Biography of Frederick Winslow Taylor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Frederick Winslow Taylor (March 20, 1856 - March 21, 1915) was an American engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. Taylor was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania to a wealthy family. He had intended a university education at Harvard, but ill-health forced him to consider an alternative career. In 1874 he became an apprentice machinist, learning of factory conditions at grass-roots level. He qualified as an engineer due to evening study. His first attempts at reorganising management was at Bethlehem Steel, which he was forced to leave in 1901 after antagonisms with other managers. He then wrote a book, Shop Management, which did well. Taylor believed that contemporary management was amateurish, and should be studied as a discipline; that workers should co-operate (and hence would not need Trade Unions); and that the best results would come from the partnership between a trained and qualified management and a co-operative and innovative workforce. Each side needed the other. He is known for coinage of the term scientific management in his article The Principles of Scientific Management published in 1911. However his approach is more often referred to, frequently disparagingly, as Taylorism. He died in Philadelphia.

From, US A&E Channel

Efficiency engineer, born in Germantown (now part of Philadelphia), Pennsylvania, USA. After an apprenticeship at a hydraulic works in Philadelphia (1874-8), he went to work at Midvale Steel Co, where he co-developed the Taylor-White system for heat treating chrome-tungsten tool steel. While there, Midvale introduced piece work in the factory, and Taylor became interested in the most efficient way to perform specific tasks. By closely observing the workers' procedures and measuring the output, he developed methods for maximizing each operation as well as for selecting the man best suited for each job, thereby improving both labour relations and company profits. Chief engineer (from 1884), he left Midvale in 1890, opening a consulting firm in 1893. While he is most associated with efficiency engineering of people (long known throughout the world as Taylorism), he also developed machines and processes that would help speed up work. He promoted his ideas on efficiency engineering in Principles of Scientific Management (1911) and in several other books.

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