Henry Ford adopted the techniques of F.W.Taylor (no relation), who developed time and motion studies and scientific management methods, and combined them with his own synchronized methods of mass production. (See Mumford, 1933, p.385.)

Taylorism increased production without increasing the individual workload, but depended on a piecework and bonuses system to achieve this. Fordism, incorporating Taylorism, resulted in a greater division of labour and the de-skilling of manual labour.

"Thus time sheds its qualitative, variable, flowing nature it freezes into an exactly delimited, quantifiable continuum filled with quantifiable 'things' (the reified, mechanically objectified 'performance' of the worker, wholly separated from his total personality)". Lukacs, (1923, p.90)

Since the 1960s, political, managerial and environmentalist criticism has accumulated, and Fordist production now faces competition from other methods employed in Japan, Germany, and other advanced economies.



Paul Taylor 2001