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Chapter 2- Principles of Management Interview Questions Answers

Question 1 : How is the Principle of ‘Unity of Command’ useful to management? Explain briefly.

Answer 1 :

Principle of Unity of Command implies that each and every subordinate should have one and only one boss. Orders and instructions should come from only one head. This helps the working of any organisation in the following manner
(i) Authority responsibility relationship is clearly defined.
(ii) Subordinates are known for whom they are accountable.
(iii) Discipline and order is maintained.

Question 2 : Define scientific management. State any three of its principles.

Answer 2 :

Scientific management can be defined as knowing exactly what you want from men to do and seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest way.
Scientific management aims at choosing the best. Method to get the maximum output from the workers the principles of scientific management are mainly applicable to the shop-floor level.
Three principles of scientific management are as follows
(i) Science, Not Rule of Thumb When different managers use their own different methods to get the work done it is rule of thumb. Taylor believed that there was only one best method to maximise efficiency. Taylor advised that every organisation should compare the results of different methods, test them again and again and finally select one best method of getting the work done.
(ii) Harmony, Not Discord Managers are an extension of the management and serve as a link between workers and the owners. Workers have to take instructions from the managers and managers have to get the work done through the workers. Oftentimes the relation between them is spoilt which is very harmful for everyone-workers, managers and owners. This class conflict should be replaced by harmony between the two. Both should change their thinking towards each other. Both should give importance to each other. This is known as mental revolution.
(iii) Co-operation, Not Individualism There should be complete co-operation between the labour and the management instead of individualism. This principle is an extension of the principle of ‘Harmony not discord.’ The management and the workers should not compete with each other rather co-operate with each other. Management should consider all good suggestions made by the employees which can help in cost reduction. At the same time, workers should never think of going or stickes in order to get their unreasonable demands fulfilled.

Question 3 : If an organisation does not provide the right place for physical and human resources in an organisation, which principle is violated? What are the consequences of it?

Answer 3 :

The principle of order is violated if an organisation does not provide the right place for physical and human resources.
If this principle is violated then
(i) Lots of time will be wasted in locating the different resources.
(ii) This will lead to delayed decisions.
(iii) Wastage of energy which will lead to in efficiency and delay in production.
(iv) Causes hindrance in the activities of business.

Question 4 : Explain any four points regarding significance of Principles of management.

Answer 4 :

Significance of principles of management
(i) Providing Managers with Useful Insights into Reality When managers follow principles it adds to their knowledge, ability and understanding of managerial situations and circumstances. This improves managerial efficiency e.g., when managers use principle of delegation then they get more time to concentrate on critical areas of working.
(ii) Scientific Decision Making management principles help in thoughtful decision making. They emphasise on logic rather than blind faith. Here, decisions are based on the objective assessment of the situation.
(iii) Optimum Utilisation of Resources and Effective Administration Principles help the managers to conceptualise the net effect of their decision rather than going for trial and error method resulting in saved time, efforts and energy thereby increased productivity.
(iv) Management Training, Education and Research Principles of management are the base for management theory. As such they are used as a basis for management training, education and research. These principles provide basic groundwork for the development of management as a subject. Professional courses like BBA, MBA also teaches these principles as part of their curriculum.

Question 5 : Explain the principle of ‘Scalar Chain’ and gang plank.

Answer 5 :

Principle of Scalar Chain and Gang plank
The formal lines of authority from highest to lowest ranks are known as scalar chain. According to Fayol,
“Organisation should have a chain of authority and communication that runs from top to bottom and should be followed by managers and subordinates.”
In the diagram, O is heading 2 teams where A and X are at the same level, B and Yare at the same level and C and Zare at the same level. The line of communication is clearly defined A to B to C and Xto Y to Z. Authority responsibility relationship is also very clear. But C and Z cannot directly contact each other. This some times may take lot of time during an emergency to communicate as per the prescribed flow to avoid this problem a system known as ‘Gang Plank’ was introduced where in C or Z could contact each other and same way B and Y could contact each other.
              

Question 6 : Explain the principles of scientific management given by Taylor.

