Frederick Winslow Taylor

98 results back to index


pages: 242 words: 245

The New Ruthless Economy: Work & Power in the Digital Age by Simon Head

Asian financial crisis, business cycle, business process, call centre, conceptual framework, deskilling, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, informal economy, information retrieval, medical malpractice, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, supply-chain management, telemarketer, Thomas Davenport, Toyota Production System, union organizing

Merritt Roe Smith, Harpers Ferry Armory (Ithaca, N.Y., 1977), pp. 219, 249. 4. Hounshell, From the American System, p. 42. 5. Smith, Harpers Ferry Armory, p. 239. 6. Hounshell, From the American System, pp. 89, 161. 7. Ibid., pp. 47-50. 8. Ibid., pp. 91-123. 9. Frederick Winslow Taylor, Shop Management (New York, 1911), p. 110. 10. Ibid., p. 159. 11. See for example, David Nelson, Frederick W. Taylor and the Rise of Scientific Management (Madison, Wise., 1980), p. 174. 12. Frederick Winslow Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management (New York, 1911; paperback ed. 1967), pp. 48-19. 13. Frederick Winslow Taylor, "The Art of Cutting Metals," in Scientific Management, A Collection of the More Significant Articles Describing the Taylor System of Management (Cambridge, Mass., 1914), p. 245. 14. Ibid., p. 252. 15. Ibid., p. 262. 16. Ibid., p. 263. 17.

Such a view of information technology requires us to look at the familiar objects of IT—computers, servers, software operating systems—in the context of the work practices which have grown up around them, just as a century ago the practices of mass production grew up around Henry Ford's machines, presses, and assembly lines. Evidence that contemporary practices may have old roots led me xv xvi PREFACE back a century and more to the formative decades of American industrial history. There I found a clear line of descent linking our contemporary practices with those of mass production and scientific management—the twin foundations of modern American industrialism pioneered a century ago by Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henry Ford. To demonstrate this continuity I have included a chapter on the roots of mass production in America. After this time travel I return to the present and look at some of the contemporary strongholds of the old industrial culture in the manufacturing and service industries. I end by discussing the social and political significance of this history, and also the politics of reform.

At a time when the percentage of the U.S. workforce actually employed in manufacturing has shrunk to 12 percent, work methods born in machine shops and on assembly lines have crossed over and colonized the offices, call centers, hospitals, and conference rooms of the nonmanufacturing economy. At the very heart of the "new" economy, therefore, are practices that are already a century old. The four pillars of industrialism—standardization, measurement, monitoring, and control—were already at work in the early 1900s when Henry Ford and Frederick Winslow Taylor created the organization and methods of the mass production plant. Today we are living in a new age of mass production and a new age of "scientific management," always the chief operating doctrine of mass production. In a famous article that appeared in the 1929 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Henry Ford defined mass production as "the focusing upon a manufacturing project of power, accuracy, economy, system, continuity and speed."


pages: 409 words: 105,551

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by General Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman, Chris Fussell

Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, Black Swan, butterfly effect, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chelsea Manning, clockwork universe, crew resource management, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, Henri Poincaré, high batting average, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, job automation, job satisfaction, John Nash: game theory, knowledge economy, Mark Zuckerberg, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nate Silver, Pierre-Simon Laplace, RAND corporation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Part I: The Proteus Problem opens in Iraq in 2004 where the world’s most elite counterterrorist force is struggling against a seemingly ragtag band of radical fighters. We explore the unexpected revelation that our biggest challenges lay not in the enemy, but in the dizzyingly new environment in which we were operating, and within the carefully crafted attributes of our own organization. To understand the challenge, we’ll go to factory floors with Frederick Winslow Taylor and look back at the drive for efficiency that has marked the last 150 years, and how it has shaped our organizations and the men and women who lead and manage them. We then examine how accelerating speed and interdependence in today’s world have created levels of complexity that confound even the most superbly efficient industrial age establishments. And we’ll find, much to our disappointment, that Big Data will offer no respite from the unrelenting demand for continual adaptability.

The stakes for military organizations are particularly visible and dramatic—wars are won or lost, people live or die—but civilian organizations also wrestle with the basic questions of individuality, standardization, and predictability of outcome. Individual companies and entire economies depend on business leaders’ knowing how best to manage for success. While fighting forces have been developing such protocols since Sparta, the notion of top-down, rigidly predetermined, “scientific” management of behavior in the civilian sector is largely the legacy of the nineteenth-century Quaker Frederick Winslow Taylor. His influence on the way we think about doing things—from running corporations to positioning kitchen appliances—is profound and pervasive. For our Task Force and for other twenty-first-century organizational endeavors, the legacy of Taylor’s ideas is both part of the solution and part of the problem. THE PERFECT STEP What the forty-four-year-old Taylor unveiled at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle was so beautiful it inspired people to devote their lives to his vision.

Biographer and historian Robert Kanigel writes that “by the late 1920s, it could seem that all of modern society had come under the sway of a single commanding idea: that waste was wrong and efficiency the highest good, and that eliminating one and achieving the other was best left to the experts.” Journalist Ida Tarbell went so far as to argue, “No man in the history of American industry has made a larger contribution to genuine cooperation and juster human relations than did Frederick Winslow Taylor. He is one of the few creative geniuses of our time.” • • • In the decades since, Taylor’s star has dimmed. His treatment of workers has been widely decried, as has his conception of individuals as mechanistic entities to be manipulated. In the 1960s, MIT professor Douglas McGregor’s “Theory X” and “Theory Y” of human resource management offered a famous critique of Taylorist principles: in McGregor’s view, Taylor’s approach (X) saw humans as fundamentally lazy and in need of financial incentives and close monitoring in order to do work, while McGregor’s own Theory Y understood people as capable of self-motivation and self-control, and argued that managers would achieve better results by treating their employees with respect.


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

“Stop trying to borrow wisdom”: Jason Yip, “Japan Lean Study Mission Day 4: Toyota Home, Norman Bodek, and Takeshi Kawabe,” You’d think with all my video game experience that I’d be more prepared for this: Agile, Lean, Kanban (blog), December 8, 2008, http://jchyip.blogspot.com/2008/12/japan-lean-study-mission-day-4-toyota.html. “Hardly a competent workman”: Frederick Winslow Taylor, “Shop Management,” paper presented at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers meeting in Saratoga, New York, June 1903. “All you have to do is take orders”: Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), 214. “your way of doing the job for mine”: Robert Kanigel, “Taylor-Made. (19th-Century Efficiency Expert Frederick Taylor),” The Sciences 37, no. 3 (May 1997): 1–5. bestselling business books of the decade: Tim Hindle, Guide to Management Ideas and Gurus (London: John Wiley & Sons, 2008). They develop a science: Frederick Winslow Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management (New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1911), 36–37.

Novices learned on the job from the people around them, taking on their quirks, their tricks of the trade, and, of course, their pace. Given this artisanal flair, productivity was a moving target. No one—not machinists or managers—knew what was possible. Sure, they had a pretty good idea of how long it took to produce a specific part. But no one was asking how long it should take. Enter Frederick Winslow Taylor. Promoted through the ranks at a young age, his innovation was to break the work down into its smallest possible components and find the one best way to complete each step. No task was too small or insignificant to provoke his scrutiny. This was a man who once made serious scientific study of how to use a shovel. His findings? Apparently every scoop should contain exactly 21.5 pounds of matter.


pages: 379 words: 99,340

The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium by Martin Gurri

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Ayatollah Khomeini, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, business cycle, citizen journalism, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, dark matter, David Graeber, death of newspapers, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, housing crisis, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, job-hopping, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, Port of Oakland, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, too big to fail, traveling salesman, University of East Anglia, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, young professional

Forging and deploying such a mass became the goal of “scientific management” and its great apostle, Frederick Winslow Taylor. With time and motion studies in hand, the scientific manager could program his workers’ every move as if they were a single instrument – a human machine. The work of every workman is fully planned out by the management at least one day in advance, and each man receives in most cases complete written instructions, describing in detail the task which he is to accomplish, as well as the means to be used in doing the work.[35] The system was top-down, intrusive, and impersonal, but it became orthodoxy in the industrialized world, and it caught the attention of influential persons. Henry Ford and Lenin were Taylorists, each in his way. Both believed in an infallible vanguard commanding a mass of undifferentiated humanity. 4.2 Frederick Winslow Taylor[36] The industrial age was Taylorist to the core.

Not to be outdone, the New York Times called the confirmation of Einstein’s prediction “one of the greatest – perhaps the greatest – of achievements in the history of human thought.” Its headline the following day read: “LIGHTS ALL ASKEW IN THE HEAVENS.” This reaction could only be understood in a historical context. Since the eighteenth century, when intellectuals like Voltaire felt obliged to dabble in chemical experiments, science had been considered the most rigorous domain of human knowledge. To be scientific meant to speak with great authority. Frederick Winslow Taylor, we have seen, labeled his system “scientific management.” A few decades earlier, Marx had called his political ideals “scientific socialism,” to differentiate them from utopian schemes. In general, the prestige of the scientist derived from the belief that he journeyed to realms of mystery and brought back material benefits for the human race. But certain conditions particular to the event helped amplify the resonance of Einstein’s achievement. 6.1 Albert Einstein (1947)[90] It was the first major scientific breakthrough in the age of mass media – and it occurred in a field that was impenetrable to all but a handful of brilliant specialists.

[31] “An Interview With Mohamed ElBaradei, Who Hopes For Reconciliation in Egypt,”Washington Post, August 2, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/an-interview-with-mohamed-elbaradei-who-hopes-for-reconciliation-in-egypt/2013/08/02/e409eac0-fab4-11e2-8752-b41d7ed1f685_story.html. Shortly after this interview was published, ElBaradei resigned to protest the armed forces’ violent repression of the Muslim Brotherhood. [32] John Dewey, The Public and Its Problems (Ohio University Press, 1927). [33] Lippmann, The Phantom Public, 55. [34] Jose Ortega y Gasset, La rebelion de las masas (Revista de Occidente, 1930), 47. [35] Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (Public domain book, 1911), 16. [36] Wikipedia Commons. [37] Maciej Lukasiewicz, “History’s Turning Point,” Rzeczpospolita, October 16, 2003, http://www.worldpress.org/Europe/1698.cfm. [38] From Reinaldo Escobar’s blog, Desde Aquí, http://www.desdecuba.com/reinaldoescobar/?p=317 [39] Ghonim, Revolution 2.0, 184. [40] Photographed by Ramy Raoof


pages: 239 words: 70,206

Data-Ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business cycle, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, David Brooks, East Village, Edward Snowden, Emanuel Derman, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, impulse control, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of writing, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, natural language processing, obamacare, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

a method pioneered by Cynthia Dwork: A technical overview of the approach is described in her April 2008 paper, “Differential Privacy: A Survey of Results.” http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/74339/dwork_tamc.pdf. seeks to reverse engineer what marketers do with big data: Arvind Narayanan’s descriptions and quotes come from an interview on March 3, 2014. “The algorithms should be made public”: An interview on March 2, 2014, with Marc Rotenberg. 11: The Future Frederick Winslow Taylor was deceptively slight: Information and quotes from Taylor’s writing come from Robert Kanigel’s The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (Viking, 1997). It is the definitive biography of Taylor and his times. what the historian Alfred D. Chandler Jr. called managerial capitalism: Chandler won the Pulitzer Prize in history for his chronicle of the rise of modern business management up to the 1970s, The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 1977).

Yet what Felten and I are doing are small tactical steps to frustrate some facet of the data-gathering industry. Do such things really make any difference? Probably not. You can avoid some tracking mechanisms, but trying to become a privacy survivalist seems a fool’s errand. As a practical matter, there is no opt-out from the big-data world. Nor would most of us want to. 11 THE FUTURE: DATA CAPITALISM As towering historical figures go, Frederick Winslow Taylor was deceptively slight. He stood five feet nine and weighed about 145 pounds. But the trim mechanical engineer was an influential pioneer of data-driven decision making, an early management consultant whose concept of “scientific management” was widely embraced a century ago on factory floors and well beyond. Taylor applied statistical rigor and engineering discipline to redesign work for maximum efficiency; each task was closely observed, measured, and timed.


pages: 387 words: 110,820

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell

barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deskilling, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, fear of failure, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge economy, loss aversion, market design, means of production, mental accounting, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Pearl River Delta, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price discrimination, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, washing machines reduced drudgery, working poor, yield management, zero-sum game

As one scholar put it, “Except for Whitney’s ability to sell an undeveloped idea, little remains of his title as father of mass production.” The real hero here was Simeon North, a steady and humble maker of scythes and other small agricultural implements who pioneered both interchangeable parts and its corollary, mass production. Using a manufacturing technique that would later be linked to efficiency expert Frederick Winslow Taylor, North broke down the gun-building process into a series of basic tasks and distributed the work among a group of semiskilled laborers. This radical departure from traditional gun making led to a cheaper and more consistently reliable product. As North reported in 1808, “To make my contract for pistols advantageous for the United States and to myself I must go to a great proportion of the expense before I deliver any pistols.

And it was not just brick-and-mortar chains that got the bruising. Shopping through mail-order-house catalogs carried such a powerful stigma that Sears shipped merchandise shrouded in plain brown wrappers. As the new century emerged, a crescendo of critics voiced alarm at the growing trend toward Cheap, in particular as it applied to the production of America’s most iconic object: the automobile. Even efficiency guru Frederick Winslow Taylor seemed to think things had gone too far when he scoffed at the mass-produced Model T Ford as “very cheaply and roughly made.” Henry Ford, who famously pioneered the moving assembly line in 1914, could only marvel at this criticism. His assembly plant in Highland Park, Michigan, dubbed the “Crystal Palace” for its abundant windows, was a model of scientific management. As did North before him, Ford broke each step of his production process into individual tasks and assigned workers to perform just one.

A Vuitton bag, however, is marked up as much as thirteen times. 5 in the same terms as he to them: Clifford Geertz, “Bazaar Economy.” 6 illustrates the problem with a thought experiment: George A. Akerlof, “The Market for ‘Lemons’: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 84, no. 3 (1970): 488-500. CHAPTER ONE: DISCOUNT NATION 7 or generate even as much power as a horse: Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (New York: Viking, 1997), 95-96. Kanigel shared his thoughts on the importance of mass manufacture on price over a drink at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston. 8 for firepower in the latter half of the eighteenth century: Merritt Roe Smith, “Eli Whitney and the American System of Manufacturing,” in Carroll W.


pages: 267 words: 72,552

Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Thomas Ramge

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, banking crisis, basic income, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, land reform, lone genius, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, random walk, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, universal basic income, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

When the Times exposé appeared, it struck a nerve, garnering 5,858 comments online, the most in the website’s history up to that point. As the Economist noted, many of the commenters “claimed that their employers had adopted similar policies. Far from being an outlier, it would seem that Amazon is the embodiment of a new trend”—what the magazine branded “digital Taylorism,” after the scientific management principles of Frederick Winslow Taylor. It seemed that new technologies were ushering in a supercharged version of command-and-control, fueled by data about employees, processes, products, services, and customers. But why would a celebrated marketplace innovator like Jeff Bezos embrace the centralized structures, rules, and behaviors of the firm to manage the vast majority of his business empire rather than developing technology to capture the decentralized magic of the market?

All the reporting in the world has no value, though, if it isn’t taken seriously by a firm’s top decision makers. For the key concept of the firm—centralizing information flows and decision-making as a tool of comprehensive control—to attain its full potential, the concept needs to be deeply embedded in a firm’s inner workings. This kind of extensive reporting commenced in earnest around the 1890s, when American engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor championed a new school of thought. Today, Taylor is mainly remembered for advocating the collection of minute details about every task performed in a factory. Although this was sometimes effective—as at Bethlehem Steel—“Taylorism” was often resented by employees, who felt that quantifying every aspect of human labor turned workers into mere cogs in the industrialists’ machines. But Taylor was concerned with much more than speeding up the movements of workers on an assembly line.

Smith, “Hidden Debt: From Enron’s Commodity Prepays to Lehman’s Repo 105s,” Financial Analysts Journal 67, no. 5 [September/October 2011], https://www.cfainstitute.org/learning/products/publications/faj/Pages/faj.v67.n5.2.aspx), and electronics giant Toshiba, which in 2015 was caught posting profits early and pushing back the posting of losses in a salesperson’s version of a Ponzi scheme (see Sean Farrell, “Toshiba Boss Quits over £780 Million Accounting Scandal,” Guardian, July 21, 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/21/toshiba-boss-quits-hisao-tanaka-accounting-scandal). collection of minute details about every task: Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (New York: Little Brown, 1997). the first master’s degree in business administration: Soll, The Reckoning, 187. the punch-card tabulator: Geoffrey D. Austrian, Herman Hollerith: Forgotten Giant of Information Processing (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), 111 et seq. (chap. 9). other than through Billy Durant himself: David A. Garvin and Lynne C.


pages: 278 words: 83,468

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

3D printing, barriers to entry, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, continuous integration, corporate governance, disruptive innovation, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, pull request, risk tolerance, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, transaction costs

http://ericri.es/thetoyotaway Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, Revised and Updated by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones. http://ericri.es/LeanThinking The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century by Steven Watts. http://ericri.es/ThePeoplesTycoon The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency by Robert Kanigel. http://ericri.es/OneBestWay The Principles of Scientific Management by Frederick Winslow Taylor. http://ericri.es/ScientificManagement Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change by Kent Beck and Cynthia Andres. http://ericri.es/EmbraceChange Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production by Taiichi Ohno. http://ericri.es/TaiichiOhno The idea of the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop owes a lot to ideas from maneuver warfare, especially John Boyd’s OODA (Observe-Orient-Decide-Act) Loop.

