Taylors Principles Of Scientific Management

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Taylors Principles Of Scientific Management



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Scientific Management Theory

However, the records of these investigations were so meager that no law of any value could be deduced from them. We therefore started a series of experiments of our own. Two first-class laborers were selected, men who had proved themselves to be physically powerful and who were also good steady workers. They worked to the best of their ability throughout the time that they were being observed. These men were given all kinds of tasks, which were carried out each day under the close observation of the young college man who was conducting the experiments, and who at the same time noted with a stop-watch the proper time for all of the motions that were made by the men. Every element in any way connected with the work which we believed could have a bearing on the result was carefully studied and recorded.

What we hoped ultimately to determine was what fraction of a horse-power a man was able to exert, that is, how many foot-pounds of work a man could do in a day. On some kinds of work the man would be tired out when doing perhaps not more than one-eighth of a horse-power, while in others he would be tired to no greater extent by doing half a horse-power of work. It did not seem wise, however, at this time to spend any more money in trying to find the exact law which we were after.

Some years later, when more ,money was available for this purpose, a second series of experiments was made, similar to the first, but somewhat more thorough. This, however, resulted as the first experiments, in obtaining valuable information but not in the development of a law. Again, some years later, a third series of experiments was made, and this time no trouble was spared in our endeavor to make the work thorough. Every minute element which could in any way affect the problem was carefully noted and studied, and two college men devoted about three months to the experiments.

After this data was again translated into foot-pounds of energy exerted for each man each day, it became perfectly clear that there is no direct relation between the horse-power which a man exerts that is, his foot-pounds of energy per day and the tiring effect of the work on the man. The problem of developing this law from the accumulated facts was therefore handed over to Mr. Carl G. In a comparatively short time Mr. Barth had discovered the law governing the tiring effect of heavy labor on a first-class man. And it is so simple in its nature that it is truly remarkable that it should not have been discovered and clearly understood years before.

The law which was developed is as follows:. It is the law of heavy laboring, corresponding to the work of the cart horse, rather than that of the trotter. For example, when pig iron is being handled each pig weighing 92 pounds , a firstclass workman can only be under load 43 per cent. He must be entirely free from load during 57 per cent. And as the load becomes lighter, the percentage of the day under which the man can remain under load increases. So that, if the workman is handling a half-pig, weighing 46 pounds, he can then be under load 58 per cent. As the weight grows lighter the man can remain under load during a larger and larger percentage of the day, until finally a load is reached which he can carry in his hands all day long without being tired out.

When a laborer is carrying a piece of pig iron weighing 92 pounds in his hands, it tires him about as much to stand still under the load as it does to walk with it, since his arm muscles are under the same severe tension whether he is moving or not. A man, however, who stands still under a load is exerting no horse-power whatever, and this accounts for the fact that no constant relation could be traced in various kinds of heavy laboring work between the foot-pounds of energy exerted and the tiring effect of the work on the man. It will also be clear that in all work of this kind it is necessary for the arms of the workman to be completely free from load that is, for the workman to rest at frequent intervals.

Throughout the time that the man is under a heavy load the tissues of his arm muscles are in process of degeneration, and frequent periods of rest are required in order that the blood may have a chance to restore these tissues to their normal condition. To return now to our pig-iron handlers at the Bethlehem Steel Company. If Schmidt had been allowed to attack the pile of 47 tons of pig iron without the guidance or direction of a man who understood the art, or science, of handling pig iron, in his desire to earn his high wages he would probably have tired himself out by 11 or 12 o'clock in the day.

He would have kept so steadily at work that his muscles would not have had the proper periods of rest absolutely needed for recuperation, and he would have been completely exhausted early in the day. By having a man, however, who understood this law, stand over him and direct his work, day after day, until he acquired the habit of resting at proper intervals, he was able to work at an even gait all day long without unduly tiring himself. Now one of the very first requirements for a man who is fit to handle pig iron as a regular occupation is that he shall be so stupid and so phlegmatic that he more nearly resembles in his mental make-up the ox than any other type.

