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Scientific Management Theory

The management of the organisation can be termed as a science due to the way they are arranged to meet the efficiency of the organisation. According to the scientific management as brought out in the Fredrick Taylor's principle explains how activities are planned, organised and brought together to increase quality and success in the production (Sandrone, 2005, p 23). The idea of scientific management was to help companies in mass production. From his study, he ensured that he studied people's behavior, the way of doing work, the time is taken to complete a task and the methodology used. Through the analysis, he came up with the division of labor where people could do single task repetitively that increased their productivity. As a result of specialisation, time for doing the chores was reduced, and the production rose as expected by the management. Also, in another study, he realised that people are willing to work hard when they are promised of a higher pay due that led increased production. Therefore, from Taylorism, it clear that management is a science which increases the efficiency in production as it increases the volume produced (Wilkinson et al., p.13). There has been an evolution from Taylorism to modern scientific management where an organisation tries to improve efficiency and care for the employees who are entrusted the production process.

Scientific Management is shaped by classical and behavioral perspective where each contributes positively to improving the production in a firm. The traditional theories focus much on direct input while the behavioral perspective concentrates on the indirect inputs (Morden, 2017, p. 34). Some of the classical methods that illustrated that management is a science include scientific management theory by Fredrick Taylor that focused on the production efficiency where he thought the employees' input could be controlled. In his study, he developed a system in management where several subtasks had managers and employees had to report to different people for different tasks. Additionally, the theory brought about the idea of training and managing employees to achieve the desired result of the firm. For instance, an increase of training strengthens the skills in the employees where they give the best in the field thereby contributing directly.

Additionally, to an extent, many organisations still trust Taylorism to increase the productivity of the employees. In the scientific management theory, Taylor set aside the management to take up the tasks of making the decision and planning the production activities where they leave for the employees to perform the job to their best (Waring, 2016, P.56).  Though some of the organisation have developed a strategy where the employees feel that they are part of the decision-making process, the most complicated decisions are still left for the management. The theory itself sets standards of communication, doing activities and reduces confusion throughout the supply chain since each group of people knows how to do since there is a uniform way of doing things.

Classical and Behavioral Perspectives of Management

The communication set a standard in Taylorism error where the top-down management was regarded the best and the most influential in achieving the desired performance. Today's organisation tries to narrow down the gaps in communication to increase efficiency in problem-solving. The connection and control of the management to the employees is still active in the current administration. In the organisational contact, there are different hierarchies where executives develop the goals and communicate them to the low-level workers through the help of the subordinate staffs. To an extent, the top down communication may not be the only way, but it is stronger than the down up (Shafritz, Ott and Jang, 2015, p.38).  So, the standard of communication still portrays the firms' authority as science despite the few changes that have occurred in the system. The information theory suggests how information can be disseminated from the source to destination without distortions. Despite following a single way of communication, increasing efficiency in the channels of communication has led to changes in the conversation where a better standard is realised and which that can be followed to reduce the errors. The ways of the communication control the operations and how employees need to pass information or use the hierarchy provided to communicate with the executives. Therefore, both the top down and down up communication portrays the scientific management of the companies.

Management is the backbone of the organisation performance, and it should be designed expertly to reduce the obstacle in the ability to solve problems. As supported by the bureaucracy theory by max weber, it focuses on the theme of rationalisation, rules and expertise for an organisation (Oberoi, 2016, p.65).  The management is set aside to make decisions on the production process, employees' welfare and customer's interactions with the organisation.  Bureaucratic management ensures that there are clear and efficient roles in the organisation. Highly bureaucratic control is not effective in solving problems that need, and therefore the organisation should maintain the flat management system that comprises a few levels of hierarchies. Considering the meaning of bureaucracy, that is the organisational structure with rules, processes, a division of labor responsibilities and interpersonal relationship between employees it shows the ability of control of people to act uniformly. As mentioned in the scientific theory, Max Weber also emphasises on the specialisation of tasks to increase efficiency and for economic effectiveness.

