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Report of a lecture by and questions put to Mr F.W. Taylor: a transcript

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 27 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a transcript of Fredrick W. Taylor's 1907 lecture on his “task” system of management.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper shows its advantages over traditional personal initiative styles, suggesting that managers should not allow employees to think for themselves but make sure they simply carry out tasks as instructed. Demonstrated this by using as an example pig‐iron handlers at Bethlehem Steel Company. Relates how he established scientific principles to ascertain the maximum load a man could carry and the optimum wage.

Findings

Instead of asking if workers felt able to move heavier loads, by telling them he only employed “high‐priced men”, he found plenty of willing employees.

Originality/value

The paper offers an example of how primary sources can be of critical importance to management scholars, not just management historians.

Keywords

Citation

Taylor, F.W. (2008), "Report of a lecture by and questions put to Mr F.W. Taylor: a transcript", Journal of Management History, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 214-236. https://doi.org/10.1108/17511340810885657

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited