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The Going Lean Fieldbook by Stephen A. RUFFA

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CHAPTER 4

Building a New Foundation

IN 1903, mechanical engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor proposed a business philosophy that promised to unleash new levels of productivity. His principles of scientific management held that dividing workers’ individual tasks into their smallest components, coupled with their strict standardization and control, would permit great advances in productivity. For decades, this clear division between the realms of performing work and its management served as the basis for business management, leading the way for unprecedented increases in productivity.1

Managers everywhere have come to realize the shortfalls of Taylor’s principles, particularly in today’s environment, in which workers’ knowledge and broader participation ...

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