Scientific Management and the Theories of Business

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Scientific Management

Frederick W Taylor introduced the scientific management thought where in 1911 wrote a book about management called The Principles of Scientific management where such theory approach are been applied by many organisations practically. Taylor came out with the views saying that the process of work can be arranged in a professional manner by subdividing the tasks by providing the best means that could organise each task meeting the organisational objectives. Taylor viewed that each task should be processed and analysed accurately in order to identify the activities taken by each task. He came out with the idea of time and motion study that the activities carried out within the organisation and methods of doing the work should be reviewed so that individual could do their work properly. Working methods, equipment used and procedures for doing a job need to be monitored in order to produce a good quality performance for each task. Workers should be provided training for the development of the organisation and themselves too also wages and salaries should be introduced in a different form depending on the type of work at that particular time such as piecework basis for the purpose of maximising profit though there should be some deductions in the wages if the result of work does not meet the organisation standard, workers should be provided with good working environment which is safe including the premises and equipments that need to be maintained regularly. In today’s organisation have adopted such theories in their organisations example BT plc job role is been reviewed well analysing the routines and procedures which is normally in the contract of employment which summarises job description including the wages, induction and training. Classical administration (Administrative management school) Henri Fayol was an engineer in France wrote a book which had a title General and Industrial Management which was written in French in 1916 later translated in English in 1949 in the USA. Fayol came with the views that activities carried out within the organisation can divided into different groups or department as many organisations do example Unilever plc have finance department, information technology, department, security department, marketing department etc so that individuals’ qualification could be identified and grouped and each department could work together towards achieving the organisation objectives by communicating to each other [1] . He said organisation should have a clear picture of where it is and future prospective by planning and added that there should be line of authority in a hierarchy way showing the flow of command and decisions flowing from the top management to the bottom same system is being used by Unilever plc by having organisation structure the show the line of authority. He also mentions that staff should be involve in the decision making of the organisation also providing training to the staff for developing them.

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Leadership theory

Association of business executive defined leadership as a way where individuals can be influenced to achieve goals of the organisational. The role of the leader is committing themselves towards the individuals in achieving such goals. Characteristics of leadership which can be distinguished from management are that leaders try to influence people to do things with their own will, they bring changes to the organisation they lead, they lead by action which become as an example for other people to follow the same path, they can solve dispute, they can plan, organise, motivate individuals. They monitor the performance of the organisation they are leading. Leaders within an organisation for example BT plc can appointed their leaders in a formal way basing on the job description were the top management decide to appoint a leader example a manager or deputy manager due to the achievement of certain duties that will contribute to the development of the organisation and seen that have the characteristics of leading people and in an informal way individuals within the organisation decide to appoint someone to lead them in certain project or team. Leaders in BT plc exercise their power by persuading people to do task but not forcing people to do things which they are not ready or can’t do it due to certain reasons or circumstances also their power can come from the formal authority of job description.

Motivation theory

Mullins in chapter 15 defines motivation as the stage in which individuals decides to behave in a particular way in order to meet their wants which is characterised by their uniqueness of their behaviour, they intend to make choices which is under their colleagues control which is direct. Individual at work can act in a positive or negative way that could contribute to the development of the organisation or could result to a problem within the organisation due to irrational or unconscious but must be a reason for such behaviour. Motivation is concern with the needs and motivation of the individual within the organisation where by individuals can’t be motivated if their needs are not fulfilled. This is being viewed by the Maslow hierarchy of needs in 1954 which is used by different organisation in today’s business such as BT plc and GlaxoSmithKline Company. Maslow came out with the assumption that people’ needs change all the time and its complex once are satisfied with certain thing now they will demand for another thing later that’s reason they need to be motivated. Maslow categorised the needs in five different ways as follows.

Maslow’s hierarchy of need

Physiological or physical he suggested that individuals need love, sex, food, water sleep etc these are the basic needs individuals need lacking them it’s difficult to get motivated within the organisation. They also need money to fulfil their needs meaning having jobs for survival. Individuals need safety or security that is protecting individuals from any harm such as animals, germs, etc in their environment having clothes, house to live. In an organisation individuals need security in their positions from redundancy, safe job etc also they need security if there is any change in management or job routine. Individuals need love from their friends, colleagues by means of accepting them as individuals though wages can be low sometimes to the workers but having a good relationship and social contact does motivates them. Esteem or ego as part of individual needs were by they want their abilities to be recognised by means of testing and approved so that they could feel that they are of important within the organisation as individuals. They also need respect among each other with the need of affection and that they belong to certain group. Example individuals having a good position in the company, getting bonus, car allowance, good office environment for the purpose of satisfying their egos or esteem.


