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Sly-entific Management 6

Previously in this series: First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth.

"In pursuing this study, the investigator and the official experts were governed throughout by two standards of judgment.

"First, scientific management, in its relations to labor, must be judged, not merely by the theories and claims, either of its representatives or opponents, but mainly by what it proves to be in its actual operation. Mr. Taylor, especially, has intimated that if any principle of scientific management which he has laid down is violated, scientific management ceases to exist. Evidently, the acceptance of this dictum would lead to endless quibbling, and would prevent the drawing of significant conclusions as to the actual character and tendencies of scientific management and its effects upon labor welfare. It would be as true to say that the church and the state rest upon certain fundamental principles, and that if any of these are violated in practice, church and state cease to exist. Scientific management, in this respect, is like any other thing in the social or material world. It is what it is in fact, and not what the ideals or theories of its advocates or opponents would have it to be. Labor and society at large are not interested especially in the theory of scientific management as it exists in the mind of an individual, but in the way that it affects welfare in its application. Like all other things which affect humanity, it must, therefore, be judged by actual results and tendencies.

"Secondly, it follows that the scope of scientific management—what features are to be included under it—is to be determined, again, not by the theories of its leaders, but by what is found to exist and persist in the systematized portions of shops designated to represent it. If shops so designated by leaders of the movement generally lay emphasis on so-called welfare work, or, in general, eliminate the spirit and the means for the expression of democracy, then welfare work must be considered a part of scientific management, and the absence of democracy a feature of it, though the former be excluded from the theoretical expositions of its leaders, and democracy be declared by them to be the essence of scientific management.

... "Scientific management in theory is not a single consistent body of thought. While there is doubtless a fundamental unity in the movement, various leaders and would be leaders have arisen each with his own peculiar doctrines or his own particular emphasis upon special aspects of the system. Vital contradictions and important additions and omissions have thus appeared which tend to separate the scientific management group into schools differing considerably in general viewpoint. The most important of these so called schools are those respectively of the late Mr. FW Taylor, Mr. HL Gantt and Mr. Harrington Emerson 1

(footnote) "These schools are not altogether distinct either in theory or practice. There is considerable overlapping of thought by the leaders and among the assumed followers; both within the schools and without, there is much diversity and departure from the model, due to a distinct element of charlatanism.

"Under these circumstances, the writer has felt justified in making Mr. Taylor's statements of the nature of scientific management and its relations to labor the standard claims of scientific management. In presenting the labor claims of scientific management, therefore, and in judging them with reference to the facts, the Taylor system has been taken as the positive basis of exposition and comparison, the Gantt and Emerson claims being presented and dealt with only as they differ from or modify Mr. Taylor's statements."
Excerpted from Scientific Management and Labor by Robert Franklin Hoxie, D. Appleton and Company, New York and London, 1915 - T58H63

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