Scientific Management Theory and Application

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The Scientific Management Theory

The scientific management theory was developed by Frederick Taylor with the primary aim of increasing organizational performance by focusing on individual employee productivity. The theory focuses on the task performance, supervision and the motivation of workers as a way of improving labour productivity and efficiency (Samson & Daft, 2017). While the theory was developed during the classical era, its application is evident in contemporary business organizations. The Scientific Management Theory is guided by various principles including standardized techniques of performing tasks, selection and training of employees, workers’ support systems and the provision of incentives aim at ensuring seamless organizational productivity. In the contemporary business environment, application of Scientific Management Theory is evident as depicted in re-engineering and the use of technology in ensuring standardized processes and efficiency (Bartol et al., 2011). The Scientific Management Theory assumes that people make rational choices, business projects are developed uniformly, the world is predictable, and business activity life cycles are stable. The theory is successful in outlining the importance of employee remuneration and motivation. Taylor initiated the importance of analysing jobs and tasks in the business field to which has ensured precise job descriptions to allow workers understand what is required of them. Businesses require quality skills to ensure competitiveness and profitability. Scientific management theory demonstrated the importance of employee selection and training in influencing labour efficiency and productivity. However, theory depicts limitations based on its assumptions. The business environment is dynamic and assuming that projects are equally created with stable life cycles is not practical (Robbins, 2016). Also, the theory does not consider the impacts of employee involvement in the creation of ideas and decision making as a way of motivation and increasing organizational efficiency.


Boeing is the market leader in the manufacture of defence aircrafts, commercial jetliners, security and space systems and aftermarket services in the aerospace industry. Boeing is a corporation based in the United States of America and it offers services to governments and businesses in over 150 countries across the globe (Boeing, 2018). Boeing focuses on aerospace technology and provides customized products beyond the building of commercial and military aircrafts to include weapons, satellites, launch systems, advanced communication and information systems and performance-based training and logistics. Boeing utilizes the scientific theory in ensuring efficiency and productivity of its employees. The skills required in the aerospace industry requires that the Boeing invests in employee selection and training to ensure that top talents are employed to enhance labour productivity and innovation in the firm. As per the January 2018 Boeing data, the company has four employment groups which include commercial airplanes, defence, space and security, global services and a corporate section with a total number of 141,322 employees (Boeing, 2018). The innovation in the company is continuous with a definite implementation system which believes in a stable cycle as enshrined in the scientific theory. The career areas in the company include business, cybersecurity, engineering, information technology, manufacturing and data science and analytics. The company also recognizes the importance of remuneration and employee motivation. The Boeing employee benefit plans include retirement compensation, health insurance, education and training for the serving and individuals at the entry level. Boeing is applying scientific theory by focusing on employees and tasks to ensure productivity.

Administrative Perspective Theory: General Electric

The Administrative Perspective Theory developed by Henri Fayol focused on the administration of organizations to ensure success in attaining company mission. The Administrative perspective theory is guided by 14 principles outlined by Fayol which he believed were crucial in influencing organizational performance. The principles included division of labour, balancing of responsibility and authority, discipline, the unity of command and direction, suppression of individual interests, remuneration, centralization, scalar chain, order, equity, job security, and initiative and spirit de corps (Samson & Daft, 2017). The Administrative perspective theory utilized a broad approach to the management of organizations. In the contemporary business environment, the 14 principles can be trimmed to include unity of command and direction, a division of labour, scalar chain and remuneration. The theory focused on the importance of administrative competence and the involvement of employees in the realization of organizational objectives. The scalar chain is crucial in the operation of organizations as it influences the flow of information and ideas for either action or consideration towards competence (Clegg, 2015). The theory emphasized on an initiative which creates a sense of belonging and responsibility in employees as they are at liberty to suggest and apply ideas that they deem productive in the company. The division of labour allows employees and the company to divide huge tasks into manageable units to ensure close supervision and the identification of areas of strengths and weaknesses. Fayol’s theory enhances management efficiency as it creates defined operational parameters, decision making and flow of authority to prevent shortcomings that occur due to conflict of interest (Cole, 2012). However, the theory limits employee motivation and career progression. Also, the theory makes an organization rigid thus preventing innovation and creativity from employees.

General Electric

General Electric applies the principles of administrative perspective theory in its operations. The company which has a total of six divisions is founded on the division of labour, the unity of command and direction and scalar chain. The six divisions at general electric include energy, capital, home and business solutions, healthcare, aviation, and transportation (Libraries, 2018). The divisions at General Electric are further structured to include sub-divisions with managers responsible for every division. Each employee operates in a distinct division with limited inter-changes into the labour specialization. At the top of General Electric’s management hierarchy is the company’s chairman and the chief executive officer who is overseen by a board of governors and shareholders. The purpose of the various divisions and sub-divisions in General Electric is to ensure unity of command. The authority stems from the top to the employees at the functional levels. Also, General Electric’s organizational structure ensures adherence to the scalar chain. Employees at the various divisions are answerable to an immediate supervisor who is mandated to disseminate and collect information at the given level with no direct link between an employee and the top level management. General Electric applies the principles of Administrative Perspective theory to ensure fluency in command and defined operational activities.


Bartol, K. et al. (2011) Management: a Pacific Rim focus, 6th ed., Sydney, McGraw Hill

Boeing. (2018). General Information. (online). Available at; Accessed on January 23rd, 2018

Clegg, S., Kornberger, M., & Pitsis, T. (2015) Managing & Organizations: An Introduction to Theory and Practice, London, Sage

Cole, K. (2012), Management: Theory & Practice, 5th ed., Pearson, Australia.

Libraries. (2018). Executing Strategy through Organizational Design. (online). Available at; Accessed January 23rd, 2018.

Robbins, S., Cenzo, D. Coulter, M (2016) Fundamentals of Management: Management Myths Debunked!, Global Edition (10e) (2016) Pearson Education.

Samson, D. & Daft, R. L. (2017), Management: Asia Pacific Edition, 6th ed. South Melbourne, VIC, Cengage Learning Australia.

October 30, 2023

Business Economics

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