Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Principles of Scientific Management

The Principles of Scientific Management (Forgotten Books)
By Frederick W. Taylor

The so called notion of “Taylorism” underlined the clash between the norms of largely rural family and community based institutions, and the rigorous, impersonal demands of labor and social discipline imposed by an industrializing America.

Taylors’s work glorifies the notion of labor discipline in the cause of maximum productivity (which he justifies as economically good for both the worker and the employer). The three elements of scientific management are: (1) standardization of tools and processes, (2) selection of the most capable workers, and (3) close supervision of the worker to ensure that the worker executes the previously management approved “one best way” of doing the job. Taylor’s critics decried scientific management for de-humanizing workers, making them nothing more than interchangeable parts in a giant industrial machine.

The emergence of consumerism served to mask the transformation of the worker from person to commodity and tempered resistance to labor discipline.

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