“Darwin, Marx, Freud” form the trinity often cited as the “makers of the modern world.”
Marx would be taken out and replaced by Taylor if there were any justice in the world.
But that Taylor is not given his due is a minor matter.
It is a serious matter, however, that far too few people realize that the application of knowledge to work created developed economies by setting off the productivity explosion of the last hundred years.
Technologists give the credit to machines, economists to capital investment.
Yet both were as plentiful in the first hundred years of the capitalist age, before 1880, as they have been since.
With respect to technology or to capital, the second hundred years differed very little from the first one hundred.
But there was absolutely no increase in worker productivity during the first hundred years — and consequently very little increase in workers’ real incomes or any decrease in their working hours.
What made the second hundred years so critically different can only be explained as the result of applying knowledge to work.
The productivity of the new classes, the classes of the post-capitalist society, can be increased only by applying knowledge to work.
Neither machines nor capital can do it.
Indeed, if applied alone, they are likely to impede rather than to create productivity (as will be discussed further in Chapter 4).
When Taylor started to study work, nine out of every ten working people did manual work, making or moving things; in manufacturing, in farming, in mining, in transportation.
The productivity of people engaged in making and moving things is still going up at the historical rate of 3.5 to 4 percent—and in American and French agriculture, even faster.
But the Productivity Revolution is already over.
Forty years ago, in the 1950s people who engaged in work to make or to move things were still a majority in all developed countries.
By 1990, they had shrunk to one fifth of the work force.
By 2010 they will form no more than one tenth.
Increasing the productivity of manual workers in manufacturing, in farming, in mining, in transportation, can no longer create wealth by itself.
The Productivity Revolution has become a victim of its own success.
From now on, what matters is the productivity of non-manual workers.
And that requires applying knowledge to knowledge.
Knowledge: Its Economics and Its Productivity
Productivity of knowledge and service workers
Knowledge worker productivity
Managing in the Next Society
Chapter 6 in Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices
The enterprise must utilize wealth-producing resources to discharge its purpose of creating a customer.
It is, therefore, charged with productive utilization of these resources.
This is the administrative function of business.
In its economic aspect it is called productivity.
Everybody these last few years has been talking productivity.
That greater productivity—better utilization of resources—is both the key to a high standard of living and the result of business activity is not news.
And everyone knows by now that the scourge of modern economies, uncontrolled inflation, is a deficiency disease caused by inadequate productivity.
But we actually know very little about productivity; we are, indeed, not yet able to measure it.
Productivity means that balance between all factors of production that will give the greatest output for the smallest effort.
This is quite different from productivity per worker or per hour of work; it is at best distantly and vaguely reflected in such traditional standards.
Administration And Entrepreneurship from chapter 3 in Management, Revised Edition
To explore this topic further, search Drucker's books for the word stem “productiv”