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Jafar Paramboor Mohd Burhan Ibrahim


Early management theory consisted of numerous attempts at getting to know some newcomers to industrial life at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, in Europe and United States. As far as these newcomers were concerned, almost all fields of industry expected that they could open a new way of pattern in the area of conceptualizing the management field with new ideas and thoughts. One of these newcomers was the scientific management theory, the theory of Frederic Winslow Taylor (1896-1915). This paper is a critical review on scientific management theory looking from the descriptive and normative angles of Islamic theories of administration. Starting from the background of the author, and his theory, the paper highlights some of the criticisms arose from the West, followed by Islamic dimensions on the theory of administration, focusing on the individual and social aspects. The paper argues that the values should be taken from Islamic theories of administration which refers to the present world as well as hereafter. Further, some of the implications and possible areas of practicing Islamic theory of administration in higher education management are presented.

Keywords: Scientific Management Theory, Islamic Theories of Administration, Shurah, Adl, Itqan, Fard Kifayah, Khilafah

1 Article received: August 2018; Article submitted: November 2018; Article accepted: December 2018




The fundamental aim of management should be to ensure the maximum prosperity for the employer as well as the employee. The term “maximum prosperity” refers to not only large dividends for the company or owner, but also the development of every branch of the business to its highest state of quality, so that the prosperity may be permanent. Likewise, maximum prosperity to the employee refers to not only higher wages than are usually received by them, but also to the development of each man to his state of maximum competence, so that he may be capable of doing the highest grade of work according to his natural potentials.2

Early management theory consisted of numerous attempts at getting to know some newcomers to industrial life at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, in Europe and United States. As far as these newcomers were concerned, almost all the field of industry expected that they could open a new pattern in the area of conceptualizing management field with new ideas, and thoughts. One of these newcomers was the scientific management theory, the theory of Frederic Winslow Taylor (1896-1915).3

Taylor rested his philosophy on four basic principles: 1. The development of a true science of management so that the

best method for performing each task could be determined. 2. The Scientific selection of workers so that the each worker

would be given responsibility for the task for which he or she was best suited.

3. The scientific education and development of workers. 4. Intimate friendly cooperation between management and

laborers. By analyzing these four principles in the light of literature

some of the fundamental concepts of the scientific management theory could be detailed. Scientific management theory arose in part from the need to increase productivity. In the United States 2 Robert Kanigel, “Taylor-Made (19th-Century Efficiency Expert Frederick Taylor),” The Sciences 37, no. 3 (1997): 1–5. 3 Ibid.



especially, skilled laborers was in short supply at the beginning of the twentieth century. The only way to expand the productivity was to raise the efficiency of workers. Therefore, Frederick W. Taylor, Henry Gantt, and Frank and Lillian Gilberth devised the body of principles known as scientific management theory. The success of these principles required “a complete mental revolution” on the part of management and laborers. In other words, he believed that both the laborer and the management have a role-which is called a common interest-in increasing productivity in any organization; and this should be done without any disputes between the two.4

Taylor based his management system on production line time studies. Instead of relying on traditional work methods, he analyzed and timed a number of workers’ movements while they were performing various jobs. Using time study, he broke each job down into its components and designed the quickest and best method of performing each component. He also encouraged employers to pay more productive workers higher rate than others using a “scientifically correct” rate that would benefit both the company and workers. Thus, the workers were urged to surpass their previous performance standards to earn more pay. He called this initiative as differential rate system.

The fundamental principles of scientific management are applicable to all kinds of human actions; to the management of our homes, farms, business, religious institutions, universities, colleges, schools, other formal and informal types of educational institutions, and governmental departments.5 Taylor argued that the principles could be applied almost universally. Not only did his thinking have an impact on various fields, but also Taylor’s scientific management served as a conceptual reference point for many school leadership and reform movements.6 In many ways, Taylor was not merely the father of scientific management, but he also normalized a way of

4 Ibid. 5 Carl R. Metzgar, “The Principles of Scientific Management/The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor & the Enigma of Efficiency,” Professional Safety, (2004): 49. 6 David B. Tyack, The One Best System: A History of American Urban Education (Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1974).



thinking about the nature of technology. By introducing his technological perspectives, he envisioned that the present and future generations could overcome the problems of the past. However, looking into an ethical and value-based perspective, specifically from Islamic theories of administration, this paper finds a concluding answer to whether or not Taylor was aware of the mentioned dimensions.

