University of Bristol Webinar: Taylorism, generations & historical reflexivity in management scholarship

If you would like to join us for the University of Bristol School of Management Research Seminar hosted by the Strategy, International Management & Business, and Entrepreneurship (SIMBE) Academic Group, please email me (stephanie.decker[at] for the link.
Michael Weatherburn
(Imperial College London) 

Taylorism, generations and historical reflexivity in management scholarship
1st December, 12:30-13:30, Online Webinar (UK time)


Building on increasingly confident scholarly studies (e.g. Decker, Hassard & Rowlinson, 2020; Maclean, Clegg, Suddaby, & Harvey, 2020), this project braids together history and organisation studies, and explores the historical origins and trajectory of ‘Taylorism’. As will be discussed, ‘Taylorism’ had two original meanings but mutated and expanded as part of growing scholarship on the labour process, organisation studies and political activism from the 1960s onwards. This entangled situation is still with us and indeed scholars suggest that ‘Taylorism’ presents us with a generational problem to solve (see Roper, 1999; Nyland, Bruce and Burns, 2014; Bruce et al, 2020). Addressing these points, the goal of this presentation is to both refine analysis of the historical impact of management on labour and to further demonstrate the value of historical reflexivity in management scholarship. 

Key words: Taylorism, history, organization studies, Gramsci, labour, reflexivity.


Dr Michael Weatherburn is Field Leader of Humanities and Social Sciences and Data Science Institute Academic Fellow at Imperial College London, where he teaches history, digital studies and business ethics. He has a PhD in the history of science and technology, is Honorary Associate Professor at Hong Kong University, and History & Policy convenor at the UK Government Office for Science. He works with public and private sector clients through his consultancy, Project Hindsight (