Criticism of Scientific Management

Although the Theory of Scientific Management offered hope for resolving industrial problems, organized labour and managers were against its application. Trade Unions considered Taylorism as a way of destroying trade unionism and principle of collective bargaining. They felt that Taylor was more interested in the mechanical aspects of work and was not much concerned about the total work situation. The weaknesses of scientific management are –

  • It has orientation towards quantity, not too much on quality.
  • ‘Speeding up’ by allowing incentives may ignore quality.
  • Taylor was an worshiper of efficiency and productivity, he did not foresee any labour problem because the interest of managers and workers were mutualised which promised higher profit to the employer and higher wages to the workers, managers getting nothing.
  • Taylor favoured functional management under which a worker was made responsible to eight different supervisors viz route clerk, instruction card clerk, time & cost clerk, disciplinarian, speed boss, inspector, repair boss and gang boss. This type of functional supervision proved ineffective as it violated Unity of Command and was later abandoned.
  • Taylor’s Philosophy was that men are generally lazy and try to avoid work. Later on it was proved by the management thinkers that work is an essential part of man’s life. When they don’t like it and try to avoid it. The fault lies in the psychological and social conditions of the job, which are the fault of the employer itself.