Thus, Gantt made an attempt to refine the nature of scientific management. Emerson focused on principles of efficiency concerning employee-employee relations and systems in management.
In general, scientific management emphasized detailed, precise planning of work to attain efficiency, standardization, specialization and simplification. It used formal, top-down planning and budgeting giving rise to centralized control system.
The techniques of scientific management emphasized the management of physical resources rather than human resources. It believed that normal financial incentives were enough for implementation of policies and plans. It assumed that human being is a rational economic man and can act like a machine.
The managerial practices were aimed at improving efficiency of human work, faster and better methods of production, more efficient forms of organization and application of the methods of science rather than the rule of thumb.
According to Taylor, scientific management is a process of directing human efforts through (i) scientific method including observation measurement, experimentation and inferences, and (ii) management specialists who have the expertise to apply modern scientific method to solution of problems arising during the process of management.
He wanted to replace intuitive methods of doing the work of the organization with ‘ a scientific method and analysis to obtain the best cost-benefit ratio.
He asserted that every task could be done by determining a ‘one best way’. He also emphasized the need to ‘heartily co-operate with the men’ to ensure that the work is being done as per the established standards and procedures.
He advocated the division of work between managers and workers, where managers will be responsible for planning and preparing work and supervision.