About the Author

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on March 20. He was the son of a prosperous, rich lawyer and mother who traced her Puritan ancestral background to an ancestor in Plymouth, Massachusetts who had immigrated to this country in the year 1629.7 Fredrick or Fred, as he was often called, was encouraged by his family to follow his father into the law profession. He attended Phillips Exeter to prepare for the Harvard law exams and with hard work he soon passed the exams with honors.

At this point in his career, for some reasons Fred chose to or was forced to turn away from entering Harvard law school because of poor health and eyesight. Instead, sometime around 1874, Fred took up a four-year position as an apprentice pattern maker and machinist with the Enterprise Hydraulic Works of Philadelphia. There were some thoughts that his move from law school to another level, zero wage apprenticeship, was perhaps not because of his lack of eyesight but a result of his thinking that he should not remain in his father’s choice of a profession for him.8 Fred embarked on an apprenticeship in manufacturing that would lead to a lifetime career always close to manufacturing. Then after, Fred moved from Enterprise Hydraulic Works to Midvale Steel as a common day laborer in 1878. From

7 Paul L. Govekar, and Michele A. Govekar, “The Parable of the Pig Iron: Using Taylor’s Story to Teach the Principles of Scientific Management,” Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice 12, no. 2 (2012): 73–83. 8 Lewis A. Myers Jr., “One Hundred Years Later: What Would Frederick W. Taylor Say?” International Journal of Business & Social Science 2, no. 20 (2011): 8–11; Daniel A. Wren, and Arthur G. Bedeian, The Evolution of Management Thought (New York: Wiley, 2008).



there, he immediately got promoted from common day laborer to clerk, to machinist running a lathe, to gang boss of all lathe machinists. Three years later, he became foreman of the machine shop; next he was promoted to master mechanic in charge of repairs and maintenance throughout the plant, and finally to chief engineer all in the short period of six years.9 During his time at Midvale, Taylor enrolled in a correspondence course offered by Stevens Institute of Technology of Hoboken, New Jersey. Taylor attended Stevens only to take examinations, and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1883.

In the following part of this paper, the background of the theory and the main idea of the critique will be elucidated, by presenting some of its weaknesses. The main idea of the theory to be criticized comes from the Islamic point of view as everything has to be a permanent value to be judged from here in order to smoothly survive in the hereafter. As far as the scientific management theory is concerned the paper argues that the value and ethics in both holistic and atomistic perspectives lacks when it comes to the individual and social role of human as an administrator, being both manager and employee.

Background of Scientific Management Theory

As mentioned earlier, there are certain fundamental principles for scientific management theory, as Taylor has highlighted throughout his different works. Firstly, he states about upbringing of the true science of management in any field of employment, so that the method of performance for each task can be easily determined. Through this concept, Taylor suggested that a true and clear picture of the notion of science in the management field should be raised in order to keep the current and further betterment of the employee as well as the employer.10 It is emphasized that the worker should always be approached in a cooperative manner, unlike other theories of management like that of bureaucracy. Then only the employer can

9 Tyack, The One Best System . . . 10 Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1911).



expect some creative outcomes from the former throughout his whole performance.

Secondly, the author articulates on the selection of the workers and employees in a scientific manner and he justifies this principle contenting that there will be a proper distribution of the responsibilities to the employees. To put it differently, each one of the workers is to be given the best suited tasks and they have the responsibility of undertaking it. The selection will be in a scientific context, and as such, it differs from other competing theories.

Thirdly, the scientific education and development of the workers are emphasized. According to Taylor, it is important to have a grip or supporting system for better education and the development of the employee. In a broad sense, the author meant that the physical and mental development of the worker has to be always prioritized.

The final dimension of the theory is an intimate friendly cooperation between the laborer and the employee. This principle is closely related to the welfare of the employee and relationships with his master as both the worker and the employer have to be in a cooperative manner. Here, the absence of a relationship with the permanent reality, the God, makes things contradictory to the Islamic conception of an ideal administration process. That is to say, while the theorist conceptualized an intimate relation and cooperation with the employee, he has ignored the other end of the hierarchy with regards to the relation, which is faith and trust in God. To comprehend this point, the Islamic concept of administration of khilafah, which refers to the idea vicegerency to God, will be briefly explained while discussing the third implication of this review paper.

Critical Review on Scientific Management Theory from Islamic

Theories of Administration

A significant amount of literature is available on scientific management theory. However, the dearth regarding some critical reviews on the theory from an Islamic point of view still exists despite the factual significance, strength and weakness of the theory is found in previous literatures which have discussed the theory from different angles. The following part highlights some of the criticisms



from the available literature and demonstrates the stance of Islam with regards to administration and related theories.