The best way to achieve mastery of and explore these ideas is to embed oneself in a community of practice. There is a thriving community of Lean Startup meetups around the world as well as online, and suggestions for how you can take advantage of these resources listed in the last chapter of this book, “Join the Movement.” 13 EPILOGUE: WASTE NOT This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s The Principles of Scientific Management, first published in 1911. The movement for scientific management changed the course of the twentieth century by making possible the tremendous prosperity that we take for granted today. Taylor effectively invented what we now consider simply management: improving the efficiency of individual workers, management by exception (focusing only on unexpectedly good or bad results), standardizing work into tasks, the task-plus-bonus system of compensation, and—above all—the idea that work can be studied and improved through conscious effort.


pages: 515 words: 132,295

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Alvin Roth, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, John Markoff, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund, zero-sum game

(New York: Doubleday, 1990), 62 (emphasis added). 16. Dodge v. Ford Motor Co., 170 N.W. 668 (1919). 17. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services calculated that American nonfinancial companies held $1.82 trillion in cash at the end of 2014. See Vipal Monga, “Record Cash Hoard Concentrated Among Few Companies,” Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2015. 18. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper, 1913), 59. 19. Frederick Winslow Taylor, Shop Management (New York: Harper, 1912), 99 and 104. 20. Robert R. Locke and J. C. Spender, Confronting Managerialism: How the Business Elite and Their Schools Threw Our Lives out of Balance (London: Zed Books, 2011). 21. Ibid., 5. 22. Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management, 7. 23. David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest, 20th anniversary ed.

In 2015 alone, American firms have paid a record $1 trillion back to investors in the form of buybacks and dividends, more than ever before in history, even as wages have remained stagnant and business investment in capital goods, factories, worker training, and other growth-enhancing things has flagged. Dodge v. Ford not only established a legal justification for shareholders’ rights above anyone else’s; it also set a terrible precedent for labor relations that would haunt American business. It was a precedent that chimed with another major business idea of the era: Taylorism. THE PRINCIPLES OF SCIENTIFIC (MIS)MANAGEMENT Even before Henry Ford was battling the Dodge brothers, Frederick Winslow Taylor, a mechanical engineer from Philadelphia, was gaining fame and fortune for his ideas about how to improve American industry. Those ideas, which came to be known as “efficiency theory” or, as critics put it, “Taylorism,” were laid out in his seminal work, The Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1911. Like the Dodge brothers, Taylor didn’t think much of labor. His theories were built around the notion that workers were a lazy and rather stupid bunch who needed to be managed closely if the American economy was to become more efficient.

“The day of the truly professional general management man isn’t here yet, but it’s not far away. That man will be trained for management in general, rather than in any one phase of business. He’ll learn his technique in school, rather than on the job,” proclaimed a 1952 issue of BusinessWeek that looked at the rise of this new paradigm.29 It was the era of the rational manager, after all. Just as Frederick Winslow Taylor had used numerical efficiency to whip factory production and workers into shape, business schools using the same operational research methodology employed by the Defense Department would make management “scientific” and churn out the cadres of corporate followers so famously captured by William H. Whyte in his 1956 book The Organization Man. These managers were loyal and hardworking but learned to never rock the boat or question those above them.


pages: 204 words: 54,395

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

affirmative action, call centre, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, deliberate practice, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, functional fixedness, game design, George Akerlof, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, performance metric, profit maximization, profit motive, Results Only Work Environment, side project, the built environment, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Harnessing this second drive has been essential to economic progress around the world, especially during the last two centuries. Consider the Industrial Revolution. Technological developments steam engines, railroads, widespread electricity played a crucial role in fostering the growth of industry. But so did less tangible innovations in particular, the work of an American engineer named Frederick Winslow Taylor. In the early 1900s, Taylor, who believed businesses were being run in an inefficient, haphazard way, invented what he called scientific management. His invention was a form of software expertly crafted to run atop the Motivation 2.0 platform. And it was widely and quickly adopted. Workers, this approach held, were like parts in a complicated machine. If they did the right work in the right way at the right time, the machine would function smoothly.

In other words, to fully understand human economic behavior, we have to come to terms with an idea at odds with Motivation 2.0. As Frey writes, Intrinsic motivation is of great importance for all economic activities. It is inconceivable that people are motivated solely or even mainly by external incentives. How We Do What We Do If you manage other people, take a quick glance over your shoulder. There's a ghost hovering there. His name is Frederick Winslow Taylor remember him from earlier in the chapter? and he's whispering in your ear. Work, Taylor is murmuring, consists mainly of simple, not particularly interesting, tasks. The only way to get people to do them is to incentivize them properly and monitor them carefully. In the early 1900s, Taylor had a point. Today, in much of the world, that's less true. Yes, for some people work remains routine, unchallenging, and directed by others.


pages: 367 words: 108,689

Broke: How to Survive the Middle Class Crisis by David Boyle

anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, Desert Island Discs, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, housing crisis, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, mortgage debt, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, precariat, quantitative easing, school choice, Slavoj Žižek, social intelligence, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vanguard fund, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working poor

I can understand Greek feta being packaged for those on low budgets, but when you also get Parmigiano Reggiano, you feel that something else is going on. Basics but with a posh name. Would you ever get ‘basics’ Parmigiano Reggiano in Sainsbury’s? I wonder. Or would they just call it parmesan? 7 The sixth clue: the strange case of the disappearing professionals ‘In the past the man has been first; in the future the system must be first.’ Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management. 1911 Come with me for a moment to the small Hampshire village of Nether Wallop, with its thatched roofs and perfect, photogenic houses. A distant prospect of the ancient hill settlement of Danebury stands out against the skyline across the way. There are council houses there, so Nether Wallop is not wholly middle-class, but it might as well be — and middle-class in a particularly privileged way.

Others still cling to life. Whatever happened to all those middle-class jobs? We have already seen how the twentieth-century multifunctional corporation, which had emerged, first at General Motors, in the 1930s, began to shed its middle-class layers. But there have been other forces at work as well, and partly what has become known as ‘digital Taylorism’. The reference is to the efficiency pioneer Frederick Winslow Taylor, of whom more later. It indicates the way that companies are increasingly codifying the knowledge used by their skilled or professional employees so that their work can be done anywhere in the world.[1] First the manufacturing was outsourced abroad, but now increasingly it is the middle-class functions as well — the design, the planning, and the programming know-how. It is a process which is hollowing out corporations, leaving a footloose core of financial services, but it is also hollowing out the future prospects of the middle classes.

But most of the new professionals that have emerged are in the public-sector middle class: they are NHS doctors and managers, teachers, court officials, HR professionals, academics. They have also seen their status and their salaries, and now their pensions, systematically shrunk over the past generation, and largely because of another process altogether, which has thrived over the last century, acting to hollow out our local institutions and to constrain their professionals. To pin this one down, we have to go back to Saratoga in New York State in June 1903. Frederick Winslow Taylor was a dapper little man, brimful of confidence but with the pugnacious manner of a man who has just been dismissed, when he rose to address the audience at the United States Hotel in Saratoga. The subject of this meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers was ‘Shop Management’, by which he meant the factory ‘shop floor’. This is not a moment celebrated much by historians, but it was to have hugely important implications for all of us.


pages: 382 words: 105,166

The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations by Jacob Soll

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, delayed gratification, demand response, discounted cash flows, double entry bookkeeping, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, High speed trading, Honoré de Balzac, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, new economy, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, South Sea Bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route

The accountant was able to turn decrepitude and death into neat and tidy numbers to be sent back to the main office. Seen through the accountant’s numbers, Conrad’s classic imperialist character Kurtz, and his nightmarish operation of slave labor, looked clean and efficient.14 The problem of financial success represented by numbers outweighing human rights plagued the Industrial Revolution into its later stages. From an established Philadelphia family of Mayflower stock, Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856–1915) chose to be an apprentice patternmaker and machine mechanic at the Philadelphia Hydraulic Works and then, in 1871, for the Midvale Steel Company. Taylor is now known for Taylorism, his “scientific management” approach to industrial and labor efficiency. In many ways, Taylor can be seen as the Josiah Wedgwood of the age of steel. He focused on tight management of mechanical and labor costs in relation to time.

., The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (London, 1887), 3:178–179. All citations come from it. 11. Browne, “The Natural Economy of Households,” 88–99. 12. Ibid., 92–94. 13. Ibid., 97; Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (London: John Murray, 1871), 1:167–182. 14. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, ed. Ross C. Murfin (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1989), 33. 15. Rosita S. Chen and Sheng-Der Pan, “Frederick Winslow Taylor’s Contributions to Cost Accounting,” Accounting Historians Journal 7, no. 2 (1980): 2. 16. Daniel J. Boorstin, The Americans: The Democratic Experience (New York: Vintage Books, 1973). 17. Cited by John Huer, Auschwitz USA (Lanham, MD: Hamilton Books, 2010), 31. 18. Alfred C. Mierzejewski, Most Valuable Asset of the Reich: A History of the German National Railway (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000), 2:20–21.

London: Penguin Books, 1976. Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. The History of don Quixote de la Mancha. London: James Burns, 1847. Chandler, Alfred D. The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1977. Chatfield, Michael. A History of Accounting Thought. Hisdale, IL: Dryden Press, 1974. Chen, Rosita S., and Sheng-Der Pan. “Frederick Winslow Taylor’s Contributions to Cost Accounting.” The Accounting Historians Journal 7, no. 2 (1980): 1–22. Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton. New York: Penguin Books, 2004. Chéruel, Pierre-Adolphe, ed. Mémoires sur la vie publique et privée de Fouquet, Surintendant des finances. D’après ses lettres et des pièces inédites conservées à la Bibliothèque Impériale. 2 vols. Paris: Charpentier Éditeur, 1862.


pages: 280 words: 71,268

Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World With OKRs by John Doerr

Albert Einstein, Bob Noyce, cloud computing, collaborative editing, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Haight Ashbury, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Ray Kurzweil, risk tolerance, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, web application, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

Against the stale management orthodoxy of the period, Grove had created something fresh and original. Strictly speaking, however, his “objectives and key results” did not spring from the void. The process had a precursor. In finding his way, Grove had followed the trail of a legendary, Vienna-born gadfly, the first great “modern” business management thinker: Peter Drucker. Our MBO Ancestors The early-twentieth-century forefathers of management theory, notably Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henry Ford, were the first to measure output systematically and analyze how to get more of it. They held that the most efficient and profitable organization was authoritarian. * Scientific management, Taylor wrote, consists of “knowing exactly what you want men to do and then see that they do it in the best and cheapest way.” The results, as Grove noted, were “ crisp and hierarchical: there were those who gave orders and those who took orders and executed them without question.”

When Jonathan Rosenberg : Schmidt and Rosenberg, How Google Works . In 2017, for the sixth : Fortune , March 15, 2017. CHAPTER 2: The Father of OKRs In the space : While there’s no record of the session I attended, we unearthed a video recording of a similar seminar Grove gave three years later. The attributed remarks are sourced from that recording and hosted on www.whatmatters.com. Scientific management, Taylor wrote : Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1911). “crisp and hierarchical” : Andrew S. Grove, High Output Management (New York: Random House, 1983). “a principle of management” : Peter F. Drucker, The Practice of Management (New York: Harper & Row, 1954). In a meta-analysis : Robert Rodgers and John E. Hunter, “Impact of Management by Objectives on Organizational Productivity,” Journal of the American Psychological Association, April 1991.


On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World by Timothy Cresswell

British Empire, desegregation, deskilling, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global village, illegal immigration, mass immigration, moral panic, Rosa Parks, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, urban planning

RT52565_C011.indd 279 3/7/06 9:01:51 PM 280 • Notes 53. See Stephen Kern, The Culture of Time and Space 1880–1918 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983). Chapter 4 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. For biographies of Taylor, see Frank Barkley Copley, Frederick W. Taylor, Father of Scientific Management (New York: American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1923); Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (New York: Viking, 1997). For critical accounts of Taylorism, see Harry Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1974); Bernard Doray, From Taylorism to Fordism: A Rational Madness (London: Free Association, 1988); Judith A. Merkle, Management and Ideology: The Legacy of the International Scientific Management Movement (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980); Ernest J.

Reid, “From ‘Trained Gorilla’ to ‘Humanware’: Repoliticizing the Body-Machine Complex between Fordism and Post-Fordism,” in The Social and Political Body, ed. Theodore Schatzki and Wolfgang Natter (New York: Guilford, 1996), 181–220. Lenin cited in James Scott, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998), 101. Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital, 112. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Norton, 1967), 19. Ibid., 21. Ibid., 43. Ibid., 45–46 Ibid., 59. Frederick Taylor Archives, Special Collections, Stevens College, Hoboken, New Jersey, Box 106B, Legislation, Scientific Management, Henry Knolle. Frederick Taylor Archives, Box 106B, Legislation, Scientific Management, Henry Knolle. Letter to Mr. Cooke, December 6, 1913, Frederick Taylor Archives, Box 106B, Legislation, Scientific Management, Henry Knolle.

In Touring Cultures, edited by John Urry and Chris Rojek, 23–51. London: Routledge, 1997. Kaeli’inohomoku, J. “Cultural Change: Functional and Dysfunctional Expressions of Dance, a Form of Affective Culture.” In The Performing Arts, edited by J. Blacking and J. Kaeli’inohomoku. The Hague: Mouton, 1979. Kaeppler, A. “American Approaches to the Study of Dance.” Yearbook of Traditional Music 23 (1991): 11–21. Kanigel, Robert. The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency, The Sloan Technology Series. New York: Viking, 1997. Kaplan, Caren. Questions of Travel: Postmodern Discourses of Displacement. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996. Kennedy, Duncan. “The Critique of Rights in Critical Legal Studies.” In Left Legalism/Left Critique, edited by Wendy Brown and Janet Halley, 178–228. Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2002.


pages: 317 words: 87,566

The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being by William Davies

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, business intelligence, corporate governance, dematerialisation, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gini coefficient, income inequality, intangible asset, invisible hand, joint-stock company, lifelogging, market bubble, mental accounting, nudge unit, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Philip Mirowski, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, social intelligence, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, theory of mind, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto

This was viewed as a matter of national economic priority: variations in national economic output were attributed to differences in the physiology and nutrition of rival national workforces.21 As one study suggested, maybe Britain’s economic advantage over Germany was that its workers ate more meat, whereas the latter’s ate more potatoes. The science of ergonomics developed to study and photograph bodies in motion, in the attempt to spot precisely where energy was being wasted. The muscles, and even the blood, were examined, to try and understand how entropy afflicted the human body in the workplace. This was the context into which the mechanical engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor launched his career as the world’s first management consultant. Taylor was born into a prominent and wealthy Philadelphia family, with roots stretching back to Edward Winslow, one of the passengers on the Mayflower. This heritage was crucial. It was his eminent family name which granted him privileged access to the industrial firms of the city, in ways that would be decisive for his career.

Rather than ironic management speak, which twists words to manipulate emotions in the expectation that this will yield greater output, a more honest reflection on the problems of occupational ill-health would question the hoarding of status and reward by a small number of senior managers. Instead, traditional forms of management and hierarchy are rescued by the new ubiquity of digital surveillance, which allows informal behaviour and communication to be tracked, analysed and managed. Rather than the rise of alternative corporate forms, we are now witnessing the discreet return of the ‘scientific management’ style of Frederick Winslow Taylor, only now with even greater scientific scrutiny of bodies, movement and performance. The front line in worker performance evaluation has shifted into bodily-monitoring devices, heart-rate monitoring, and sharing of real-time health data, for analysis of stress risks. Strange to say, the notion of what represents a ‘good’ worker has gone full circle since the 1870s, from the origins of ergonomic fatigue studies, through psychology, psychosomatic medicine and back to the body once more.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, computerized trading, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, turn-by-turn navigation, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche

Once a manufacturer had broken an intricate process into a series of well-defined “simple operations,” it became relatively easy to design a machine to carry out each operation. The division of labor within a factory provided a set of specifications for its machinery. By the early years of the twentieth century, the deskilling of factory workers had become an explicit goal of industry, thanks to Frederick Winslow Taylor’s philosophy of “scientific management.” Believing, in line with Smith, that “the greatest prosperity” would be achieved “only when the work of [companies] is done with the smallest combined expenditure of human effort,” Taylor counseled factory owners to prepare strict instructions for how each employee should use each machine, scripting every movement of the worker’s body and mind.29 The great flaw in traditional ways of working, Taylor believed, was that they granted too much initiative and leeway to individuals.

Bates, “Clinical Decision Support and the Law: The Big Picture,” Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law and Policy 5 (2012): 319–324. 24.Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (New York: Henry Holt, 2010), 161–162. 25.Lown and Rodriguez, “Lost in Translation?” 26.Jerome Groopman, How Doctors Think (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2007), 34–35. 27.Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (New York: Modern Library, 2000), 840. 28.Ibid., 4. 29.Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1913), 11. 30.Ibid., 36. 31.Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 147. 32.Harry Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1998), 307. 33.For a succinct review of the Braverman debate, see Peter Meiksins, “Labor and Monopoly Capital for the 1990s: A Review and Critique of the Labor Process Debate,” Monthly Review, November 1994. 34.James R.


pages: 538 words: 145,243

Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World by Joshua B. Freeman

anti-communist, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate raider, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, joint-stock company, knowledge worker, mass immigration, means of production, mittelstand, Naomi Klein, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Pearl River Delta, post-industrial society, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

“Systematic management,” later more widely known as “scientific management,” grew out of a quest for internal corporate controls and increased productivity, a sweeping effort at reorganizing production. Its development involved many different companies, engineers, and managers over an extended period, who instituted a series of incremental changes that together represented a substantial transformation in how manufacturing—and later office work—was carried out. But in the public mind, scientific management became largely associated with one man, Frederick Winslow Taylor, who emerged as its leading theoretician, ideologue, and publicist. Taylor, the son of a prominent, liberal Philadelphia family, followed an unusual path in spurning college to become an apprentice machinist and patternmaker, before taking on a series of factory-management positions and then a career as an industrial consultant. (In 1876, he took six months off from his apprenticeship to work at the Centennial Exhibition.)

