A deeper appreciation of Taylor’s systems shows that he did encourage workers’ viewpoints to be considered in managerial decision making by taking suggestion from knowledgeable workers for improving “methods and implements”.
But majority of workers then being illiterate, perhaps involving them in managerial debates amounted to more pain-than-gain.
Practice makes perfect and repetitive tasks give edge to specialization besides Taylor in-built rest periods to take care of fatigue and workers allowed shorter work-hours so that they are not relegated to mere machines.
Added to this was hike in pay.
It was another matter that the management collared most of the profit itself in the garb of investment in brainstorming, planning, devising and designing; the system suggested itself was good.
And the main plank of trade unionists revolving round bargaining better wages, it was taken care of by profit sharing.
The most serous allegation related to plagiarizing, cheating, dishonesty.
History reveals that controversies and criticism are the crowns that the great and the greatest have to wear.
It has been so from the time the world began.
Scriptures indicate that when God mad Adam from clay and directed angels to prostrate all did so barring one as he not only itched to come to lime light but was proud of being fashioned out of what he deemed superior: fire.
Down on terra firma, English Literature’s Great, William Shakespeare is always being haunted one controversy or the other.
In Management History the crown fell on the worthy head of Taylor and the critics came to lime light!
Wasn’t it William James, the Psychologist who said that the deepest principle of human nature is “the craving to be appreciated”?
Taylor, the man for path breaking studies, the man who devoted his entire life to empirical studies, to ring curtain down on unscientific methods and procedures, the man honoured by a Gold Medal at Paris Exposition of 1900 and received some 100 patents for invention, was President of American Society of Mechanical Engineers 1905, 1906 [Obituary published in New York Times, March 22, 1915 with dateline as march 21].