85. szám // 2021. Globalizációtörténeti megközelítések
A tudományos munkaszervezés kezdetei
Taylor’s Followers in Hungary: The Beginnings of Scientific Management
Right after its inception, Frederick Winslow Taylor’s system took the world by a storm. His ideas reached Hungary very fast, where the engineering community, open to new scientific breakthroughs, turned to the concept of rationalizing labor activities eagerly. Its introduction was expected to improve productivity and economic profitability, as well as the satisfaction of workers brought on by higher wages as a result of increased efficiency. In 1910, Taylor’s system was partially implemented at a large Hungarian corporation; in 1912, a debate was initiated about it, and the first studies were published. However, as opposed to Taylor’s theory, the working class had strong reservations about the new models.
They saw them as new means of control and discipline and were concerned that they will bring higher expectations of productivity. Further development of scientific management was stunted by the First World War and the Versailles Treaty, and the Hungarian public did not return to Taylor’s principles until the mid- to late 1920s. The real turning point was brought about by the economic boom, and the promotion of rationalizing, savvy professionals into higher positions. The Third International Congress organized in 1927 welcomed the first Hungarian delegates, and the spread of Taylorian principles gained real momentum thereafter. First Hungarian factory owners, then the government came to embrace the efficiency increasing management system. It entered the discourse outside the realm of industry as well, especially in public administration, and within a few years, a wealth of articles was dedicated to the importance of rationalizing. By 1931/32, the first Hungarian bodies of scientific management were founded, operating as subsidiaries to international organizations, which ultimately fostered their connection to the global forum of labor organizations.