Does the Closure of Volvo’s Uddevalla Manufacturing Plant, Together with the Takeover of the Company by Ford, Indicate That Taylorism Is Indeed the ‘One Best Way’?

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Does the closure of Volvo’s Uddevalla manufacturing plant, together with the takeover of the company by Ford, indicate that Taylorism is indeed the ‘one best way’?

‘Taylorism’ or ‘Scientific Management’ has been a prevalent idea in business theory since Frederick Winslow Taylor produced his “Principles of Scientific Management’ in 1911. The book was written in response to then President Theodore Roosevelt’s challenge to the American people to introduce new methods to create greater efficiency in the American workplace. Taylor’s idea was to ‘secure maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with maximum prosperity for the employee’1. Meaning companies could not gain high levels of production without an initiative for the work force,
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‘The Task’ is essentially when the worker receives full and detailed written instructions well in advance of attempting the task and then is completed in a ‘cooperative manner between the workman and management’6 Whilst Taylor meant this in the sense of just production the modern culture of business sees this as a primary action in any style of business management and in a modern context the written instructions ‘are merely common management practices such as job assignments and job descriptions7. Thus Taylorism has shown that what was once a key point in 1911 is now just a common practice taken by all managers and is another example of how Taylorism is now the ‘one best way’.
In Taylor’s time concepts of time and motion study and standardised tools were brand new ideals revolutionising production and management, but they were simply ‘maximising efficiency in production techniques by breaking down work into its constituent motions’8 These process are now being used in most industrialised countries and have proved to benefit management procedure throughout the last century aiding yet again to the theory that Taylorism is the ‘one best way’.
Taylorism has its criticisms though and that is where Volvo mainly

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