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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the continuing impact of Scientific Management, particularly in relation to the field of education. By outlining how Taylor and his followers used the language of science, efficiency and rationality to extend the application of Scientific Management to the reform of learning methods in the workplace and in educational institutions, it questions the assumption that managerialism in higher education emerged out of thin air in the 1990s. The chapter argues that the diffusion of Taylor’s philosophy, principles and methods to education resulted in the replacement of traditional co-operative modes of learning with a new orientation that privileged co-operation with managers and the managerialization of educational practices and institutions. It concludes by demonstrating how Taylor’s ghost continues to exert influence through standardized courses, metric measurements of student outcomes and academic research, and regulatory, accrediting and disciplinary mechanisms and organizations.

Keywords: scientific management, education, Taylor, organizations

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