For assembly-line workers, work was relentless and repetitious, a single task or just a few done over and over again, every time a new part or subassembly or chassis appeared before them.17 In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, management experts considered “soldiering” (workers deliberately working at less than a maximum possible pace) the paramount obstacle to efficiency and profits. To counter it, they devised all sorts of schemes, from elaborate systems of piecework pay to Frederick Winslow Taylor’s “scientific management.” The assembly line provided an alternate solution to the same problem, having machinery set the pace of work rather than foremen or incentives. Well before Ford adopted the assembly line, packing house managers saw the possibilities in mechanically pacing production; in 1903, a Swift supervisor said, “if you need to turn out a little more, speed up the conveyers a little and the men speed up to keep pace.”18 Assembly-line work proved physiologically and psychologically draining in ways other types of labor were not.

Some of it was technical, in high-speed machining and the high-strength metals it required, the standardization of products, the use of various kinds of conveyance devices, and the mass-production system that these developments made possible. But interest was at least as great in the ideology associated with advanced manufacturing, the promise that with productivity gains the income of workers could go up even as profits rose, thereby dissipating class conflict and social unrest.6 As avatars of scientific management and mass production, Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henry Ford became well-known and well-regarded figures in Europe. By the early twentieth century, Taylor’s writings had been translated into French, German, and Russian. In the early 1920s, Ford displaced Taylor as the icon of Americanism, as worker criticism of Taylorist management grew and the wonders of the assembly line and the Model T became better known abroad. In Germany, Ford’s autobiography, My Life and Work, translated in 1923, sold more than two hundred thousand copies.


pages: 409 words: 145,128

Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City by Peter D. Norton

clean water, Frederick Winslow Taylor, garden city movement, invisible hand, jitney, new economy, New Urbanism, Ralph Nader, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, Thorstein Veblen, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal

Chandler, The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (Belknap, 1977), 377–500; Stephen Skowronek, Building a New American State: The Expansion of National Administrative Capacities (Cambridge University Press, 1982); Morton Keller, Regulating a New Economy: Public Policy and Economic Change in America, 1900–1933 (Harvard University Press, 1990). 43. For the basic early postulations of scientific management see especially Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (Harper and Row, 1947) and Frank B. Gilbreth, Motion Study (D. Van Nostrand, 1911). Of the very extensive historical work on scientific management in American industry, see especially Samuel Haber, Efficiency and Uplift: Scientific Management in the Progressive Era (University of Chicago Press, 1964), Daniel Nelson, Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Rise of Scientific Management (1980), and Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (Viking, 1997). 44. Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad 118 U.S. 394 (1886). 45. See especially Samuel Haber, Efficiency and Uplift: Scientific Management in the Progressive Era (University of Chicago Press, 1964). 46.


pages: 353 words: 91,520

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith

affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, creative destruction, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, immigration reform, income inequality, index card, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, school choice, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Y Combinator

Mann was instrumental in getting Massachusetts to adopt tax-supported elementary public education, and set the stage for the scaling of a new kind of education in the United States. At the end of the nineteenth century, America needed to educate large numbers of immigrants and refugees from farms for basic citizenship and for jobs in a growing industrial economy. As work-flow experts like Frederick Winslow Taylor formulated efficient means of production, the level of expertise of workers in the production chain narrowed. The economy needed single-task interchangeable employees, not skilled artisans. And we needed schools to teach the surging numbers of factory workers the basic skills needed for jobs in our emerging cities—to follow orders, be punctual, and perform rote tasks. We also wanted these future trained laborers to have basic citizenship literacy skills (the so-called three R’s).

When was the last time you used the word raconteur in your daily conversation? Does coming up with the right cookie-cutter answer about the author’s tone reflect anything important? When is the last time you had to solve for the exponent in a higher-order expression? Time pressure plays a big role in a student’s test performance. Yet how often in life are we given forty-five minutes to complete a life-shaping task? In the world of Frederick Winslow Taylor, the industrial engineering pioneer who pushed for enforced standardization of behavior to wring every ounce of efficiency from an assembly line, time constraints mattered. But Taylor is dead, and so is the assembly line. Yet our kids live with the time pressure of these high-stakes tests. Unless, of course, they belong to one of the growing number of affluent families who game the system by investing the resources required to get their child eligible for extended time.


pages: 342 words: 94,762

Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy

algorithmic trading, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, impulse control, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nick Leeson, paper trading, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, six sigma, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel

According to Zimbardo and Boyd, “The transition from event time to clock time profoundly changed society, especially economic relations. We transitioned from an event-based and product-based economy to a time-based economy in which we are paid per unit sold, if hourly, or lump sum, if salaried.”3 For many of us, clock time dictates what we do at work. The importance of clock time in the workplace can be traced back to Frederick Winslow Taylor. In 1909, Taylor, a former lathe operator, engineer, and management consultant, published The Principles of Scientific Management, a book advocating the use of time as a tool for improving workplace efficiency.4 Taylor argued that companies should replace rules of thumb for accomplishing tasks with precise instructions based on scientific analysis of the timing of tasks. He told factory managers to break jobs into parts and use stopwatches to time their workers and determine how long each part should take.

Riley, “Examining Potential Demographic Trends in the Opinions of Undergraduate Journalism Professors Concerning the Topic of Technological and Traditional Journalism Skills and Theories,” master’s thesis, Scripps College of Communication, Ohio University, August 2011, p. 14. Chapter 12 1. Tamar Avnet and Anne-Laure Sellier, “Clock Time Versus Event Time: Temporal Culture or Self-Regulation?” Working Paper Series, December 20, 2010, http:/ssrn.com/abstract=1665936. 2. Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd, The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life (Free Press, 2008), p. 30. 3. Zimbardo and Boyd, The Time Paradox, pp. 38, 40. 4. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (1909). 5. See, for example, Heather Menzies, No Time: Stress and the Crisis of Modern Life (Douglas & McIntyre, 2005). 6. Mark Aguiar and Erik Hurst, “Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time over Five Decades,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 112(2007): 969–1006. According to the HarrisInteractive annual poll of work and leisure time, from 1980 until recently the median weekly work hours for Americans has held in the range of forty-seven to fifty-one.


pages: 321 words: 92,828

Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed With Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, fear of failure, financial independence, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hiring and firing, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Sand Hill Road, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Toyota Production System, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor

In fact, it was politically bipartisan and was supported by Republican president Theodore Roosevelt and Democratic president Woodrow Wilson. Progressivism was well-intended and produced many needed reforms, notably in public health, worker safety, antitrust regulation, and the right of women to vote. Its effects in education and business management were also profound but more mixed. In business, Progressivism imposed a rigid conformity that reduced human beings to moving parts. To see how, let’s look at the work of Frederick Winslow Taylor, the era’s most influential business thinker. “In the past, man was first; in the future, the system must be first,” Taylor wrote in The Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1911. His simple and appealing idea was that managers could boost labor productivity on the factory floor if they could identify, then remove, the irrational time wasters. So managers took to watching, recording, measuring, and analyzing the actions of their workers.

Logic-based puzzles and mathematical word: Maya Kossoff, “41 of Google’s Toughest Interview Questions,” Inc., n.d., http://bit.ly/​2CRBrC4. they’ve continued to survive—and even flourish: Annie Murphy Paul, The Cult of Personality Testing: How Personality Tests Are Leading Us to Miseducate Our Children, Mismanage Our Companies, and Misunderstand Ourselves (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010). “In the past, man was first”: Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper, 1914). firmly entrenched in education: Maduakolam Ireh, “Scientific Management Still Endures in Education,” ERIC, June 2016, https://eric.ed.gov/​?id=ED566616. See also Shawn Gude, “The Industrial Classroom,” Jacobin, April 21, 2013, http://bit.ly/​2NQSOqT. “Our schools still follow”: Todd Rose, The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness (New York: HarperCollins, 2015).


pages: 86 words: 27,453

Why We Work by Barry Schwartz

Atul Gawande, call centre, deskilling, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, if you build it, they will come, invisible hand, job satisfaction, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Toyota Production System

As we will see later, Smith’s view of human beings was far more subtle, complex, and nuanced than what is captured in the quotes above. He did not believe that “man at work” told the full story, or even the most important story, about human nature. But in the hands of Smith’s descendants, much of the nuance and subtlety was lost. More than a century later, Smith’s views about work guided the father of what came to be called the “scientific management” movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor. Taylor used meticulous time and motion studies to refine the factory, as envisioned by Smith, so that human laborers were part of a well-oiled machine. And he designed compensation schemes that pushed employees to work hard, work fast, and work accurately. Not long after that, Smith’s view was echoed in the thinking of the major figure in the psychology of the mid-twentieth century, B.


pages: 828 words: 232,188

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy by Francis Fukuyama

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Atahualpa, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, information asymmetry, invention of the printing press, iterative process, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour management system, land reform, land tenure, life extension, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, means of production, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, new economy, open economy, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, Port of Oakland, post-industrial society, post-materialism, price discrimination, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Individuals like Dorman Eaton, Woodrow Wilson, and Frank Goodnow, author of a series of influential books on public administration, cast existing American institutions in a very negative light and suggested European models as alternatives.20 These intellectuals then organized or legitimated a series of new civil society organizations, such as the New York Municipal Research Bureau, which generated policy proposals for reform, the American Social Science Association, which made civil service reform on a “scientific” basis a top priority, and the Bar Association of the City of New York, formed in 1870 to defend the professional integrity of its members.21 They would come to invoke the principles of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s “scientific management,” an approach that was seen as the cutting edge of modern business organization, as guidelines for a revamped American public sector.22 Much as the self-interest of the reformers was a basis of their activism, there was an important ethical dimension to this struggle as well. The attack on patronage and bossism took on a highly moralistic tone, with individuals across the country arguing passionately against the evils of the existing system.

Civil service reform in the late nineteenth century was promoted by academics and activists like Francis Lieber, Woodrow Wilson, and Frank Goodnow, who had a great deal of faith in the ability of modern natural science to solve human problems. Wilson, like his contemporary Max Weber, distinguished between politics and administration. Politics was a domain of final ends subject to democratic contestation, whereas administration was a realm of implementation that could be studied empirically and subjected to scientific analysis. A similar intellectual revolution had been going on in the business world, with the rise of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s doctrine of “scientific management,” which used among other things time-and-motion studies to maximize the efficiency of factory operations. Many of the Progressive Era reformers sought to import scientific management into government, arguing that public administration could be turned into a science and protected from the irrationalities of politics. They hoped that the social sciences one day could be made as rigorous as the natural sciences.2 After the experiences of the twentieth century, this early faith in science, and the belief that administration could be turned into a science, seems naïve and misplaced.

Among Goodnow’s books are Comparative Administrative Law: An Analysis of the Administrative Systems, National and Local, of the United States, England, France and Germany, 2 vols. (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1893); and Politics and Administration: A Study in Government (New York: Macmillan, 1900). 21. Skowronek, Building a New American State, p. 53; Knott and Miller, Reforming Bureaucracy, pp. 39–40. 22. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper, 1911). See the discussion of Taylorism in Fukuyama, Trust, pp. 225–27. 23. Edmund Morris, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (New York: Modern Library, 2001), pp. 404–405. 24. Skowronek, Building a New American State, p. 53. 25. Robert H. Wiebe, The Search for Order: 1877–1920 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1967), p. 165. 26. For an overview of the social backgrounds of the reformers, see Blaine A.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

So, it can track where workers travel in an office, and recognize whom they’re talking to by communicating with other people’s badges. It can also measure how well they’re talking to them—by recording things like how often they make hand gestures and nod, and the energy level in their voice.” Other companies are developing Google Glass-style “smart glasses” to accomplish similar things. A little more than a century ago, Frederick Winslow Taylor introduced scientific management to American factories. By tracking and measuring the activities of workers as they went about their work, Taylor believed, companies could determine the most efficient possible routine for any job and then enforce that routine on all workers. Through the systematic collection of data, industry could be optimized, operated as a perfectly calibrated machine.

Never has a communications system played so many roles in our lives—or exerted such broad influence over our thoughts—as the internet does today. Yet, for all that’s been written about the net, there’s been little consideration of how, exactly, it’s reprogramming us. The net’s intellectual ethic remains obscure. ABOUT THE same time that Nietzsche started using his typewriter, an earnest young man named Frederick Winslow Taylor carried a stopwatch into the Midvale Steel plant in Philadelphia and began a historic series of experiments aimed at improving the efficiency of the plant’s machinists. With the approval of Midvale’s owners, he recruited a group of factory hands, set them to work on various metalworking machines, and recorded and timed their every movement as well as the operations of the machines. By breaking down every job into a sequence of small, discrete steps and then testing different ways of performing each one, Taylor created a set of precise instructions—an “algorithm,” we might say today—for how each worker should work.


pages: 326 words: 106,053

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

AltaVista, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Cass Sunstein, coronavirus, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, experimental economics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Howard Rheingold, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, interchangeable parts, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, lone genius, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, market design, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, offshore financial centre, Picturephone, prediction markets, profit maximization, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

That’s become more true as the kind of work most Americans do has changed. On an old-fashioned assembly line, it’s possible that top-down coordination was the best solution (although Toyota’s transformation of auto production suggests otherwise). But in service businesses or companies whose value depends on intellectual labor, treating workers as cogs will not work (which isn’t to say that companies won’t try). The efficiency expert Frederick Winslow Taylor, in the early 1900s, described the good worker as someone whose job was to do “just what he is told to do, and no back talk. When the [foreman] tells you to walk, you walk; when he tells you to sit down, you sit down.” This approach would fail today. Yet even as companies at least acknowledge the potential benefits of decentralization, what’s notably missing is any sense that bottom-up methods of the kind we’ve seen in this book might be useful in transforming the way companies solve cognition problems, too.

See also William Joyce, Nitin Nohria, and Bruce Roberson, What Really Works: The 4 + 2 Formula for Sustained Business Success (New York: HarperCollins, 2003). Alfred P. Sloan, My Years with General Motors (New York: Doubleday, 1964). The definitive Western account of the Toyota Production System can be found in James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, and Daniel Roos, The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production (New York: HarperCollins, 1991). Keller, Rude Awakening: 101. Frederick Winslow Taylor is cited in Stephan H. Haeckel, Adaptive Enterprise (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1999): 30. Rakesh Khurana, Searching for a Corporate Savior (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002). As an example, this article claims that Chambers has “created more shareholder value” than virtually any other high-tech CEO; see http://www.edgewater.com/site/news_events/in_the_news_articles/042501_VARBusiness.html.


pages: 395 words: 118,446

The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Martha Banta

Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, greed is good, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the market place, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair

Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth 1906–9 Teaches at Stanford University; divorced by Ellen Rolfe in 1906; dismissed from Stanford for ‘personal affairs’. 1906 Turned down for position as head librarian at the Library of Congress; rejected by Harvard University for a faculty post; dismissed by the University of Chicago over scandals involving relations with various women. 1911–18 Teaches at the University of Missouri. 1911 Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management 1914 Marries Anne Fessenden Bradley, divorcee with two daughters; increasing problems with ill health; publication of The Instinct of Workmanship and the State of the Industrial Arts. Start of First World War between Germany and the Allies (France and Great Britain). 1915 Publication of Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution. Albert Einstein paper on the general theory of relativity 1917 Publication of An Enquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetration.

Although the reform-minded are convinced of their ‘purity’ of intention, this is a prime social asset that was, and still is, made public by self-congratulatory plaques and names attached to the walls of the institutions they inaugurated (pp. 222, 225). 24 Dos Passos, Bitter Drink, 18. 25 John Dos Passos described Veblen as one who ‘still had a hope that the engineers, the technicians, the nonprofiters whose hands were on the switchboards might take up the fight where the working class had failed’ (Bitter Drink, 18). Further interest in Veblen came with the rise of advanced technologies in the 1930s. 26 For accounts of a group of novels that lauded the engineer and the new woman, see Martha Banta, Taylored Lives: Narrative Productions in the Age of Taylor, Veblen, and Ford (Chicago, 1993), which also treats Veblen’s relationship to methods of industrial production newly established by Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henry Ford. 27 Howells’s ‘An Opportunity for American Fiction’, First and Second Papers, Literature: An International Gazette of Criticism (New York, April and May 1899), n.p. To prove Howells’s point that the emphasis placed by American literature on the nation’s democratic ideals meant that its novelists came late to the sharp analysis of social distinctions that cleave the middle class from the leisure class, think of the earlier display in Charles Dickens’s novels with Veblenian themes: Mr Micawber’s faulty economic system that thwarts his desire to enter the genteel classes; the gold-value of Mr Boffin’s ‘dust heaps’—a euphemism for street excrement; and the place in society staked by the Veneerings through their show of masses of silver plate. 28 Lerner’s essay is reprinted in Ideas Are Weapons: The History and Uses of Ideas (New York, 1939), 138—41.


pages: 840 words: 202,245

Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present by Jeff Madrick

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, inventory management, invisible hand, John Meriwether, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, MITM: man-in-the-middle, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, technology bubble, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, union organizing, V2 rocket, value at risk, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

He warned that Europe was being threatened by the rise of the American multinational company—not because of America’s technological advances, but because of its organizational discipline. It could produce the lowest-cost products, distribute them worldwide, and market them aggressively, winning market share across the world. Costs were cut sharply through repetitive assembly-line techniques at rapid speeds, and the adoption of the so-called scientific management principles of Frederick Winslow Taylor. Taylor’s major work, The Principles of Scientific Management, had been published in 1911. Time and motion studies were Taylor’s early tools and became the butt of many a future joke, including in silent movies featuring Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Workers were cogs in a machine, and even executives were above all conformists, implementing preset formulas and directions from above.