The man who is mentally alert and intelligent is for this very reason entirely unsuited to what would, for him, be the grinding monotony of work of this character. Therefore the workman who is best suited to handling pig iron is unable to understand the real science of doing this class of work. Let us, however, again turn to the case of these pig-iron handlers, and see whether, under the ordinary type of management, it would not have been possible to obtain practically the same results. The writer has put the problem before many good managers, and asked them whether, under premium work, piece work, or any of the ordinary plans of management, they would be likely even to approximate 47 tons [ 4 ] per man per day, and not a man has suggested that an output of over 18 to 25 tons could be attained by any of the ordinary expedients.

Now the one man in eight who was able to do this work was in no sense superior to the other men who were working on the gang. He merely happened to be a man of the type of the ox, — no rare specimen of humanity, difficult to find and therefore very highly prized. On the contrary, he was a man so stupid that he was unfitted to do most kinds of laboring work, even. The selection of the man, then, does not involve finding some extraordinary individual, but merely picking out from among very ordinary men the few who are especially suited to this type of work. Although in this particular gang only one man in eight was suited to doing the work, we had not the slightest difficulty in getting all the men who were needed — some of them from inside of the works and others from the neighboring country — who were exactly suited to the job.

Would they be likely to get rid of seven men out of eight from their own gang and retain only the eighth man? And no expedient could be devised which would make these men properly select themselves. Even if they fully realized the necessity of doing so in order to obtain high wages and they are not sufficiently intelligent properly to grasp this necessity , the fact that their friends or their brothers who were working right alongside of them would temporarily be thrown out of a job because they were not suited to this kind of work would entirely prevent them from properly selecting themselves, that is, from removing the seven out of eight men on the gang who were unsuited to pig-iron handling.

As to the possibility, under the old type of management, of inducing these pig-iron handlers after they had been properly selected to work in accordance with the science of doing heavy laboring, namely, having proper scientifically determined periods of rest in close sequence to periods of work. As has been indicated before, the essential idea of the ordinary types of management is that each workman has become more skilled in his own trade than it is possible for any one in the management to be, and that, therefore, the details of how the work shall best be done must be left to him. The idea, then, of taking one man after another and training him under a competent teacher into new working habits until he continually and habitually works in accordance with scientific laws, which have been developed by some one else, is directly antagonistic to the old idea that each workman can best regulate his own way of doing the work.

And besides this, the man suited to handling pig iron is too stupid properly to train himself. Thus it will be seen that with the ordinary type of management the development of scientific knowledge to replace rule of thumb, the scientific selection of the men, and inducing the men to work in accordance with these scientific principles are entirely out of the question. And this because the philosophy of the old management puts the entire responsibility upon the workmen, while the philosophy of the new places a great part of it upon the management. With most readers great sympathy will be aroused because seven out of eight of these pig-iron handlers were thrown out of a job.

This sympathy is entirely wasted, because almost all of them were immediately given other Jobs with the Bethlehem Steel Company. And indeed it should be understood that the removal of these men from pig-iron handling, for which they were unfit, was really a kindness to themselves, because it was the first step toward finding them work for which they were peculiarly fitted, and at which, after receiving proper training, they could permanently and legitimately earn higher wages. Although the reader may be convinced that there is a certain science back of the handling of pig iron, still it is more than likely that he is still sceptical as to the existence of a science for doing other kinds of laboring.

One of the important objects of this paper is to convince its readers that every single act of every workman can be reduced to a science. With the hope of fully convincing the reader of this fact, therefore, the writer proposes to give several more simple illustrations from among the thousands which are at hand. For example, the average man would question whether there is much of any science in the work of shovelling. Yet there is but little doubt, if any intelligent reader of this paper were deliberately to set out to kind what may be called the foundation of the science of shovelling, that with perhaps 15 to 20 hours of thought and analysis he would be almost sure to have arrived at the essence of this science.

On the other hand, so completely are the rule-of-thumb ideas still dominant that the writer has never met a single shovel contractor to whom it had ever even occurred that there was such a thing as the science of shovelling. This science is so elementary as to be almost self-evident. What is this shovel load? Will a first-class man do more work per day with a shovel load of 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 15 pounds, 20, 25, 30, or 40 pounds?

Now this is a question which can be answered only through carefully made experiments. For instance, that this man would shovel a larger tonnage per day with a pound load than with a pound load or than with an pound load on his shovel. The writer does not wish it to be understood that this is the whole of the art or science of shovelling. There are many other elements, which together go to make up this science. But he wishes to indicate the important effect which this one piece of scientific knowledge has upon the work of shovelling.

