Digital Taylorism

I know that this is not directly relevant to my PhD but I thought it was so great that I wanted to keep a record of it somewhere.    The labour-market academic Phil Brown has a come up with this phrase: Digital Taylorism. It’s a play on FW Taylor’s idea of scientific management. Taylor didn’t think much of the American worker (“The man who is . . . physically able to handle pig iron and is sufficiently phlegmatic and stupid to choose this for his occupation is rarely able to comprehend the science of handling pig iron,” he told Congressmen) and saw them as mere cogs, working to a fixed pattern set from above. Where this has already happened to manual work, Brown argues, it’s now happening to skilled and graduate jobs: law, finance, software-engineering.  Everything is being digitised – even teaching!  A school in London is providing one to one Maths tuition with the virtual tutor being located in India.   So what impact will this have on the middle classes on the western world?

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