., In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies (New York: Harper & Row, 1982), pp. 34–35; Louis Kraar, “Japan’s Automakers Shift Strategies,” Fortune, August 11, 1980, p. 109. 3 “THERE WAS SIMPLY A PROFOUND HUNGER”: Author interview with Jay Lorsch, Harvard Business School, June 2006. 4 AMERICA’S SEEMING BUSINESS FAILURE: Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, The American Challenge (New York: Atheneum, 1967). 5 TAYLOR’S MAJOR WORK: Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (New York: Penguin, 1997). 6 IN THE PAST, THE CEOS OF MAJOR: As a twenty-four-year-old business reporter, I did my first cover story for BusinessWeek on the subject back in 1971. I did not fully anticipate the dangers of the trend I perceived. “The Rise of the Financial Man,” Business Week, September 14, 1971. 7 IF WORK COULD PROVIDE SUCH SELF-ESTEEM: Douglas McGregor, The Human Side of Enterprise (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1960). 8 “BUT THE MILITARY MODEL”: Author interview with Tom Peters, June 11, 2007. 9 GENERAL INTELLIGENCE, BCG BELIEVED: Walter Kiechel III, The Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World (Boston: Harvard Business Press, 2010), in general, pp. 13–30. 10 PETERS AND WATERMAN WERE SKEPTICAL: Tom Peters, “Tom Peters’ True Confessions,” Fast Company, November 2001. 11 “PROFESSIONALISM IN MANAGEMENT”: Peters and Waterman, In Search of Excellence, p. 29. 12 AMERICAN MANAGEMENT HAD TO GET OUT: Robert H.

., prl.1, prl.2, 3.1, 7.1, 10.1, 17.1 swaps, 16.1, 17.1, 17.2, 19.1 Sword, William, 4.1, 4.2 Taft, Robert takeovers, corporate, 4.1, 4.2, 8.1, 11.1, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4, 14.1, 14.2, 15.1, 16.1, 16.2, 16.3, 17.1, 19.1 Tannin, Matthew, 19.1, 19.2, 19.3, 19.4 taxation: brackets for, 3.1, 9.1, 10.1, 10.2, 11.1, 11.2; capital gains, 14.1; corporate, 9.2, 9.3, 14.2, 15.1, 15.2, 17.1, 17.2, 18.1, 18.2; credits for, 2.1, 3.2, 9.4, 9.5; cuts in, prl.1, 2.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2, 9.6, 9.7, 9.8, 10.3, 11.3, 11.4, 11.5, 11.6, 11.7, 14.3, 14.4, 19.1; deductions for, 9.9, 9.10, 14.5, 17.3, 18.3, 18.4; increases in, 3.9, 14.6, 14.7, 14.8; interest equalization, 11.8, 15.3; “negative income,” 42, 2.3; payroll, 3.10, 11.9, 14.9; personal income, ix–x, prl.1, prl.2, prl.1, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3.11, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 7.9, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 11.10, 11.11, 11.12, 11.13, 14.10, 14.11, 14.12, 19.2; populist revolt against, ix–x, prl.1, 7.10, 10.7; progressive, itr.1, prl.1, prl.2, prl.3, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 19.3; property, prl.1, 7.11, 10.8; regressive, 11.14, 14.13; revenues from, 3.12, 6.2, 10.9, 11.15, 14.14, 14.15, 19.4; shelters from, 15.4, 15.5 Tax Reduction Task Force Tax Reform Act (1986) Taylor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Robert technology, x, 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 4.1, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 12.1, 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 15.1, 15.2, 15.3, 15.4, 16.1, 17.1, 17.2, 17.3, 17.4, 17.5, 17.6, 17.7, 17.8, 17.9, 17.10, 18.1, 18.2, 19.1, 19.2, 19.3, 19.4; see also computers TED spreads, 19.1, 19.2, 19.3 Tele-Communications, 8.1, 8.2, 12.1 Telecommunications Act (1996) telecommunications industry, 4.1, 8.1, 8.2, 17.1, 17.2, 17.3, 17.4, 19.1, 19.2 television, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 7.1, 7.2, 8.1, 8.2, 10.1, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 13.1, 13.2, 17.1, 17.2, 17.3 Tenenbaum, L.


pages: 759 words: 166,687

Between Human and Machine: Feedback, Control, and Computing Before Cybernetics by David A. Mindell

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Charles Lindbergh, Claude Shannon: information theory, Computer Numeric Control, discrete time, Frederick Winslow Taylor, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, Paul Samuelson, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, telerobotics, Turing machine

The French physiologist and photographer Etienne-Jules Marey studied physiology with paper traces and photographic sequences, defining a modernist image of the body as a mechanism, recordable and calculable with the techniques of natural science. Marey, and other scientists like him, saw in automatic instruments a “mechanical objectivity” that recorded the world exactly as it was, without human intervention. The management consultant Frederick Winslow Taylor sought to rationalize human work by redesigning both machines and bodily movement for a better match. Henry Ford’s engineers reoriented their factory around a moving line, mechanizing workers’ actions as well as material flows. World War I brought people and machines into still other disquieting combinations as machine guns, tanks, aircraft, and even prosthetic limbs blurred the lines between organism and machine. 16 In the early decades of the twentieth century engineers drew on these and related phenomena as they began to think deeply about control, communications, and human-machine interaction.

William H. P. “Spike” Blandy, a 1913 Naval Academy graduate, had excellent gun club credentials: he had done postgraduate work in ordnance and had served as gunnery officer on the battleship New Mexico , which had one of the original Ford Rangekeepers, and also aboard the West Virginia , which had a new G.E. system. He had even spent time observing production at the Midvale Steel Company, where Frederick Winslow Taylor did his pioneering work in scientific management. Blandy pushed computers as replacements for manual plotting, argued for innovations in training, and won his ships numerous gunnery trophies. 31 Ironically, in 1938 Blandy saw the future of naval warfare while serving as commander of one of the oldest battleships in the fleet, the USS Utah . The Utah had been converted into a floating antiaircraft gunnery school and a target for aerial bombing practice.


pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson

"side hustle", Airbnb, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

A new product that takes Nike years of product development to create can be copied and reproduced at a tenth of the cost within weeks by knock-off manufacturers. I’ve talked to people in China that have seen it happen. The technologies that we now take for granted were incredibly difficult to develop the first go around. Before the 20th century, the discipline of management, managing people, as we understand it today, was non-existent. The father of management, Frederick Winslow Taylor, was credited by later famed management consultant Peter Drucker for having created “the tremendous surge of affluence in the last seventy-five years which has lifted the working masses in the developed countries well above any level recorded, even for the well-to-do.”11 Winslow Taylor’s scientific management consisted of replacing rule-of-thumb methods with a scientific method—applying scientific efficiency to tasks, the selection of employees, the supervisions of each worker, and division of work.


pages: 204 words: 53,261

The Tyranny of Metrics by Jerry Z. Muller

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Chelsea Manning, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, deskilling, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, intangible asset, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, performance metric, price mechanism, RAND corporation, school choice, Second Machine Age, selection bias, Steven Levy, total factor productivity, transaction costs, WikiLeaks

MEASURING PERFORMANCE: TAYLORISM There were traces of metric fixation in the school efficiency movement that rolled across the American educational landscape, starting in the 1910s and continuing for decades. In 1911, Simon Patten, an influential professor of economics at the Wharton School of Business, demanded that schools provide evidence of their contribution to society by showing results that could be “readily seen and measured.”8 Other would-be reformers sought to bring to the school system the fruits of the industrial efficiency movement, founded by Frederick Winslow Taylor, an American engineer who coined the term “scientific management” in 1911.9 Taylor analyzed the production of pig iron in factories by breaking down the process into its component parts (through time-and-motion studies) and determining standard levels of output for each job. Workers who carried out their tasks more slowly than the prescribed time were paid at a lower rate per unit of output; those who met the expectation were rewarded at a higher rate.


pages: 166 words: 53,103

Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency by Tom Demarco

Brownian motion, delayed gratification, Frederick Winslow Taylor, interchangeable parts, knowledge worker, new economy, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Yogi Berra

In manufacturing, there are certainly local how-to standards. So a company that extrudes aluminum moldings, for example, would certainly want to adopt a standard way to run all its extrusion stations, regardless of which of the many different molding patterns is being extruded at each one. This standardization of manufacturing process was the particular interest of an early-twentieth-century mechanical engineer named Frederick Winslow Taylor. His 1911 book, The Principles of Scientific Management, set out to do for the human aspect of factory work what the principle of interchangeable parts had done for rifles half a century earlier. Taylorism called for rigorous standardization of manual factory activity so that the human pieces of the process would be as interchangeable as the parts of the products. Beyond Taylorism With nearly a century under its belt, Taylorism is still alive and well in the manufacturing sector today.


pages: 391 words: 22,799

To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise by Bethany Moreton

affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, global village, informal economy, invisible hand, liberation theology, longitudinal study, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, price anchoring, Ralph Nader, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, walkable city, Washington Consensus, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, Works Progress Administration

With a peculiarly blinkered approach to orÂ�gaÂ�niÂ�zaÂ�tions in the abstract, he encouraged nonhierarchical management for clients as distinct as a Catholic sisterhood and the Business Roundtable, a lobbying consortium comprising the CEOs of the nation’s 200 largest corpora107 TO SERVE GOD AND WAL - Â�M ART tions that was responsible for many notable antilabor and deregulation victories of the conservative ascendancy.27 Greenleaf ’s work grew out of longstanding traditions in management theory. Since the initial military-Â�inspired breakthroughs of Taylorization at the turn of the twentieth century, reÂ�finements on sciÂ�enÂ�tific management had proceeded from the analogy between a worker and a machine. The regime of mass production valued human effort in proportion to its efÂ�fiÂ�ciency and predictability. “Schmidt,” Frederick Winslow Taylor’s pseudonym for the “first-Â�class laborer,” embodied this breakthrough in the 1911 ur-Â�text of sciÂ�enÂ�tific management: “He worked when he was told to work, and rested when he was told to rest,” limned Taylor in the cadences of Genesis, “and at half-Â�past five in the afternoon had his 47½ tons [of pig iron] loaded on the car.”28 Taylor understood his system as a branch of mechanical engineering, a logical extension of€the machine itself.29 As the ruling machines of the American workplace changed, so the analogy changed with them.

The company actively promoted this association in training materials 305 NOTES TO PAGES 107 – 1 1 0 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. today; see Dunnett and Arnold, “Falling Prices, Happy Faces,” 83; Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2001), 157. “Promise,” 122. Don M. Frick, Robert K. Greenleaf: A Life of Servant Leadership (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2004), 293. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: W.W. Norton, 1967), 47. Daniel Nelson, Managers and Workers: Origins of the New Factory System in the United States, 1880–1920 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1975), 65. Herbert A. Simon, quoted in Stephen P. Waring, Taylorism Transformed: Scientific Management Theory Since 1945 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 66.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

The inventor was humanity’s “redeemer from despairing drudgery and burdensome labor,” to quote the engineer Charles Hermany from 1904. And nearly any form of mechanic bridles at any sort of waste and friction in a system. I once had a mechanical-engineer neighbor who repaired motorcycles; if he heard the tiniest unexpected noise coming from the engine, he’d tear it apart to hunt down and eliminate its source. (“Noise,” he intoned soberly, “is wasted energy.”) Frederick Winslow Taylor—the inventor of “Taylorism”—inveighed against the “awkward, inefficient or ill-directed movements of men,” arguing that workers’ movements ought to be carefully prescribed to ensure maximum output. His colleague Frank Gilbreth obsessed over wasted movements in everything from bricklaying to vest buttoning, while his engineer wife designed kitchens as such that the number of steps in making a strawberry shortcake was reduced “from 281 to 45,” as Better Homes Manual enthused.

Colburn, 1818), 94. “simultaneously wholesome and insane”: Jennifer Brostrom, “The Time-management Gospel,” in Commodify Your Dissent: Salvos from the Baffler, eds. Thomas Frank and Matt Weiland (New York: W. W. Norton, 2011), 116. Charles Hermany from 1904: “Address of President Charles Hermany,” Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers 53 (1904): 464. to ensure maximum output: Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1919), 5; David A. Hounshell, “The Same Old Principles in the New Manufacturing,” Harvard Business Review (November 1988), accessed online August 18, 2018, https://hbr.org/1988/11/the-same-old-principles-in-the-new-manufacturing. bricklaying to vest buttoning: Jill Lepore, “Not So Fast,” New Yorker, October 12, 2009, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/10/12/not-so-fast; Dennis McLellan, “Ernestine Carey, 98; Wrote a Comical Look at Her Big Family in ‘Cheaper by the Dozen,’” Los Angeles Times, November 7, 2006, accessed August 18, 2018, http://articles.latimes.com/2006/nov/07/local/me-carey7.


pages: 514 words: 153,092

The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes

anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Frederick Winslow Taylor, invisible hand, jobless men, Mahatma Gandhi, plutocrats, Plutocrats, short selling, Upton Sinclair, wage slave, Works Progress Administration

Hoover believed that action was necessary to make the country live up to its potential. Coolidge had long ago determined that the world would do better if he involved himself less. Finally, there was a difference in temperament. Hoover strewed around phrases about individuality, but he could not control his own sense of agency. He was by personality an intervener; he liked to jump in, and find a moral justification for doing so later. People like Frederick Winslow Taylor, the great efficiency expert, and Herbert Hoover, the great engineer, had done so well in the private sector. Bringing some of them into government might allow some of that knowledge to rub off. Coolidge by contrast believed that the work of life lay in holding back and shutting out. He conducted his official life according to his own version of the doctor’s Hippocratic Oath—first, do no harm.

Jackson, Robert H. That Man: An Insider’s Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Edited by John Q. Barrett. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Jeansonne, Glen. Gerald L. K. Smith: Minister of Hate. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1997. Joslin, Theodore G. Hoover off the Record, 1934. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran, 1937. Kanigel, Robert. The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency. New York: Penguin, 1997. Kindleberger, Charles P. The World in Depression: 1929–1939, revised edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986. Kirk, Russell, ed. The Portable Conservative Reader. New York: Penguin, 1996. Klein, Maury. Rainbow’s End: The Crash of 1929. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2001. Knepper, Cathy D. Greenbelt, Maryland: A Living Legacy of the New Deal.


pages: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

The power for the machines had to be transmitted via a system of shafts and gears, which could break down and stop production. The raw material had to be brought in at one end (or on one floor) of the factory and the finished product taken out at another. The workers had to be trained and divided according to their specialised tasks. As industry developed, these tasks became too complex for the original founders (or their families) to oversee. Frederick Winslow Taylor was a consultant who pioneered “scientific” management. He spent 26 years watching people at work, particularly in the steel industry, armed with a stopwatch and a notepad, and observing what they did. That led him to break down tasks into a number of specific actions, train workers to take such actions, and reward them for meeting their targets. Lenin, the Soviet Union leader, was a great fan of Taylor’s work.22 Taylor’s aim was to improve efficiency and stop employees from dawdling on the job.

Michael Pooler and Emily Feng, “Steel industry grapples with curse of oversupply”, Financial Times, October 29th 2017 19. Source: https://www.ranker.com/list/life-in-steel-producing-pittsburgh/nicole-sivens 20. Quote taken from “The Steel Business”, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/carnegie-steel-business/ 21. Peter Krass. Carnegie. Carnegie was also ruthless in dealing with strikers, as we shall see in Chapter 9. In later life, he became a noted philanthropist. 22. “Frederick Winslow Taylor, Guru”, The Economist, February 6th 2009 23. Quoted in Emily Guendelsberger, On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane 24. Richard Donkin, Blood, Sweat & Tears: The Evolution of Work 25. “Lean production”, The Economist, October 19th, 2009 26. Oya Celasun and Bertrand Gruss, “The declining share of industrial jobs”, May 25th 2018, https://voxeu.org/article/declining-share-manufacturing-jobs 27.


pages: 668 words: 159,523

Coffeeland: One Man's Dark Empire and the Making of Our Favorite Drug by Augustine Sedgewick

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, business cycle, California gold rush, collective bargaining, European colonialism, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, Food sovereignty, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Honoré de Balzac, imperial preference, Joan Didion, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, land reform, land tenure, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, Monroe Doctrine, Philip Mirowski, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, wage slave, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

“Perhaps most of us would be better off if we did not drink tea or coffee,” Atwater concluded, and kept to the principle in his laboratory.23 While A. W. Smith was in the calorimeter, laboring over German treatises on physics to understand the laws his body could not help following, he had only water and milk to drink. Atwater’s reservations about coffee were shared by the other pioneering Gilded Age inspector of the human body at work, Frederick Winslow Taylor. In the decades around the turn of the twentieth century, factory mechanization, artificial lighting, and standardized clock time made the physiological limits of the human body at work look like the last great obstacle to unbounded industrial productivity, and an urgent problem to be solved. In famous time and motion studies begun in the 1880s, Taylor analyzed workers’ movements to engineer the most efficient way of performing a given job, in the interest of reducing fatigue, maximizing output each workday, and paring the costs of production down to a hard minimum.

