Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

The value of original source readings in management education The case of Frederick Winslow Taylor

The value of original source readings in management education The case of Frederick Winslow Taylor Purpose – Frederick Taylor, the “Father of Scientific Management” is recognized as a pioneer in the field of management. However, many unfair criticisms have been leveled at him starting with the infamous Congressional hearings of 1911. Many scholars of management history believe that such criticisms have resulted in negative portrayals of Frederick Taylor in both practitioner and academic circles, and even in some basic management textbooks. This is unfortunate because many of those criticisms result from either a failure to read and understand Taylor's original works or from misinterpretations of them. The purpose of this paper is to contend that students of management will develop a more accurate impression of Frederick Taylor if they read his words and not interpretations of them. Design/methodology/approach – First, an introduction of Frederick Taylor and scientific management is presented. Then, a categorization of common criticisms of Taylor is offered. The results of a study conducted to measure undergraduate business students' impressions of Taylor from their exposure to him in an introductory management course are then presented. The students then give their impressions of statements taken from Taylor's original work and are tested on the differences between them. Findings – The results of the analyses suggest that students have a negative impression of Taylor from their textbooks, but their reaction to statements taken from the original works of Taylor are rated quite favorably. Practical implications – Future research could be conducted to determine whether the works of other seminal management theorists should be presented in their complete contexts and direct sources to provide students with a more accurate and complete portrayal of their ideas. Originality/value – This paper is unique in that it empirically tests whether negative attitudes towards Frederick Taylor and scientific management persist after students are exposed to original source works. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management History Emerald Publishing

The value of original source readings in management education The case of Frederick Winslow Taylor

Journal of Management History , Volume 16 (2): 20 – Apr 13, 2010

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/the-value-of-original-source-readings-in-management-education-the-case-35XsZ6K7lL
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1751-1348
DOI
10.1108/17511341011030129
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Frederick Taylor, the “Father of Scientific Management” is recognized as a pioneer in the field of management. However, many unfair criticisms have been leveled at him starting with the infamous Congressional hearings of 1911. Many scholars of management history believe that such criticisms have resulted in negative portrayals of Frederick Taylor in both practitioner and academic circles, and even in some basic management textbooks. This is unfortunate because many of those criticisms result from either a failure to read and understand Taylor's original works or from misinterpretations of them. The purpose of this paper is to contend that students of management will develop a more accurate impression of Frederick Taylor if they read his words and not interpretations of them. Design/methodology/approach – First, an introduction of Frederick Taylor and scientific management is presented. Then, a categorization of common criticisms of Taylor is offered. The results of a study conducted to measure undergraduate business students' impressions of Taylor from their exposure to him in an introductory management course are then presented. The students then give their impressions of statements taken from Taylor's original work and are tested on the differences between them. Findings – The results of the analyses suggest that students have a negative impression of Taylor from their textbooks, but their reaction to statements taken from the original works of Taylor are rated quite favorably. Practical implications – Future research could be conducted to determine whether the works of other seminal management theorists should be presented in their complete contexts and direct sources to provide students with a more accurate and complete portrayal of their ideas. Originality/value – This paper is unique in that it empirically tests whether negative attitudes towards Frederick Taylor and scientific management persist after students are exposed to original source works.

Journal

Journal of Management HistoryEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 13, 2010

Keywords: Scientific management; Attitudes; Management theory; Critical thinking

References