What are the Main Characteristics of Scientific Management?

Definition: Scientific Management

The scientific management focuses on improving the efficiency of each individual in the organization. Its essential emphasis is on growing the manufacturing via using in depth technology, and people are simply taken into consideration as adjuncts to machines within side the overall performance of recurring tasks.

The scientific management theory essentially encompasses the work achieved at the manufacturing ground as those duties are pretty one of a kind from the alternative duties achieved in the organization. Such as, those are repetitive in nature, and the individual employees appearing in each day's activities are divided right into a huge variety of cyclical repetition of identical or carefully associated activities. Also, those activities no longer require the individual employee to work out complex-hassle fixing activity. Therefore, greater interest is needed to be imposed at the standardization of operating techniques and therefore the clinical control concept laid emphasis in this aspect.

Some of the key characteristics of scientific management can be as listed below.

Higher Productivity

Increase in the rate of production by use of standardized tools, equipment’s, methods and training of the workers. Higher productivity means producing more from a given amount of inputs or producing a given amount with lesser inputs. At the level of a plant or an industry productivity is an output-input ratio. But at the macro level, productivity is a measure of performance of an economy or country.

Productivity is the ratio between output of wealth and input of resources used in production processes. Productivity means an economic measure of output per unit of input. Output refers to the total production in terms of units or in terms of revenues while input refers to all the factors of production used like capital, labor, equipment, etc.

Cost Reduction

Reduction in the cost of production is done by rational planning and regulation, and cost control techniques. Cost reduction is the achievement of real and permanent reduction in unit cost of products manufactured. It therefore continuously attempts to achieve genuine savings in cost of production, distribution, selling and administration. It does not accept a standard or budget as impenetrable or fixed, it rather challenges the standards or budgets continuously to make improvements in them.

Cost reduction is a continuous process of critical cost examination, analysis and challenge of standards. In this, each aspect of businesses such as products, process, procedures, methods, organization, personnel etc., are critically examined and reviewed with a view of improving efficiency and effectiveness and reducing the costs.

Elimination of Wastes

Elimination of wastes in the use of resources and methods of manufacturing. A waste elimination process is suggested as an approach for lean sustainable outcomes. The process structure contains three consecutive phases: waste documentation, waste analysis, and waste removal.

Quality Control

Improvement in the quality of output by research, quality control inspection devices. Quality control is the process by which product/services are tested and measured to ensure they meet a standard. Through this process, a business can evaluate, maintain, and improve product quality.

Right Men for the Right Work

Placement of right persons on the right jobs through scientific selection and training of workers. Right to work refers to the right of any individual to work or engage in any productive employment and in this process he or she may not be prevented from doing this. It is the right of the workers to gain and keep employment whether or not they belong to a labor union. It is also known as workplace freedom or workplace choice.

Incentive Wages

Relating wage payments to the efficiency of the workers, i.e., giving wages at the higher rates to the efficient workers. Incentive wages is a monetary inducement offered to employees to show the performance beyond the standard fixed. Incentive is one of the important factors for inducing and motivating the workers for higher efficiency and greater output. Incentives attract a worker’s attention and stimulate him to work.

Criticism of Scientific Management

Although it is accepted that the scientific management enables the management to put resources to its best possible use and manner, yet it has not been spared of severe criticism. Some of the criticisms of scientific management are as mentioned below

Workers Viewpoint

Unemployment − Workers feel that management reduces employment opportunities from them through replacement of men by machines and by increasing human productivity less workers are needed to do work leading to chucking out from their jobs.

Exploitation − Workers feel they are exploited as they are not given due share in increasing profits which is due to their increased productivity. Wages do not rise in proportion as rise in production. Wage payment creates uncertainty & insecurity (beyond a standard output, there is no increase in wage rate).

Monotony − Due to excessive specialization the workers are not able to take initiative on their own. Their status is reduced to being mere cogs in a wheel. Jobs become dull. Workers lose interest in jobs and derive little pleasure from work.

Weakening of Trade Union − To everything is fixed & predetermined by management. So it leaves no room for trade unions to bargain as everything is standardized, standard output, standard working conditions, standard time etc. This further weakens trade unions, creating a rift between efficient & inefficient workers according to their wages.

Over speeding − the scientific management lays standard output, time so they have to rush up and finish the work in time. These have adverse effects on the health of workers. The workers speed up to that standard output, so scientific management drives the workers to rush towards output and finish work in standard time.

Employer’s Viewpoint

Expensive − Scientific management is a costly system and a huge investment is required in establishment of planning dept., standardization, work study, training of workers. It may be beyond reach of small firms. Heavy food investment leads to an increase in overhead costs.

Time Consuming − Scientific management requires mental revision and complete reorganizing of organization. A lot of time is required for work, study, standardization & specialization. During this overhauling of the organization, the work suffers.


Scientific management increases productivity. Producing more from the given amount of input. Cost reduction is a continuous process and wasting the resources is the approach for lean sustainable outcomes. Quality control is the process in which product/services are tested. Workers feel they are exploited. Workers feel management reduces employment. Scientific management is a little bit costly. A lot of time required for work, for study etc.

Updated on: 19-Aug-2022

7K+ Views

Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started