Taylorism in Druckerian clothes

Gianpiero Petriglieri argues that Technology Is Not Threatening Our Humanity — We Are in the 30 October 2015 issue of the Harvard Business Review. Petriglieri writes that while ”technology often augments leaders’ power … it is humanity that keeps power in check”, and that ”we would do well to revisit a fierce debate that shaped one of the most widespread technologies of the last century—management”.

Frederick Taylor had the view that ”the function of managers was to increase efficiency and maximize their enterprises’ returns”, while Peter Drucker had ”a humanistic view of managers’ function in the enterprise”. Petriglieri warns us that once ”all we care about is efficiency, and humanism is reduced to a matter of style, the real threat comes from the smart machines that we have become, not from those we will build”. If ”humanism is a strategy for … instrumental aims” then ”all we are left with is Taylorism in Druckerian clothes”.

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