At the works of the Bethlehem Steel Company, for example, as a result of this law, instead of allowing each shoveler to select and own his own shovel, it became necessary to provide some 8 to 10 different kinds of shovels, etc. A large shovel tool room was built, in which were stored not only shovels but carefully designed and standardized labor implements of all kinds, such as picks, crowbars, etc.

This made it possible to issue to each workman a shovel which would hold a load of 21 pounds of whatever class of material they were to handle: a small shovel for ore, say, or a large one for ashes. Iron ore is one of the heavy materials which are handled in a works of this kind, and rice coal, owing to the fact that it is so slippery on the shovel, is one of the lightest materials. And it was found on studying the rule-of-thumb plan at the Bethlehem Steel Company, where each shoveler owned his own shovel, that he would frequently go from shovelling ore, with a load of about 30 pounds per shovel, to handling rice coal, with a load on the same shovel of less than 4 pounds.

Briefly to illustrate some of the other elements which go to make up the science of shovelling, thousands of stop-watch observations were made to study just how quickly a laborer, provided in each case with the proper type of shovel, can push his shovel into the pile of materials and then draw it out properly loaded. These observations were made first when pushing the shovel into the body of the pile. Next when shovelling on a dirt bottom, that is, at the outside edge of the pile, and next with a wooden bottom, and finally with an iron bottom.

Again a similar accurate time study was made of the time required to swing the shovel backward and then throw the load for a given horizontal distance, accompanied by a given height. This time study was made for various combinations of distance and height. With data of this sort before him, coupled with the law of endurance described in the case of the pig-iron handlers, it is evident that the man who is directing shovelers can first teach them the exact methods which should be employed to use their strength to the very best advantage, and can then assign them daily tasks which are so just that the workman can each day be sure of earning the large bonus which is paid whenever he successfully performs this task.

There were about shovelers and laborers of this general class in the yard of the Bethlehem Steel Company at this time. These men were scattered in their work over a yard which was, roughly, about two miles long and half a mile wide. In order that each workman should be given his proper implement and his proper instructions for doing each new job, it was necessary to establish a detailed system for directing men in their work, in place of the old plan of handling them in large groups, or gangs, under a few yard foremen.

The hope was further expressed that he would earn his full wages on the following day. So that whenever the men received white slips they knew that everything was all right, and whenever they received yellow slips they realized that they must do better or they would be shifted to some other class of work. Dealing with every workman as a separate individual in this way involved the building of a labor office for the superintendent and clerks who were in charge of this section of the work. In this way a large amount of the time lost through having too many men in one place and too few in another, and through waiting between jobs, was entirely eliminated.

Under the old system the workmen were kept day after day in comparatively large gangs, each under a single foreman, and the gang was apt to remain of pretty nearly the same size whether there was much or little of the particular kind of work on hand which this foreman had under his charge, since each gang had to be kept large enough to handle whatever work in its special line was likely to come along. When one ceases to deal with men in large gangs or groups, and proceeds to study each workman as an individual, if the workman fails to do his task, some competent teacher should be sent to show him exactly how his work can best be done, to guide, help, and encourage him, and, at the same time, to study his possibilities as a workman.

So that, under the plan which individualizes each workman, instead of brutally discharging the man or lowering his wages for failing to make good at once, he is given the time and the help required to make him proficient at his present job, or he is shifted to another class of work for which he is either mentally or physically better suited. All of this requires the kindly cooperation of the management, and involves a much more elaborate organization and system than the old-fashioned herding of men in large gangs. And this furnishes an elementary illustration of what has been referred to as cooperation between the management and the workmen. The question which naturally presents itself is whether an elaborate organization of this sort can be made to pay for itself; whether such an organization is not top-heavy.

This question will best be answered by a statement of the results of the third year of working under this plan. Perhaps the most important of all the results attained was the effect on the workmen themselves. A careful inquiry into the condition of these men developed the fact that out of the workmen only two were said to be drinking men. This does not, of course, imply that many of them did not take an occasional drink. The fact is that a steady drinker would find it almost impossible to keep up with the pace which was set, so that they were practically all sober.

