Nearly all of us are also-rans

Frederick Winslow Taylor, who as a young foreman in a Philadelphia steelworks in 1880 started measuring work performance compared with time taken to do the work, was the first time and motion study expert, the man who pioneered the science of efficiency in management.  He was not popular among ordinary workers.  It was pointed out, for instance, that Taylor’s showcase labourer, a man called Schmidt, earned 61% more pay, yes, but for that he performed 362% more work. A Congressional Committee was set up to investigate Taylor’s methods. Taylor himself was questioned and at one point he spoke of how much “the first-class man” profited under his system. The Chairman of the Committee then asked a pointed question about the fate of those who were not first-class. To this there was no very good or exact answer – nor has there been ever since.…to continue reading this article, please subscribe.  Already a subscriber ? Sign In

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