In the modern organisations, they work to eliminate the high levels of hierarchy since it does not seem sufficient in communication. The service industry, as well as the production industry, need an efficient channel that disseminates information on time to remain competitive. So, the organisation has been able to decentralise some managerial roles and reduce and adopted a flat management system for a more comfortable and quick decision making. Lowering of the hierarchy does not do away with the rules and rationalisation in an organisation since rules are stills observed and help people to conduct their duties as entrusted to them (Collins, 2005, p.34).  Due to the current competition and the increasing attention of the firm to the customers, there is a need to reduce the gaps or delays that may result from the hierarchy of management. For instance, a customer complaint or concerns need to be acted upon quickly, and therefore when the employees are in contact with them, they need to report to people who work immediately to improve the company's image to the customers. In a high-level hierarchy where a decision needs to be made by the executive, it may take a longer time before they get the response which can lead to loss of customers.

Evolution of Scientific Management to Modern Management Theories

The management roles of planning, organising, leading and controlling is an example of a scientific approach (Marquis and Huston, 2009, p.12).  The theory was developed by Henry Fayol and ended up concentrating on the administration for the efficient performance other than looking into individual employees (Fayol, 2016, p.67).  Over the decades, the four roles have been the guide to the management of the firms where the most top decisions are left for the control. They come up with a plan and the objectives which are communicated to the employees who are entrusted to implement and give the best as desired. Also, they organise how different task will be achieved which team will effectively deliver on the plan. All the resources are mobilised and deployed to a different department to ensure that the resources get to the workers in achieving the goals.  After everyone is set to implement the plans, the managers are supposed to lead their teams in performing their tasks where they play as the role models. So I mean the determination of the manager can affect the productivity of the workers. For instance, if the leader show determination and willingness to carry a task as required, the employees get motivated to do their best. Lastly, ensuring that the activities do not deviate from the plan is also, and it controls employee behavior from acting independently. The four roles of management are an example of the classical perspective that shows control of outcome in an organisation.

The four activities remain relevant into today management, and it has become like a culture. Different changes may occur in the organisation but planning, organising, leading and controlling stay the part of the management. For instance, in the industries that have decentralised the decision-making process to the middle-level managers, they ensure that the executive management outlines the plans and the goals and maps what need to be done and the desired outcome. After a clear vision is drawn the middle managers in making minor decisions that are not complex (Goetsch and Davis, 2014, P.15).  Multinational companies, the managers in different countries are given authority to make a choice depending on the need in the state of operation but should line them to the overall vision of the larger corporation.

The behavioral perspective gives another approach on how employees can be motivated to increase productivity.  Abraham Maslow theory showed that workers were motivated with a series of a lower level to higher levels of needs (Cherry,2014, p.2014).  Achievement of each level motivates one to work to achieve another level. The Hierarchy of needs shapes people thinking and particularly the management. The organisation must be aware of the position of the employees and which needs they are striving to achieve so that they can know which kind of incentive to give. A person who is in the lower level of meeting the basic needs will be motivated by incentives that can help to achieve the requirements. On the other side, a person trying to accomplish the placement or social status will feel motivated when they are promoted to match a group of desire. The Maslow theory has been used by any organisation to ensure that they motivate their employees depending on the levels of their needs.

Bureaucracy Theory by Max Weber and Modern Management Theories

Theory X and Y show how managers perceive their employees as well shows how psychological characteristics improve employees' performance. Theory X assumes that managers are lazy and need to be micromanaged while theory Y gives employees the freedom to do their work with less management (McGregor, 2001, p.374). So the theory shows different groups and how their behavior is managed to increase work efficiency. Both of the approaches can shape people to act in a certain way. When the organisation wants to improve production under theory X, they ensure that they include close supervision to reduce laziness that automatically increases the output. On the theory Y, leaving employees under low control helps them to define their way of conducting their duties, and they are motivated when they work freely.

Organisational behavior portrays the control as a science since the managers need to use different tactics to increase performance, improve job satisfaction and ensuring that innovative ideas are brought up. People work differently when they know that they are being observed. So when there is low supervision people would be willing to work and give their best (Rahim, 2017, p.44).  The field of organisational behavior has given rise to different scholars to examine the area and how they can shape the activities. Corporate behavior view management as a science4 where they can be able to control and make people act in a certain way that is desired (Gelfand et al., 2017, p 514). In the current organisations, the human workforce is no longer regarded as an extension of machinery, and every human resource manager uses different tactics to encourage and motivate the employees to increase their productivity.

