Scientific Management and Administrative Management

Difference Between Scientific Management and Administrative Management

A brief introduction to Scientific Management and Administrative Management

Scientific Management and Administrative Management have had an immense effect on organizational management theory since their debut during the first half of the 20th century. Both models offer diverse methods for overseeing and organizing the operations of an enterprise.

Scientific Management was pioneered by Frederick Winslow Taylor and further refined by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth to increase productivity and efficiency through scientific techniques. It emphasizes process analysis, standardizing of work procedures, and division of labor for maximum output.

Administrative Management, developed by Henri F. Fayol and elaborated upon by Max Weber, emphasizes the administrative structure and functions of an organization as an entity. It seeks to create an official hierarchy with clear lines of authority while allocating workload among workers in an orderly fashion for easier coordination and decision-making.

Both theories seek to enhance the effectiveness of an organization; however, their respective core principles and methods vary considerably. Therefore, knowing the differences between Scientific Management and Administrative Management can help organizations and managers select effective management methods to meet their goals successfully.

Importance of management theories in organizational practices

Management theories play a vital role in shaping and guiding organizational practices.

Here are some key reasons why management theories are important in organizational practices:

1. Establishing the Basis: Management theories provide a basis for understanding and managing companies, along with models, concepts, and guidelines to assist managers in making well-informed choices and taking necessary steps at an opportune moment.

2. Increased Productivity and Efficiency: Management theories provide valuable insight into ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness within operations. By applying theories such as Scientific Management, managers can find areas of inefficiency within processes and eliminate them to increase overall efficiency.

3. Informing Decision-Making: Theoretical Support for Decision-Making Managers have an assortment of techniques and tools at their disposal to assist them with decision-making, such as the Administrative Management theory. Such theories emphasize aspects such as an organization’s structure, authority structure, and decision-making processes that enable managers to make sound and informed decisions.

4. Promoting Employee Motivation and Engagement: Enhancing Engagement and Motivation of Employees Management theories often address the human aspects of the business. Theories like Human Relations and Behavioral Management emphasize motivating employees, creating an engaging working environment, and increasing engagement within teams – these theories help increase employee satisfaction, productivity, and overall organizational performance.

5. Facilitating Change and Adaptation: Theories of management can provide invaluable guidance for adapting quickly to changing business environments, providing useful insight for managing changes and adapting effectively. Organizational Development Theory and Systems Theory provide frameworks that allow managers to efficiently implement change in organizations.

6. Improved Collaboration and Communication: Management theories emphasize the necessity of effective collaboration and communication within companies. Contingency Management and team-based Management guide how to open communication channels while strengthening teams and encouraging cooperation – which all play key roles in realizing the objectives of an organization.

7. Improved Leadership Skills: Theories of management play an essential part in honing leadership abilities. Theories such as Transformational leadership and situational management provide models and methods that enable managers to influence teams more easily, adapt their style according to changing circumstances, and ultimately drive organizational success.

Theoretical theories of management provide valuable guidance and direction for organizations. They offer guidelines, principles, and strategies which help managers improve efficiency by making more informed choices to motivate employees, control changes efficiently, collaborate effectively with others, and develop leadership abilities more quickly. Through applying such concepts efficiently businesses can increase performance while being more flexible to changing conditions while meeting goals more easily.

Scientific Management

Taylorism or the Taylor system was devised by Frederick Winslow Taylor during the late 19th and early 20th century to improve productivity and efficiency within industrial enterprises through scientific analysis and systematic methods of working.

Scientific Management
Figure 01: Scientific Management

The principles of management science encompass:

1. Analyses of Motion and Time: Taylor advocated for studying and analyzing work processes to find the most efficient methods of accomplishing tasks, such as breaking them into smaller, repetitive movements with exact timing for each action taken. This meant breaking tasks up into more manageable chunks that required less time per move to complete successfully.

2. Management of science: This practice centers around creating standard procedures to accomplish tasks efficiently. Companies using standard processes can reduce unneeded variations, reduce mistakes, and boost productivity through this strategy.

3. Division of Labor: Taylor proposed assigning tasks based on specifications and assigning managers accordingly, to allow workers to focus on specific jobs for maximum proficiency and efficiency at their respective tasks.

4. Development and Training: Scientific management recognizes the significance of providing employees with appropriate opportunities for development and training, which will ultimately boost efficiency and effectiveness within companies. Providing employees with relevant abilities and skill sets can greatly increase efficiency levels and productivity levels.

5. Rewards and Incentives: Taylor believed in offering incentives that would motivate employees and boost productivity. He supported a piece-rate system that pays workers according to how much work they complete.

6. Selection and Placement Based on Science: Taylor underscored the significance of selecting workers based on scientific principles when placing them into roles that best meet their capabilities and abilities, to ensure maximum productivity and efficiency in the workplace. This ensures the most suitable employees take up positions for maximum output and productivity.

7. Close supervision and control: Closely Monitor Employee Performance Scientific management involves close supervision and control over employees’ performances to ensure adherence to standard procedures and desired results are attained. Managers must monitor work processes, give direction, and uphold discipline while supervising employee activities.

Management science aims to increase effectiveness and efficiency by eliminating inefficiency, standardizing processes, and increasing worker productivity. However, its critics have pointed out its emphasis on Specialization of work as well as its risk of dehumanizing employees as well as an over-reliance on efficiency at the expense of happiness and well-being.