In April 1930 representatives of Central American coffee countries met in Guatemala City with the idea of organizing warehouses on the model of Brazil’s, where coffee could be stored until prices recovered and it could be sold “under more favorable conditions.” The mild-coffee congress also proposed advertising Central American coffee in the United States and Europe, and hiring experts who would analyze coffee plantations and mills according to the principles Frederick Winslow Taylor had applied in factories in the United States.5 Yet this congress had no power to do anything more substantial than make recommendations, and no saving cartel took form. There were obstacles at home, too. After customs inspector W. W. Renwick was informed of the creation of the Salvadoran coffee defense plan, he delivered some unwelcome news to James Hill and his fellow planters. Renwick informed them he was required by the terms of the loan agreement to collect 70 percent of the new tax, too, the one meant to fund the defense of coffee.


pages: 205 words: 58,054

Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (And Why We Don't Talk About It) by Elizabeth S. Anderson

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, declining real wages, deskilling, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, invisible hand, manufacturing employment, means of production, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, principal–agent problem, profit motive, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Socratic dialogue, spinning jenny, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics

Philosophy and Public Affairs 31 (2003): 5–39. 3. Of course, to the extent that the patriarchal family was itself a little firm, or to the extent that the operation was just a sweatshop in what was also a place of residence, there was government even in the tenements. For the required contrast, we have to imagine that piecework, perhaps contrary to fact, wasn’t like this. This makes the thought experiment no longer so “natural.” 4. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1911). 5. R. H. Coase, “The Nature of the Firm,” Economica 4 (1937): 386–405. 6. Granted, this worry may not be limited to the firm. A monopsonist might threaten to refuse to do business with an independent artisan, unless he votes for his candidate. But, at very least, the worry is not a worry about compensation, conditions, or security.


pages: 243 words: 59,662

Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less by Michael Hyatt

"side hustle", Atul Gawande, Cal Newport, Checklist Manifesto, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, informal economy, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Parkinson's law, remote working, Steve Jobs, zero-sum game

Objective 1: Efficiency Ask a random stranger about the purpose of productivity and there’s a good chance you’ll hear something about efficiency. This is usually based on the assumption that working faster is inherently better. This easily gets us into trouble, though, because I think people try to work faster just so they can cram even more things into their already-packed day. Productivity as a concept emerged from the work of efficiency experts such as Frederick Winslow Taylor in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Applying an engineering background to factory workers, Taylor identified ways to boost efficiency—normally by reducing, even eliminating, workers’ autonomy. “The system must come first,” he said, and it would have to be “enforced” by management.1 Taylor instructed managers to dictate workers’ methods and routines down to the tiniest details, eliminating any waste or drag.


pages: 333 words: 64,581

Clean Agile: Back to Basics by Robert C. Martin

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, c2.com, continuous integration, DevOps, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Frederick Winslow Taylor, index card, iterative process, Kubernetes, loose coupling, microservices, remote working, revision control, Turing machine

Scientific Management is probably as old as the pyramids, Stonehenge, or any of the other great works of ancient times, because it is impossible to believe that such works could have been created without it. Again, the idea of repeating a successful process is just too intuitive, and human, to be considered some kind of a revolution. Scientific Management got its name from the works of Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1880s. Taylor formalized and commercialized the approach and made his fortune as a management consultant. The technique was wildly successful and led to massive increases in efficiency and productivity during the decades that followed. And so it was that in 1970 the software world was at the crossroads of these two opposing techniques. Pre-Agile (Agile before it was called “Agile”) took short reactive steps that were measured and refined in order to stagger, in a directed random walk, toward a good outcome.


pages: 222 words: 74,587

Paper Machines: About Cards & Catalogs, 1548-1929 by Markus Krajewski, Peter Krapp

business process, continuation of politics by other means, double entry bookkeeping, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, index card, Index librorum prohibitorum, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jacques de Vaucanson, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge worker, means of production, new economy, paper trading, Turing machine

However, in 1914, the global turn of events—that is, the outbreak of World War I—galvanizes the mental labor of nation-states into a different scientific and economic mode. In the German Reich, this is reflected in the test for index cards as a catalog technology when, in 1914, they replace the bound catalog of the Royal Library in Berlin to collect and order everything by objective keywords.1 Even before the war, Ostwald’s energetic economy2 connects with the adoption after 1913 of scientific management as pioneered by Frederick Winslow Taylor, particularly by his German translator Rudolf Roesler.3 Roesler emphasizes that both proposals “are applicable with the same right and with the same success to all areas of human activity.”4 The central point of their interaction and mutual reinforcement lies in the search for efficiency, for increased achievement. The energetic imperative suggests avoiding wasting energy (W), and moreover seeks to increase it.


pages: 252 words: 70,424

The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla, Mitch Cohen

business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Colonization of Mars, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, global supply chain, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, old-boy network, paper trading, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, young professional

Before Harrison’s invention, sea captains could only identify latitude by measuring the angle of the sun at noon, when it reached its apex, but without an accurate timepiece they had no way to measure longitude, and so quite literally had no idea where in the world they were at any given moment. Armed with a chronometer, sea captains could now navigate with more accuracy, avoid dangerous routes, and effectively decrease the length of their journeys. Harrison’s invention changed the business of seafaring—and set the British on a path to extreme value creation in trade. Fast-forward nearly two hundred years and Frederick Winslow Taylor, the father of scientific management, was using time and motion studies to develop ideas to help businesses improve their productivity. Time measurement also made possible the digital computer, which samples itself billions of times a second and records its data through binary impulses—on or off—within a defined window of time. We offer these examples because they show how business innovators of the past have leveraged time as a tool, a source of invention or advantage, or at least as a dynamic factor in their ideation.


Work in the Future The Automation Revolution-Palgrave MacMillan (2019) by Robert Skidelsky Nan Craig

3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, anti-work, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, business cycle, cloud computing, collective bargaining, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, data is the new oil, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, off grid, pattern recognition, post-work, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, wealth creators, working poor

Donkin system did, however, offer an alternative to what had hitherto been viewed by slave-owners as unchallengeable custom and practice. With slavery abolished, the stage had been set for a line of organisational thinkers and managers. To single out a single individual is arguably subjective because this thinking, like the technology in which it is immersed, has a traceable progression of notable contributions. When Frederick Winslow Taylor outlined his ideas on piece-work based on time and motion studies of production workers, he relied on the recent invention of a stopwatch that could measure elapsed time for more than one minute. Without this invention, without his acquisition of such a watch in Switzerland, industry may have waited longer for his “time and motion” studies involving the systematic breaking down of work in to its constituent parts, a practice he called scientific management.


The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan by Robert Kanigel

Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, British Empire, computer age, Copley Medal, creative destruction, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filipino sailors, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Isaac Newton, Mahatma Gandhi, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, the market place, upwardly mobile

Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge A photo taken in 1941, snapped by someone from The Picture Post, as Hardy watched a rugby game between Cambridge and Oxford. He was 64 years old—and after a seemingly endless youth, looked it. Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge Photo by Aaron Levin ROBERT KANIGEL, winner of the Grady-Stack Award for science writing, is also author of The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency, Apprentice to Genius: The Making of a Scientific Dynasty, and High Season: How One French Riviera Town Has Seduced Travelers for Two Thousand Years. THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY was one of five finalists for the 1991 Los Angeles Times Book Award in the Science category. Robert Kanigel’s articles, essays, and reviews have been published in many magazines, including The New York Times Magazine, Civilization, Psychology Today, Science 85, Health, and The Sciences.

He reviews regularly for The New York Times Book Review and the Los Angeles Times. He is a professor of science writing at MIT, where he directs the Graduate Program in Science Writing. He has also taught at the University of Baltimore’s Yale Gordon College of Liberal Arts and at Johns Hopkins University. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Also by Robert Kanigel APPRENTICE TO GENIUS: The Making of a Scientific Dynasty THE ONE BEST WAY: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency HIGH SEASON: How One French Riviera Town Has Seduced Travelers for Two Thousand Years We hope you enjoyed reading this Washington Square Press eBook. * * * Join our mailing list and get updates on new releases, deals, bonus content and other great books from Washington Square Press and Simon & Schuster. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP or visit us online to sign up at eBookNews.SimonandSchuster.com Notes I have supplied notes for most quotations and for most statements of fact that the inquiring reader might be moved to question.


pages: 209 words: 80,086

The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs, and Incomes by Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder, David Ashton

active measures, affirmative action, barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, glass ceiling, global supply chain, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial cluster, industrial robot, intangible asset, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market design, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, post-industrial society, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy, working poor, zero-sum game

Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1911), chap. 2, p. 6. http://www.archive.org/details/ principlesofscie00taylrich. Peter Drucker argues, “Few figures in intellectual history have had greater impact than Taylor. And few have been so willfully misunderstood and so assiduously misquoted.” Drucker, Post-Capitalist Society, 31. See Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (London: Abacus 1997), 9. Frederick W. Taylor quoted in Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way, 473. Frederick W. Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management, chap. 2, p. 4. http:// www.archive.org/details/principlesofscie00taylrich Ibid., 2. http://www.archive.org/details/principlesofscie00taylrich See Kanigel, The One Best Way, 460. Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management, chapter 2, p. 4. http://www. archive.org/details/principlesofscie00taylrich Kanigel, The One Best Way, 282.


Ellul, Jacques-The Technological Society-Vintage Books (1964) by Unknown

Bretton Woods, conceptual framework, do-ocracy, double entry bookkeeping, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, liberal capitalism, means of production, Norbert Wiener, price mechanism, profit motive, rising living standards, road to serfdom, spinning jenny, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto

By its agency they communicate, whatever their languages, beliefs, or race. It has become, for life or death, the universal lan­ guage which compensates for all the deficiencies and separations it The Technological Society ( 13 3 has itsel{ produced. This is the major reason for the great impetus of technique toward the universal. The Autonomy of Technique. The primary aspect of autonomy is perfectly expressed by Frederick Winslow Taylor, a leading tech­ nician. He takes, as his point of departure, the view that the in­ dustrial plant is a whole in itself, a 'closed organism,” an end in itself. Ciedion adds: “What is fabricated in this plant and what is the goal of its labor— these are questions outside its design.” The complete separation of the goal from the mechanism, the limita­ tion of the problem to the means, and the refusal to interfere in any way with efficiency; all this is clearly expressed b y Taylor and lies at the basis of technical autonomy.

Work techniques began with the world of the machine and dis­ played scant regard for human beings. Machines were invented and assembled, buildings were put up around them, and men were put inside. For fifty years the procedure was completely haphazard. Then it was noted that the worker’s productivity could be markedly increased by imposing certain rules on him. The result was the sys­ tem associated with the names of the Americans Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henry Ford. As Georges Friedmann has shown, they took nothing into consideration beyond the necessities of produc­ tion and the maximum utilization of the machine; they completely ignored the serfdom these factors entail— with their production lines, their infinite subdivision of tasks, and so on. The objection will be raised, and rightly so, that this system was gradually changed and eventually became concerned not so much with questions of maximal exploitation as with optimal results.


pages: 716 words: 192,143

The Enlightened Capitalists by James O'Toole

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, desegregation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, end world poverty, equal pay for equal work, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inventory management, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, means of production, Menlo Park, North Sea oil, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Socratic dialogue, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, stocks for the long run, stocks for the long term, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, traveling salesman, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, Vanguard fund, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

He made certain his workers lived in comfortable homes in a spotlessly clean community with free schools and hospitals, yet acted the miser when it came to paying their wages. While Milton personally enjoyed fine wines and brandy on his travels, he fired employees caught drinking in his company town. The Hershey factory was clean, warm in winter, and well-ventilated in summer, yet its workers toiled under Frederick Winslow Taylor’s “scientific management” system, which reduced their tasks to dulling, inhumane assembly-line routines that called to mind the soul-destroying work satirized in Charlie Chaplin’s classic film Modern Times. Although Hershey lavished imported luxuries on Kitty, he harshly reprimanded employees who “wasted” electricity by turning on extra lights needed to do their tasks.9 Job security was the unquestioned norm in the chocolate factory, where most employees assumed they had lifetime employment; nonetheless, Hershey had a reputation for the occasional arbitrary firing.

Lincoln Electric has successfully answered that charge to the satisfaction of government regulators by portraying the role of the advisory board as a formal structure to facilitate employee-management communication and coordination. But the unionists’ strongest criticisms are directed at Lincoln’s piecework method of compensation. That system has been the bane of unions since the “scientific management” era of the late nineteenth century, when infamous industrial engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor attempted to break down manufacturing tasks into discrete and measurable physical actions, calculate how many such actions workers could do in a given time period, and then establish a pay rate to reward workers for the number of actions they complete. Unions long have argued that such a system—the system Milton Hershey used in his chocolate factory—is simply a method designed to wring the last bit of productivity out of workers.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

Amazon, according to the ILSR report, is a job killer rather than job creator, having destroyed a net 27,000 jobs in the American economy in 2012.48 Even more chilling is Amazon’s heartless treatment of its nonunionized workforce, particularly its utilization of monitoring technologies to observe the company’s warehouse workers’ most minute activities. Simon Head, a senior fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University, argues that this makes Amazon, with Walmart, the “most egregiously ruthless corporation in America.” This shop-floor surveillance, Head says, is an “extreme variant” of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Taylorism—the scientific management system invented by Frederick Winslow Taylor, which Aldous Huxley savagely parodied as “Fordism” in Brave New World.49 Yet even without these monitoring technologies, work in the Amazon fulfillment centers is notoriously unpleasant. Nonunionized Amazon workers in Pennsylvania, for example, have been subjected to such high warehouse temperatures that the company has ambulances permanently parked outside the facility ready to speed overheated workers to the emergency ward.50 In its Kentucky delivery center, Amazon’s hyperefficient work culture has created what one former manager described as the “huge problems” of permanently injured workers.51 In Germany, Amazon’s second-largest market, 1,300 workers organized a series of strikes in 2013 over pay and working conditions as well as to protest a security firm hired to police the company’s distribution centers.52 In Britain, a 2013 BBC undercover investigation into an Amazon warehouse revealed disturbingly harsh working conditions that one stress expert warned could lead to “mental and physical illness” for workers.53 But I don’t suppose the libertarian venture capitalists care much about the many casualties of this war of the one percent—such as Pam Wetherington, a middle-aged woman at Amazon’s Kentucky operation who suffered stress fractures in both feet through walking for miles on the warehouse’s concrete floor, yet received no compensation from Bezos’s company when she could no longer work.54 Or Jennifer Owen, a ten-year veteran employee at the Kentucky warehouse who was summarily fired after returning to work from an Amazon-approved medical leave after a car accident.55 While Amazon is a nightmare for nonunionized workers like Wetherington and Owen, it has been a financial dream for investors like Tom Perkins’s KPCB, whose original $6 million investment would, by 2014, be worth around $20 billion.


pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, lifelogging, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, too big to fail, US Airways Flight 1549, web application, zero-sum game

It’s affecting every person, not just the fortunate few in developed economies. What it means for business Business can’t simply try to implement industrial-era strategies in emerging markets. The technology revolution means that many industrial-era ideas and markets will be leap-frogged by developing economies. Notes 1 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2011/10/18/more-mobile-phones-than-toothbrushes and also www.chartsbin.com/view/1881 2 Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=HoJMAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA3&redir_esc=y CHAPTER 3 The social reality: beyond the surface of social media Social media is only a small part of the change we’re living through; it’s a surface indicator or a symptom of the times. The fact that all of it has been enabled by an omnipresent and ultra-cheap space race in technology tells us much more about why it matters.


pages: 254 words: 81,009

Busy by Tony Crabbe

airport security, British Empire, business process, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, fear of failure, Frederick Winslow Taylor, haute cuisine, informal economy, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, loss aversion, low cost airline, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Shai Danziger, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple

Finally, any further increases we want to make in our productivity in the hope of achieving ever-smaller advantages over our competition come at an increasingly large cost (especially if we remember Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s concavity). The “More” Game In the Industrial Age, the primary goal was production: given a set level of quality, the more you could produce, the better. As time passed and production processes improved, managers started to realize the thing that was slowing output the most was the human factor. They needed their people to work harder and more efficiently. Enter Frederick Winslow Taylor and his approach called scientific management. Taylor analyzed employee activity with time and motion studies to find out where efficiencies could be made. Ever since then, the core focus of most management teams has been to get their people to produce more. In a curious parallel to the Industrial Age, a recent study has looked at what is holding back the effectiveness of computer systems today.


pages: 336 words: 90,749

How to Fix Copyright by William Patry

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, barriers to entry, big-box store, borderless world, business cycle, business intelligence, citizen journalism, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, haute cuisine, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, lone genius, means of production, moral panic, new economy, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

NOTES TO PAGES 253–256 a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people.” Smith’s faith in the division of labor providing wealth to all classes was naïve. He assumed that if large jobs were broken down into small jobs, workers would become experts in their own area, and would be more productive. Being more productive, they would be paid more. That isn’t what happened, at least at the industrial level, thanks to the efforts of Frederick Winslow Taylor, who took Smith’s theory but used it to deprive workers of knowledge of anything but the small task in front of them, tasks which were made repeatable and monotonous, thereby diminishing their skills. In addition, Taylor’s methods of using stop watches and other forms of quantification led to laborers producing more in less time for less pay. Some opulence. See Tyler Cowen, Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World’s Cultures 14–16 (Princeton University Press, 2002), for a discussion of the different ways the term diversity is used. http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/walt_whitman/quotes.


pages: 340 words: 92,904

Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, longitudinal study, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

