The Tyranny of Metrics

The Tyranny of Metrics

Jerry Z. Muller

Taylorism was based on trying to replace the implicit knowledge of the workmen with mass-production methods developed, planned, monitored, and controlled by managers. “Under scientific management,” he wrote, “the managers assume … the burden of gathering together all of the traditional knowledge which in the past has been possessed by the workmen and then of classifying, tabulating, and reducing this knowledge to rules, laws, formulae…. Thus all of the planning which under the old system was done by the workmen, must of necessity under the new system be done by management in accordance with the law of science.” 11 According to Taylor, “It is only through enforced standardization of methods, enforced adoption of the best implements and working conditions, and enforced cooperation that this faster work can be assured. And the duty of enforcing the adoption of standards and enforcing this cooperation rests with management alone”

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