Scientific management
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Scientific Management. I. Scientific Management movement A.Leaders B.Principles C.Implementation II. Production in the Progressive Era A.The Divided Economy B.The Labor Problem C.Progressive Values III.Issues A.Breakdown of craft B.Restructuring of pay

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Scientific Management

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Scientific management

Scientific Management

I. Scientific Management movement

A.Leaders

B.Principles

C.Implementation

II. Production in the Progressive Era

A.The Divided Economy

B.The Labor Problem

C.Progressive Values

III.Issues

A.Breakdown of craft

B.Restructuring of pay

C.Speedup of work

D.Resistance

E.Ideals versus Reality


Leaders

Leaders

  • Similarities

    • Upper class origins

    • Working class pretensions

  • Differences

    • Skilled v. unskilled

    • Union v. non-union

Frank and Lillian Gilbreth

Frederick Winslow Taylor


Principles

Principles

  • The “one best way”

  • Incentives


Implementation

Implementation

  • Time-Motion Study

    • Therbligs

  • Pace setting

  • Piecework


Progressive values

Progressive Values

  • Science

  • Efficiency

  • Concern about poverty

  • Middle class belief that class conflict was wasteful, unnecessary

  • Masculinity

Louis Brandeis, inventor of the term “scientific management”


The divided economy

The Divided Economy

  • Problems for industrialists:

    • Mergers fail to keep profits high

    • Must lower costs

    • Cannot divide or mechanize craft labor


The labor problem

The Labor Problem

  • Increasing strike activity:

    • 1897: 1,110 stoppages

    • 1905: 2,186 stoppages

Cart overturned during teamsters’ strike,

Chicago, 1902


Breakdown of craft

Breakdown of craft

  • Eroding skill means reducing bargaining power

  • Alienates workers

    • Intelligence

    • Manhood


Restructuring pay

Restructuring pay

  • Speed v. Quality

  • Age and infirmity

William Gropper, “Piece Work”


Speedup

Speedup

  • Every year, one out of 500 Pittsburgh workers died on the job

Gilbreth’s shaving experiment


Resistance

Resistance

IAM president James O’Connell

Strike at Kellogg Switchboard and Supply Co, Chicago, 1903


Ideals v reality

Ideals v. Reality

  • Employers adopt ideas about efficiency, productivity

  • Reject consultant’s methods of obtaining worker obedience

    • High pay

    • Unions

    • Psychology

U.S. Navy shipyard, Hog Island, 1918


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