Answer 6 :

Principles of scientific management are given by FW Taylor
(i) Science, Not Rule of Thumb When different managers use their own different methods to get the work done it is rule of thumb. Taylor believed that there was only one best method maximise efficiency. Taylor advised that every organisation should compare the results of different methods, test them again and again and finally select one best method of getting the work done.
(ii) Harmony, Not Discord Managers are an extension of the management and serve as a link between workers and the owners. Workers have to take the instructions from the managers and managers have to get the work done through the workers. Sometime the relation between them is spoilt, which is very harmful for everyone-workers, managers and owners. This class conflict should be replaced by harmony between the two. Both should change their thinking towards each other. This is known as mental revolution.
(iii) Co-operation, Not Individualism There should be complete co-operation between the labour and the management instead of individualism. This principle is an extension of principle of harmony, not discord. The management and the workers should not compete with each other rather co-operate with each other. Management should consider all good suggestions made by the employees which can help in cost reduction. At the same time workers should never think of going on strikes in order to get their unreasonable demands fulfilled.
(iv) Development of Each and Every person to His or her Greatest Efficiency and Prosperity
Scientific management also stood for worker development. Taylor believed that workers should be aware of the ‘best method’. On the other hand, all organisations should select employee carefully in order to get maximum efficiency. When the duties are allotted, perfect match should be made between the requirements of the job and the capabilities of the worker. Training should be provided to improve the skills further. In this way, efficiency will go higher resulting in prosperity for both workers and company.

Question 7 :
Explain the following principles of management given by Fayol with examples.

Answer 7 :

(a) Unity of direction
(b) Equity
(c) Espirit de Corps
(d) Order
(e) Centralisation and decentralisation
(f) Initiative

Answer
Fayol introduced general principles of management. Some of them have been explained below
(a) Unity of Direction
All the units of an organisation should be moving towards the same objective. Each group of activities having the same objective must have one head and one plan. Each group should have its own incharge and on no account the working of two divisions neither be overlaped.
(b) Equity
This principle emphasise kindliness and justice in the behaviour of managers towards workers. This will ensure loyalty and devotion. Lazy personnel should be dealt sternly and strictly. There should be no discrimination against anyone on account of gender, religion, caste, language or nationality etc. All decisions should be merit based.
(c) Espirit de Corps
This principle emphasises on building harmony and team spirit among employees. In a large organisation due to a large work force teamwork is very important. Teamwork leads to better co-ordination while working. The head of each team should give credit of good result to the whole team rather than confining it to his ownself.
(d) Order
A place for everything and everyone in his/her place. Basically it means orderlinss. If there is a fixed place for different things in a factory and they remain in their places then no time is wasted in locating them. Same way if every personnel is allocated an area to operate from then his co-workers, head or subordinates, anyone can contact him easily.
(e) Centralisation and Decentralisation
Concentration of authority in a few hands is centralisation and its dispersal among more number of people is decentralisation. Fayol believed that an organisation should not work with anyone of them in isolation. A combination of both is important simple, easy and work of routine type should be decentralised and critical important type of work should be centralised.
(f) Initiative
Initiative means taking the first step with self-motivation workers should be encouraged to develop and carry out their plans for improvements according to Fayol. Initiatives should be encouraged. A good company should invite suggestions from employees which can result in substantial cost/time reduction. Rewards can be given to fruitful suggestions.

Question 8 :
Explain the technique of 'Functional Foremanship' and the concept of 'Mental Revolution' as enunciated by Taylor.

Answer 8 :

Functional Foremanship

A foreman refers to a person who is in charge of the operational level workers. Taylor suggested that to increase the efficiency, performance of the foreman should be improved. That is, Taylor focussed on the importance of the foreman in an organisation. Taylor observed and identified few qualities, such as intelligence, tact, judgement, etc., that a foreman should have. He found that no single person can have all the required qualities. Thus, he suggested that instead of a single person, there should be eight persons through which the functions of a foreman should be accomplished. This technique was given the name Functional Foremanship. According to this, the planning and the production functions should be separated. That is, under the manager, there would be one planning incharge and one production incharge. Each incharge would have four personnel under him/her.

The following are the four persons that worked under the planning incharge.

i. Instruction Card Clerk- To give instructions to the workers.
ii. Route Clerk- To show the route of production.
iii. Time and Cost Clerk- To take care about the time and costs.
iv. Disciplinarian- To ensure that discipline is being maintained.

