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Frederick Winslow Taylor

A Portrait of the Father of Scientific Management

  Fred Nickols 2012

 

FWTaylor.jpg (22962 bytes)Many years ago, while reading one of Peter Drucker's books, I came across a comment to the effect that many of those who criticize Frederick Taylor have never read what Taylor wrote.  Frederick Winslow Taylor is of course the much-maligned "father" of scientific management.  Drucker also pointed out how it was Louis Brandeis, not Taylor, who coined the term "scientific management."  Brandeis, an attorney and humanist, was Taylor's self-appointed publicist and later became a famous United States supreme court judge.  Initially, Taylor referred to his system as "task management."  

Drucker's comment prompted me to study Taylor's work.  During a period of several years, I managed to track down first editions of both his books, his testimony before Congress and some of his more important papers in reprints of early management books.  Along the way, I began to realize that Drucker was correct.  If you read what Taylor had to say about the study of work, it is difficult to criticize him on that score.  As Drucker has said repeatedly, what Taylor had to say about work and how to make it productive is worth reading today.

In any event, not only have most people not read Taylor's works, they have no idea regarding his appearance.  The aim of this web page is to make available a portrait of Frederick Winslow Taylor.  Even if only a few are familiar with his work, perhaps many will become familiar with his face.

If you study his portrait perhaps you will reach the same conclusion I have: There was more than a bit of the imp in this man.

 

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This page last updated on June 27, 2015