Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Shop Management   By: (1856-1915)

Book cover

First Page:

Transcribed by Charles E. Nichols

Shop Management


Frederick Winslow Taylor


Through his business in changing the methods of shop management, the writer has been brought into intimate contact over a period of years with the organization of manufacturing and industrial establishments, covering a large variety and range of product, and employing workmen in many of the leading trades.

In taking a broad view of the field of management, the two facts which appear most noteworthy are:

(a) What may be called the great unevenness, or lack of uniformity shown, even in our best run works, in the development of the several elements, which together constitute what is called the management.

(b) The lack of apparent relation between good shop management and the payment of dividends.

Although the day of trusts is here, still practically each of the component companies of the trusts was developed and built up largely through the energies and especial ability of some one or two men who were the master spirits in directing its growth. As a rule, this leader rose from a more or less humble position in one of the departments, say in the commercial or the manufacturing department, until he became the head of his particular section. Having shown especial ability in his line, he was for that reason made manager of the whole establishment.

In examining the organization of works of this class, it will frequently be found that the management of the particular department in which this master spirit has grown up towers to a high point of excellence, his success having been due to a thorough knowledge of all of the smallest requirements of his section, obtained through personal contact, and the gradual training of the men under him to their maximum efficiency.

The remaining departments, in which this man has had but little personal experience, will often present equally glaring examples of inefficiency. And this, mainly because management is not yet looked upon as an art, with laws as exact, and as clearly defined, for instance, as the fundamental principles of engineering, which demand long and careful thought and study. Management is still looked upon as a question of men, the old view being that if you have the right man the methods can be safely left to him.

The following, while rather an extreme case, may still be considered as a fairly typical illustration of the unevenness of management. It became desirable to combine two rival manufactories of chemicals. The great obstacle to this combination, however, and one which for several years had proved insurmountable was that the two men, each of whom occupied the position of owner and manager of his company, thoroughly despised one another. One of these men had risen to the top of his works through the office at the commercial end, and the other had come up from a workman in the factory. Each one was sure that the other was a fool, if not worse. When they were finally combined it was found that each was right in his judgment of the other in a certain way. A comparison of their books showed that the manufacturer was producing his chemicals more than forty per cent cheaper than his rival, while the business man made up the difference by insisting on maintaining the highest quality, and by his superiority in selling, buying, and the management of the commercial side of the business. A combination of the two, however, finally resulted in mutual respect, and saving the forty per cent formerly lost by each man.

The second fact that has struck the writer as most noteworthy is that there is no apparent relation in many, if not most cases, between good shop management and the success or failure of the company, many unsuccessful companies having good shop management while the reverse is true of many which pay large dividends.

We, however, who are primarily interested in the shop, are apt to forget that success, instead of hinging upon shop management, depends in many cases mainly upon other elements, namely, the location of the company, its financial strength and ability, the efficiency of its business and sales departments, its engineering ability, the superiority of its plant and equipment, or the protection afforded either by patents, combination, location or other partial monopoly... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books