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Analysing the thinking of F.W. Taylor using cognitive mapping

Pierre Cossette (Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Québec, Canada)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 March 2002



Although the ideas of F.W. Taylor have profoundly marked the twentieth century, they do not seem to have been understood in the same way by the people who have studied them. Aims to enrich our understanding of the ideas of this remarkable author. Proposes a graphic representation of Taylor’s thinking in the form of a cognitive map. Then analyses the structure and content of the map using the Decision Explorer software package. Most of the concepts and links shown in the map were drawn from “Shop management”, and the remainder were taken from The Principles of Scientific Management. The results highlight the relative importance of the concepts used by Taylor, the dimensions on which he more or less consciously structured his thinking, together with the characteristics of the concepts he considered basically as “explanations” or “consequences”, and the more or less systemic or circular logic that guided him in the organization of his thinking. Discusses the limitations of the results and some future avenues for research.



Cossette, P. (2002), "Analysing the thinking of F.W. Taylor using cognitive mapping", Management Decision, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 168-182.




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