Discuss in brief Taylor's principles of scientific management

The philosophy of scientific management is based upon the following principles:

  1. Science, not Rule of Thumb: This principle of scientific management discards the old approach of rule of thumb. According to Taylor, each job should be performed in an organisation as per the scientific approach, as there is always one best method to maximise efficiency.
    This method can be developed through study and analysis. It involves the following steps:
    (i) Investigation of traditional methods {it) Unifying the best practices.
    (ii) Developing a standard method.
    Selecting ‘one best method’ for activities can result in saving time, effort, money and resources.
  2. Harmony, not Discord: According to this principle, Taylor emphasised that there should be complete harmony between the management and workers and there should be transformation in thinking of both parties, called mental revolution.
    It implies that management should share the gains with workers and workers should work hard for the betterment of the business.
    It also emphasises that prosperity of the employer cannot exist for long if it is not accompained by the prosperity of its employees, and vice versa, e.g. Japanese work culture, where the workers wear a black badge if they go on strikes and works more than normal working hours to gain the sympathy of the management.
  3. Cooperation, not Individualism : This principle is an extension of principle of harmony, not discord. According to this principle, ‘Competition should be replaced by cooperation. Management and workers both should realise that they need each other’. For this, management should entertain and reward the constructive suggestions of employees and follow paternalistic style of management. At the same time, workers should also cooperate with management, desist from going on strikes and ‘ making unreasonable demands to the management. According to Taylor, there must be an equal division of work and responsibility between workers and management.
  4. Development of Each and Every Person to his/her Greatest Efficiency : According to this principle, ‘Each person should be scientifically selected and then assigned work as per their specialisation and in any case, if training is required, then impart training to them as efficient employees would produce more, and earn more’. Worker training is essential to learn the ‘best method’ developed as per the scientific approach. This would ensure greatest efficiency for both, workers and the organisation.