If you thought people just put one foot in front of another, think again. There’s a lot of empirical research on walking, and not just the way in which the thighbone is connected to the knee bone, a subject that was on my mind a lot after I had arthroscopic knee surgery in the summer of 2014. People have been measuring, analyzing, and modeling the way people walk ever since the original gurus of scientific management, Frederick Winslow Taylor and the husband-and-wife team of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth,k performed the first time-motion studies to see how best to organize assembly-line work at the end of the nineteenth century. Decades later, William H. Whyte—“Holly” to everyone who knew him—graduated from reporting on business organizations for Fortune and writing business bestsellers like The Organization Man (this million seller from 1956 is where the term groupthink was coined) to discover his true calling: describing the way people behaved and moved in public places.


pages: 341 words: 89,986

Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made by Tom Wilkinson

Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, double helix, experimental subject, false memory syndrome, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, housing crisis, Kitchen Debate, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, megacity, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, starchitect, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban planning

It is terrifying to me.’6 Complex actions were photographically dissected in Frank and Lillian Gilbreth’s ‘motion studies’: in long exposures small lights were attached to subjects’ hands in order to record actions, with the subjects themselves reduced to faceless blurs These ‘terrifying’ innovations were part of a new approach to work that developed around the turn of the twentieth century, pioneered by Ford, Frederick Winslow Taylor, whose systematic analysis and reorganisation of labour processes became known as Taylorism, and husband and wife team Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, inventors of the motion study. Ford claimed never to have read the work of Taylor (credibly enough – he wasn’t keen on books), but although there were differences in their approaches they shared the view that production could be optimised by dissecting the work process.


pages: 332 words: 89,668

Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Workers encountered dangerous and unfenced machinery; even when safety measures were available, employers could claim that installing them was too expensive. Employers claimed that workplace injuries were due to worker negligence or failure to master the English language. Workers labored long hours, in uncomfortable postures, without sufficient meal breaks or bathroom breaks. Mechanical engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor’s innovation of “scientific management” introduced time–motion studies intended to find the “one best way” of performing every factory task; Taylorism made production efficient but deprived the worker of all autonomy of movement on pain of fines or dismissal.35 And most depressingly, the cost of adapting physically to the workplace was shifted onto the worker; there was no regulation to compel most workplaces to restrict work hours, provide rest and meal breaks, or install safety devices.36 By 1920, more than 5 million Americans belonged to labor unions, as contrasted with fewer than 500,000 only 20 years previously.37 Even during this moment of relative labor unrest, however, the workforce remained divided between men and women, between native-born and immigrant workers, and between the white workers and the black workers who were often used to break strikes.38 The American Federation of Labor emerged as the major overarching entity organizing male skilled workers.


pages: 324 words: 93,175

The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely

Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Burning Man, business process, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, end world poverty, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, second-price auction, software as a service, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, young professional

But though they were very poor, and therefore but indifferently accommodated with the necessary machinery, they could, when they exerted themselves, make among them about twelve pounds of pins in a day. There are in a pound upwards of four thousand pins of a middling size. Those ten persons, therefore, could make among them upwards of forty-eight thousand pins in a day.1 When we take tasks and break them down into smaller parts, we create local efficiencies; each person can become better and better at the small thing he does. (Henry Ford and Frederick Winslow Taylor extended the division-of-labor concept to the assembly line, finding that this approach reduced errors, increased productivity, and made it possible to produce cars and other goods en masse.) But we often don’t realize that the division of labor can also exact a human cost. As early as 1844, Karl Marx—the German philosopher, political economist, sociologist, revolutionary, and father of communism—pointed to the importance of what he called “the alienation of labor.”


pages: 294 words: 89,406

Lying for Money: How Fraud Makes the World Go Round by Daniel Davies

bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business process, collapse of Lehman Brothers, compound rate of return, cryptocurrency, financial deregulation, fixed income, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, illegal immigration, index arbitrage, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, railway mania, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, short selling, social web, South Sea Bubble, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, web of trust

If you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it is something of a caricature* of modern management science, but it expresses a deep truth; management is an information-processing job, and the development of large corporations has been made possible by the parallel development of reporting structures, quality and output measures and other tools for getting that information from the machines into the offices. Modern management science could fairly be said to have started with The Principles of Scientific Management by Frederick Winslow Taylor in 1911, which first advocated the ‘time and motion study’ and the scientific analysis of business processes, starting with a famous study of how many rest breaks a man should take while shoveling iron ore onto a truck. And it could almost as fairly be said that a very great proportion of management theory since Taylor has been made up of calls to measure different things, in order to correct for the biases introduced by the previous round of changes.


pages: 407 words: 103,501

The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Netwo Rking by Mark Bauerlein

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, business cycle, centre right, citizen journalism, collaborative editing, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, disintermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Results Only Work Environment, Saturday Night Live, search engine result page, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technology bubble, Ted Nelson, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, web application

Never has a communications system played so many roles in our lives—or exerted such broad influence over our thoughts—as the Internet does today. Yet, for all that’s been written about the Net, there’s been little consideration of how, exactly, it’s reprogramming us. The Net’s intellectual ethic remains obscure. About the same time that Nietzsche started using his typewriter, an earnest young man named Frederick Winslow Taylor carried a stopwatch into the Midvale Steel plant in Philadelphia and began a historic series of experiments aimed at improving the efficiency of the plant’s machinists. With the approval of Midvale’s owners, he recruited a group of factory hands, set them to work on various metalworking machines, and recorded and timed their every movement as well as the operations of the machines. By breaking down every job into a sequence of small, discrete steps and then testing different ways of performing each one, Taylor created a set of precise instructions—an “algorithm,” we might say today—for how each worker should work.


Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age by Alex Wright

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, barriers to entry, British Empire, business climate, business intelligence, Cape to Cairo, card file, centralized clearinghouse, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, European colonialism, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Law of Accelerating Returns, linked data, Livingstone, I presume, lone genius, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norman Mailer, out of africa, packet switching, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

The invention of electricity and the internal combustion engine accelerated the production and transportation of goods, while new communications technologies like the telegraph and the radio started to lay the foundations for a nascent global communications network. 34 T he L ibraries o f B abel These developments in turn created the conditions for new patterns of knowledge production to emerge. As industrialization took hold across England and eventually the rest of Europe, so too did a new organizational ethos. The principles of scientific management, as it was called, most famously articulated by the American mechanical engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor, began to shape the work practices of many growing industrial companies. Giving eloquent voice to the new industrial ethos, Taylor described how professional managers must learn to take a wholesystems view of their organizations, instituting tightly controlled processes to maximize productivity. “In the past the man has been first; in the future the system must be first.”24 Using time-motion studies, log books, and other observational methods, Taylor developed a framework for optimizing the manufacturing process by creating standardized operating procedures and rigorous measurements of employee output.


pages: 391 words: 97,018

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . And the Rise of a New Economy by Daniel Gross

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset-backed security, Bakken shale, banking crisis, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demand response, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, high net worth, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, illegal immigration, index fund, intangible asset, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, money market fund, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, Wall-E, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zipcar

And as declinists fingered their worry beads and warned of a permanent depression, the private sector was figuring how to do things better and faster, laying the groundwork for a stronger economy. The pursuit of efficiency has long been a hallmark of American economic success. Management consulting, it should be recalled, is an American invention and a field in which U.S. firms dominate. It started with Frederick Winslow Taylor, who may have been America’s first management consultant. Starting in the 1890s the inventor of “scientific management” walked around factories with a stopwatch, timing the activities of workers and suggesting ways they could speed up their processes. The efficiency revolution continued with Henry Ford, whose perfection of the assembly line at the vast River Rouge plant enabled him to transform the automobile from a custom-built toy for the 1 percent to a highly practical tool for the 99 percent.


pages: 851 words: 247,711

The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War by Norman Stone

affirmative action, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, central bank independence, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, illegal immigration, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, land reform, long peace, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Norman Mailer, North Sea oil, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, popular capitalism, price mechanism, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, V2 rocket, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, éminence grise

One trouble was that those who could not manage, taught, and sometimes preached. Real managers have better things to do, and asking them about theories of management is equivalent to asking a first-class golfer to lecture on ballistics. There was even around 1900 a group of men who wanted to make business academically respectable and Harvard acquired a business school that its founders expected to rival the law school. Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) invented the time-and-motion study, in which white-coated experts studied the performance of the workforce, and, with slide-rules, criticized. Early on, the application of these methods caused demoralization and in the Ford plant at Dearborn turnover of the workforce stood at 900 per cent a year. Taylor’s claim was to ‘mathematize’ everything, and though himself a failure as a manager of men, he was the ancestor of the management consultant, and even the originator of a notion that management could be learned from books as distinct from experience.

Sweden: automobile industry and Finland health care and Kurdish nationalism Lutheran Church price and wage control sterilization of Lapps ‘Swedish model’ taxation trade with Germany trade unions Swindon Switzerland Sydney Syria: Egyptian-Syrian union Kurdish population Öcalan in Soviet aid Yom Kippur War (1973) Szamuely, Tibor Szasz, Thomas, The Myth of Mental Illness Szklarska Poręba Tadzhikistan Tadzhiks Taiwan: Chiang Kai-shek’s mausoleum economic power Kuomintang (Nationalist) government land reforms US relations with Talbott, Strobe Talebani, Celal Talleyrand, Charles Maurice de Tamerlane Tanzania Taraki, Nur Mohammed Targowice, Convention of (1792) Tarnovsky, A. A. Tashkent Tătărescu, Gheorghe Tatars Tatarstan Taut, Bruno Tawney, R. H. Taylor, A. J. English History 1914-1945 Taylor, Frederick Winslow Taylorism Taylor, Maxwell Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilich Teamsters (labour union) Tebbit, Norman, Baron Tefal (corporation) Teheran conference (1943) Teitelboim, Volodia TeleCommunications Inc. telephones television: in Britain cable television in Eastern Bloc in France in Germany manufacture of sets news reporting and politics Teller, Edward Timişoara Tennessee Valley Authority terrorism: Irish in Italy Kurdish Palestinian Rome and Vienna airport attacks (1985) in West Germany Tet offensive (1968) Texaco (oil company) Texas TGWU (British Transport and General Workers Union) Thatcher, Sir Denis Thatcher, Margaret, Baroness: animus against background and character on Berlin Wall at Bicentenary celebrations in Paris budget of 1981 andservice combating of inflation core beliefs education policies and EEC/EU elected Conservative leader (1975) Falklands War (1982) and fall of communism fall from power foreign policy general election victories; (1979); (1983) and German reunification and Gorbachev international reputation and miners and nuclear power oratory skills and Pinochet Poll Tax privatization policy relationship with Reagan social policies tax cuts and trade unions and universities Westland affair (1986) Thébaud, Franck Thébaud, Fritz Theodoracopulos, Taki Thieu, Nguyen Van Third Man, The (film) ‘third way’ Thirty Years War Tho, Le Duc Thompson, Robert Thrace Thyssen (corporation) Tiananmen Square massacre (1989) Tibet Tientsin Tigris river Tikhonov, Nikolay Tildy, Zoltán Times, The move to docklands strike Timişoara Tiso, Mgr Jozef Tito, Josip Broz Tobin, James Tocqueville, Alexis de Todd, Emmanuel Toffler, Alvin Tőkés, László Tokyo Tolbukhin, Fyodor Tomić, Radomiro Tonkin, Gulf of Tontons Macoutes Toussaint’Ouverture, François-Dominique Toyota (automobile manufacturer) Trabzon trade unions: Britain Chile China and communist takeover of eastern Europe cross-Atlantic co-operation Cuba Czechoslovakia France Holland Hungary Italy Poland post-war Germany and ‘Swedish model’ Turkey USA West Germany Transjordan Transylvania Trapeznikov, S.


The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling by Arlie Russell Hochschild

affirmative action, airline deregulation, call centre, cognitive dissonance, deskilling, Frederick Winslow Taylor, job satisfaction, late capitalism, longitudinal study, new economy, post-industrial society, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, telemarketer

The Airline Deregulation Act, passed by Congress in October 1978, provided for abolition of the CAB by 1985, after the transfer of some of its functions to other agencies has been accomplished. In 1981 the CAB lost all authority to regulate the entry of air carriers into new domestic markets. 266 Notesfor Pages 119-156 3. Braverman (1974) argues that corporate management applied the principles of Frederick Winslow Taylor and systematically divided single complex tasks into many simple tasks so that a few parts of the former complex task are done by a few highly paid mental workers while the remaining simple parts of the task are done by cheap and interchangeable unskilled workers. To management, the advantage is that it is cheaper and there is more control over the work process from the top, less from the bottom.


pages: 403 words: 106,707

Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson

airport security, animal electricity, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Frederick Winslow Taylor, glass ceiling, Iridium satellite, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stanford marshmallow experiment, technoutopianism, Walter Mischel

They drew an explicit link between the biochemical “steady state” of athletes like DeMar, who could run at an impressive clip for extended periods of time without obvious signs of fatigue, and the capacity of well-trained workers to put in long hours under stressful conditions without a decline in performance. At the time, labor experts were debating two conflicting views of fatigue in the workplace. As MIT historian Robin Scheffler recounts, efficiency gurus like Frederick Winslow Taylor argued that the only true limits on the productive power of workers were inefficiency and lack of will—the toddlers-on-a-plane kind of endurance.32 Labor reformers, meanwhile, insisted that the human body, like an engine, could produce only a certain amount of work before requiring a break (like, say, a weekend). The experimental results emerging from the Harvard Fatigue Lab offered a middle ground, acknowledging the physiological reality of fatigue but suggesting it could be avoided if workers stayed in “physicochemical” equilibrium—the equivalent of DeMar’s ability to run without accumulating excessive lactic acid.


pages: 406 words: 105,602

The Startup Way: Making Entrepreneurship a Fundamental Discipline of Every Enterprise by Eric Ries

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Ben Horowitz, Black-Scholes formula, call centre, centralized clearinghouse, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, connected car, corporate governance, DevOps, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, index card, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, minimum viable product, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, obamacare, peer-to-peer, place-making, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, universal basic income, web of trust, Y Combinator

Upon graduation, having invested a massive amount of resources into her education, at the very moment she would like to switch from being a consumer of resources to a job creator, do we send her back to her home country? It’s illogical. Remember, if such people found a company in their home country, they will probably have easy access to the American market to sell products into. They will probably have easy access to American venture capital. We will be their customers. But the jobs will be created overseas.16 Labor Relations One of the most striking claims of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s The Principles of Scientific Management (1915) was that no workplace that had been organized under the principles of scientific management had ever had a strike, because when workers were treated “optimally” there was never any need for labor strife. With the benefit of hindsight, we now know this claim to be overblown: Many companies organized according to those principles have indeed endured strikes over the years.


pages: 385 words: 111,807

A Pelican Introduction Economics: A User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, discovery of the americas, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberation theology, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, post-industrial society, precariat, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, working-age population, World Values Survey

These things are taken for granted by economists, but they are still something that not every producer gets right, especially in developing countries. The rise of Fordism, or the mass production system In addition to organizing the flow of work more efficiently, attempts have been made to make workers themselves more efficient. The most important in this regard was Taylorism, named after Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856–1915), the American engineer and later management guru. Taylor argued that the production process should be divided up into the simplest possible tasks and that workers should be taught the most effective ways to perform them, established through scientific analyses of the work process. It is also known as scientific management for this reason. Combining the moving assembly line with the Taylorist principle, the mass production system was born in the early years of the twentieth century.


pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, microservices, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wages for housework, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

The combined impact of skilled autonomy, ‘the rich associational life’ and rising social-democratic parties would force capitalism into a new adaptation. Having ‘met the machine and won’, the organized worker would, in the first half of the twentieth century, meet the scientific manager, the bureaucrat and – eventually – the guard at the concentration camp. 1898–1948: PICK UP A PIG AND WALK In 1898, in the freight yard of Bethlehem Steel in Pennsylvania, a manager called Frederick Winslow Taylor came up with a new solution to the century-old problem of skilled worker autonomy. ‘Pick up a pig and walk,’ Taylor told his labourers – a ‘pig’ being a lump of iron weighing 92lbs. By studying not just the time it took them to move the iron, but the detailed motion of their bodies, Taylor showed how industrial tasks could be made modular. Jobs could be broken down into learnable steps, and then allocated to workers less skilled than those currently doing them.


pages: 453 words: 111,010

Licence to be Bad by Jonathan Aldred

"Robert Solow", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, framing effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, full employment, George Akerlof, glass ceiling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, nudge unit, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, positional goods, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, spectrum auction, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, zero-sum game

But it is hardly surprising that businesses cheat when a licence for bad behaviour is so easy to find: simply combine Becker’s inability to understand that crime is morally wrong with Friedman’s insistence that the only responsibility of business is to maximize profit. How many more business leaders, politicians and others in positions of power have excuses from economic imperialists being whispered in their ears? 7 Everyone Has a Price In 1911 Frederick Winslow Taylor, an aristocratic Philadelphian, published The Principles of Scientific Management. Later dubbed ‘the Isaac Newton of the science of work’ by 1970s management guru Peter Drucker, Taylor was arguably the world’s first management consultant. His book paved the way for what are now mainstream management techniques to improve worker efficiency. But Taylorism, as it became known, had a shaky start.


pages: 398 words: 105,917

Bean Counters: The Triumph of the Accountants and How They Broke Capitalism by Richard Brooks

accounting loophole / creative accounting, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blockchain, BRICs, British Empire, business process, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Strachan, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, energy security, Etonian, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, forensic accounting, Frederick Winslow Taylor, G4S, intangible asset, Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low cost airline, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, supply-chain management, The Chicago School, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks

