Individual Well-Being and Performance at Work

A conceptual and theoretical overview

Authored by: Toon W. Taris , Wilmar B. Schaufeli

Current Issues in Work and Organizational Psychology

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138604940
eBook ISBN: 9780429468339
Adobe ISBN:


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From a historical perspective, one of the main aims of early twentieth-century authors like Emil Kraepelin, Hugo Münsterberg, and Frederick Taylor was to optimize worker performance (e.g., Koppes & Pick-ren, 2007; Taris, 2018). In the days of industrial capitalism, workers’ performance was of great concern. For example, in The Principles of Scientific Management, Taylor (1911/2006) argued that

instead of using every effort to turn out the largest possible amount of work, in a majority of the cases [a worker] deliberately plans to do as little as he safely can… Underworking, that is, deliberately working slowly so as to avoid doing a full day’s work… constitutes the greatest evil with which the working-people of both England and America are now afflicted.

(p. 7)

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