During a period of red scare and what apparently was an era of pro-capitalism, Fredrick Winslow Taylor, wrote the epitome of capitalist idealism: The Principles of Scientific Management. For what purposes did he write this short book (or essay)? He wrote it to explain how to maximize profit for both: the employer and employee. How does this affect me today, or even society as a whole? Not well, in my opinion.
A major argument in the book revolves around applying scientific management to laborers (examples he used was those that lay bricks or shovel) to increase their productivity (and their wage) which
Now, comes the answer to my initial question: Why do I not think this is not a great idea and why it is not used universally today? Perhaps the answer lies on the first page where
Let us take the example of an EMT in the field. The amount of work done by one paramedic and one EMT is perhaps 4 or 6 hours during an 8 hour shift. Sometimes the work done is even less (and sometimes even more). So what does the EMT do while not working? The EMT waits for an emergency. If there is no emergency, the EMT was still ready and available all day – should his pay be penalized? No way should the EMT be penalized. The service he provides is not always needed, but when it is needed it may be the most important service a human could ask for. The same goes for many other professionals, such fire fighters, police officers, doctors, life guards and so on.
There are also other jobs where efficiency is not always important or for that matter the driving force behind pay. School teachers have an objective to accomplish in a time frame for example. Writes on the other hand strive for quality over quantity. Sometimes it is good for them to take a little bit more time with something but create a much better product. Either way, the consumer is the most important point for these two professions, too. That is, the student learning important things about life or readers enjoying the product provided to them by the author.
So essentially, I think the principles of scientific management is not the driving force behind economy and the work place today because it aims at the employee/employer relationship not the consumer/provider relationship which I deem to be more important. In the latter relationship, quantity is not always valued over quality which is what