The following are the four persons that worked under the production incharge.

i. Speed Boss- To ensure timely completion of tasks
ii. Gang Boss- To keep the machines and tools ready for the workers.
iii. Repair Boss- To ensure proper working of the machines.
iv. Inspector- To control the quality of work done.

Mental Revolution

Mental Revolution implies changing the attitude of the workers and the managers. Mental revolution aimed at improving the thinking of both, to create a better working environment. The workers and the manager should change their attitude and each one should realise others importance. Both should work towards the common goals of the organisation. Management should take care of the needs of the workers and share the benefits with them. On the other hand, workers should put in their best efforts. Thus, the concept of Mental Revolution enunciated on cooperation and mutual trust between the workers and the managers.

Question 9 :
 Discuss the following techniques of scientific work study

Answer 9 :

(a) Time study
(b) Motion study
(c) Fatigue study
(d) Method study
(e) Simplification and standardisation of work

Answer

Some of the techniques of scientific work study are
(a) Time Study
 It determines the standard time taken to perform a well-defined job. The standard time is fixed for the whole of the task by taking several readings. The method of time study will depend upon volume and frequency of the task, the cycle time of the operation and time measurement costs. There are three objectives achieved through time study.
(i) Determine the number of workers.
(ii) Frame suitable incentive schemes.
(iii) Determines labour costs.
e.g., if standard time taken to do a piece of work in 20 minutes then one work can be done 3 times in an hour and total 21 times (3×7 hours per day) the work can be done on a single day.
(b) Motion Study
 Motion study refers to the study of movements like lifting, putting objects, sitting and changing positions. On close examination of body motions, e.g., it is possible to find out three types motions
(i) Motions which are productive.
(ii) Motions which are incidental.
(iii) Motions which are unproductive.
Out of the above, three workers were motivated to eliminate the third type completely and reduce the second one to the minimum. This help in increasing productivity.

(c) Fatigue Study
 Fatigue study seeks to determine the amount and frequency of rest intervals in completing a task. A person is bound to feel tired physically and mentally if he does not take rest while working. The next intervals will heip one to regain stamina and work again with the same efficiency for e.g., in an organisaton working hours are 9 to 5. There is a lunch break of an hour for the workers to take rest similarly in a school there is a break for the students and teachers after 4 periods of continuous learning.
(d) Method Study 
The objective of method study is to find out one best way of doing the job. Different managers would use their own different methods of getting the work done. But there is always one best method. Right from procurement of raw materials till the final product is delivered to the customer every activity is the part of method study. The objective of whole exercise is to minimise the cost of production and maximise the satisfaction of the customer.
(e) Simplification and Standardisation of Work
 Standardisation refers to the process of setting standards for every business activity e.g., process, raw material, time, product, machinery, methods or working conditions. The objective of standardisation are
(i) To reduce product to fixed types, sizes, features etc.
(ii) To establish interchangeability of various parts.
(iii) To establish standards of excellence and quality in materials.
(iv) To establish standards of performance of men and machines.
Simplification aims at eliminating unnecessary diversity of products. It results in savings of cost of labour, machines and tools. It implies reduced inventories, fuller utilisation of equipment and increasing turnover.

Question 10 :
Discuss the differences between the contributions of Taylor and Fayol.

Answer 10 :

Basis of Difference

Taylor's Contributions

Fayol's Contributions

Contribution

Scientific Management or 'Taylorism' Theory was given by Taylor in 1911.

General Theory of Administration or 'Fayolism' was given by Fayol in 1916

Personality

Taylor was a mechanical engineer/scientist.

Fayol was a mining engineer/practitioner.

Principles and Techniques

Taylor introduced Principles of Scientific Management and Functional Foremanship along with the techniques such as method study, motion study, etc.

Fayol introduced 14 Principles of Management such as Order, Equity, Espirit de Corps, etc.

Application of Principles

Principles are applicable to specialized situations.

Principles are accepted everywhere and are universal in nature.

Perspective

Taylor’s principles are based on improving the conditions of floor level workers first.

Fayol’s principles are based on the functions of the higher level managers.

Emphasis and Focus

Focus was on improving the overall administration of an organisation.

Focus was on increasing the productivity along with the worker's efficiency.

Title

Taylor is called 'Father of Scientific Management'

Fayol is called 'Father of General Management'


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Chapter 2- Principles of Management Contributors

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