Both the Qur’an and Sunnah (the Prophetic tradition) consider administration as a sort of obligation with which a man needs to fill the gap between him and his surroundings. The surroundings here can be referred to his own individual range of living and also his social grounds that make him a ‘living man’. As indicated by Prophet Muhammad, everybody plays the part of an administrator amid his life compass. It makes him answerable everlastingly and he will be gotten some information about it in hereafter.

The limitedness, flexibility and openness11 inclined with the two mentioned references of Islam provide chances for the researchers to conceptualize all human-related actions within an Islamic framework, creating and locating the necessity of human life in its proper place. Thus, using both of these references the scholars of Islam have been ready to find out the theoretical frameworks for the administrative strategies in Islam. Finding out new ideas without making any contradiction with Shari’ah was specifically true in the case of political and administrative systems for which the verses of the Qur’an narrations from the Prophet are limited, broad, that is holistic in nature,12 and flexible which can be interpreted according to situatedness. This fact leads the researchers to conceptualize Islamic values and moral dimensions inculcated in sovereignty, fundamental rights, the security of life, principles of the state, government and administration, rights of the states over the citizens, the administration of justice, international relation matters, and the principles of negotiation (shurah).

Looking from Western perspectives, some negative impressions from both employers and employees regarding scientific management theory have been identified.13 The foremost thing is unemployment. Workers feel that management reduces employment

11 Muhammad Abdullah Al-Buraey, Administrative Development, an Islamic Perspective: The Possible Role of the Islamists in Development of the Muslim World (London: KPI. 1981). 12 Ibid. 13 Stephen P. Waring, Taylorism Transformed: Scientific Management Theory Since 1945 (North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 1994).



opportunities from them through replacement workers. By increasing human productivity, fewer workers are needed to do work. In fact, they as workers are insecure in their posts and they always have the thought of less chance of surviving. For the betterment of the productivity as well as the creativity, the safety and security of the employee in terms of his job opportunity is important. 14 The negotiation (shurah)15 aspect of Islam contrasts with the theory in this respect. In administration field, the leader has an accountability of consulting his followers whenever a decision is going to be made. This is to avoid all potential disparities among the former and later. Negotiation is one of the characteristics of an ideal leader, as God has admonished His messenger (3: 159) to consult his followers in matters.16

Exploitation is another issue which lies in this particular theory.17 Workers always feel that, they are being exploited as they are not given due share in increasing profits which is due to their productivity. Wages do not rise in proportion as rise in production. Wage payment creates uncertainty and insecurity in them. That is to say without a standard outcome, there is no any guarantee of increasing their wage rate. This is in contrast with the Islamic concept of giving reasonable wage to the employee before his sweats wet out of his body. The productive way of allowing reasonable wage, which is due to the right of the labour, is to be undertaken by the employer. Otherwise, the ethics and values with regards to the 14 M. Thenmozhi, “Evolution of Management Theory.” National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning, 2007, Management_Science_I/Pdfs/1_2.pdf. 15 Ahmad Al-Raysuni, A- Shura: The Qur’anic Principle of Consultation (Herndon, VA: International Institute of Islamic Thought, 2012); Niklas Potrafke, “Islam and Democracy,” Public Choice 151, no. 1-2 (2012): 185–92, doi:10.1007/s11127- 010-9741-3.; “The Principle of Shura and the Role of the Umma in Islam,” I-Epistemology. Accessed November 30, 2015. government/330-the-principle-of-shura-and-the-role-of-the-umma-in-islam.pdf.; “Shura/Consultation: A Strategy For Governance,” Forum on Public Policy. Accessed November 30, 2015. http://forumonpublicpolicy. com/ summer09/ archivesummer09/mansir.pdf.) 16 Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meanings of the Holy Qur ’ an, (Brentwood, Md.:Amana Corp, 1992). 17 Waring, Taylorism Transformed . . .




laborer would be neglected. This idea derives from the Prophetic tradition, as he has been reported saying that ‘Pay those who work for you their wages as soon as they have completed their work, even before their sweat dries.’18

In spite of these mentioned weaknesses, negligence of employee unions is also a problem in the scientific management theory, according to the perspectives of workers. It is viewed19 that everything is fixed and predetermined by management. Therefore, it leaves no room for unions to bargain as everything is standardized such as standard output, standard working conditions, and standard time. This creates a rift between efficient and inefficient workers according to their wage differences. As for the workers, they do not want the powerless unions so that they cannot achieve their proposed goals in developing their organizational culture and behavior. The fixed and fully structured nature of an organization will decrease the creativity among workers and both the capable and incapable workers will have to be maximized to the same root of behavior without having a proper agenda of behavioral progression in their institution. This will gradually lead to the worst outcome of the organization causing an imbalance among the laborers.

