Scientific management theory is one of the oldest management theories that were developed in the 20th century. Scientific management theory attributed to Frederick W. Taylor (Marquis & Huston, 2009). The theory is anchored on understanding workflows and improving labor productivity. Its application is depending on a high level of managerial control over employee work practices. The theory advocates for division of labor and specialization (Tomey, 2009). This theory in health care would give autonomy to the manager to plan health care schedules and manage their execution. Under this theory, the manager decides the training and development plan for the health care professional as opposed to giving them the chance to choose programs they deem appropriate to their career development (Tomey, 2009). This theory fails to appreciate the fact that the management requirements and those of the health care professionals are rarely identical. This leads to a discouraged workforce hence poor service delivery (Huber, 2013).

The theory ensures that scientific procedures are developed for every treatment plan or process and therefore the health professionals have no say or opinion about the routines. The health care given in this theory has to follow the laid down procedure, the long-term effect is the creation of monotony that leads to poor service delivery. The inefficiencies showcased by this theory led to participative decision making in the workplace (Marquis & Huston, 2009). In the health care context, participative decision making include the involvement of all health care professionals and the management in the problem analysis, solution implementation, and the general decision making process.

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Information sharing as argued by Marquis and Huston (2009) is one of the most important aspects in achieving participative decision making. The health care professionals feel valued if the management shared the performance, status, plans, and the general health of the company according to Marquis and Huston (2009). Training and development opportunities also help significantly in the motivation of the workforce. The knowledge gained from this pursuit is beneficial to the organization in the long term as observed by Huber (2013. Another example of participative decision making is allowing health care professionals to make decisions on work schedules, budgets, and reward systems.


Huber, D. (2013). Leadership and nursing care management. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2009). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Tomey, A. M. (2009). Nursing management and leadership. Elsevier, Missouri.

Wheeler, R. M., & Foster, J. W. (2013). Barriers to participation in governance and professional advancement: A comparison of internationally educated nurses and registered nurses educated in the United States. Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(7/8), 409-414.

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