Taylorism

  

Definition

Production efficiency methodology that breaks every action, job, or task into small and simple segments which can be easily analyzed and taught. Introduced in the early 20th century, Taylorism (1) aims to achieve maximum job fragmentation to minimize skill requirements and job learning time, (2) separates execution of work from work-planning, (3) separates direct labor from indirect labor (4) replaces rule of thumb productivity estimates with precise measurements, (5) introduces time and motion study for optimum job performance, cost accounting, tool and work station design, and (6) makes possible payment-by-result method of wage determination. Named after the US industrial engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) who in his 1911 book 'Principles Of Scientific Management' laid down the fundamental principles of large-scale manufacturing through assembly-line factories. He emphasized gaining maximum efficiency from both machine and worker, and maximization of profit for the benefit of both workers and management. Although rightly criticized for alienating workers by (indirectly but substantially) treating them as mindless, emotionless, and easily replicable factors of production, Taylorism was a critical factor in the unprecedented scale of US factory output that led to Allied victory in Second World War, and the subsequent US dominance of the industrial world. See also Fordism.

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