Judith A. Merkle
The name given to the Taylor System and related systems of shop management during hearings of the Interstate Commerce Commission on railroad rates in 1910. Other terms covering the same methods of quantified work study and management are "efficiency engineering," "industrial engineering," and, in the European context, "rationalization." All of these terms grew out of applications of the original Taylor System in ever wider contexts and include time and motion studies, the microdivision of labor, forward planning, and a system of strict labor discipline, usually backed by some variant on the piecework wage (see Taylor, Frederick W.).
The Taylor System itself, however, was not a single method of increasing productivity but was a collection of techniques that tended to be adapted and to evolve over time and depending upon circumstance. And it was not all the work of one man, Frederick Winslow Taylor, although his work was central to the scientific management movement. Associates such as Henry Laurence Gantt, Morris L. Cooke, Carl Barth, and Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, among others, made important contributions to Taylorism. What these techniques had in common was a strong bias toward the rational-utilitarian, the quantified, and the mechanistic. They tended to downplay the element of human nature and sought to control the results of the interaction of human beings as precisely as the output of a machine could be controlled. In the first half of the twentieth century, nearly all the formal management that was taught was Scientific Management: the increase of productivity through rational mea