Talk:Frederick Winslow Taylor

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Was Wharton first?[edit]

Surely Wharton was the first graduate management school in the US? It was established in 1881 ( [unsigned]

"Generally unsuccessful"?[edit]

The summary of Taylor's work is summed up as "Generally unsuccessful"? According to the management theory book I had, Taylor got production at the Bethlehem Steel plant up from 7 tonnes of scrap iron per person per day to ~42 tonnes per person per day. Salaries shot up as well. Could this need some clarification? [unsigned]

I had a similar experience while getting my MBA. Unfortunately, college professors (including those in the Business Department) are anti-industrial leftists. Text book publishers cater to their clients and this is reflected in the texts they use. The fact is that Bethlehem Steel made the steel that built America during the 20th century. Henry Ford used the "Taylor" method to dominate the automotive industry. The mistreatment that Taylor received at the hands of my old Professors is what led me to buy some of his original works and transcribe them for Project Gutenberg. Someday I'll scan my collection and put them on the web in their original form as PDF files so people can print and read their own copies and make up their own minds rather than relying on the drivel they learn in B-School. [unsigned]
I think your point is correct. (However, it wasn't scrap iron that they were moving, it was pigs of good iron.) Nevertheless, I think your general point is correct. Taylor was neither the god that some pundits claim he was, nor the devil that others claim he was. He was a human being with some very good ideas and some flaws as well. Kanigel 1997 is an awesome book that I believe gets it right, showing the reality instead of either the angel caricature or the devil caricature. I plan to expand this Wikipedia article when I get the time, with plenty of parenthetical citations of Kanigel. We really can give Wikipedia a significantly better article on Taylor. Lumbercutter 19:57, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Reference systems merged to Harvard referencing[edit]

Regarding my recent reference heading changes: After reading WP:REF completely, I realized that what we had here was Wikipedia:Harvard referencing mixed with the <ref> tag system. So I merged the few <ref> references into the larger Harvard-style list. For more info on reference systems in Wikipedia, see WP:REF = WP:CITE, which provides good explanations. Thanks! Lumbercutter 19:37, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Taylor's early motivation[edit]

According to my late father, Francis B. Foley, who worked at the Midvale Steel Company from 1907-17 and was Director of Research for the successor Midvale Company for some years following 1928, Taylor began his time and motion study when he observed Midvale machinists. The men were paid by the piece, but Taylor saw that many men were not working at all toward the end of the day. They produced what they considered to be a fair day's output, the amount a less productive man could make working a full day. Taylor watched, and observed that the fast workers did their work in different ways from those used by their less productive coworkers. His study was initially intended to permit him to teach the slower men how to do the work faster with less effort. --Gfoley (talk) 23:18, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Taylor's paper, "A Piece Rate System," describes his pioneer method of establishing standards of job performance at the Midvale steel plant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Artem Veremey (talkcontribs) 09:52, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Lenin on Taylor[edit]

"In the USSR, Lenin was very impressed by Taylorism, which he and Stalin sought to incorporate into Soviet manufacturing." This is untrue. Lenin had criticized Taylorism as "enslavement of man by the machine". It's not until his death (and the institution of the 5-year plans by Stalin) that Taylorism became official doctrines in the Soviet Union. See - Tony Kao (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 21:15, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

According to Buchanan, D and Huczynski, A (2004) Organizational Behaviour An Introductory Text. 5th edition. Pravda quoted Lenin in 1918 that every suggestion of the Taylor system should be tried out. Bennyscriv (talk) 23:48, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
It was adapted in the USSR because Taylorism is fully compatible with Marxism. The only difference was that Marxism is macroeconomics - therefore political oriented - while Taylorism is microeconomics - more business oriented. But both have in common the downrating of humans to labour force instead of admitting their creative potential. That's btw why communism failed: They didn't allow the people to explore their creative potential. Capitalism actually does quite the same, but in another way: You need to work for money to survive, therefore you won't have any opportunities to explore your creative potential. That's why pure capitalism is no better than communism. Capitalism needs social elements to be balanced - to help the poor, sick and old people. Otherwise the criminality explodes and the societies start to rotten from inside. -- (talk) 11:07, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Other printed works by Taylor[edit]

While doing research on Taylor I came across a book he co-authored "A treatise on concrete, plain and reinforce, materials, construction, and design of concrete and reinforced concrete (1907)" "Search results" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Harrington Emerson[edit]

The reference to Harrington Emerson is incorrectly directed to the article about Emerson Harrington. For further information about Harrington Emerson, see . JFSowa (talk) 16:24, 10 July 2010 (UTC) JFSowa

Toyota doesn't run Taylorized systems![edit]

The text about USSR mentions that Toyota runs a "modern" Taylorized system. This is not correct at all. Toyota's system is radically different from the management systems that Taylor created, in that they do not look upon workers as mere stupid muscle power but is using the workers imagination and involvement to improve the work process. This is a delegation of a part of the improvement and management process that under a Taylor system happens only in management. Toyota system employs "self managed workers teams" - a concept that would've gotten Taylor spinning in his grave.

Toyota's way of organizing the mass production manufacturing lines are also very different from Taylor or Ford style, using work cells as well as lines and giving the workers responsibility for repairing the manufacturing equipment as well as improving the production process.

Toyota's control systems are designed to be self-regulating (kanbans etc) while the Taylor system relies on orders from management. Taylor system becomes a command-and-control system, very rigid and inhuman to work under while Toyota's system allows workers to flourish. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree - Toyota is more styled around the work of W. Edwards Deming [1]. I had understood that Deming's ideas are almost diametrically opposed to Taylorism; especially in regard to how individual workers are viewed. Bairdtr (talk) 04:51, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Missing citation - still true today[edit]

Taylor once said: "In the past the man was first, in the future the system must be first." This is most important because it demonstrates the thinking in the first half of the 20th century. Although he probably thought about this in a rather economical than political way. However, many todays corporations work quite the same. That's why they need to buy technologies through acquisition of other firms. Because visionary people simply won't work for huge corporation due to their limitations. -- (talk) 10:54, 24 February 2014 (UTC)


If anyone gets the chance, Frederick Taylor (golfer) should be merged with this page. Thanks. Orser67 (talk) 08:47, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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  1. ^ How Toyota Became Number 1 - David Magee, p37, 42-44