In Islamic worldview, this is referred to a situation of injustice whereby, equal treatment to employers in same range lacks. The concept of adl,20 which means justice, plays a key role in assuring that the laborers are being treated with equal importance to everyone as an organizational member. The Qur’an has emphasized on practicing justice in every human action, including administrative matters; it is viewed as a regular social practice in Islamic way of life, where all human beings have the right to get justice from the authority irrespective of any demographic variations. This is manifested in the following verses of the Qur’an:

18 Muhammad ibn Yazid ibn Majah, Sunan Ibn-I-Mājah (Delhi: Kitab Bhavan, 2003). 19 Carl Metzgar, “The Principles of Scientific Management . . . 20 “Islamic Concepts of Justice and Injustice,” Oxford Scholarship Online. Accessed November 30, 2015. 9780198298854.001.0001/acprof-9780198298854-chapter-9.



“O ye who believe! Be ye staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) kindred, whether (the case be of) a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer unto both (than ye are). So follow not passion lest ye lapse (from truth) and if ye lapse or fall away, then lo! Allah is ever informed of what ye do.”21

In addition to this, the Qur’an talks against exploiting human being, without giving any value or freedom of rights, as follows:

“Verily We have honored the children of Adam. We carry them on the land and the sea, and have made provision of good things for them, and have preferred them above many of those whom We created with a marked preferment.”22

These verses highlight the cardinal place of human on this planet as a minimal form of divine attributes. Therefore, Islam opposes the negligence of human values, taking labor from others regardless of their emotional dimensions as human beings. Allah has given respect to mankind because of his intellect and maturity.23 In other words, the scientific management theory violates the dignity of human kind, his freedom of expression, rights of a laborers, justice and fairness and right of choice, when it comes to the predetermination of management policies by authority.

The theory of scientific management is time consuming, 24 because it always needs mental revision and in times it may require complete reorganizing of the institution. A lot of time is required for work, study, standardization of the firm and its specialization. While the workers proceed giving their energy to make the institutions productive, they have to suffer concentrating the overloaded entities

21 Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meanings of the Holy Qur ’ an . . . 22 Ibid. 23 Abu Al-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn Muhammad Ibn Habib Mawardi, Al-Nukat Wa Al- ’Uyun, (n.p: Turath For Solutions, 2013), 0Bw9eKauIMdWPVnk0R0ZLM05xaFk/view?ts=565c25ea. 2015) 24 Robert Kanigel, “Taylor-Made . . .



within the organization. 25 This makes difficulties even in their personal matters. Time consuming works lead to deterioration of the quality of the product as well as the institution. 26 The quality is determined in every field by looking to the outcome of the firm. As for various disciplines of business and management, such as accounting cost control, compensation management, human resources management, organized laborer relations, operations process control management, operations service sector management, quality management, and technology management, the quality of the product and the organizations is a much concerned entity. In Islamic worldview, itqan, which is being perfect in quality,27 is in line with promoting quality in work. Moving towards excellence is normatively presented in the following Prophetic idea that Allah loves those who do things perfectly. This implies that once timeframe influences negatively on quality of work, it should be solved accordingly.

Although the Western theories of administration make the headways towards a better understanding and contribute to developing performance, these theories have their own shortcomings as some of them focus only on economic motives.28 In other words, workers are not allowed to get their rights and human needs. Some others emphasize on organizational aspects ignoring the ethics and values to be inculcated in an institution. This will consequently lead to corruption in political, religious, ethical and personal connections, and exploitation and abuse of administrative positions.