These sprawling concerns had to be managed by other people both for practical reasons and because the likes of Rockefeller, Carnegie and Ford were, said one business historian, ‘the conquerors of capitalism, not its administrators’. 4 Those who could tell the new managers of corporate America what made up their profits, and therefore how they could be increased, were useful people to know. The technicians who took the theories of cost accounting and scaled them up for the new age were led by a mechanical engineer from the steel heartland of Philadelphia called Frederick Winslow Taylor. He refashioned industrial methods using ‘scientific management’: detailed classifications of cost, time, materials and output. ‘Taylorism’ would be credited with innovations such as the production-line system, with each worker performing a small part repetitively. Its brutal efficiency was satirized by Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times, but it enabled Henry Ford’s workers to make a Model T in a couple of hours, compared to half a day beforehand.


pages: 429 words: 114,726

The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise by Nathan L. Ensmenger

barriers to entry, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, deskilling, Donald Knuth, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Grace Hopper, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, loose coupling, new economy, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Shoshana Zuboff, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the market place, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, Y2K

Saba, “Letter to the Editor,” IEEE Computer 29, no. 9 (1996): 10; Edward Nash Yourdon, ed., Classics in Software Engineering (New York: Yourdon Press, 1979); Herbert Freeman and Phillip Lewis, Software Engineering (New York: Academic Press, 1980). 8. M. Douglas McIlroy, cited in ibid, 7. 9. Douglas McIroy, cited in Naur, Randall, and Buxton, Software Engineering, 7. 10. Ibid. 11. Brad Cox, “There Is a Silver Bullet,” Byte 15, no. 10 (1990): 209. 12. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1911). 13. Richard Canning, “Issues in Programming Management,” EDP Analyzer 12, no. 4 (1974): 1–14. 14. Stuart Shapiro, “Splitting the Difference: The Historical Necessity of Synthesis in Software Engineering,” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 19, no. 1 (1997): 25–54. 15. Gerald Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming (New York: Van Nostrand Rheinhold, 1971). 16.


pages: 265 words: 15,515

Nomad Citizenship: Free-Market Communism and the Slow-Motion General Strike by Eugene W. Holland

business cycle, capital controls, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, deskilling, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, price mechanism, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, slashdot, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, wage slave, working poor

[is to] ask whether it is integral to the process or outside the process, that is . . . whether it grows out of the actual circumstances, whether it is inherent in the situation.20 The concept of power-with thus designates both less and more than the mere ability to accomplish something: it highlights the specific quality of the “organization of the social field” entailed by the form of activity do­ ing the accomplishing. Follett was a contemporary of the other, more famous, turn-of-thecentury North American management theorist Frederick Winslow Taylor, and the stark contrast between their views is revealing. Following in Sir Francis Bacon’s footsteps, Taylor advocated replacing the rule-of-thumb procedures developed informally by workers themselves with formal rules developed independently of them by “scientific” managers.21 Where Fol­ lett endorsed a form of authority arising immanently from an internally differentiated but nonhierarchical group, Taylor insisted on a sharp, hier­ archical distinction between the managers, who would analyze the work process to formulate rules of procedure, and the workers, who would merely carry them out.


pages: 347 words: 112,727

Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Anton Chekhov, computer age, David Brooks, digital map, Exxon Valdez, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Golden Gate Park, index card, Isaac Newton, Mason jar, pez dispenser, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Works Progress Administration, Y2K

His sixth book, Steel-Makers and Knotted String, was dedicated to Arthur, as “playmate schoolmate and workmate.” In it, he called his brother “a better workman, a better observer and a more resourceful experimentalist than I.” In 1901, at age thirty, Brearley was hired at Kayser, Ellison & Co. as a chemist to work on high-speed tool steels, which had been discovered three years earlier by a consultant for Bethlehem Steel named Frederick Winslow Taylor. Sidetracked from production problems, Taylor had begun looking at steels used to plane and bore ship plates and cannons. Ideal forging temperatures were still measured by color, and he found that steel, heated to just below dull cherry, came out strong, but the same steel, heated above that point, became weak. To his surprise, he found that if he heated it further—to salmon and yellow—the steel got superhard; so hard that machinists could run their cutting tools two or three times as fast as before, until the blades glowed red, at 1,000 degrees Celsius.


pages: 515 words: 117,501

Miracle Cure by William Rosen

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, biofilm, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, creative destruction, demographic transition, discovery of penicillin, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, functional fixedness, germ theory of disease, global supply chain, Haber-Bosch Process, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, New Journalism, obamacare, out of africa, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, stem cell, transcontinental railway, working poor

The younger Lilly was, in some ways, a midwestern version of George Merck: a disciplined and successful twentieth-century industrialist whose enthusiasm for his corporation’s larger mission seems to have been as uncomplicated, sincere, and sentimental as the poetry of his fellow Hoosier James Whitcomb Riley. During the Second World War, when the company was furiously producing plasma for American troops overseas, he famously observed that he “didn’t think it was the right thing for anybody to make any profit on blood which has been donated.” It has been easy for Lilly’s biographers to emphasize his wide though wonky interests. An early enthusiast for the time-motion studies of Frederick Winslow Taylor, Lilly was also, in no particular order, an amateur archaeologist with a special interest in the Native American cultures of his much-loved home state of Indiana; a sophisticated art collector, largely of Chinese paintings and pottery; a compulsive writer of childish rhymes; a devotee of uplifting self-improvement manuals and the music of Stephen Foster; and, for decades, the patron of choice for leaders of now-forgotten academic fads.* He was also, during his lifetime, one of the half dozen most generous American philanthropists.


pages: 395 words: 116,675

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, AltaVista, altcoin, anthropic principle, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Corn Laws, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, endogenous growth, epigenetics, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, George Santayana, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hydraulic fracturing, imperial preference, income per capita, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, land reform, Lao Tzu, long peace, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Necker cube, obamacare, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, price mechanism, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, twin studies, uber lyft, women in the workforce

Bellamy’s vision of the future, in his immensely influential and bestselling novel Looking Backward, has everybody in the future working for a Great Trust and shopping at identical, government-owned stores for identical goods. Even Lenin and Stalin now admired the big American corporations, with their scientific management, planned workforce accommodation and giant capital requirements. ‘We must organize in Russia the study and teaching of the Taylor system and systematically try it out and adapt it to our purposes,’ wrote Lenin of the great apostle of scientific management, Frederick Winslow Taylor. The libertarian editor of the Nation, Ed Godkin, lamented in 1900: ‘Only a remnant, old men for the most part, still uphold the liberal doctrine, and when they are gone, it will have no champions.’ The very word ‘liberal’ changed its meaning, especially in the United States. ‘As a supreme, if unintended, compliment, the enemies of the system of private enterprise have thought it wise to appropriate the label,’ said Joseph Schumpeter.


pages: 349 words: 112,333

The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con by Amy Reading

Frederick Winslow Taylor, glass ceiling, joint-stock company, new economy, shareholder value, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, zero-sum game

The nineteenth-century Industrial Revolution had transformed American business within and without its factory walls. Small, traditional family firms had merged and grown into large, articulated corporations that were distinguished by two deceptively simple innovations: they were made up of many different operating units, and they were managed by a hierarchy of salaried executives. What resulted was managerial capitalism, which prized efficiency above all else. Frederick Winslow Taylor pioneered the study and merciless exploitation of time as a managerial tool in his book The Principles of Scientific Management. By measuring the time it took to perform a given manufacturing task, a manager would set a standard for production that would then determine workers’ rates of pay, thus vastly increasing the output of each employee. Henry Ford pioneered the assembly line, vertical integration, and the $5 day, which effectively doubled the rate of pay for wage workers in 1914 and also spurred production.


pages: 384 words: 112,971

What’s Your Type? by Merve Emre

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, card file, correlation does not imply causation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, late capitalism, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, p-value, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Socratic dialogue, Stanford prison experiment, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

Salespeople, branch directors, vice presidents, even clerks like his younger self—they were responsible not for making things but for managing the various, sometimes idiosyncratic demands of customers and colleagues. There was no easy or reliable way to quantify how good they were at their jobs. The man who could master the messy intimacies of workplace human relations would emerge as the next Frederick Winslow Taylor: the man revered as the father of “scientific management,” a pioneer in the study of industrial efficiency, and one of Hay’s personal heroes. Only this time, the workplace revolution he would usher in would take place not on the dusty factory floors, amidst loud, hot machines and sweating workers, but in the tidy offices that looked down on them from above. In 1943, Hay left the First Pennsylvania Bank to start Edward N.


pages: 463 words: 115,103

Head, Hand, Heart: Why Intelligence Is Over-Rewarded, Manual Workers Matter, and Caregivers Deserve More Respect by David Goodhart

active measures, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, computer age, corporate social responsibility, COVID-19, Covid-19, David Attenborough, David Brooks, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, desegregation, deskilling, different worldview, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postindustrial economy, precariat, reshoring, Richard Florida, Scientific racism, Skype, social intelligence, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, young professional

By 2018 the percentage had risen to around 50 percent in total, but with only around one-third taking full four-year bachelor degree courses.4 This expansion of the cognitive class in all rich countries was initially a welcome and necessary change. The economy and the expansion of the public sector required more Head jobs and relatively fewer Hand ones, and as we shall see in the next chapter, the income returns to knowledge and education began to take off in the 1970s after almost a century of income compression between Head and Hand. Frederick Winslow Taylor’s theories of scientific management developed in the United States before the First World War had produced the giant mass-production factory by ending skilled workers’ monopoly of production know-how and breaking it down into easy-to-perform functions. This required less manual skill but some degree of literacy and numeracy. Taylorist standardization and specialization hugely increased productivity.


pages: 423 words: 126,096

Our Own Devices: How Technology Remakes Humanity by Edward Tenner

A. Roger Ekirch, Bonfire of the Vanities, card file, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Network effects, optical character recognition, QWERTY keyboard, Shoshana Zuboff, Stewart Brand, women in the workforce

Continuous backs, present even in some costly executive chairs today, tend to push the pelvis and sacrum forward and produce kyphosis.24 BATTLING FATIGUE It was World War I that brought concern about chairs to public attention—once more, not the furniture of managers and executives but the seating of workers, especially female workers. The early industrial engineers paid surprisingly little attention to furniture, probably because so many of their clients and employers were in heavy industry, where workers customarily stood. Until the late nineteenth century a factory worker was lucky to have an upturned box or a stool. Characteristically, Frederick Winslow Taylor, who gave his name to the efficiency movement, illustrated his speeches with a story of a laborer and his shovel. Even Taylor’s almost equally celebrated disciples, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, introduced only one significant innovation, a chair elevated on a movable platform at a high desk to allow alternating sitting and standing positions. Illustrated in textbooks, this chair was never, apparently, produced.


pages: 387 words: 119,409

Work Rules!: Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, citizen journalism, clean water, correlation coefficient, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, helicopter parent, immigration reform, Internet Archive, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, nudge unit, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, random walk, Richard Thaler, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tony Hsieh, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

“Cosmopolitanism—the expansion of people’s parochial little worlds through literacy, mobility, education, science, history, journalism and mass media… prompt[ed] people to take the perspective of people unlike themselves and to expand their circle of sympathy to embrace them.” Pinker lives in a world vastly different from that of Edwards. The world is more interconnected and interdependent. Yet our management practices remain mired in the mindset of Edwards and of Frederick Winslow Taylor, who told Congress in 1912 that management needs to tightly control workers, who were too feeble-minded to think for themselves: I can say, without the slightest hesitation, that the science of handling pig iron is so great that the man who is… physically able to handle pig iron and is sufficiently phlegmatic and stupid to choose this for his occupation is rarely able to comprehend the science of handling pig iron.257 Too many organizations and managers operate as if, absent some enlightened diktat, people are too benighted to make sound decisions and innovate.


pages: 468 words: 123,823

A People's History of Poverty in America by Stephen Pimpare

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, British Empire, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, hedonic treadmill, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, payday loans, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Bruns, Knights of the Road: A Hobo History (New York: Methuen, 1980), 43. 87 Ibid. 88 Quoted in ibid., 9. 89 Frank Tobias Higbie, Indispensable Outcasts: Hobo Workers and Community in the American Midwest, 1880–1930 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003), 30–31. 90 Patricia Cooper, “The ‘Traveling Fraternity’: Union Cigar Makers and Geographic Mobility, 1900–1919,” in Walking to Work (see note 48). As a machinist said to efficiency expert Frederick Winslow Taylor in 1914: “We don’t want to work as fast as we are able to. We want to work as fast as we think it’s comfortable for us to work. We haven’t come into existence for the purpose of seeing how great a task we can perform through a lifetime. We are trying to regulate our work so as to make it an auxiliary to our lives.” Daniel T. Rodgers, The Work Ethic in Industrial America, 1850–1920 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974 [1979]), 168. 91 Ann Banks, ed., First Person America (New York: Vintage, 1980 [1981]), 79. 92 Tully, Beggars of Life, 142. 93 See Jules Tygiel, “Tramping Artisans: Carpenters in Industrial America, 1880–1990,” and Cooper, “The ‘Traveling Fraternity,’” in Walking to Work (see note 48). 94 James D.


pages: 654 words: 120,154

The Firm by Duff McDonald

"Robert Solow", Asian financial crisis, borderless world, collective bargaining, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, family office, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, new economy, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, young professional

By the mid-1930s, McKinsey’s partners were charging $100 a day for their services—a giant figure, though nothing compared with the founder himself, who was billing five times that, the highest rate for a consultant in the country. Taking the Pianist Out of the Brothel Before James McKinsey could be successful, he had to clean up the reputation of management as a concept. In The Management Myth, philosophy-student-turned-consultant-turned-author Matthew Stewart’s highly critical look at the history of management thinking, the author argued that it was flawed from the get-go. And he pinned original sin on Frederick Winslow Taylor, the father of “scientific management.” Taylor’s famous time-and-motion studies used stopwatch analyses of manual labor with the goal of shaving seconds off rote, repeated activities, thereby enhancing productivity. There was, Taylor argued, just “one best way” to produce anything, and a manager armed with Taylor’s tools could identify it. In Stewart’s account, Taylor was a pseudoscientific proselytizer who promoted the spurious notion that “laborers are bodies without minds, managers are minds without bodies.”27 But Taylor’s ideas about improving the efficiency of labor were very popular and influential in his day; in 1911 he published Principles of Scientific Management, an instant hit that was eventually translated into eight languages.


pages: 402 words: 126,835

The Job: The Future of Work in the Modern Era by Ellen Ruppel Shell

3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, big-box store, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban renewal, white picket fence, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game

Employers will pay higher wages to more educated employees because they know that the proportion of employees with high abilities is higher among the educated ones, as it is less costly for them to acquire education than it is for employees with low abilities. For the model to work, it is not even necessary for education to have any intrinsic value if it can convey information about the sender (employee) to the recipient (employer) and if the signal (education) is costly. A. M. Spence, “Job Market Signalling,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 87, no. 3 (1973): 355–74. “he more nearly resembles” Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper, 1911), 59. “began to stop having as many vocational kinds of skills” Shawn Langlois, “Tim Cook Says This Is the Real Reason Apple Products Are Made in China,” MarketWatch, December 21, 2015, http://www.marke­twatch.com/​story/​tim-cook-apple-doesnt-make-its-products-in-china-because-its-cheaper-2015-12-20. a significant “negative impact” factor on their bottom line “The Boiling Point?


pages: 578 words: 131,346

Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman

Airbnb, Anton Chekhov, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Broken windows theory, call centre, David Graeber, Donald Trump, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hans Rosling, invention of writing, invisible hand, knowledge economy, late fees, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, placebo effect, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, universal basic income, World Values Survey

Edwards, William McKinley and Gyewan Moon, ‘The enactment of organizational decline: The self-fulfilling prophecy’, International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 10, Issue 1 (2002). 9Daisy Yuhas, ‘Mirror Neurons Can Reflect Hatred’, Scientific American (1 March 2013). 10John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (London, 1936), Chapter 12. 11Dan Ariely, ‘Pluralistic Ignorance’, YouTube (16 February 2011). 12Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011), pp. 561–5. 13 The Power of Intrinsic Motivation 1Hedwig Wiebes, ‘Jos de Blok (Buurtzorg): “Ik neem nooit zomaar een dag vrij”,’ Intermediair (21 October 2015). 2Ibid. 3Ibid. 4Haico Meijerink, ‘Buurtzorg: “Wij doen niet aan strategische flauwekul”,’ Management Scope (8 October 2014). 5Gardiner Morse, ‘Why We Misread Motives’, Harvard Business Review (January 2003). 6Quoted in ibid. 7Frederick Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York, 1911), Chapter 2, p. 59. 8Quoted in Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way. Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (Cambridge, 2005), p. 499. 9Edward L. Deci, ‘Effects of Externally Mediated Rewards on Intrinsic Motivation’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (1971), p. 114. 10Quoted in Karen McCally, ‘Self-Determined’, Rochester Review (July–August 2010). 11Uri Gneezy and Aldo Rustichini, ‘A Fine is a Price’, Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 29, Issue 1 (2000). 12Samuel Bowles and Sandra Polanía Reyes, ‘Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A Preference-Based Lucas Critique of Public Policy’, University of Massachusetts Amherst Working Papers (2009). 13Amit Katwala, ‘Dan Ariely: Bonuses boost activity, not quality’, Wired ( February 2010). 14Perceptions Matter: The Common Cause UK Values Survey, Common Cause Foundation (2016). 15Milton Friedman, ‘The Methodology of Positive Economics’, in Essays in Positive Economics (Chicago, 1966). 16Sanford E.


pages: 1,073 words: 314,528

Strategy: A History by Lawrence Freedman

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Black Swan, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, circulation of elites, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, collective bargaining, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, defense in depth, desegregation, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, endowment effect, Ford paid five dollars a day, framing effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, lateral thinking, linear programming, loose coupling, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mental accounting, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Nelson Mandela, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Torches of Freedom, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, unemployed young men, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Joseph Wharton wished the school to teach “the nature and prevention of strikes” as well as “the necessity for modern industry of organizing under single leaders or employers great amounts of capital and great numbers of laborers, and of maintaining discipline among the latter.”1 A quarter of a century passed before the Harvard Business School opened in 1908. It followed an endowment to promote an “applied science,” initially assumed to be engineering. Eventually the university opted for business, raising at once the tension between what many supposed to be vocational training and the university’s true purpose of disinterested scholarship. As the first dean, Edwin Gay, searched for a way to resolve this tension he came across the ideas of Frederick Winslow Taylor. Taylor himself was skeptical, to say the least, about the value of a university education. He declined to join the faculty, but he did give regular lectures to the new school, and more importantly, his philosophy permeated the early curriculum. Taylorism Taylor had begun work as an engineer in the steel industry where he started to address the question of how the workforce could be used more efficiently.