Many, if not most of them, were saving money, and they all lived better than they had before. These men constituted the finest body of picked laborers that the writer has ever seen together, and they looked upon the men who were over them, their bosses and their teachers, as their very best friends; not as nigger drivers, forcing them to work extra hard for ordinary wages, but as friends who were teaching them and helping them to earn much higher wages than they had ever earned before. It would have been absolutely impossible for any one to have stirred up strife between these men and their employers. It is evident also that this result has been brought about by the application of the four fundamental principles of scientific management.

As another illustration of the value of a scientific study of the motives which influence workmen in their daily work, the loss of ambition and initiative will be cited, which takes place in workmen when they are herded into gangs instead of being treated as separate individuals. A careful analysis had demonstrated the fact that when workmen are herded together in gangs, each man in the gang becomes far less efficient than when his personal ambition is stimulated; that when men work in gangs, their individual efficiency falls almost invariably down to or below the level of the worst man in the gang; and that they are all pulled down instead of being elevated by being herded together.

For this reason a general order had been issued in the Bethlehem Steel Works that not more than four men were to be allowed to work in a labor gang without a special permit, signed by the General Superintendent of the works, this special permit to extend for one week only. It was arranged that as far as possible each laborer should be given a separate individual task. As there were about men at work in the establishment, the General Superintendent had so much to do that there was but little time left for signing these special permits. After gang work had been by this means broken up, an unusually fine set of ore shovelers had been developed, through careful selection and individual, scientific training.

Each of these men was given a separate car to unload each day, and his wages depended upon his own personal work. The man who unloaded the largest amount of ore was paid the highest wages, and an unusual opportunity came for demonstrating the importance of individualizing each workman. Much of this ore came from the Lake Superior region, and the same ore was delivered both in Pittsburg and in Bethlehem in exactly similar cars.

There was a shortage of ore handlers in Pittsburg, and hearing of the fine gang of laborers that had been developed at Bethlehem, one of the Pittsburg steel works sent an agent to hire the Bethlehem men. When, on the ether hand, they receive much more than a 60 per cent. Our experiments showed, in other words, that it does not do for most men to get rich too fast. After deciding, for this reason, not to raise the wages of our ore handlers, these men were brought into the office one at a time, and talked to somewhat as follows:. I think, therefore, that you had better apply to this man for a job.

Of course, you know we are very sorry to have you leave us, but you have proved yourself a high-priced man, and we are very glad to see you get this chance of earning more money. Just remember, however, that at any time in the future, when you get out of a job, you can always come right back to us. There will always be a job for a high-priced man like you in our gang here.

The writer had the following talk with one of these men after he had returned:. I thought we had gotten rid of you. When we got out there Jimmy and I were put on to a car with eight other men. We started to shovel the ore out just the same as we do here. After that Jimmy and I went in to the boss, and asked him for a car to ourselves, the same as we got at Bethlehem, but he told us to mind our own business. And when another pay-day came around we had less money than we got here at Bethlehem, so Jimmy and I got the gang together and brought them all back here to work again.

But it also shows that in the application of the most elementary principles it is necessary for the management to do their share of the work in cooperating with the workmen. Bricklaying is one of the oldest of our trades. For hundreds of years there has been little or no improvement made in the implements and materials used in this trade, nor in fact in the method of laying bricks. In spite of the millions of men who have practiced this trade, no great improvement has been evolved for many generations. Here, then, at least, one would expect to find but little gain possible through scientific analysis and study.

Frank B. Gilbreth, a member of our Society, who had himself studied bricklaying in his youth, became interested in the principles of scientific management, and decided to apply them to the art of bricklaying. He made an intensely interesting analysis and study of each movement of the bricklayer, and one after another eliminated all unnecessary movements and substituted fast for slow motions. He experimented with every minute element which in any way affects the speed and the tiring of the bricklayer.

He developed the exact position which each of the feet of the bricklayer should occupy with relation to the wall, the mortar box, and the pile of bricks, and so made it unnecessary for him to take a step or two toward the pile of bricks and back again each time a brick is laid. He studied the best height for the mortar box and brick pile, and then designed a scaffold, with a table on it, upon which all of the materials are placed, so as to keep the bricks, the mortar, the man, and the wall in their proper relative positions. These scaffolds are adjusted, as the wall grows in height, for all of the bricklayers by a laborer especially detailed for this purpose, and by this means the bricklayer is saved the exertion of stooping down to the level of his feet for each brick and each trowelful of mortar and then straightening up again.

