifically solved through improved management methods and that the best way to increase labor productivity was to optimize the manner in which the work was ...

What is called scientific management? ›

Scientific management is a management theory that analyzes work flows to improve economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. This management theory, developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor, was popular in the 1880s and 1890s in U.S. manufacturing industries.

What are the factors of scientific management? ›

Scientific Management: Six Basic Elements of Scientific Management
  • Work Study: ...
  • Standardisation of Tools and Equipment: ...
  • Scientific Selection, Placement and Training: ...
  • 4. Development of Functional Foremanship: ...
  • Introducing Costing System: ...
  • Mental Revolution:

What is a scientific benefit? ›

a) Define scientific benefit What is a “scientific benefit”? This is the benefit in terms of knowledge and understanding gained from scientific research. A benefit could be something that we did not know before or it could be the improvement of existing knowledge.

What is scientific method and benefits? ›

The Scientific Method enables us to test a hypothesis and distinguish between the correlation of two or more things happening in association with each other and the actual cause of the phenomenon we observe. Correlation of two variables cannot explain the cause and effect of their relationship.

What are the 7 Principles of scientific management? ›

Principles of Scientific Management – Observation and Analysis, Selection & Training, Cooperation, Responsibility, Mental Revolution and Prosperity. Taylor suggested use of scientific methods in decision making for solving management problems.

How many types of scientific management are there? ›

6 Techniques of Scientific Management: meaning, example.

What are the characteristics of scientific management theory? ›

The features of scientific management are as follows:

(i) It is a systematic approach to handle management problems. (ii) It implies scientific techniques in method of work, recruitment, selection and training of workers. (iii) It rejects the age old method of rule of thumb' or 'hit or miss' approach.

When did scientific management start? ›

In 1909, Taylor published "The Principles of Scientific Management." In this, he proposed that by optimizing and simplifying jobs, productivity would increase. He also advanced the idea that workers and managers needed to cooperate with one another.

What is the conclusion of scientific management? ›

Scientific Management # Conclusion:

Labour productivity, no doubt, increased but scientific management also helped to create boredom, dissatisfaction and alienation of the workers.

What is data in scientific method? ›

What are data? Data are the information gained from observing and testing an experiment. Scientists use data to gain understanding and make conclusions. Scientists often use graphs or tables to show their data and research findings.

Why is scientific problem solving important? ›

Problem solving activities in learning encourage creative thinking by directing students to develop new scientific knowledge by helping them find relationships between variables and generate scientific ideas in relation to a concept and a number of solutions to certain problems (Mukhopadhyay, 2013) . ...

How do you create a problem? ›

How to write a problem statement
  1. Describe how things should work.
  2. Explain the problem and state why it matters.
  3. Explain your problem's financial costs.
  4. Back up your claims.
  5. Propose a solution.
  6. Explain the benefits of your proposed solution(s).
  7. Conclude by summarizing the problem and solution.

› wiki › Scientific_management ›

Scientific management › wiki › Scientific_management › wiki › Scientific_management
Scientific management is a theory of management that analyzes and synthesizes workflows. Its main objective is improving economic efficiency, especially labor p...
Fredrick Winslow Taylor ( March 20, 1856 - March 21, 1915) commonly known as 'Father of Scientific Management' started his career as an operator and ros...
The scientific theory of management focuses on individual efficiency and productivity. The father of this theory is Fredrick Winslow Taylor (1890-1940), from hi...

What are the advantages of scientific management to producers? ›

Advantages of scientific management are as follows: Enhanced production: Due to harmonious relationship between management and workers, there will be increased productivity. Ability to control: The employees perform repetitive tasks and are therefore easily controlled by the management.

What are the advantages of Taylorism? ›

Advantages of Taylorism

Scientifically validated operating procedures are more likely to be efficient, increase productivity and speed of production. At the same time, it also reduces fatigue and burnout in workers.

What are the major criticism of scientific management theory? ›

The main criticism advanced against scientific management by the psychologists is that it is mechanical in approach. The worker has to operate strictly in accordance with the instructions issued to him by his foreman. He has practically no say in determining the policies with regard to work.

What are the limitations of Taylor's theory? ›

Taylor's Scientific Management put unnecessary pressures on the employees to perform the work faster. Importance was given to productivity and profitability. This resulted in exploitation of the employees. Therefore, many employees joined trade unions.

What are the two main advantages of the scientific approach? ›

As will be shown in “The Three Fundamental Benefits of the Scientific Method (the Nature of Scientific Comprehension)” section, there is a clear epistemological benefit for each fundamental principle of the method, namely (1) universality, (2) anticipatability, and (3) progress.

What are the three advantages of scientific name? ›

  • The scientific name remains the same worldwide and hence is easily recognizable.
  • The possibility of confusion due to multiple names given to the same organism in different parts of the world is eliminated by scientifically naming the organism.

What are the advantages of scientific development? ›

Scientific knowledge allows us to develop new technologies, solve practical problems, and make informed decisions — both individually and collectively. Because its products are so useful, the process of science is intertwined with those applications: New scientific knowledge may lead to new applications.

What are the benefits of scientific management stated by Taylor? ›

The three advantages of scientific management are as follows: Reduced cost of production. Increased efficiency. Less production time.

What are the main features of Taylorism? ›

Characteristics. Digital Taylorism has the main characteristics of being standard, mechanistic, inflexible, and precise. Management breaks down every task and standardizes an exact procedure that should be followed to complete that task.

What are Taylor's 4 Principles of scientific management? ›

The four principles of Taylor's scientific management are: Science, not rule of thumb. Harmony, not discord. Cooperation, not individualism.

What was the impact of scientific management? ›

The discovery and implementation of scientific management in the organization has created division of labor among the employees. Division of labor in an organization produces better results and high standards. This helps to create better productivity in the organization and contribute to enhanced product quality.

What is the conclusion of scientific management? ›

Scientific Management # Conclusion:

Labour productivity, no doubt, increased but scientific management also helped to create boredom, dissatisfaction and alienation of the workers.

What is the main objective of scientific management? ›

The primary goal of scientific management is to increase efficiency. When Taylor began his scientific management experiments, he focused on increasing efficiency by reducing the amount of time needed to perform tasks.

What is the disadvantages of scientific management? ›

The leading objection to Scientific Management that comes from workers is that it leads to excessive job standardization. Under Scientific Management, methods of work are all standardized and instructions are given to the workers by the foreman.

What is the reason why Taylor system failed? ›

By modeling managers as heartily cooperative, Taylor could no longer analyze potentially self-interested behavior, even opportunistic behavior of managers in their interactions with workers. Scientific Management had thus no remedy to handle “soldiering” of managers.

What are two of Taylor's Principles of Scientific Management? ›

Frederick Taylor's four principles of Scientific Management are: Develop a science for each element of work. Scientifically Select, Train, Teach, and Develop the worker. Cooperate with the Worker.


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