skill-building exercise (2) questions


Skill-Building Exercise 2.1

Due Date: By midnight EST/EDT on the last day of Module 1
Save the file as your lastname_sb2-1 (e.g., lindbergh_sb2-1.doc or .docx).

What Have We Learned?

Following are excerpts from a speech made Frederick W. Taylor in 1911:

“If any of you will get close to the average workman in this country—close enough to him so that he will talk to you as an intimate friend—he will tell you that in his particular trade if, we will say, each man were to turn out twice as much work as he is now doing, there could be but one result to follow: Namely, that one-half the men in his trade would be thrown out of work. This doctrine is preached by almost every labor leader in the country and is taught by every workman to his children as they are growing up; and I repeat, as I said in the beginning, that it is our fault more than theirs that this fallacy prevails. While the labor leaders and the workmen themselves in season and out of season are pointing out the necessity of restriction of output, not one step are we taking to counteract that fallacy; therefore, I say, the fault is ours and not theirs.”

1. Do you think Taylor’s position is equally applicable today? Be prepared to justify your answer.

The founder and chairman of APQC (formerly known as the American Productivity and Quality Center) in Houston, C. Jackson Grayson, warned several years ago that if management and labor cannot make their relationship less adversarial, “then we won’t get the full, long-term kick in productivity that we desperately need.”

2. Looking at Taylor’s and Grayson’s remarks, which were made approximately 73 years apart, one has to wonder what we have learned. Many similar comparisons could be made. Why do you think managers don’t seem to learn as much as they could from the past? 

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