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28 OCTOBER 2014

Fredrick Winslow Taylor and the Myth of Efficiency

"[Fredrick Winslow] Taylor sought to precisely measure the movements of factory workers and their timings to make them as efficient as humanly possible. This made him beloved by executives and detested on the factory floor, and it also made him one of the world's first management consultants. In a recent article in The New Yorker, 'Not So Fast,' the historian Jill Lepore takes a hard look at Taylor and his claims for scientific management. According to new research, he was a better salesman than consultant. Many of his facts were made up, and most of his results never materialized. We now know that Lillian Gilbreth, an early proponent of scientific management, had serious doubts about the movement she helped proselytize.

All this is important because Taylor, with his system of scientific management, was the father of efficiency. From scientific management we get the lust for efficiency in business. It became part of the dogma of business schools, almost none of which existed before his time. Business schools from their earliest days have promoted efficiency and the handling of business as something like industrial engineering. From operations to finance, from marketing to sales, business school education has focused on narrowing problems, identifying resources and working to get the most out of the least."

(Adam Hartung, 16 October 2009, Forbes)

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TAGS

20th century • Adam Hartung • business education • business efficiency • business growth • business inertia • business leaders • business leadership • business management • business school education • business schools • Clayton Christensencompetitive advantagecost-cutting • cultural myth • customer demand • customer satisfactiondehumanisationdisruptive innovationdogmaefficiency • efficiency in business • factory floor • factory workerForbesFordismFrederick TaylorGary Hamel • history of technology • ideationincremental improvementsincremental innovationindustrial engineering • innovation resources • Jill Lepore • legacy businesses • Lillian Gilbrethman machine • management consultant • manufacturingmanufacturing industries • measuring movement • order and control • organisation leadership • organisational problems • price wars • products and services • Rakesh Khurana • scientific management • taylorism • The New Yorkerwaste prevention • what organisations do

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 JANUARY 2012

The Interactive Institute: Swedish experimental design research centre

"The Interactive Institute is a Swedish experimental IT & design research institute that conducts world–class applied research and innovation. With pioneering spirit and courage, we challenge prevailing norms in technology and design. Our process is based on people's future needs and potential with a vision to improve everyday life for a creative and sustainable society. The results are developed in close collaboration with industry and society.

We develop new research areas, concepts, products and services, and provide strategic advice to corporations and public organizations. Our results are communicated and exhibited worldwide and brought out to society through commissioned work, license agreements and spin–off companies.

Over the course of a decade, the Interactive Institute has established itself at the forefront of research and development in design, data visualization, sustainability and entertainment, positioning Sweden as a leading force in the lifestyle technology research sector. The Interactive Institute has worked systematically to identify new research fields and to create pioneering projects within these with great potential for innovation. The projects have given rise to larger research programs and funding initiatives that not only have created renewal within Swedish research, but also played an important part for Swedish industry, regional development and the image of Sweden as an innovative nation.

Since the start in 1998, our work has been characterized not only in the way we conduct traditional academic research but also in our exploration of the borders between art, design and technology in industrial and academic settings as well as public and private sectors. With our expertise, we bring an innovative edge into policy work, we connect stakeholders for extraordinary synergies, we bring renewal to traditional industry and we add context and involvement to the processes we are involved in. In bringing together our knowledge of business and creative values with world–class research results, we offer a unique set of skills to the Swedish research and innovation sector in the international arena.

The Interactive Institute has 50 employees per December 2010, and is organized around studios localized in Piteå, Umeå, Stockholm, Eskilstuna, Norrköping and Gothenburg. The headquarters is situated in Stockholm/Kista. The Interactive Institute is a non profit distributing organization."

(The Interactive Institute)

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1998applied research • art design and technology • collaboration with industry • data visualisationdesign • distributing organisation • everyday lifeexperimentalfuture needsHCIinnovation • IT and design • lifestyle technology research • new research areas • new research fields • non profit • pioneering projects • private sectorproducts and servicespublic sectorregional developmentresearch and developmentresearch centreresearch institutespin-off companies • strategic advice • sustainabilitysustainable societySwedentechnology and design • The Interactive Institute

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 JANUARY 2012

Designit: international strategic design consultancy

"Designit is Europe's largest and most international strategic design consultancy. We create products, services and experiences, across industry sectors and media. Our aim is to create strong and healthy business value through design.

Together, we're a zoo of talented creatives, effective communicators and accomplished business strategists, all working closely together to deliver meaningful design–driven solutions for people, planet and profit."

(Designit)

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TAGS

siness strategists • business value through design • commercial sector • creatives • cultural probesdesign consultancy • design-driven solutions • Designit • EPIC2008 • Europeanexperience design • media sector • products and servicessocial interaction • strategic design consultancy

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 JUNE 2011

Instructable web-based documentation platform

"Instructables is a web–based documentation platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others. The seeds of Instructables germinated at the MIT Media Lab as the future founders of Squid Labs built places to share their projects and help others."

(Eric J. Wilhelm)

Fig.1 Kipkay (Kipkay Videos) Blu–Ray Laser Phaser http://www.facebook.com/kipkayvideos/
Fig.2 SaskView "The Most Useless Machine EVER!" http://saskview.com/?page_id=11
Fig.3 Randy Sarafan. "Lunchtime Clock" http://www.instructables.com/id/Lunchtime–Clock/?ALLSTEPS
Fig.4 kaptaink_cg "Bacon Roses"

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TAGS

bicycles • Blu-Ray Laser Phaser • cell phones • DIY • documentation platform • energy company • Eric J. Wilhelm • gadgethackinghacksterhand-held • hand-held generator • high-altitude wind • how to do thingshow-to • Howtoons • innovation • innovation consulting • Instructables • instructionlaptopslaserlearnLED • lens-fabricating devices • lighting systems • Makani • MIT Media Lab • MonkeyLectric • OptiOpia • Playstation 3 • Potenco • products and servicesproject-sharing websiteprototype • research and design firm • share • Squid Labs • Star Trek • Star Trek Phaser • technology tinkeringtinkereruseless boxuseless machines • vision-correction business • vision-testing devices • web-based

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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