After reading this article you will learn about the comparison between management science and scientific management.

Difference between Management Science and Scientific Management:

Management Science:

1. It focuses on overall decision-making process. Technical efficiency or technology is a means rather than an end to arrive at optimum decisions.

2. It emphasises on mathematical models for planning and control. The impact of independent variables (for example, tax incentives) can be studied on the dependent variable (say, capital investment) through statistical methods.

3. Computers are extensively used to analyse a variety of complex data and present it into simplified version.


4. It aims to increase efficiency of the organisation as a whole.

5. It adopts multi-disciplinary approach to solve organisational problems.

Scientific Management:

1. The focus is on increasing efficiency of workers at the shop level. Technical efficiency is, therefore, regarded as the end.

2. Use of judgement, intuition, experience and experiments (time and motion studies) is more pronounced than mathematical models.


3. Computers are not used at all. Decisions are based on experiments and experience.

4. It aims to increase efficiency of workers at lower levels.

5. Assistance of experts from different disciplines is not sought for. Problems are solved by managers themselves.

Relationship between Management Science and Scientific Management:

Though conceptually different, operations research, management science and scientific management are linked with each other. Various operations such as agriculture, business, defence, industrial, mining etc. use scientific management to perform their activities.


Research in these operations (agriculture or business operations research etc.) provides the knowledge base for improving the operational system. This research produces a body of systematic knowledge about performing various operations.

This body of knowledge is known as management science. Management science is used in practicing scientific management. (Operations and management analysts utilise management science to make decisions while practicing scientific management.) Development of scientific management is the end result of operations research or management science activities.

This interrelationship is represented as follows: