Frederick Taylor is best known for dominating the scientific management movement in the United States in the early twentieth century. He believed that workers are economically motivated and did their best work if made sure the best workers in a group were financially rewarded.

He also believed in standardization of methods and tools. For instance, after finding that coal shovels between 16 and 38 pounds were being used with varying results, he did a study and decided that 21 to 22 pounds was the optimum weight. He also believed in studying what each indivdual worker was best at, and giving bonuses to those who exceeded a quota of work.

His system was widely resented by both unions and management. Workers could not choose how they worked, and managers too had less discretion.

His methods were investigated in the United States by a special congressional committee, with a special focus on the use of stopwatches. For a time his methods were somewhat more common outside the United States.

Source: Library and Information Center Management Fourth edition by Robert Stueart (not a typo, spelling from book cover) and Barbara Moran.