King & Lawley: Organizational Behaviour
Chapter 3: Web links
With many of the developments in rational work design taking place in the early 1900s, many original texts are now out of copyright and available online, in various electronic formats. The following texts by Taylor, Gilbreth and Ford are interesting not just as the original words of the founders of rational work design, but often for the language they use and (often derogatory) assumptions made about workers.
Taylor, F. W. (1911) Principles of scientific management. New York, Harper and Brothers
Gilbreth, F.B. (1911) Motion Study New York, D. Van Norstrand Company
Ford, H, Crowther, S My Life and Work, New York, Garden City Publishing
The two volume (and rather uncritical) biography of Taylor can be found at:
Copley, F.B. (1923) Frederick W. Taylor: Father of Scientific Management (Volume 1). New York, Harper and Brothers
Copley, F.B. (1923) Frederick W. Taylor: Father of Scientific Management (Volume 2). New York, Harper and Brothers
Gilbreths – time and motion study
See page 70.
A still of their time and motion work with typists can be seen at:
Note the stopwatch and the grid behind the typist – both are used in playback later to analyse and calculate movements and redesign them to be more efficient.
Assembly line surgery
See page 79.
The following articles give examples of surgery performed in an ‘assembly line’ style:
Cultural critiques of Fordism
See page 80.
On page 80, a number of cultural and artistic critiques of Fordism and its effects on society were mentioned. The following links refer to some of these critiques:
Huxley, A (1932) Brave New World. London, Chatto & Windus. Huxley’s novel of a world with a god named Ford can be seen online at:
Chaplin, C (1936, dir) Modern Times. Chaplin’s silent satire of Fordist factory conditions contains a famous scene where Chaplin becomes a ‘cog in the machine’. A still form this can be seen at:
Diego Rivera – Detroit Industry (1932-22) Rivera’s often unflattering murals of Detroit industrial life are discussed at: