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Saturday, 23 April 2011

scientific management - not

in this article  matthew stewarts's argument is basically that the scientific management principle approach started in 1899 by frederick winslow taylor at the bethlehem steel company isn't scientific at all nor is most of the management theory that came after it

he argues that the management approach includes a lot of assessments and factors which have little if any quantitative evidence to back them up. nor do the many soaring platitudes and exhortations.

he concedes that taylor's successors have developed statistical and analytical approaches to business problems but argues that at best management theory aims to replace the despotism of the old bosses with the rule of scientific law.  at worst it is the consecration of the management class interest.  and mostly its just inane with every new management fad calling attention to one virtue or another.  which isn't to say it’s completely useless, just that most people are able to lead fulfilling lives without consulting it.

he also points out that the world of management theorists remains exempt from accountability, whilst presenting themselves as chasing after a new world order they are - in fact - after the sensation of the revolutionary moment. 

some of his conclusions are: that you can save yourselves from reading 99% of all the management literature once you master the dialectic between rationalists and humanists (or to put in another way between reason and passion) (or to put it another way between the individual and the group); that generic frameworks for problem solving can lead to solutions but they cannot replace thinking; that obfuscatory jargon does not help free and meaningful speech. 

if there are some truths in these views then of course they do throw into question the manner in which some churches or their organisations have so readily adopted the scientific management approach to how they run their administration

found via boing boing

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