Historically, people were able to increase productivity with the promise of higher pay and increment of wages. The notion has changed over time since the workforce is viewed as a resource in an organisation that contributes to increased income. Some of the concerns and that which can help increase the productivity include job satisfaction, better job placements, favorable working conditions, promotion and more than the current human resource managers use to improve the level of work done in the company. All the tactics are shaped to help people do activities in a certain way and enhance efficiency within them (Collins, 2005, p.34). People are willing to leave their jobs to a workplace that provide favorable working conditions even if they pay less than what they earn. People are more aware of their position and will not trade their welfare for money. As a result, the organisations are aware of the same and design the management to provide the demands of employees that help them increase productivity and efficiency in their performance. Under the organisational behavior management is viewed as a science that helps to shape and standardise the behavior in the firm without denying their freedom.

Reduction of Hierarchy and Flat Management System

In the sociological perspective, an organisation is a planned, well-coordinated and purposeful action that give a tangible or intangible product (Weber, 2013, p.6). Also, it is the permanent arrangement of elements where through the coordination they can complete tasks that cannot be solved by a single component. The coordination all the elements illustrate a scientific makeup of the organisation where each plays a defined role in the rules (Kathryn, n.p.) No item can override the provisions of performing their duty. The organisations act like a scientific con that has different elements with different tasks with the aim to accomplish the primary goals. Just as discussed in Taylorism, an organisation is made up of components like time, supervision and standardisation of work methods. All these elements perform a task to ensure that the best way is efficient economically and reduces time.

Also, people come from a different background with different believes and cultures and there the management give a standard way of communication and interaction among the people (Bingol Dursun, Sener Irge & Cevik Emin, 2013, p. 45).  It indicates the science in an organisation where a culture or a standard behavior is achieved to make it easier to control and supervise the employees. Organisational culture has been developed that is scientific and that which guide and influence the actions of the company. The culture comprises of different social elements in the society, and it is used as management tools. Various processes are used to ensure that the organisational community has distinctive rules and values other than those found in the larger society and those that foster the success of the organisation (Owoyemi and Ekwoaba, 2014, p.56).  For instance, consider a company like that have a very distinctive culture that helps employees to think over and challenge ideas to solve a problem (Rossman, 2016, n.p). The company has received criticism from the employees and the broader community on the pressure they put their employees into, but the CEO ensures that the culture has rules that are so clear to them and which makes the organisation the best online retailer in the world.

In different aspects it clear that management is science that develops standardised behavior that calls people to increase efficiency. All the theoretical perspective discussed aims to reduce the time of operation, determine a better method of action that is economically effective (Levin-Waldman, 2015, p.34).  Different human resource management strategies have embraced workforce training which aims to equip the members with skills and techniques to use the modified method of operation and settle to the best. In other instances, when the manager selects a plan and learns that it will increase productivity and reduce the time consumed to finish an activity, they subject the employees to learn the new method to achieve the desired result. The whole idea of training is not far much from what Taylorism stand for task division in the scientific management. The workforce must be matched with the right job to ensure that maximum benefits are realised. Additionally, when people are competent and equipped with skills, it reduces the time used in production as well as increase productivity.

Efficient Communication and Modern Management Theories

The significant principles of management that are recognised include the development of an exact science. A well-developed science is incorporated in the organisation culture and which make the management activity easy and better (Thompson, 2017, p. 34). In some cases, it becomes hard to change the culture and sometimes it may never succeed. The culture determines people's behavior and motivates them to work in a standardised way to achieve the vision of the organisation. In most of the organisation today they have embraced performance evaluation where those who score high are rewarded for their hard work. It is a scientific way of calling people to work hard to get the reward. It has become even more comfortable compared to the historical time of scientific management since, most employees can have self-drive in what they want to achieve and therefore they are not forced to act in a particular way (Taylor, 2004, p.30).  Companies have a defined and scientific idea of selecting the workers which contribute to an efficient workforce that can be trusted to perform as expected.

