Taylorization (or Taylorism) refers to the process of "scientific management" developed by the American engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor, who in the 1880's, "appl[ied] the principles of engineering precision" to the management of labor in factories (Tozer, et. al., 2002, p. 90). His research into "where time, materials, and effort were being wasted" focused on "break[ing] down each complex, skilled task into its component parts-simple moves that could be taught in a short time" (p. 90).
In much discourse, Taylorization is a negative deskilling process in which workplace design insures that few marketable skills are required by workers, resulting in "a greater number of unskilled workers, and a corresponding decrease in workers' wages and power to decide on the conditions of their labor" (p. 90). Critical educational theorists (see Critical Pedagogy) have tied Taylorization to efforts by states and others to prescribe curriculum content and enforce punitive assessment policies, such as those mandated by recent No Child Left Behind education reforms. Such policies are viewed by some as constraining teacher autonomy and professionalism.Below are some interesting quotes on Taylorization:
- Braverman, H. (1974). Labor and monopoly capital: The degradation of work in the Twentieth Century. New York: Monthly Review Press.
- Tozer, S.E., Violas, P.C., Senese, G. (2002). School and society: Historical and contemporary perspectives. New York: McGraw Hill.