Democracy & the learning organisation LO20625

Doug Merchant (
Wed, 10 Feb 1999 08:10:20 -0500

Replying to LO20619 --


>These coercive and exploitive management practices are the features of
>Frederick W. Taylor's "scientific management," dating from the 1890s.
>These practices have impeded the spread of "scientific method" (from
>Deming, Juran, and other quality gurus, with their call for
>"truth-seeking, hypothesis-testing, management-by-fact, use of SPC, use
>the Shehart/Deming cycle of plan-do-check-act, PDCA) as a replacement
>"scientific management."


That seems to be a little harsh on old Fred. I thought Taylor's efforts
were focused on applying a conscious discipline to finding and deploying
(teaching the workers) the most efficient, effective and least fatiquing
production method in a somewhat static, physical production enviornment
(e.g., what is the most efficient and effective way to shovel?). If
anything, I'd think Taylor's "Scientific Management" was sort of an "Old
Testament" form of Learning Organization. I wouldn't attribute the many
evils under the guise of Taylorism to Taylor any more than I'd attribute
the many evils done under the guise of Christianity to Christ.

Doug Merchant
Currently On Career Sabbatical


"Doug Merchant" <>

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