Al-Buraey has criticized these theories, including scientific management theory, highlighting three negative factors. Firstly, almost all Western theories ignore the morals and ethical values without placing the ultimate reality, the God, in the highest position of

25 M. Thenmozhi, “Evolution of Management Theory . . . 26 Metzgar, “The Principles of Scientific Management . . . 27 Ahmad A. Ajarimah, “Major Challenges of Global Leadership in the Twenty-First Century,” Human Resource Development International 4, no.1 (2001): 9–19, doi:10.1080/13678860122512.; Abdi O. Shuriye, and Ibrahim A. Adam, “The Concept of Itqan and Culture in Muslim Professional Life,” in Ethics of Engineering Education, ed. Abdi O. Shuriye, Ahmad Faris Ismail, and Azweeda Dahakan @ Ghazali (Kuala Lumpur: IIUM Press, 2009), 99–105. 28 Ali Mohd Jubran Saleh, Educational Administration: An Islamic Perspective (Kuala Lumpur: A.S. Nordeen, 2002).



value-hierarchy. Although he admits that only certain theories are exceptional from this, these exceptional cases are not considering values and morals from a religious perspective, which give emphasis on the other worldly life. Rather, they are labeled as universal ethics which has no permanent existence in the case of human narrative. Looking from Islamic point of view, if the values are underpinned by religious norms, the believers, in this case the workers can ensure their moral aspects of living as responsible employees.

Secondly, Western theories have studied the administration separating it from an individualistic perspective. That is to say, the environmental changes have not affected the existence and practice of any of these theories which lead to the negligence of changes occurred in individual behavior.

Thirdly, he states, a holistic approach toward the Western theories of administration, including scientific management theory, have severely lacked throughout all the studies conducted. Western theories are based on micro studies. For instance, scientific management theory concentrated mainly on the economic factors and regarded them as the major motivation for the organizational community members. This view is in line with the view29 that, Western theories do not interfere with religion, whereby intrinsic motivational aspects have a significant role to play. In Islamic ideology, a Muslim is entrusted with certain duties and responsibilities to fulfill, and intrinsically motivated by mainly two primary sources which are Qur’an and Prophetic traditions. The Divine and Prophetic promises for those who fulfill their duties in proper manner are expected from hereafter, which implies the material benefits are not worthy compared to the other world. Thus, there should be an ultimate goal for both the employee and employer, which is fulfilling their respective duties to satisfy their God.

Mintzberg argues, as he was a great critic of Taylor, that the social values are left behind in scientific management theory, being the workers are always forced to focus merely on the efficiency and

29 Thomas Kenneth Frizelle, “Developing a Critical Dialog for Educational Technology: Understanding the Nature of Technology and the Legacy of Scientific Management in Our Schools” (PhD dissertation, University of Washinton, 2012).



productivity. 30 Consequently, less quantifiable social benefits are overloaded. Social values are not to be ignored by any means as human is a social animal with a nature of dependence on his surrounding humans. That is why the concept of fardh kifayah (collective obligation) has a key part in Islamic worldview, as it manifests the collective responsibility of a society other than individual liabilities.31 Once fardh kifayah is fulfilled by a group, everyone in the society is rewarded as part of the Divine justice. Hence, social values, which lead to social justice, are positively approached from Islamic theories of administration.


Based upon the known facts, shortcomings and negative impressions about the theory of scientific management specifically, and western theories in general, we can make the following points comparing the theories with Islamic concept of administration: Firstly, the scientific management theory has no any ultimate value or goals while Islamic administration theories have absolute and clear values and goals, relating the concept of responsibility, justice and collective obligation with complete Islamic code of ethics.

Secondly, the theory proposed by Taylor is materialistic in nature, without concerns on the spiritual dimensions of individual as well as the society. Islamic theories of administration oppose this concept as it always emphasizes on true belief in akhirah (hereafter) which reminds the believer about the ultimate goal to accomplish. In other words, akhirah should be a way for the believer to be intrinsically motivated while performing his duty as an administrator as well as a laborer.

Thirdly, the theory concentrates on the relationship between the administrator and the worker while Islam has a permanent view of making the relationship not only between the worker and employer but also between them and the ultimate reality i.e., God. The notion

30 Henry Mintzberg, “The Case for Corporate Social Responsibility,” Journal of Business Strategy 4, no. 2 (1983): 3–15, doi:10.1108/eb039015. 31 “Fard Al-Kifayah,” Oxford Islamic Studies Online. Accessed November 30, 2015.



of vicegerency 32 proposes that, everyone of the mankind is a khalifah, vicegerent and representative of God to implement justice and proper conduct on the earth. Thus, once a man comes to existence, his nature seeks a spiritual connection between himself and his God before any other connections take place. The process of being a khalifah starts from the moment and it continues until the other world, akhirah. The point is that the primary concern of any khalifah should be to revive his particular connectedness with God, which may happen through different ways. In the case of an employer and employee, this happens through a sense of acknowledgement and mutual respect which are to be timely cultivated and nourished.

