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Toggling with Taylor: A Different Approach to Reading a Management Text

  • Nanette Monin
  • David Barry
  • D. John Monin
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    This paper identifies influential, but previously unrecognized, subtexts in the writings of Frederick Winslow Taylor. Working with analytical methods developed from reader-response theories of literary criticism, we look "at" the words of the text as we share the standard meaning-making of the management community, as well as "through" the words of the text searching out the worldview that emerges from our particular reading of the subtext. We have described our approach to reading as 'toggling': that is, switching between reading text 'rhetorically' and reading it 'philosophically'. We conclude that reader identification with textual voices may appear in philosophical as well as rhetorical reading outcomes - that Taylor's text may inveigle readers into accepting a moral worldview wrapped up in a seemingly rational argument - and that 'toggling' would empower management theory readers. Copyright 2003 Blackwell Science Asia Pty. Ltd..

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    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 2 (03)
    Pages: 377-401

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:40:y:2003:i:2:p:377-401
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