Friday September 21
Braverman’s Rebuttal – Reviewing Taylor’s work, Braverman makes these
1. Worker’s Abilities: Laborers knew best how to perform jobs; they also were
sufficiently intelligent to develop superior work methods but lacked the time
and money to do so. Workers actually knew about work methods that were
better than those being used; however, they refused to implement them,
realizing that implementation could lead to de-skilling, the loss of power, etc.
Braverman stated that it wasn’t the issue of lack of time and money. If workers
started to find ways of improving jobs, managers would take those ideas to exploit
workers and further bureaucratize the workplace. Workers understood that managers
were de-skilling them, it was taking away their dignity and pride. Once the work was
de-skilled and easy to do, the wages could be cheaper, and you can fire the current
workers and hire new ones because the work is de-skilled and easy to do.
2. Conclusions: Owners/Managers vs. Workers: Taylor was being
disingenuous. This issue isn’t about the impersonal coordination of
production. It’s about the deskilling of workers, about taking away the power
and control of potentially troublesome workers, etc.
Leidner focused on service industries, whereas Taylor and Braverman focused on