The origin of materials requirements planning in Frederick W. Taylor's planning office

Wilson, J. M. (2016) The origin of materials requirements planning in Frederick W. Taylor's planning office. International Journal of Production Research, 54(5), pp. 1535-1553. (doi:10.1080/00207543.2015.1092616)

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Abstract

Materials Requirements Planning systems appeared without significant provenance. Their theoretical and practical antecedents can be traced to Frederick W. Taylor’s Shop Management that described a production planning and control system comprised of functional foremen and clerks. This system failed for it was too complex, unwieldy and expensive. Nevertheless, some elements survived- for although the whole was unmanageable a few individual functions survived as independent sub-systems. These continued in use; with Taylor’s planning office remaining an ideal and well known theoretical construct. The planning office imposed unbearable information processing demands on contemporary manual systems. But from the mid-1930s accounting machines started providing more capable information technologies that first allowed these individual elements to be implemented as stand-alone applications. Later they were then integrated into more full systems. Taylor’s planning office provided the sub-system pieces and the conceptual framework for their subsequent recombination and extension. This paper traces the evolution of production planning and control systems from Taylor’s planning office to materials requirements planning systems. Not only are the linkages between production management thinking in the different periods unappreciated; but so too are the technological relationships between the information technologies used.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Frederick W Taylor, Material Requirements Planning, Planning Office, Manufacturing Systems, History
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wilson, Dr James
Authors: Wilson, J. M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:International Journal of Production Research
Journal Abbr.:IJPR
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0020-7543
ISSN (Online):1366-588X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in International Journal of Production Research 54(5):1535-1553
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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