Difference Between Scientific Management and Administrative Management

The key difference between scientific management and administrative management is that in scientific management, an organization’s effectiveness and efficiency are achieved by modifying the way in which workers conduct their tasks while administrative management theory describes altering the way that the organization is managed.

In a positive working environment, it is the manager’s responsibility to find the best possible approaches for employees to perform and manage their tasks. Furthermore, it is one of the principles of Classical management theory, which consists of Scientific, Administrative and Bureaucratic management approaches.


1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Scientific Management 
3. What is Administrative Management
4. Relationship Between Scientific Management and Administrative Management
5. Side by Side Comparison – Scientific Management vs Administrative Management in Tabular Form
6. Summary

What is Scientific  Management?

Scientific management focuses on observing the workflows and evaluating its efficiency and effectiveness. Moreover, the developer of this theory was F.W.Taylor. Therefore, this theory is also called as Taylor management theory.

Scientific Management is a mental revolution for both employer and employees, which consist of the following principles.

  1. Science, not the rule of thumb: The core is Science
  2. Harmony within the group – Unity within the group
  3. Cooperation, not individualism – Supportive with each other rather than personal performance
  4. Development of employees to get a good efficiency

What is Administrative Management?

Administrative management theory focuses on achieving the most rational organization for managing different tasks specified within a complex division of labour. Moreover, the developer of administrative management theory was Henry Fayol. Therefore, this theory is called Fayol management theory.

Fourteen Principles of Administrative Management Theory

The administrative management theory consists of 14 principles of management.

    • Division of Work: Work done as small jobs or operations, creating specialization.
    • Authority and Responsibility: Authority suggests the right to give the order and obtain obedience and
    • Responsibility: Sense of dutifulness that arises out of authority
    • Discipline: Respect to organizational rules and the terms of employment
    • Unity of Command: Employees will work for command by their superior
    • Unity of Direction: All are working for the same targets for the betterment of the company
    • Subordination: No personal or group interest, only a general interest persists.
    • Remuneration: The payment system contributes to the success of the organization
    • Centralization: There must be the finest utilization of an organization’s resources
    • Scalar Chain: This implies the superior-subordinate relation within the organization
    • Order: Everything has a place or sequence
    • Equity: No discrimination
    • Stability of tenure of Personnel: Employee retention or long term employment is important
    • Initiative: Bringing new thing to the company
  • Esprit de Corps (Unity is strength): Team spirit in the organization

What is the Relationship Between Scientific Management and Administrative Management?

There is a common goal in both the theories; that is, to enhance the efficiency levels of the organizations. They share common principles such as divided and specialized work, responsibilities of managers, unity within the group etc. In overall, both management theories are important in modern manufacturing organizations.

What is the Difference between Scientific Management and Administrative Management?

Scientific management theory considers employee efficiency, whereas administrative management theory considers human and behavioural determinants of the organization. Furthermore, administrative theory emphasizes on activities like planning and controlling, whereas scientific theory emphasizes on work study and time of study of workers. So, this is the key difference between scientific management and administrative management.

Moreover, a further difference between scientific management and administrative management theory is that administrative management theory has more emphasis on top management, whereas scientific management theory has an emphasis on low-level management in an organization. Besides, administrative management theory can be applied to any organization, because it is universally applicable, but scientific management theory is applied only to specialized organizations.

Summary – Scientific Management vs Administrative Management

Although both management theories help to enhance a positive workplace, there is a significant difference between scientific management and administrative management. The key difference between scientific management and administrative management is that scientific management theory considers the workflows and operator efficiency improvements in an organization whereas administrative management theory considers management styles and activities that help to achieve maximum output. In overall, the balance of both theories will bring a successful organization.


1. “Henri Fayol’s Principles of Management: Early Management Theory.” MindTools.com, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “42691” (CC0) via Pixabay