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Scientific Management: Theories, Principles & Definition

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  • 0:01 Applications
  • 0:35 Theorists
  • 1:08 Definition, Principles…
  • 2:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley
Scientific management theory was developed in the early 20th century by Frederick W. Taylor. We will be exploring the primary principles of scientific management and some of its key contributors. You will also be given a chance to reinforce your knowledge with a short quiz.

Applications

Scientific management theory is important because its approach to management is found in almost every industrial business operation across the world. Its influence is also felt in general business practices such planning, process design, quality control, cost accounting, and ergonomics. Your knowledge of the theory will give you a better understanding of industrial management. You'll also understand how a manager can use quantitative analysis, an examination of numbers and other measurable data, in management to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of business operations.

Theorists

The founding father of scientific management theory is Frederick W. Taylor (1856-1915). He was an American inventor and engineer. His two most important works were Shop Management (1903) and The Principles of Scientific Management (1911).

The husband and wife team of Frank Gilbreth, Sr. and Lillian Moller Gilbreth contributed to the theory. This duo continued the practice of time and motion studies started by Taylor, believing they could find the best way to perform each task studied.

Definition, Principles & Contributions

Scientific management theory seeks to improve an organization's efficiency by systematically improving the efficiency of task completion by utilizing scientific, engineering, and mathematical analysis. The goal is to reduce waste, increase the process and methods of production, and create a just distribution of goods. This goal serves the common interests of employers, employees, and society.

Scientific management theory can be summarized by Taylor's Four Principles:

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