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Taylor Won: The Triumph of Scientific Management and Its Meaning for Business and Society

Corporate Social Responsibility

ISBN: 978-1-78754-260-0, eISBN: 978-1-78754-259-4

Publication date: 14 May 2018


The purpose of this chapter is to examine the proliferation of scientific management and then to consider its effect on business and society. Our examination begins with a brief survey of various management approaches that emerged in the early twentieth century. We focus on Frederick Taylor, the originator of scientific management, as the person with the greatest influence on management scholarship. We assert that the propagation of scientific management in all sectors of business and society is so pervasive that is it ubiquitous, making it exceedingly difficult to consciously detect or question. We examine how core ideas from scientific management have facilitated the dehumanization of stakeholders in management scholarship and practice. We then discuss how dehumanizing tendencies — informed by the hidden ubiquity of scientific management — have permeated research in corporate social responsibility and management theory. We conclude with suggestions for integrating humanity into management theory.



Hill, V. and Van Buren, H. (2018), "Taylor Won: The Triumph of Scientific Management and Its Meaning for Business and Society", Corporate Social Responsibility (Business and Society 360, Vol. 2), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 265-294.



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