The Red Taylorist: The Life and Times of Walter Nicholas Polakov

Diana Kelly
University of Wollongong, Australia

Product Details
15 Jun 2020
Emerald Publishing Limited
184 pages - 152 x 229mm
Frontiers of Management History
The Red Taylorist traces the adult life and works of Walter Polakov, focusing on his socialist scientific management ideals and the ways these were constrained by conventionality in the USA in the first half of twentieth century. Tracing Polakov's activities and achievements, this book explores the contradictions of a prolific writer, socialist engineer and scientific management ideologue in the decades until his death in 1948. 

Written from a management history scholarly perspective, it presents a unique and detailed viewpoint. There have been no prior biographies on Polakov, and very few on his fellow scientific managers, consulting engineers, or like-minded public intellectuals. Moreover, perceptions of scientific management or Taylorism have tended to emphasise the negative impacts on workers, whereas Polakov's socialist commitment suggests a much more nuanced approach. 

Aimed at scholars of management and history of management, Diana Kelly offers a detailed narrative of this important individual, while greatly enriching understanding of the broader historical and industrial context.
Chapter 1. The Russian Engineer Comes to New York
Chapter 2. The Engineers Should Rule – Taylor Society and New Machine, 1915-1920
Chapter 3. Two Books for the 1920s
Chapter 4. Taking the Gantt Chart to USSR and a Roller Coaster Return, 1928-1938
Chapter 5. The Scientific manager joins the Union and is harried by the FBI 1938-1948 Conclusion
Diana Kelly has been an academic for over thirty years. She has taught and researched history, industrial relations, OB/HRM, management history and workplace safety. She has held various academic administrative roles which were sometimes fruitful, but took her away too often, from family, reading, researching, and teaching.

You might also be interested in..

« Back