Survey Monitor “Study Predicts E-Commerce to Double by End of 1998.
Page 6

According to a survey of 120,000 North American consumers conducted by Forrester Research, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., the number of households that shop and invest online—a high-income, technology-optimistic elite—will double from 5 percent to 10 percent by the end of 1998. On-line connections and PC ownership will soon broaden to include low-income households, generating the next of e-commerce-ready consumers. Data is drawn from Forrester’s Technographics ‘98 Field Study of North American consumers, conducted with NPD Group in the fall of 1997.

Noble, David F.  Forces of Production
New York: Knopf 1984. ISBN 0394512626
Pages  231 and 342

Numerical control technology appeared to offer management several prospects. First, it promised greater control over production, while reducing dependence upon the work force. By making possible the separation of conception from execution, of programming from machine operation, Numerical Control appeared to allow for the complete removal of decision-making and judgment from the shop floor. Such “mental” parts of the production process could now be monopolized by managers, engineers, and programmers, and concentrated in the office. And once decisions had been made and performance and production standards had been set, detailed orders would be sent to the floor, not only to the people there, by means of planning sheets and the like, but also directly to the machines....

Cohen, Nevin. "Designing for a Digital Economy." Architecture
December 1999
Page 119

Although e-commerce promises waste reduction, the truth is that, at least in the short term, surges in consumption of certain resources can be expected. Ironically, one such side-effect of online shopping has been an increase in gasoline consumption. The average American household makes more than 500 trips to the store by car each year. As consumers do more shopping online, some trips may be avoided. But if they insist on overnight delivery to replicate the instant gratification of in-person shopping, fuel consumption could actually skyrocket. Patagonia, the outdoor-clothing company, found that if it sent a product via overnight mail, transportation alone accounted for over a quarter of the energy required to manufacture and deliver it.

Doors 4 - SPEED - Speaker Transcript - Susan George: “When I was growing up...
Updated 22-11-1996
www.doorsofperception.com/doors/revamped_frameset.html (dead link)

Financial capital is pure speed and pure, immaterial profit. It makes instantaneous judgments on the values of national policies. If it doesn’t like what it sees, it leaves, at the speed of bytes, leaving catastrophic consequences in its wake. In December 1994, billions of dollars were removed from Mexico in a matter of hours. The peso collapsed, interest rates were put sky high, over a million small businesses failed, unemployment is rampant, widespread hunger and malnutrition have returned, crime rates are alarming and kidnappings routine. It can happen in rich countries too. George Soros made a billion dollars in a couple of days speculating against the British pound and in July 1993 the French Central Bank lost the totality of its reserves overnight in a desperate attempt to prop up the franc against the onslaught of speculative capital. Like a supersonic fighter plane, financial capital can accelerate from zero to Mach three in a matter of seconds.

Shellenbarger, Sue. “Work & Family.”
Wall Street Journal, 23 September 1998
Page B1

Unscheduled absences rose 25% in the past year to seven-year highs, says CCH Inc., a Riverwoods, Ill., human-resource information concern, in a 401-company survey set for release today. The increase is concentrated among the small and medium-size companies that employ about 70% of all payroll workers. The findings echo an Aon Consulting survey of 1,800 employees showing an 11% rise since 1995 in time lost from work, including unscheduled absences for all reasons and time spent at work on personal matters.

Maggie Jackson, Associated Press. “Be honest: Did you cheat at work yesterday?”
The Philadelphia Daily News, Saturday, April 5, 1997

Study finds about half of employees confess to illegal, unethical acts. Nearly half of workers engaged in unethical or illegal acts, or both, in the last year, according to a survey to be released Monday. The atmosphere at many workplaces may be to blame, according to the Ethics Officer Association and the American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters and Chartered Financial Consultants, which conducted the survey of 1,324 workers. Faced with the demands of overtime, balancing work and family and downsizing, workers said they felt more stress than five years ago, as well as more pressure to act unethically. “Daily pressures are extreme, and it’s those pressures that may be driving unethical practices,” said John Driskill, vice president of the society of underwriters and financial consultants.

