Rich Gibson, San Diego State University
The project, built on the notion that all people enjoy an overarching
commonality (particularly workers and bosses), is designed to strip the
minds of the workers, to replace their knowledge of the work place, with
the mind of the employer. The purpose is to boost production. The key fallacy
of Taylorism is the identity of interests: Masters and Slaves.
This can be achieved in several ways: to break down the necessary movement
or thoughts on any job into specific pieces, time those particular sections
of movement, discover ways to move more quickly, assign the new movements
to particular workers, and replace those workers who might have a broad
vision of the task with diminished workers who grasp only their small part.
At a given point, workers become such extensions of the machines that
the workers virtually disappear.
Using the time clock to quantify the value of work, Taylor exacerbated
the mental/manual division of labor.
In some instances, higher wages were exchanged for meeting new production
quotas, but control of the work place steadily moved to the employer. Harsh
disciplinary measures are commonly delivered to those who cannot keep up.
Firings, reprimands, suspensions, etc, were typical tools of Taylor's trade.
Note the role of Frank Gilbreth, later made famous by the movie Cheaper
by the Dozen.
Taylor's most widely read book is Principles of Scientific Management.
In most editions, page 124 has a discussion about schools.
Taylor's work invariably calls into question several issues:
Do workers and their employers really have a common interest, or are their interests contradictory, ie, only opposition in common? Evidence?
Gibson's Home Page