Charles D. Wrege and Amadeo G. Perroni, “Taylor’s Pig-Tale: A Historical Analysis of Frederick W. Taylor’s Pig-Iron Experiments,” Academy of Management Journal 17, no. 1 (1974): 26. 5. Jill R. Hough and Margaret A. White, “Using Stories to Create Change: The Object Lesson of Frederick Taylor’s ‘Pig-Tale,’” Journal of Management 27 (2001): 585–601. 6. Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (New York: Viking Penguin, 1999); Daniel Nelson, “Scientific Management, Systematic Management, and Labor, 1880–1915,” The Business History Review 48, no. 4 (Winter 1974): 479–500. See chapter on Taylor in A. Tillett, T. Kempner, and G. Wills, eds., Management Thinkers (London: Penguin, 1970). 7. Judith A. Merkle, Management and Ideology: The Legacy of the International Scientific Movement (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), 44–45. 8.


pages: 675 words: 141,667

Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) by Andrew L. Russell

American ideology, animal electricity, barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Leonard Kleinrock, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, open economy, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, web of trust

Vail’s strategy was not only a clear response to the immediate problems facing AT&T, it was also an articulation of the organizational learning that had been occurring throughout American industry during the past several decades. The Bell ideology of standardization, distilled into the “universal service” slogan, shaped and limited the realm of the possible in a way that recalls a famous phrase written in 1911 by one of Vail’s contemporaries, Frederick Winslow Taylor: “The system must be first.”18 Through the ideology and rhetoric of universal service, Vail and his colleagues persuaded regulators to appreciate the value of an interconnected monopoly telephone system – one that operated more like a public utility than one of several firms in a competitive market. Vail’s slogan was, fundamentally, a critique of wasteful competition, adversarial regulation, and the existing hodgepodge of proprietary networks that precluded interconnection among all telephone users.


pages: 460 words: 131,579

Masters of Management: How the Business Gurus and Their Ideas Have Changed the World—for Better and for Worse by Adrian Wooldridge

affirmative action, barriers to entry, Black Swan, blood diamonds, borderless world, business climate, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Exxon Valdez, financial deregulation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, George Gilder, global supply chain, industrial cluster, intangible asset, job satisfaction, job-hopping, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, Naomi Klein, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Norman Macrae, patent troll, Ponzi scheme, popular capitalism, post-industrial society, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, wealth creators, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

Robert Owen sketched out the first theory of corporate social responsibility (he refused to employ children under ten, for example). But it was not until the introduction of mass production in the late nineteenth century that business demanded, as a matter of survival, the creation of a new elite of managers and a new body of formal management theory. The principal inspiration for this new science, in America at least, was Frederick Winslow Taylor, an engineer who invented carbon-steel machine tools. “It is fashionable today to look down on Taylor for his outdated psychology,” Peter Drucker noted, “but Taylor was the fist person in history who did not take work for granted, but looked at it and studied it.”3 Taylor believed that there was a single best method of organizing work, and that this method could be discovered through a detailed study of the time and motion involved in doing each job.


pages: 567 words: 122,311

Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Alistair Croll, Benjamin Yoskovitz

Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ben Horowitz, bounce rate, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, constrained optimization, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, frictionless market, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, inventory management, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Marshall McLuhan, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, performance metric, place-making, platform as a service, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, sentiment analysis, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social software, software as a service, Steve Jobs, subscription business, telemarketer, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, web application, Y Combinator

Avoiding them requires a whole new accounting discipline, which I call “innovation accounting.” Trust me, as an entrepreneur, I had no interest in accounting as a subject. To be honest, in far too many of my companies, the accounting was incredibly simple anyway: revenue, margins, free cash flows—they were all zero. But accounting is at the heart of our modern management techniques. Since the days of Frederick Winslow Taylor, we have assessed the skill of managers by comparing their results to the forecast. Beat the plan, get a promotion. Miss the plan, and your stock price declines. And for some kinds of products, this works just fine. Accurate forecasting requires a long and stable operating history from which to make the forecast. The longer and more stable, the more accurate. And yet who really feels like the world is getting more and more stable every day?


pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business cycle, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, Donald Knuth, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, loose coupling, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

The disconnect between the classroom and the working world makes sense when you realize that the concepts, principles, and techniques most business schools teach were designed for a very different world. Graduate schools of business started popping up at the end of the nineteenth century during the Industrial Revolution. The intent of early MBA programs was to train managers to be more scientific in an effort to make large operations more efficient. Frederick Winslow Taylor, the pioneer of “scientific management” techniques that now form the foundation of modern management training, used a stopwatch to shave a few seconds off the average time a workman took to load iron ingots into a train car. That should give you a good idea of the underlying mind-set of most business school management programs. Management was thought of mostly as an exercise in getting people to work faster and do exactly what they’re told.


pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game, Zipcar

An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. London: Printed for A. Millar, 1751. Jackson, Tim. Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet. Washington, DC: Earthscan, 2009. Jean-Claude Debeir, Jean-Paul Deleage, and Daniel Hemery, In the Servitude of Power: Energy and Civilization Through the Ages. London: Zed Books, 1992. Kanigel, Robert. The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency. New York: Penguin, 1997. Keen, Andrew. The Cult of the Amateur. New York: Doubleday, 2007. Kellmereit, Daniel, and Daniel Obodovski. The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things. San Francisco: DND Ventures LLC, 2013. Keynes, John Maynard. The General Theory Of Employment, Interest, and Money. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1964. Kleindorfer, Paul R. and Wind Yorman with Robert E.


pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, Donald Knuth, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, Leonard Kleinrock, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, Sam Altman, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Keeping Found Things Found: The Study and Practice of Personal Information Management. Burlington, MA: Morgan Kaufmann, 2007. Kaelbling, Leslie Pack. Learning in Embedded Systems. Cambrige, MA: MIT Press, 1993. Kaelbling, Leslie Pack, Michael L. Littman, and Andrew W. Moore. “Reinforcement Learning: A Survey.” Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research 4 (1996): 237–285. Kanigel, Robert. The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency. New York: Viking Penguin, 1997. Kant, Immanuel. Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten. Riga: Johann Friedrich Hartknoch, 1785. ______. Kritik der praktischen Vernunft. Riga: Johann Friedrich Hartknoch, 1788. Karmarkar, Narendra. “A New Polynomial-Time Algorithm for Linear Programming.” In Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, 1984, 302–311.


pages: 519 words: 148,131

An Empire of Wealth: Rise of American Economy Power 1607-2000 by John Steele Gordon

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buttonwood tree, California gold rush, clean water, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, failed state, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, global village, imperial preference, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, margin call, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, postindustrial economy, price mechanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, undersea cable, Yom Kippur War

Johnson, Paul. A History of the American People. New York: HarperCollins, 1998. Johnson, Richard R. John Nelson Merchant Adventurer: A Life Between Empires. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. Joseph, Alvin M., Jr., ed. America in 1492: The World of the Indian Peoples Before the Arrival of Columbus. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. Kanigel, Robert. The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency. New York: Viking, 1997. Kennedy, David M. Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945. Vol. 9 of The Oxford History of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Kessner, Thomas. Capital City: New York and the Men Behind America’s Rise to Economic Dominance. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003. King, Mary L.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

Not many of his discoveries found their way into the Difference Engine, but he succeeded in turning himself into the most knowledgeable economist of manufacturing of his day. In 1832 he published his most important book, an economics classic titled Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, which ran to four editions and was translated into five languages. In the history of economics, Babbage is a seminal figure who connects Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations to the Scientific Management movement, founded in America by Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1880s. The government continued to advance Babbage money during the 1820s and early 1830s, eventually totaling £17,000; and Babbage claimed to have spent much the same again from his own pocket. These would be very large sums in today’s money. By 1833, Babbage had produced a beautifully engineered prototype Difference Engine that was too small for real table making and lacked a printing unit, but showed beyond any question the feasibility of his concept.


The Cigarette: A Political History by Sarah Milov

activist lawyer, affirmative action, airline deregulation, American Legislative Exchange Council, barriers to entry, British Empire, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, deindustrialization, fixed income, Frederick Winslow Taylor, G4S, global supply chain, imperial preference, Indoor air pollution, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Kitchen Debate, land tenure, new economy, New Journalism, Philip Mirowski, pink-collar, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, Torches of Freedom, trade route, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, women in the workforce

Any floor manager knew that cigarette burns on furniture and carpets required their occasional replacement, but he may not have considered that overall painting and cleaning needs could be reduced by eliminating smoking. After the implementation of a no-smoking policy, “cleaning costs were more than halved,” the president of an electrical components company explained. In terms that would have been familiar to Frederick Winslow Taylor as he observed pig iron handlers, the president continued: “one man does what two and a half would be doing if we still allowed smoking.”70 Ambient tobacco smoke represented a silent drain on company resources—a metaphor, perhaps, for the hidden costs of smokers themselves. The metaphor was made real by insurance companies that began to selectively sell some policies at reduced rates to nonsmokers.


pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Parag Khanna, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

The Model T made its appearance in 1908; it was elegant in design and engineering and available in any color, Ford announced, “as long as it was black.” More important, most middle-class Americans could afford one, including Ford’s workers, whom he started paying five dollars a day in 1914. His goal was for his men to earn wages high enough for them to buy what they produced. And buy they did. The scientific management of labor had already attracted the attention of Frederick Winslow Taylor, who carefully observed men working in the steel industry in the 1880s and 1890s. Taylor brought to his research the conviction that scientific management could blend the interests of bosses and workers. This was probably too much to be expected, but Taylor did describe how to make time and motion at the work site more precise and management more attuned to workers’ rhythms. He introduced the idea of rest breaks in the work schedule.


pages: 585 words: 165,304

Trust: The Social Virtue and the Creation of Prosperity by Francis Fukuyama

barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, double entry bookkeeping, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mittelstand, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, transfer pricing, traveling salesman, union organizing

The implication is that if Germany is to meet future challenges of global competitiveness, it needs to become not necessarily a less communitarian economy but a less statist one. CHAPTER 22 The High-Trust Workplace If asked to compare the traditional American manufacturing workplace with its high-trust, team-oriented German counterpart, or with the low-trust, bureaucratically regulated French model, most people would say it resembled the latter. Frederick Winslow Taylor, after all, was an American, and the low-trust industrial system he created was regarded around the world as a uniquely American vision of modernity. The legalism of the Taylorite factory, its pretensions to universality, and the carefully enumerated rights in job control unionism all echo aspects of American constitutional law. The growing complexity of job classifications and their ramification throughout the workplace anticipate the spread of legal relationships in broader American society.


pages: 976 words: 235,576

The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite by Daniel Markovits

"Robert Solow", 8-hour work day, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Anton Chekhov, asset-backed security, assortative mating, basic income, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Emanuel Derman, equity premium, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, high net worth, hiring and firing, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, medical residency, minimum wage unemployment, Myron Scholes, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, school choice, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, stakhanovite, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas Davenport, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, traveling salesman, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, zero-sum game

As sewing machines became more complicated, for example, the Singer sewing machine company found itself unable to ensure sufficient quality, reliability, and uniformity in the parts that it bought on the market. The firm began to make them instead; and making parts internally naturally required Singer to establish increasingly elaborate managerial hierarchies to monitor and coordinate internal production and secure the quality, reliability, and uniformity that the firm sought. This pattern recurred across firms throughout the Industrial Revolution, as no less than Frederick Winslow Taylor observed that mass production of complex goods would “involve new and heavy burdens” for management of industrial firms. On the other hand, innovations in managerial technology considerably increased the supply of managerial coordination, making it possible for management to track and to direct more workers, in greater detail, than ever before. Innovations in firm organization leveraged these technologies.


pages: 827 words: 239,762

The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite by Duff McDonald

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, deskilling, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, family office, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, global pandemic, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Menlo Park, new economy, obamacare, oil shock, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, profit motive, pushing on a string, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, urban renewal, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

Two talented editors, Alan Webber and Bill Taylor, decided it was time to move on and left to found Fast Company magazine, one of the most successful business magazine launches in history. The most “influential” article published under Kanter: Michael Hammer’s July–August 1990 piece, “Re-engineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate.” While the concept made sense—“the fundamental rethinking and radical design of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical measures of performance”—it also heralded “a return to the mechanistic ideas of Frederick Winslow Taylor.”11 Or worse: The stamp of approval bestowed by HBR facilitated the hijacking of the term as a “shallow intellectual justification”12 for widespread downsizing in the early 1990s. Remarkably, Kanter nearly managed to crater HBR, surely one of the least challenging publishing tasks since the Bible. But hey, she’s only written nineteen books on how to manage organizations; what did they expect?


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

The premise of a scientific measurement of people and their movements as a way of designing systems to accommodate or to train them goes back at least to the proportional guidelines of Vitruvius's Ten Books of Architecture (around 15 B.C.E.) and da Vinci's Vitruvian Man (1490); many other genealogical threads are not hard to identify. Foucault's genealogies of modernity painstakingly recount how typical and normative human bodies were served and served up by the design of disciplinary institutions of knowledge. By observing machine shops and workers and replanning how their bodily movements could be abstracted and optimized so as to be better incorporated with their laboring habitats, Frederick Winslow Taylor pioneered scientific management theory and the efficiency movement as the nineteenth century became the twentieth. Concurrently, Max Weber would identify a tendency toward depersonalized rationalization through the formulation of people into interchangeable bureaucratic components as a key sociological feature of industrial capitalism. Paul Lazarsfeld's audience studies for the Princeton Radio Project (which momentarily included Theodor Adorno on the team) was among many midcentury attempts to apply the scientific method to the deduction of typical patterns in consumer thought and behavior used as templates for the formulation of products and propagandas.


pages: 898 words: 266,274

The Irrational Bundle by Dan Ariely

accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business process, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, end world poverty, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fudge factor, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, second-price auction, Shai Danziger, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, young professional

But though they were very poor, and therefore but indifferently accommodated with the necessary machinery, they could, when they exerted themselves, make among them about twelve pounds of pins in a day. There are in a pound upwards of four thousand pins of a middling size. Those ten persons, therefore, could make among them upwards of forty-eight thousand pins in a day.1 When we take tasks and break them down into smaller parts, we create local efficiencies; each person can become better and better at the small thing he does. (Henry Ford and Frederick Winslow Taylor extended the division-of-labor concept to the assembly line, finding that this approach reduced errors, increased productivity, and made it possible to produce cars and other goods en masse.) But we often don’t realize that the division of labor can also exact a human cost. As early as 1844, Karl Marx—the German philosopher, political economist, sociologist, revolutionary, and father of communism—pointed to the importance of what he called “the alienation of labor.”


The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop

Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Wiener process, zero-sum game

Fisher and Marshall Jon Fisher The Invention That Changed the World: How a Small Group of Radar Pioneers Won the Second World wtzr and Launched a Technological Revolution by Robert Buderi Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly and William Aspray Naked to the Bone: Medical Imaging in the Twentieth Century by Bettyann Kevles A Commotion in the Blood: A Century of Using the Immune System to Battle Cancer and Other Diseases by Stephen S. Hall Beyond Engineering: How Society Shapes Technology by Robert Pool The One Best wtzy: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency by Robert Kanigel Crystal Fire: The Birth of the Information Age by Michael Riordan and Lillian Hoddesen Insisting on the Impossible: The Life of Edwin Land by Victor K. McElheny Silzcon Sky: How One Small Start-up went over the Top to Beat the Big Boys into Satellite Heaven by Gary Dorsey City of Light: The Story of Fiber Optics by Jeff Hecht Visions of Technology: A Century of Vital Debate about Machines, Systems, and the Human World edited by Richard Rhodes PREFACE TO THE SLOAN TECHNOLOGY SERIES Technology is the application of science, engineering, and industrial organiza- tion to create a human-built world.


pages: 1,106 words: 335,322

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow

business cycle, California gold rush, collective bargaining, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, endowment effect, family office, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, God and Mammon, income inequality, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, New Journalism, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, passive investing, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price discrimination, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, white picket fence, yellow journalism

“More than once I have gone to luncheon with a number of our heads of departments and have seen the sweat start out on the foreheads of some of them when that little red notebook was pulled out,” Rockefeller admitted with relish. 33 With a talent for seeing things anew, Rockefeller could study an operation, break it down into component parts, and devise ways to improve it. In many ways, he anticipated the efficiency studies of engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor. Regarding each plant as infinitely perfectible, he created an atmosphere of ceaseless improvement. Paradoxically, the mammoth scale of operations encouraged close attention to minute detail, for a penny saved in one place might then be multiplied a thousandfold throughout the empire. In the early 1870s, Rockefeller inspected a Standard plant in New York City that filled and sealed five-gallon tin cans of kerosene for export.