Repainting, modifying, smashing Taylorism
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Survey data show that post-Tayloristic production concepts are not developing to the extent that many researchers had originally expected. It also is inadequate to portray post-Taylorism as a development that is happening, but just slower than expected. This is inadequate because there are counter-tendencies: the resurgence of the assembly line in the highly paradigmatic automobile assembly; the rise of the McDonalds-type organization; and continuing skills-replacing automation. An explanation for this persistence is sought. Considers possible reasons for decision makers to be attracted to Taylorism as well as reasons for disliking Taylorism. To some extent, it is possible for managers to work around these problems but there are ways to tackle these problems by making modifications to Tayloristic patterns, while keeping basic principles intact. Thus, adaptability is shown to be an important explanation for the resilience of Taylorism. Finally, the paper makes inferences from results obtained in organizations where a more radical break with Taylorism has been attempted.