What is Scientific Administration?

Scientific Administration is an administrative method. It relates the maximum productivity of workers in a production, with the shortest possible time, through more analytical management.

This model is also known as Taylorism, or Taylor’s scientific theory, since it was initially developed by the American engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor. This at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.

Taylor was the first administrator to use scientific methods, by graphic means, analyzing points where productivity was highest, for the shortest possible time.

Taylor’s studies and analyzes are divided into two periods:

  • 1st period: Taylor was based on the rationalization of work and the movements of workers;
  • 2nd period: phase where he formulated principles for the management of a company through Scientific Administration.

Principles of Scientific Administration

Taylor’s theory is known for making management more efficient, as it was based on more planning through studies of times and movements in production. Previously, with the classical approach, management was based on empirical and less scientific experiences.

When analyzing a production and studying its productivity, it would be possible to simplify the function of each worker through rationalization. In addition to removing unnecessary effort and doing more with less time, according to Taylor.

In the book Principles of Scientific Administration, Frederick Taylor proposes some fundamental principles for doing scientific management:

1. Planning

This principle says that, for Scientific Administration to happen, all aspects of the work must be analyzed. Thus, the best methods for production must be applied.

2. Selection and preparation

This principle says that, for each function, there is a worker with more capacity and who can undergo training, in order to specialize him for that position.

3. Control

Control means managing the work so that it does not go beyond what was planned. That is, so that it is in accordance with the methods and goals achieved in the first principle.

4. Execution

The execution principle says that work must be distributed and controlled. This is so that the worker does not perform unnecessary movements, which would increase physical fatigue and decrease his productivity.

5. Singularization of functions

This principle relates to the emphasis on the tasks of each worker in each position, and the reduction of costs when adopting this measure.

Over time, other principles began to be adopted by managers who followed Taylor’s ideas.

Advantages and disadvantages of Taylorism

Taylorism has a historical advantage due to the dynamics of productivity. This is because it was possible to put on the agenda the increase in wages and the reduction of the workload in a more concrete way.

Taylor’s theory had as its biggest disadvantage, and reason to receive criticism by those who were against these methods, the mechanization of work.

Even so, Scientific Administration was a pioneer in the study of working methods, being largely responsible for the evolution of Industrial and Production Engineering.