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Mind, Method, and Motion: Frank and Lillian Gilbreth


Mees, B, Mind, Method, and Motion: Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, The Oxford Handbook of Management Theorists, Oxford University Press, M Witzel and M Warner (ed), Oxford, pp. 32-48. ISBN 9780199585762 (2013) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2013 Oxford University Press

DOI: doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199585762.013.0003


This article discusses the contributions of American industrial engineers Frank and Lillian Gilbreth to management thought. It suggests that the work of the Gilbreths represents a very modernist form of rationalization, of the measuring, categorization, recording, and governing of work, work methods, employees, and processes. The motion studies and uses of psychology stressed by the Gilbreths would seem to represent some of the most pronounced forms of governance of production in the history of management thought. Frederick Taylor’s mental revolution entailed recourse to a ‘science’ of management as the ultimate arbiter of work processes. The committing of processes to writing and film would be Taylorized even more completely under Frank Gilbreth’s motion study, while workers would be enrolled more fully into the new labour process by the equally coercive and ideologized Taylorization of their minds in Lillian Gilbreth’s much more teacherly psychology of management.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:Management, motion study
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Organisation and management theory
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in commerce, management, tourism and services
UTAS Author:Mees, B (Dr Bernard Mees)
ID Code:129235
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2018-11-16
Last Modified:2018-12-06

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