Scientific Management in Action


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Taylorism at Watertown Arsenal, 1908-1915

By Hugh G.J. Aitken
Princeton University Press

This valuable study of the introduction of scientific management techniques into factory life fully describes the walkout of 1911–which began when a Watertown, Massachusetts foundry worker refused to work against a stop watch–and subsequent events that carried the controversy over Taylorism to Congress. The book is a balanced analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Taylorism, including the naiveté that led its proponents to ignore the emotional side of the complex roles and patterns that govern the world of work.

Although the walkout was seen as a revolt against Taylorism as a whole, this book shows that the Taylor system was far more complex than mere stop watch studies. Revealing the effectiveness of many of Taylor’s techniques, the work is a case history of the stresses of an industrial society exposed to constant evolution in technology and organization.

Additional information

Weight 11.1 oz
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.75 in



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