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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Diana Kelly

This paper aims to provide evidence of pro-worker orientation and acceptance of socialist idealism in scientific management, with particular focus on Walter Polakov.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide evidence of pro-worker orientation and acceptance of socialist idealism in scientific management, with particular focus on Walter Polakov.

Design/methodology/approach

A range of original texts have been examined to identify the ideas expressed or accepted by the early scientific managers. These include Bulletin of the Taylor Society and the early publications of the socialist engineer and scientific manager Walter Polakov.

Findings

This paper shows how an avowed socialist is outspoken but unremarkable for the members of the Taylor Society in the 1910s and 1920s, contrary to the views expressed in textbooks and other histories which assert a deep antiworker bias in scientific management.

Research limitations/implications

This is limited to a historical analysis of the role and extent of involvement of the Marxist engineer Walter Polakov in the US scientific management movement in the 1910s and 1920s.

Originality/value

This paper offers insights into the workings of the Taylor Society using a biographical approach. In so doing, it demonstrates, in a new way, the verity of claims that the original proponents of scientific management were not authoritarian or anti-worker in their views or ideals, but, rather, open to progressive and socialist ideals.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Book part
Publication date: 15 June 2020

Diana Kelly

Abstract

Details

The Red Taylorist: The Life and Times of Walter Nicholas Polakov
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-985-4

Abstract

Details

The Red Taylorist: The Life and Times of Walter Nicholas Polakov
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-985-4

Abstract

Details

The Red Taylorist: The Life and Times of Walter Nicholas Polakov
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-985-4

Click here to view access options
Book part
Publication date: 15 June 2020

Diana Kelly

Abstract

Details

The Red Taylorist: The Life and Times of Walter Nicholas Polakov
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-985-4

Click here to view access options
Book part
Publication date: 15 June 2020

Diana Kelly

Abstract

Details

The Red Taylorist: The Life and Times of Walter Nicholas Polakov
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-985-4

Abstract

Details

The Red Taylorist: The Life and Times of Walter Nicholas Polakov
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-985-4

Click here to view access options

Abstract

Details

The Red Taylorist: The Life and Times of Walter Nicholas Polakov
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-985-4

Click here to view access options
Book part
Publication date: 15 June 2020

Diana Kelly

Abstract

Details

The Red Taylorist: The Life and Times of Walter Nicholas Polakov
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-985-4

Click here to view access options
Book part
Publication date: 15 June 2020

Diana Kelly

Abstract

Details

The Red Taylorist: The Life and Times of Walter Nicholas Polakov
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-985-4

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