The Graduate Review


Historians and business management scholars have fought about the legacy of Frederick Winslow Taylor for the past six decades. Taylor lived during the second half of the nineteenth century and worked as a consultant to different steel companies during the height of the Gilded Age in the United States (1877-1900). He propagated several different principles of industrial management that guided not only the physical space of a factory, but also the relationship between worker and manager. Historians often identify Taylor as the father of scientific management, so much that they have labeled it Taylorism. While scholars agree on the importance of Taylorism, they disagree on the wider implications of scientific management. Scholars either praise or condemn Taylor’s desire for industrial efficiency. The division of scholarship stems from the types of sources that historians and business scholars use. This article analyzes the historiography and broader scholarship around Taylorism to evaluate the priorities of business today.

Note on the Author

Noah is pursuing his Master of Arts in Teaching History under the mentorship of Dr. Brian Payne. Noah currently works as the Coordinator Dual Enrollment & Early College High School at Southeastern Regional School District. His passions include modern history, tabletop gaming, and spending time with his family.