Kuttner, Robert,  Everything For Sale
New York, 1996: ISBN 0394583922
Page 64

Market theory conceives of economic relationships as purely instrumental. All transactions are at arm’s length, and there is no room for sentimentality. The theory construes long-term commitments as implicit contracts, since the contract epitomizes the economic concept of a free, voluntary exchange by calculating, rational individuals, where opportunism is convenient and worth its nominal cost, the theory commends opportunism. In Law and Economics School theory, there is even a doctrine of “efficient breach.”

Marino, Sal. “Straight Talk.”
Industry Week December 7, 1998
Page 22

The survey was conducted in June by the Lutheran Brotherhood, an organization that provides financial services, insurance, and various other programs for its more than 1 million Lutheran members. The study was conducted among 1,000 working American adults. The good news is that 76% of the respondents said they never had been asked (or ordered) to do anything they considered unethical pertaining to their work. The bad news is that 24% confessed that they have been asked (or ordered) to do something they considered unethical. And the really bad news is that 41% of those asked actually did the dastardly deed that was requested of them without objecting.

Kanigel, Robert. The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency
New York: 1997. ISBN 0670864021
Page 534

Scientific management was degrading. In reducing work to instructions and rules, it took away your knowledge and skill. In standing over you with a stopwatch, peering at you, measuring you, rating you, it treated you like a side of beef. You weren’t supposed to think. Whatever workmanly pride you might once have possessed must be sacrificed on the altar of efficiency, your role only to execute the will of other man paid to think for you. You were a drone, fit only for taking orders. Scientific management, then, worked people with scant regard not only for the limitations of their bodies but for the capacities of their minds. In the great Taylorist equation that spat out the Good News of high wages, high profits, and low prices, the quality of those eight or ten hours on the job itself had been banished from the calculation.

Not So Fast
Scientific management started as a way to work. How did it become a way of life?
by Jill Lepore October 12, 2009 A Critic at Large The New Yorker

Efficiency experts like Frank Gilbreth sought to revolutionize the workplace. His wife, Lillian, brought the revolution home.


Related Links:

Audio: A discussion about the pioneers of scientific management. (dead link)
Blog: Archival footage from the Gilbreth family.

Keywords

Management consulting;
“The Management Myth: Why the Experts Keep Getting It Wrong” (Buy Book);
Matthew Stewart;
Frederick Winslow Taylor;
Scientific Management;
Louis Brandeis;


Businesses

Ordering people around, which used to be just a way to get things done, was elevated to a science in October of 1910, when Louis Brandeis, a fifty-three-year-old lawyer from Boston, held a meeting at an apartment in New York with a bunch of experts who, at Brandeis’s urging, decided to call what they were experts at “scientific management.”

The Myth Of Efficiency
Leadership – Forbes Magazine
Adam Hartung, 10.16.09, 12:30 PM ET

Everyone talks about the need for innovation these days, but they especially talk about why businesses are so bad at it. Procter & Gamble recently reduced the washing power of Tide, labeled the new version "Basic," and trumpeted it as an innovation. If that's the best we can do, no wonder there's such concern. A recent report from the Doblin Group claims that 96% of innovation resources are focused on incremental improvements. The best-selling book Blue Ocean Strategy claims that only 14% of innovations are "radical," and that those few radical innovations produce 61% of profits.

Most organizations embrace the creation of new ideas and the fun exercises that surround "ideation."

Matthew Stewart The Management Myth: why the “experts” keep getting it wrong.
W.W. Norton, New York, 2009
ISBN 978-0-393-0653-4
Page 28

Taylor's father was a prosperous man of leisure, the kind of Philadelphia gentleman of whom it might have been said he was "born retired." His mother belonged to the Winslows, a New England family that had made its fortune in whaling and could trace its ancestry to the Pilgrims. Frederick, born in 1856, showed at an early age that he was different. "It did not seem absolutely necessary that the rectangle of our rounders court should be scientifically accurate, and the whole of a fine sunny morning should be wasted in measuring it off," said one old playmate, reminiscing about Fred's distinctive approach to playground sports.' To the delight of future detractors, 12?year?old Fred's first invention was a special sleep harness fitted with nails to prick him awake whenever he turned over in bed. Its purpose was to prevent the nightmares that were thought to strike whenever he slept on his stomach.