In the industrial revolution all the way before the existence of scientific management, people were forced to work, and they went home with little wages. The unwillingness of the employees and the poor working conditions made it hard to produce enough as expected by the management. With the existence of the management theory that increased the willingness of the people to work harder without being forced became a better deal that was adopted by firms (Terry, 2017, p.5).  Though due to revolution and the fight for the rights of the workers, the use of management theory has evolved most firms do not employ people who do not have the skills and ability to conduct a task. Before people were just placed in the production where they could learn in the organisation, but currently many employers do not give jobs to unqualified candidates or willingness to train people from scratch. In my experience, I attended an interview where all the qualified candidates had experience of 3 years and above.  It indicates that the need for skills and ability to reduce the errors in the workplace and people who know what is entrusted to them.

In conclusion, despite the criticism of management theory, it is still applicable in most of the organisation since the management wants to eliminate errors in production and the disruption that may hinder expected performance. Taylorism is still in effect also since most of the plans are broken down to be achieved in subtasks that collectively form the significant goals. Historically things have changed though Taylorism is still in effect and makes the management science. In the current organisation, the theory is established in the organisational culture that makes it easier for people to be motivated and adapts to the management need. The culture standardises the behavior of the employees and conforms to a designed way of interaction between them and the management.


Terry Lea, 2017. Classical and Scientific Management Theory.

Bingol Dursun, Sener Irge & Cevik Emin , 2013. The Effect of Organizational Culture on Organizational Image and Identity: Evidence from a Pharmaceutical Company, volume 99, Turkey Pages 222-229. 

Owoyemi, O. and Ekwoaba, J.O., 2014. Organisational Culture: A Tool for Management to Control, Motivate and Enhance Employees' Performance, Vol. 3, No. Lagos 3, 168-177 

Kathryn A. Baker, n.p. Organizational Communication.

Sandrone, V., 2005. Frederick W. Taylor: Master of Scientific Management. International Journal of Management Vol. 28, 20-34

Wilkinson, M.D., Dumontier, M., Aalbersberg, I.J., Appleton, G., Axton, M., Baak, A., Blomberg, N., Boiten, J.W., da Silva Santos, L.B., Bourne, P.E. and Bouwman, J., 2016. The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Scientific data, 3.

Morden, T., 2017. Principles of management. Routledge.

Thompson, J.D., 2017. Organizations in action: Social science bases of administrative theory. Routledge. Pp 54-66.

Rahim, M.A., 2017. Managing conflict in organizations. Routledge. 2 Park Square, Milton.

Oberoi, R., 2016. Max Weber's Theory of Bureaucracy. Public Administration: Approaches and Applications, India, p.65.

Weber, M., 2013. From Max Weber: essays in sociology. Routledge.

Shafritz, J.M., Ott, J.S. and Jang, Y.S., 2015. Classics of organization theory. Cengage Learning.

Taylor, F.W., 2004. Scientific management. › Team Management › Historical Management Theories

Collins, D., 2005. Organisational change: sociological perspectives. 1st Edition, Published 23, Routledge, 19-45.

McGregor, D., 2001. Theory X and theory Y. Organization theory, 6th ed. New York 358, p.374.

Fayol, H., 2016. General and industrial management. Reprint of 1949 Edition, Ravenio Books, pp 15-58.

Marquis, B.L. and Huston, C.J., 2009. Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application. (5th ed.). Philadelphia. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Pp 12-18.

Cherry, K., 2014. Hierarchy of needs. Retrieved Aug, 16, p.2014.

Rossman, J., 2016. The Amazon way: 14 leadership principles behind the world's most disruptive company (Vol. 1). Clyde Hill Publishing.

Levin-Waldman, O.M., 2015. Taylorism, Efficiency, and the Minimum Wage: Implications for a High Road Economy (Doctoral dissertation, School of Public Affairs & Administration, Metropolitan College of New York), pp 33-44.

Waring, S.P., 2016. Taylorism transformed: Scientific management theory since 1945. UNC Press Books.

Goetsch, D.L. and Davis, S.B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Gelfand, M.J., Aycan, Z., Erez, M. and Leung, K., 2017. Cross-cultural industrial organizational psychology and organizational behavior: A hundred-year journey. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), p.514.

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