This article throws light upon the top five principles of scientific management theory suggested by Taylor. The principles are: 1. Rule of Thumb should be Replaced with Science 2. There should be Harmony, not Discord in Group Action 3. Cooperation, not Individualism 4. Maximum Output, not Restricted Output5. Development of Workers to their Fullest Capacity.

Principle # 1. Rule of Thumb should be Replaced with Science:

Trial and error approach should not be used for taking decisions, rather scientific way of working should be followed. Work should not be performed on the basis of past experience, trial and error approach or Rule of Thumb. It should be performed in a scientific manner.

Under the scientific method, each task is based on time and motion study. The time and motion study divides the work into smaller units, eliminates undesirable motions, arrives at the best way (motion) of doing the work and times that motion to determine the optimum output per worker per day.

Business operations include estimating the fair day’s work, determining the wage rate for each work operation, standardisation of operations etc. which should be precise and exact rather than estimates. Scientific techniques are, thus, used to carry out the work which have replaced the old methods of operations, hit and trial etc.

Principle # 2. There should be Harmony, not Discord in Group Action:


All members of the organisation (employers and employees) should work as a team. Conflicts should be resolved by mutual discussions and coordination and disagreements should be eliminated. All group actions should be based on mutual understanding so that group, as a whole, contributes to organisational output.

Employers and employees should work harmoniously and try to maximise each other’s interest. While workers should maximise organisational output, employers should pay more to productive workers. Thus, organisation could benefit on account of higher profits and workers would benefit by getting higher wages. Conflicts between employers and employees should be solved through mutual discussion thereby promoting harmony and eliminating discord.

Principle # 3. Cooperation, not Individualism:

People should not promote individual interests at the cost of organisational interests. They should cooperate with each other, promote mutual understanding in their thinking, solve each other’s problems and work as a team to achieve organisational goals.

Principle # 4. Maximum Output, not Restricted Output:

People should not restrict production. They should increase the output and share the benefits with the management. Workers should not feel that if they maximise organisational output, they would be turned out by management. Instead, they should appreciate the fact that increase in output shall be shared by employers (in the form of profits) and employees (in the form of wages) together.

Principle # 5. Development of Workers to their Fullest Capacity:


Workers should be developed to their full potential through scientific selection, formal education, training and motivation to give their best to organisational output for the benefit of both; the organisation and the workers. Training should be provided at the work place so that workers learn about new technologies and methods of work to meet the needs of the changing environment.