Wednesday, February 6, 2008

informal blog - American history

Once again, while I was reading through some things for my history class I found something relevant to what we are talking about…

Frederick W. Taylor, who was an expert on metal-cutting methods, believed that an engineer’s approach could be applied to managing workers. They referred to this as scientific management. Taylor ended up suggesting two very basic reforms to get individual workers to do the maximum amount of work they could. His first reform was to eliminate the brain work from manual labor. The second was to deprive the workers of the authority they had exercised on the shop floor. The managers would make all the decisions and the workers were to listen to them.

This did not work well for this specific company. It proved to be expensive (which Taylor explained it would be in his paper) and workers resisted the job-analysis method. This method only embittered relations on the shop floor for these people.

Taylor explained that it would take this process could take very long and it would be very costly for companies to follow through with. Clearly, this was a big problem for these people.

Brody, David, Lynn Dumenil, and James A. Henretta. America: A Concise History, Volume 2: Since 1865. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2005.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

Another nice post in your series of historical posts. One thing which you're pointing about about Taylor is that he has been controversial (and interesting) since the beginning - he hasn't lost his relevance, and people are still willing to argue against him, too.