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Criticism of Taylor's Scientific Management - Limitations

Taylor's Scientific Management Theory has been criticised by the workers, trade unions and even employers.

Criticism of Taylor's Scientific Management

Taylor's Scientific Management is criticised on the following main grounds :-

square 1. Exploitation of Workers

Taylor's Scientific Management put unnecessary pressures on the employees to perform the work faster. Importance was given to productivity and profitability. This resulted in exploitation of the employees. Therefore, many employees joined trade unions. This also resulted in mistrust between management and employees.

square 2. Problem of Unity of Command

Taylor used functional foremanship. So, the workers have to report to eight bosses. This breaks the principle of unity of command, where the workers have to report to only one boss. Lack of unity of command can create confusion and chaos in the organisation.

square 3. Mechanical Approach

Taylor's approach was a mechanical approach. He gave too much importance to efficiency. He did not consider the human element. Taylor considered workers as robots, which could speed up the work at any cost.

square 4. Problem of Separation of Planning from Doing

Taylor said to separate planning from doing. In reality, we cannot separate planning from doing. The planners should also be engaged in doing, then only they will be able to make realistic plans for the organisation.

square 5. Individualistic Approach

Taylor's scientific management gives too much importance to individual performance and not to group performance. However, the success of an organisation depends not only on individual performance of workers, but also on group performance of workers.

square 6. Wrong Assumptions

Taylor assumed that workers are motivated only by financial gains. However, in reality, workers are motivated not financial incentives but also by social needs and personal egos.

square 7. Narrow Application

Taylor's scientific management has narrow application. It can be applied only when the performance of the workers can be measured quantitatively. It can be applied only for factories where the performance can be measured quantitatively. It cannot be used in the service sector because in this sector the performance of a person cannot be measured quantitatively.


  1. Anonymous said...

    i dnt understand how Taylor did not care for people. Taylor paved the way for management and he only wrote wat he believed to be right then. Taylorism might nt work now for the times are different from back then and back then people were indeed motivated by money because they were trying to survive and the government was not as lenient as it is now, there was nt equality then it was just survival of the fittest and that meant that the more hours and effort you put in work, better chances of gettin money to provide for ur family, improving living conditions of ur family dependanded on the effort and the hours u put as opposed to now, most people are gettin a lot more than they deserve

  2. Anonymous said...

    Taylor is a hero. Most of these theorists are just improving on what Taylor invented. As a military man, I have seen how effective Mr Taylor still is, more than a century after he invented his theory. Rest in peace my soldier.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Taylor did a good job and it shows that he was really concerned with overall production of the organisation. these theories have loop holes or weaknesses of course but with creativity one can modify them to suit a particular organisation

  4. Anonymous said...

    Taylor's views center around a single aspect that would later be used as a basis for a large majority of research into management as a whole. All theories have flaws and inconsistencies but to go and say that the man did not care are about employees seems quite harsh.

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