By Naomi R. Lamoreaux, Daniel M. G. Raff
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Extra resources for Coordination and Information: Historical Perspectives on the Organization of Enterprise
This microhistory is nothing but a study of the evolution of microlevel facts, seen in a particularly orderly way. Efficiency-in the usual sense of the survival of only facilities and methods that minimize long-run average costs-is certainly not the only tale being told here. Artisanal firms continued to fill an important market niche long after Ford introduced mass production. They disappeared during the Great Depression 29. For an interindustry cross-section of data in the mid-1920s covering more than 500,000 employees, in which the incidence of time and piece rates can be statistically explained in this spirit, see Malcolmson 1992 and Lytle 1942, 57.
First, he began to rely more heavily on anecdotes from his career to emphasize the links between improved management, greater productivity, and social melioration to audiences that had little interest in technical detail. He liberally interpreted his records and recollections to make his point. His parable of “Schmidt,” a laborer who supposedly prospered because of an incentive wage, was largely apocryphal, but it captured the imaginations of legions of readers (Wrege and Perroni 1974). Second, apart from the object lessons, Taylor spoke less about factory operations and more about the significance and general applicability of his ideas.
It was the first step toward the utopian vision of the 1910s. In 1901, when he left Bethlehem, Taylor resolved to devote his time and ample fortune to promoting his new conception of industrial management. His first report on his work, Shop Management ( 1903), portrayed an integrated complex of systematic management methods, supplemented by refinements and additions such as time study. In the following years, as Taylor’s reputation grew, he modified his presentation to make it more appealing. Two changes were notable.