Tolman, William H. Social Engineering
New York: 1909
Page 2

In modern business there is little room for sentiment; the ordinary employer demands a cash equivalent for each dollar paid out. The situation is reflected by the commercial proverb, beginning to realize that investment in manhood pays; that improved men for improved machines have economic value, because a more vigorous man can do more work, a more intelligent man will do more intelligent work, and a more conscientious man will do more conscientious work.

Dalton, Francie. "Efficiency at What Cost."
Plant Services magazine, May 2000
Page 22

As a small business owner, I can't afford to pay folks (and resent any implication that I should pay folks) to conduct personal business on my time and on my dime. Using the computer for personal business during lunch hour is the same as using any other business resource for personal business during lunch hour. It's a resource that costs me money. I pay for the Internet service provider; I pay for the utilities; I pay for the person-hours -- including salary, rented space, benefits and taxes. The computer is a resource purchased for my business -- not for the entertainment of my employees.

Francie Dalton, Dalton Alliances, Pasadena, Maryland

Poulton, E. C. Environment and Human Efficiency
Illinois: 1970. ISBN 0398015155
Page 279

Old people are often diseased as well as old. If so, they are likely to be at a greater disadvantage. Even a mild disease can reduce efficiency in old age. A scientist’s most creative years usually lie between 30 and 40 (Figure 72).

If only the very best work is considered, the peak may come between 25 and 30 years.

Marcuse, Herbert,  One-Dimensional Man
U.S.A., 1964: ISBN 0807014176
Pages 9 and 144

We are again confronted with one of the most vexing aspects of advanced industrial civilization: the rational character of its irrationality. Its productivity and efficiency, its capacity to increase and spread comforts, to turn waste into need, and destruction into construction, the extent to which this civilization transforms the object world into an extension of man’s mind and body makes the very notion of alienation questionable. The people recognize themselves in their commodities; they find their soul in their automobile, hi-fi set, split-level home, kitchen equipment. The very mechanism which ties the individual to this society has changed, and social control is anchored in the new needs which it has produced....

Winner, Langdon. The Whale and the Reactor : A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology.
University of Chicago Press: 1988. ISBN 0226902110
Pages 47-8

With the passage of time the cornucopia of modern industrial production began to generate some distinctive institutional patterns. Today we can examine the interconnected systems of manufacturing, communications, transportation, and the like that have arisen during the past two centuries and appreciate how they form de facto a constitution of sorts, the constitution of a sociotechnical order. This way of arranging people and things, of course, did not develop as the result of the application of any particular plan or political theory. It grew gradually and in separate increments, invention by invention, industry by industry, engineering project by engineering project, system by system.

Lely, Barea. “A Wise Consistency.”
Inc. Tech Industry Week 1998, No. 3 May 3, 1994
Page 38

Even though she’s been going for 14 hours straight, the strain doesn’t show on her face until the cell phone, which for their pre-bedtime attention. Lely Barea calls for the check. Here are some of Barea’s tricks for staying on top of things:

1. Keep it Uniform. She’s an apostle of standardization (her corporate idols are Walt Disney and McDonald’s), so the Bareas have designed their stores to be identical, right down to the location of the pink highlighter pen on each cash register.

Talbot Page, Conservation and Economic Efficiency: An Approach to Materials Policy Baltimore
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977
Page 10

The rule “deplete up to the rate where the growth in scarcity value equals the interest rate” is an efficiency condition of today’s market and a condition met more or less automatically by the market. Whether or not the future is damaged by today’s depletion is another question entirely. The answer depends on whether there is enough growth in technology, substitutes, and discoveries to “renew” the resource base. The increasing prices that result from growing scarcity value encourage technological and other substitutions without guaranteeing renewability of the resource base....

Kalle Lasn Adbusters Magazine
June/July 2000
Page 17

Time Warner swallows up CNN. AOL swallows up Time-Warner. BCE snaps up Canada's premier television broadcaster CTV. he media mergers keep coming and the conventional wisdom says that they are good. They wake up snoozing CEOs, shake up company boardrooms and most importantly, they marry industries like broadcasting, telecommunications and computers into efficient new digital age corporations.