Frederick W. Taylor was the first man in recorded history who deemed work deserving of systematicobservation and study. On Taylor's 'scientific management' rests, above all, the tremendous surge of affluence in the last seventy-five years which has lifted the working masses in the developed countrieswell above any level recorded before, even for the well-to-do. Taylor, though the Isaac Newton (or perhaps the Archimedes) of the science of work, laid only first foundations, however. Not much has beenadded to them since - even though he has been dead all of sixty years.
 Scientific management
Taylor believed that the industrial management of his day was amateurish, that managementcould be formulated as an academic discipline, and that the best results would come from the partnership between a trained and qualified management and a cooperative and innovativeworkforce. Each side needed the other, and there was no need for trade unions.
FutureU.S. Supreme CourtjusticeLouis Brandeiscoined the term
in thecourse of his argument for theEastern Rate Casebefore theInterstate Commerce Commissionin
1910. Brandeis debated that railroads, when governed according to the principles of Taylor, didnot need to raise rates to increase wages. Taylor used Brandeis's term in the title of hismonograph
published in 1911. The Eastern Rate Case propelled Taylor's ideas to the forefront of the management agenda. Taylor wrote to Brandeis "Ihave rarely seen a new movement started with such great momentum as you have given thisone." Taylor's approach is also often referred to, as
, or frequentlydisparagingly, as
. Taylor's scientific management consisted of four principles:
1.Replace rule-of-thumb work methods with methods based on a scientificstudy of the tasks.2.Scientifically select, train, and develop each employee rather than passivelyleaving them to train themselves.3.Provide "Detailed instruction and supervision of each worker in theperformance of that worker's discrete task" (Montgomery 1997: 250).4.Divide work nearly equally between managers and workers, so that themanagers apply scientific management principles to planning the work andthe workers actually perform the tasks.
 Managers and workers
Taylor had very precise ideas about how to introduce his system:
It is only through
standardization of methods,
adoption of the best implements andworking conditions, and
cooperation that this faster work can be assured. And the duty of enforcing the adoption of standards and enforcing this cooperation rests with
Workers were supposed to be incapable of understanding what they were doing. According toTaylor this was true even for rather simple tasks.
'I can say, without the slightest hesitation,' Taylor told a congressional committee, 'that the science of handling pig-ironis 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.