Tech Is Transforming People Analytics. Is That a Good Thing?


A century ago, Frederick Taylor's Scientific Management laid the foundations for modern HR. His central premise was that organizations should turn their workplaces into real-world psychology labs, measuring and monitoring employees' every move in order to boost their performance and reduce their stress levels. The paradigm was revolutionary, and led famous industrialists like Henry Ford to unprecedented innovations in human engineering, with the creation of the seminal assembly line, and a science-infused formula for optimizing roles, tasks, and job design to enhance employee productivity. Big companies, such as the Ford Motor Company, became a testing ground for applied psychology, and evidence-based HR was born. Fast forward 100 years or so, and it is all footnotes to Taylor.