Taylors scientific management – Meaning, principles, and techniques

Background of F.W. Taylor

F.w. Taylor know as the father of scientific management was born in 1856 in the USA.  He graduated in engineering and started his career as an apprentice in a small machine making shop in 1870 and later become the chief engineer of the Midvale steel company.

 In the Midvale company, he worked in various positions and closely observed the work. He didn’t like the existing method of working in the company because there was a lot of waste of material and production. He did a lot of experiments to find out the best possible of work.

scientific management
F.w. Taylor father of scientific management

Meaning of Scientific Management:

Scientific management means the application of science for each and every work of management. It means applying scientific methods to complete the work with maximum output and replacing the traditional methods.

 In scientific management, decisions are not taken by managers because they think it’s correct but instead, decisions are taken after using the scientific methods of study.


Scientific management is an organized study of work, the analysis of work into its simplest elements and the systematic improvement of the workers, performance of each element – Peter Drucker

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

Principles of scientific management:

  • Science not rule of thumb:

Rule of thumb means when managers take decisions as per their personal judgment and experience. F.w. Taylor insisted on removing the rule of thumb method by scientific method.

 He believed before performing any job it should be analyzed scientifically this way the best way of doing the job can be identified.

For example – A manager of the automobile industry was using the traditional way of manufacturing cars. But he was not able to meet the supply with the demand. So a new manager was appointed, he analyzed the work scientifically. The manufacturing of cars went up and he was able to meet the demand in the market.

  • Harmony and not Discord:

F.W. Taylor suggested that workers and management both should work together without conflicts and work on maximizing the profits of the organization. Management should take care of worker and in return, workers should not make unnecessary demands to the organization.

For example: –  If a company earns good profits it should increase the wages of its employees as well. Otherwise, workers will go a strike and production will be stopped which is harmful to both the company and the workers. This way there will be a conflict between workers and management, the company will not be able to earn profits, and wages of workers will also not increase. So, both should work together.

  • Co-operation not individualism

Co-operation should be between workers and the management Workers should be considered as a part of the management. Management should also let workers give suggestions and take decisions, this way he moral and the trust of workers increase. Management should also provide rewards to the workers whose opinion and suggestion is beneficial for the organization

For e.g. If a worker suggested the ways to reduce cost, then management should listen to suggestion and also reward the same.

Workers should also give their best towards the organization because if their organization performs better it is beneficial for them as well, they can demand an increase in their wages.

  • Development of each and every person to his or her greatest efficiency and prosperity:

The success of an organization depends upon the skills and the capabilities of its employees. Taylor suggested that employees should be selected scientifically and training should be provided to them right from the beginning of their selection. Work should be assigned to the employees according to their skills and capabilities.

One effective employee is much better than 10 ineffective employeesRead far world

Techniques of scientific management

These are the techniques developed by F.W. Taylor to put the scientific management to practice:

Functional Foreman-ship:

Taylor suggested that different activities like planning the work, repair the machines, timely completion of the job, keeps tools ready for work, and more should be undertaken by specialists only.

As one person cannot perform all these activates alone so there should be different experts for different jobs.

Under this technique, Taylor suggested the separation of planning and execution of work, or we can say separation of planning and production. Taylor suggested that under these two departments there should be experts to guide, supervise, give instructions to the workers but all these activities cannot be found in one man.

So, Taylor suggested eight specialists, 4 working under the planning department and 4 under the production department.

Under Planning department

  • Instruction clerk
  • Route clerk
  • Time and cost clerk
  • Disciplinarian

Instruction clerk:

The main aim or function of this foreman is to provide instructions to the workers according to which workers are bound to work.

Route clerk:

This foreman specifies the Sequence of operation like what is the first activity to be performed and what the 2nd activity like so.

Time and cost clerk:

Fixing the time for starting the job and completing the job and keeping an eye on the cost is the main aim of this foreman.


The job of this foreman is to ensure discipline in the workplace and make sure work is done according to the plans laid down.

Under production Department:

The work of the production department is to get the work done according to the plans laid down.

  • Speed Boss
  • Gang Boss
  • Repair Boss
  • Inspector

Speed Boss:

The responsibility is to make sure that work is completed in time and to make sure work is going according to plans.

Gang Boss:

In order to have no delay in the working machines must be kept in order and ready to use. This is the job of this boss

Repair Boss:

This boss makes sure machines and tools are working properly and takes care of repair if necessary.


This inspector ensures that the work done by the employees is according to the desired quality set by the planning department earlier.

Standardization and simplification of work

Standardization means setting standards for each and every work so the actual performance can compare later with the Standards already set.

Scientific management emphasis on maintaining the standard in each and every step of the business.

Standards should not only be made for the output but also for the inputs if we want better results like standards for raw material, machines, tools, equipment, and more.

Standards are not only made for quality but also for size, time, weights, and measures.

According to F.W. Taylor standards should be set by using scientific methods of production not by past experiences or personal judgments

In order to set up, standards managers must use of a work-study technique which includes time study, motion study and fatigue study


Simplification means to simplify the work by eliminating unnecessary and verities, sizes, products, and types.

For example, a coffee company used to produce different verities of coffee soon manager realize there was no demand for certain coffee verity. So the manager eliminated those verities.

Simplification helps in eliminating waste, machine expenses, and reduce labor cost resulting in reduce of cost.

Simplification has been used by various big companies like Microsoft and Nokia

Work study

Work-study means to analyze the performance of workers in the workplace to come up with better working methods. It includes:

  • Method study
  • Time study
  • Motion study
  • Fatigue study

Method study

There are various methods to complete a job and the best method should be found for maximum production and reduction in costs.

For example, in order to manufacture carpet, there are two ways, one with hands(manual) and another with machines. Both ways have their pros and cons but the company has to decide on the one which increases productivity and reduces cost.

 If the company decides to go for manual or labor-intensive, then the cost will be high and productivity will be less but if the company decides for capital intensive then production will be more and costs will be less

Motion study

It is the study of various motions by workers will working like picking, turning, sitting, standing, walking which are necessary to perform a job. Now there are some motions that are unnecessary and must be removed to reduce the time and save workers’ energy to complete the job.

For example – A worker in a factory should have the necessary tools with him while working, he should not go back to the tool store for some tools and then come back again to the workplace and so on. He should carry all the necessary tools with him.

Time study

It is to determine the necessary time required by the worker to complete a particular job. This can be done with the help of stopwatches, measuring devices, etc. By identifying the time taken by the worker to complete a job it can help the manager to how many workers are required per day and understand the difficulty to perform the job.

Fatigue study

The rest intervals required to perform a job. A worker feels tired after working for a long hour and if proper rest is not taken by the worker then he will be not able to work again with his full capacity and may get sick or other health issues. So management has to understand the rest intervals to be provided to workers during their work.

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