Autocratic management style

This is the type of management style where by communication takes place from the top management example chief executive officer flowing down to the subordinates, decision making taking place from the top management passing through all the department. An autocratic manager tends to make a decision that does not consult other staff for approval; its advantage is that gets all work done as been directed by the manager though it tend minimising staff morale and staff can’t be motivated if decisions are being made without their consultation.

Democratic management style

A manager in democratic style tends to delegate the responsibilities and task to the staff where by staff take their own initiatives in completing the task assigned to them. In democratic management style decision making involve the presence of employees this helps employee to be motivated by the activities produced by their own work towards meeting the organisation objectives. The disadvantage of this type of style employees tend be slow in doing the task and delaying the work due that staff need to be consulted first before decision is made, staff rely on others to do the task for them.

Laissez faire management style

This is another management style where by managers gives staff all the freedom they need to complete the task at their own time without putting pressure on them. Laissez faire managers do not involve themselves in fully managerial activities so as the staff this delays task to be completed at the right time due minimum involvement of the manager. The disadvantage of this type of style is that can bring great impact to the organisation performance due managers not delegating their roles in effective manner where staff finding it hard to follow the right direction to meet organisation’s plan objective.


Henri Fayol after developing the principles of management, he came out with the ideas of summarising the functions of management which are planning, organising, directing and controlling. These functions are being used by today’s business.


This is the process of evaluating the activities for the future development of the organisation which is normally planned in advance that shows what the organisation ought to do for the future or any factors that could influence the activities within the organisation. This could be five year or ten year plan etc, managerial authority towards the strategic plan of the organisation is making sure they are being taken into consideration and they are coordinated with all departments in the organisation also need to be clear to them.


It’s the process were by making sure the day to day activities are done in a professional manner meeting the organisation target. Resources such as staff, machines, capital are arranged into a working pattern that links between the departments and relationships can be created between the staff. Once resources are being allocated properly the outcome of that brings the organisation into success.


After organising the resources in the organisation that when directing comes into effect where makes sure that staff carry out the appropriate task as being assigned by their superiors by monitoring their performances it does motivate staff if their activities is being reviewed every month or quarterly through appraisal. Directing ensures that activities meet the organisation objectives and that is making profit by encouraging more sales.


This is the process of monitoring the performance of the activities carried out within the organisation by linking all the departments and getting the feedback of how they are progressing with the roles assigned to them. Control takes an effect after the plans are being made by reviewing the objectives of the organisation and monitoring regularly, ensures that the result of the task matches with the plan which was been put into action in the first place. Such process could be accessed through proper management performance such as progress report, annual turnover report etc.


People and sustainability

This is about how the organisation operates it’s activities by protecting the environment from any harm. It is evident in both Unilever Company and BT plc where they sustain their market by providing products and services which do not harm them. These companies provide evidence on how they make their products or services. Also, data on: the disposal method of their waste; energy generated; and water usage is available. They also protect their staff by providing them with a healthy and safe environment, recording all the incidences for future reference.

Reviewing performance

Organisations aim at making profit during the trading period and record it in a trading, profit and loss account. Management’s role is evaluating and reviewing the performance of the business, which is through analysing the growth of the business, identifying increases in sales and market share, balance scorecard etc. One of the tasks in which management undertake is making sure such performance is monitored within the organisation which needs to be recorded for the future planning. Unilever plc reviews their annual turnover at the end of the trading period. Similarly, BT plc posts their annual financial statements on their company websites for the stakeholder to review their performance and they must show that ‘ethic value’ is taken into consideration.

Analysing functions of management

Functions of management are planning, organising, directing, controlling and coordinating. Management’s task is to analyse these functions within the organisation and in different departments. After planning is put into action, activities which are directed and coordinated by the managers and supervisors need to be organised on a daily basis. Decisions are made by the top management and flow downwards to the subordinates.

