Thursday, January 31, 2008

First Impressions: The Principles of Scientific Management

After I finished reading Twain, I started reading “The Principles of Scientific Management”. Although this book started out pretty boring after getting about 20 pages in it started to get interesting. The author, Frederick Winslow Taylor, introduces us to his ideas on how to improve management in order to maximize gains for both the company and the workers.

What I found to be the most interesting thing about this book was how similar Taylor is to Twain’s character Hank Miller. Taylor frequently states that the workers doing these jobs are stupid. He even says that, “it would be possible to train an intelligent gorilla so as to become a more efficient pig-iron handler than any man can be”. (Taylor 18) Taylor’s statements reminded me of Hank Miller’s attitude. Miller constantly put down people he met because he believed that they were stupid and primitive. I find it interesting that both Taylor and Miller believe that they are doing these workers a favor and that they are friends of the workers, but at the same time they insult their intelligence.

Sources: Mark Twain "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"
Frederick Winslow Taylor "The Principles of Scientific Management"

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