Scientific management remains relevant in modern businesses, yet its practices have evolved to encompass an all-inclusive approach toward employees that emphasizes collaboration as well as empowerment and engagement.

Administrative Management

Administrative Management is the practice of organizing and coordinating an organization’s resources and work activities to meet its goals effectively and efficiently. This requires managing various administrative processes, tasks, and duties efficiently to maximize resource utilization while meeting operational efficiency targets.

Administrative Management
Figure 02: Administrative Management

Administrators’ main responsibilities usually consist of:

1. Organization and Planning: Managers in administrative work often create plans, set goals, and devise strategies to accomplish organization-wide objectives. They also coordinate all resources required for the successful execution of plans such as personnel equipment personnel or any other material resources required for the execution of plans.

2. Staff Management: Staff Management teams in Administrative departments recruit hire, educate, and supervise their staff members so that they are equipped with the skills and experience needed to effectively carry out their responsibilities. In addition, administrative managers conduct evaluations of performance, give feedback on staff performance as well as address any potential personnel problems that arise.

3. Budgeting and financial management: Financial managers take part in budget planning as well as allocating resources accordingly and monitoring expenditures to make sure they adhere to financial constraints. They may also collect financial data, analyze it and write reports with suggestions to reduce expenses.

4. Process Improvement: Managers of administrative processes seek opportunities to simplify procedures, increase efficiency, and cut expenses by introducing new technology, systems, or processes that boost workflow efficiency and increase workflow efficiency.

5. Policy development and implementation: They develop and enforce policies and procedures for administrative use to ensure uniformity with regulations and organization guidelines as well as communicate their policies to employees and respond to any concerns or inquiries that may arise from this task.

6. Coordination and Communication: These elements help facilitate coordination and communication among various teams or departments within a company. This might involve working closely with other managers, holding meetings, or efficiently relaying information to ensure smooth operations.

7. Record Keeping and Documentation: Administrators in charge of Administrative functions oversee the upkeep of documents records, and files to ensure accurate and up-to-date information is readily accessible. They could set up systems for managing document storage, data storage, and retrieval.

8. Relations With Stakeholders: Communicate effectively with various stakeholders such as clients, vendors, customers, and regulators to address their needs, resolve conflicts amicably, and secure contracts while building strong relations between all.

Administrative management plays a vital role in helping an organization run smoothly by providing the infrastructure required and support needed. Effective administrative management can optimize resources, streamline processes, and increase efficiency – ultimately contributing to reaching organizational objectives more easily.

Comparison Chart of Scientific Management and Administrative Management

Here’s a chart that compares the major distinctions between Scientific Management and Administrative Management:

Aspect Scientific Management Administrator Management
Focus Improved efficiency and productivity All administrative functions
The emphasis Work processes and optimizing Structure of organization and coordination
Approach Standardization and scientific analysis Formal hierarchies and decision-making processes
Key Contributors Frederick Winslow Taylor Henri Fayol
Perspective on the Workforce As replacement parts of the production process. Recognizes their roles in the structure of administration
Principles Studies of motion and time Division of labor The unity of command system, the scalar chain of command, division of labor
Applicability Primarily production and manufacturing The wide range of applications across all industries
Time Period The 19th and the early 20th century From late 19th to the beginning of the 20th century
Influence The foundation was laid for the subsequent theories. Lay the foundations for coordination and structure in the organization. methods.

Relationship Between Scientific Management and Administrative Management

Scientific Management and Administrative Management are distinct theories of management that have had a profound effect on organizational practices over time. Each approach to management varies, though both share similar historical roots that impacted subsequent theories of administration.

1. Historical Background: Scientific management and Administrative management emerged simultaneously around the turn of the 19th and early 20th centuries as responses to increasing industrial complexity and the need to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of management techniques.

2. Influence and Foundation: Scientific Management was pioneered by Frederick Winslow Taylor to set the basis for research and application of scientific concepts within management. He introduced concepts such as motion/time studies, optimization of work processes, division of labor processes, and more. Administrative Management developed in Henri Fayol’s works expanded upon these basic principles by formalizing administrative tasks within companies.

3. Complementary Perspectives: Scientific Management’s primary goal is optimizing efficiency and effectiveness at an operational level, while Administrative Management takes an expansive view of organizational administrative responsibilities. Among others, Administrative Management covers issues like organization structure coordination and decision-making power authority which complement Scientific Managements operational focus.

4. Integration in Management Practices: Businesses frequently combine elements of Scientific Management and Administrative Management for optimal results. For instance, companies could implement Scientific Management concepts to increase production efficiencies while at the same time employing Administrative Management techniques to formalize organizational structures and manage administrative duties efficiently.

5. Development into Other Management Theories: Scientific Management and Administrative Management were the foundation for subsequent management theories that came later on, such as Human Relations, Behavioral Management, Contingency Theory, and Systems Theory. Over time these later theories also incorporated elements from both these original approaches as well as additional viewpoints for a more holistic understanding of organization management.

Scientific Management and Administrative Management have an intimate connection because both emerged at roughly the same time and influenced one another in creating theories about management. Although they differ greatly in focus and methodology, both can work to enhance organizations and increase understanding of management processes.


Scientific Management and Administrative Management have greatly contributed to the field of organizational management. Pioneered by Frederick Winslow Taylor, Scientific Management emphasizes maximizing efficiency and productivity through scientific analysis standards, regularization, and division of work. Meanwhile, Henri-Fayol’s Administrative Management is focused on fulfilling general administrative functions as well as coordination within an organization through formal structures.