Resource allocation

The task of management is allocating resources such as people, capital and equipment. Managers allocate people to different departments, based on the qualification they hold and utilise these peoples’ skills for meeting the organisation’s objectives. Capital invested into the business helps run the operating activities once the equipment is put in place. To have a good performance in the organisation, resources need to be allocated properly at the right place and at the right time. Unilever plc allocates their resources in the field of toiletry production. They produce cleaning materials, which are a basic need to people in our modern society. Unilever’s market is multinational and is making huge profit that sustains their organisation’s growth.

Risk management

The recession is continuing to heat the economy of the United Kingdom. Furthermore, as capacity of consumers to spend money is decreasing, partly due to rising unemployment levels and thus a decrease is disposable income, Unilever plc and BT plc need to take these issues into consideration. These two companies may need to continue decreasing prices of their products and services so that they retain their existing customers and even attract new customers. Market share is extremely important. Competition is intense and companies try to survive and remain in the market despite the negative impacts as a result of the recession.



Leadership style is the process of evaluating different roles undertaken by the leaders towards the members of the group they are leading. The style of leadership put in place in the organisation it is likely to be adopted by the subordinates in the organisation. There are different leadership styles examples bureaucratic, dictatorial, participative, abdicatorial etc but it’s summarised in terms of managerial style which is subjected towards the subordinates such as authoritarian style, democratic style and laissez-fare style.

Authoritarian (autocratic) style

This is the type of style were by leaders exercises their power by organising all the groups in the organisation. Leaders make the decisions, rules and regulation passing through the group in order to achieve the organisation target, also evaluates task roles, disciplinary actions, and appraisals.

Democratic style

The power of leaders in this type of style considers subordinates contribution towards decision making; leaders consult staff first before making any decisions. They tend to value staff say towards the implementing the policy and procedures of the organisation.

Laissez-faire style

Leaders in this type of style tend to give freedom to the group they are leading to do things on their own way toward without supervising them in meeting the organisation objectives. Leaders do not involve themselves fully into the activities of organisation they leave the staff to work on their own initiative though they provide guidance to the staff if they are facing any problem.


Managers from different organisations they always refer to the motivation theory in their managerial activities that help them to determine the factors that will motivate the subordinate without those needs individuals won’t be able to perform efficiently that could result to negative implication of organisation performance. Abraham Maslow if the one who came out with motivation theory summarised the hierarchy of needs which are physical needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem need and self-actualisation needs.

Physical or physiological needs

Human beings need food, water, air to breathe, these are normal basic needs human beings need to stay alive, and without them they will die. As individual working in the organisations they need wages and salaries in order to facilitate their needs, such wages will help them to buy food and water to stay alive.

Safety needs

These are needs which human beings need which is to be safety in the environment in which they are in, this include protected from any harm such as pollution, noise. By that means they need shelter so that they could be safe from cold and sunny weather it’s referred to the individuals at work they need a safety in their jobs from redundancy, low wages and dismissal.

Social needs

Every individuals need love, friends to talk and socialise with which is by making friends with the people surrounding them in this way helps people from getting depressed same applied to the staff in the organisation they need good relationships in the working environment that creates good team spirit.

Esteem needs

People need respect from other people regardless of any difference they will be having that could be age, sex, race, nationality etc surrounding them; they want to feel like they are part of the society. In the organisation individuals need recognition by the management, rewards from the organisation as they are part of team contributed to the achievement of the organisation goals.

Self-actualisation needs

This is the process of determining individual’s capabilities towards doing something that would be of great potential by developing them. People want to be known (pride) by other people that they have got the ability to do something which can be useful to people. In the organisation individuals having different professionals they need their task role should be resemble with the qualification they are having, moral and ethical behaviour should be taken into consideration by the organisation to the individual working for them.


This report had the details concerning management theories such as scientific management which was carried out by F. Taylor in which he summarised about work environment and individuals also had information about classical administration, the founder was Henri Fayol carried the idea about the functions of the management such as planning, organising, directing, coordinating and controlling which is being applied by today’s business also he summarised about administrative issues in the organisation that need to be structured and evaluated. Individual need to be motivated and the factors that motivates them in the organisation such as Unilever plc and GlaxoSmithKline as applied by Maslow hierarchy. Concept of management and leadership styles used in the organisation and the exercise of power and authority they have toward the individual in the organisation.

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Scientific management and the theories of business. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved February 6, 2023 , from

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