Possible Areas to Practise Islamic Theories of Administration in

Higher Education Management

The theoretical dimensions of Islamic theories of administration indicate that for the purpose of quality assurance in higher education sector, it is by all means practical to enact each of these aspects. However, it cannot be overlooked that there is a need to have experienced leaders with adequate knowledge and skills in Islamic theories at least in its minimal form. The flexibility and holistic approach of Islamic worldview toward the field of administration enlarge the scope for the practitioners, planners, and policy makers of higher education institutions to apply and envision an Islamic, yet universal way of practicing the theory. Based on this assumption, the following section of this paper proposes some plausible areas of practicing the mentioned dimensions of Islamic theories pertaining to administration, in higher education management field.

Shurah (negotiation): With regards to the management of higher education, to conceptualize and implement this particular dimension is a collective responsibility for all members of the administrative body as well academic and non-academic staff. In other words, the role of the administrative authority is to provide each of the organizational members adequate chances for

32 Fadzli Adam, “The Concept Of Khilafah According To Selected Sunni And Shi’i Qur’anic Commentaries”, (PhD dissertation, University of Leeds, 2001).



consultation and negotiation. Once, the former have fulfilled this criteria, it can be asserted that they have gone through the process of fulfilling fard kifayah, of which all the members of institutional community are in charge. In the case of the followers, here the academic and non-academic staff, they should initiate to have a culture of negotiation, not only among themselves, but also between them and their authority in order to avoid possible disparities between the two. This would possibly decrease the level of bureaucracy in any organization as both groups of the leaders and followers apply a standard way of communication.

Adl (justice): Conceptualizing justice is easy; however, when it comes to practice, especially in organizational contexts whereby social interactions are frequent, the theories often fail. Nevertheless, its normative importance is comparatively greater than all other dimensions discussed. Practising justice should be a culture of administrative body while they deal with any area of managing their institution, for instance, in the promotion of staffs, giving wages and allowances, and asking for overtime jobs.

Itqan (being perfect or at least excellent in nature): This is more related to the internal and external quality assurance of any higher educational institution. Institutional quality-oriented culture, institutional strategic marketing, faculty competencies and practices, traditional academic values, contemporary ethos, enrollment of students and their contributions to learning, competitiveness of students, learning experience, and social-cultural orientation are among the notable factors of quality assurance.33 In order for the institutions to be competitive in performance, implementing a culture of itqan in all these dimensions is a need in higher education management context.

Itqan is also applicable to human resource management of higher education institutions. The administrators should be concerned with recruiting the best potential candidates who are suitable for performing the assigned task in the best possible way. This would automatically influence the institutional quality performance. 33 Peter Materu, Higher Education Quality Assurance in Sub-Saharan Africa Practices Higher Education Quality Assurance in Sub-Saharan Africa (Washington DC: The World Bank, 2007).



Khilafah (the vicegerency approach): This aspect is practical in relation to the management body as well as the institutional staff in a sense that both should be aware of the supreme authority, God, who has appointed them to play their role as his vicegerents. Being aware of God, who is at the highest level of management hierarchy, would ease the proper development of mutual recognition and cooperation among the organizational members. This would also ease the process of envisioning the ultimate purpose, of an individual as a vicegerent of God, which is satisfying the later by fulfilling his expectations in all possible ways. Thus, as for the administrators, they should perform at their highest level in fulfilling all the individual and social needs of their staff in an organizational context whereas the staff should do justice to their tasks assigned to them with proper conduct.


Presented here is a critical view on the theory of scientific management looking from the Islamic theories of administration. The theory has been criticized by previous literatures, mainly from the West, due to several reasons including the problem of unemployment, exploitation of laborers, negligence of employee union as well as human values, problem of time constraint and mere focus on economic motives, lack of holistic approach, and negligence of social values. By critically analyzing all these negative aspects referring to the concept of shurah, adl, itqan, and khilafah, some of the remarkable dimensions in the administrative theories of Islam, this paper found that scientific management theory has also ignored the concept of justice, trust, love, empathy, humility, from an individualistic perspective, and awareness of a collective responsibility, ultimate purpose, and superior authority from an holistic perspective. Hence, it could be argued that in order to avoid a spiritual vacuum which is prevalent in all types of organizational settings, the mentioned dimensions should be positively practised in at least Islamic higher educational institutions.

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