Talk:Scientific management

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Not An Op-Ed Page[edit]

From "So, the situation" and onwards is a polemic, a rant, not an encyclopedia entry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.106.110.148 (talkcontribs) 03:09, 27 November 2005

  • Article clearly needs to be wikified, referenced and citations added: Added tags as such. -- Librarianofages 02:28, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. This page represents a reactionary vision and should be flagged for removal. I altered a line that read something like, "Taylor was correct that workers are unintelligent..." but much more needs to be done. -- kneesgift — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kneesgift (talkcontribs) 15:17, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

I respectfully but strongly disagree. That discussion thread above is from *5 years* ago. The article has changed tremendously since then—including circumspection and inline citations of refs. This page (today) does not represent a reactionary vision. Rather, it represents an NPOV view, neither sycophantic to Taylor nor unthinkingly critical of him. If you read the sentences right near the one that you changed, it flat-out says that his view of workers was complex—insightful in some ways but obtuse in others. (That's a polite way of saying "not too bright".) Tell me that's reactionary or biased! :-) I stand by the fact that many workers cannot be relied upon for talent or intelligence. Yes, many can (which this article acknowledges and talks about), but many others can't. If you have had to work alongside them in the workforce, then you will know that this is true. We're talking about the guys who can barely show up to work or refrain from going on a crime spree. The deadbeat dads. I've worked with them. Partly through lack of talent and partly of their own bad choices, they're someone who's not to be relied upon. Also, someone today made an edit here saying that Taylor forced a lack of educational opportunity onto workers. But that's a misunderstanding of the chronology. Taylor's version of scientific management probably would have done that to some future workers if it had survived. But it did not create the prevailing conditions that Taylor formed his ideas in—they were already present as the natural default. I think you really need to read this article carefully before accusing it of being reactionary, or pro-business-major, or whatever along those lines. If you read it carefully, you will find that it is very NPOV, and that it is not critical of workers at all—in fact it stands up for workers against being slapped with the label of draft animals, which this article points out that Taylor was prone to. The one thing you can point to that this article says about any workers that is less than flattering is that some of them are not the talented or reliable ones. Again, that's not bias—it's just the unvarnished reality of real life. However, looking back at the sentence you most objected to, I think I see a way to tone it down. It may seem a little too harsh. I'll go try that. Regards, — ¾-10 01:53, 14 January 2011 (UTC)


This is really shit. 'I stand by the fact that many workers cannot be relied upon for talent or intelligence. Yes, many can (which this article acknowledges and talks about), but many others can't. If you have had to work alongside them in the workforce, then you will know that this is true.'

Well great, good for you for having a prejudice, but that's Original Research (at best). Wikipedia is not here for you to share your life experience.

'We're talking about the guys who can barely show up to work or refrain from going on a crime spree. The deadbeat dads. I've worked with them. Partly through lack of talent and partly of their own bad choices, they're someone who's not to be relied upon.' That's a prejudiced rant, not the kind of thing people want to read in an encyclopedia. -Anon

Still Not an Op-Ed Piece[edit]

Today is July 21, 2012, and here's a selection of opinionated phrases from the current version:

"Scientific management is a variation on the theme of economic efficiency; it is a late 19th and early 20th century instance of the larger recurring theme in human life of increasing efficiency, decreasing waste, and using empirical methods to decide what matters, rather than uncritically accepting pre-existing ideas of what matters."
"It is human nature to jump to a post hoc conclusion that Fordism borrowed ideas from Taylorism and expanded from there."
"The opposite theoretical pole would be an extremist variant of laissez-faire thinking in which the invisible hand of free markets is the only possible "designer"."

Of course you should read the whole article yourself to get an actual idea of the extent of the problem.

What is this problem? Whether or not you agree with the assertions in this article, they are mostly just that: assertions! Citations are incredibly sparse for such a content filled article. Especially since to an economics layman as myself, Taylorism is not at all a familiar topic, such editorializing really hurts this topic which actually has the potential to be fascinating. This could really use a rewrite. — anonymous, 2:22 pm EDT, 21 July 2012.

Regarding "this topic [...] has the potential to be fascinating": You're right, it is an interesting topic. And a multifaceted one. However, about your other assertions, you're incorrect, as shown below:
Regarding the text "Scientific management is a variation on the theme of economic efficiency; it is a late 19th and early 20th century instance of the larger recurring theme in human life of increasing efficiency, decreasing waste, and using empirical methods to decide what matters, rather than uncritically accepting pre-existing ideas of what matters." You seem to think that this is an opinion. It's not; it's a fact. If you think it's not, you should explain why.
Regarding the text "It is human nature to jump to a post hoc conclusion that Fordism borrowed ideas from Taylorism and expanded from there." The cited quote from Sorensen absolutely backs up this fact. Lots of people assumed that Fordism borrowed from Taylorism, based on the logical fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc. Taylor himself did so (as the cited quote from Taylor, within Sorensen's cited quote, makes clear), and quite naturally and forgiveably, because it's often human nature to jump to such a conclusion (as the article on that logical fallacy explains). Where in this do you assert that there's opinion rather than fact?
Regarding the text "The opposite theoretical pole would be an extremist variant of laissez-faire thinking in which the invisible hand of free markets is the only possible "designer"." Again, that's a fact. Can you present an argument explaining how it's only an opinion?
Willing to revise if you can clearly show how these sentences are incorrect or not factual.

— ¾-10 02:49, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

"Was" vs "Is" in the lede[edit]

No matter how obsolete an idea is or how thoroughly discarded in favor of other ideas, it still exists; the fact that this article is here proves that. An idea is not a human that dies. It remains in present tense. This isn't a defense of Scientific Management on any level, by the way. See Flat_Earth and Geocentric model. - Richfife (talk) 13:04, 26 June 2014 (UTC)