Think of the waste of effort that has gone on through all these years, with each bricklayer lowering his body, weighing, say, pounds, down two feet and raising it up again every time a brick weighing about 5 pounds is laid in the wall! And this each bricklayer did about one thousand times a day. As a result of further study, after the bricks are unloaded from the cars, and before bringing them to the bricklayer, they are carefully sorted by a laborer, and placed with their best edge up on a simple wooden frame, constructed so as to enable him to take hold of each brick in the quickest time and in the most advantageous position.

In this way the bricklayer avoids either having to turn the brick over or end for end to examine it before laying it, and he saves, also, the time taken in deciding which is the best edge and end to place on the outside of the wall. In most cases, also, he saves the time taken in disentangling the brick from a disorderly pile on the scaffold. Gilbreth calls his loaded wooden frames is placed by the helper in its proper position on the adjustable scaffold close to the mortar box. We have all been used to seeing bricklayers tap each brick after it is placed on its bed of mortar several times with the end of the handle of the trowel so as to secure the right thickness for the joint.

Gilbreth found that by tempering the mortar just right, the bricks could be readily bedded to the proper depth by a downward pressure of the hand with which they are laid. He insisted that his mortar mixers should give special attention to tempering the mortar, and so save the time consumed in tapping the brick. Through all of this minute study of the motions to be made by the bricklayer in laying bricks under standard conditions, Mr. Gilbreth has reduced his movements from eighteen motions per brick to five, and even in one case to as low as two motions per brick.

Spon, of London. An analysis of the expedients used by Mr. Gilbreth in reducing the motions of his bricklayers from eighteen to five shows that this improvement has been made in three different ways:. He has entirely dispensed with certain movements which the bricklayers in the past believed were necessary but which a careful study and trial on his part have shown to be useless. He has introduced simple apparatus, such as his adjustable scaffold and his packets for holding the bricks, by means of which, with a very small amount of cooperation from a cheap laborer, he entirely eliminates a lot of tiresome and time-consuming motions which are necessary for the bricklayer who lacks the scaffold and the packet.

He teaches his bricklayers to make simple motions with both hands at the same time, where before they completed a motion with the right hand and followed it later with one from the left hand. For example, Mr. Gilbreth teaches his brick. This work with two hands at the same time is, of course, made possible by substituting a deep mortar box for the old mortar board on which the mortar spread out so thin that a step or two had to be taken to reach it and then placing the mortar box and the brick pile close together, and at the proper height on his new scaffold.

These three kinds of improvements are typical of the ways in which needless motions can be entirely eliminated and quicker types of movements substituted for slow movements when scientific motion study, as Mr. Gilbreth calls his analysis, time study, as the writer has called similar work, are applied in any trade. Most practical men would knowing the opposition of almost all tradesmen to making any change in their methods and habits , however, be sceptical as to the possibility of actually achieving any large results from a study of this sort. Gilbreth reports that a few months ago, in a large brick building which he erected, he demonstrated on a commercial scale the great gain which is possible from practically applying his scientific study.

With union bricklayers, in laying a factory wall, twelve inches thick, with two kinds of brick, faced and ruled joints on both sides of the wall, he averaged, after his selected workmen had become skilful in his new methods, bricks per man per hour; whereas the average speed of doing this work with the old methods was, in that section of the country, bricks per man per hour. His bricklayers were taught his new method of bricklaying by their foreman. Those who failed to profit by their teaching were dropped, and each man, as he became proficient under the new method, received a substantial not a small increase in his wages. With a view to individualizing his workmen and stimulating each man to do his best, Mr.

Gilbreth also developed an ingenious method for measuring and recording the number of bricks laid by each man, and for telling each workman at frequent intervals how many bricks he had succeeded in laying. The members of this union are probably sincere in their belief that this restriction of output is a benefit to their trade. It is highly likely that many times during all of these years individual bricklayers have recognized the possibility of eliminating each of these unnecessary motions.

But even if, in the past, he did invent each one of Mr. No one bricklayer, then, can work much faster than the one next to him. Nor has any one workman the authority to make other men cooperate with him to do faster work. It is only through enforced standardization of methods, enforced adoption of the best implements and working conditions, and enforced cooperation that this faster work can be assured. And the duty of enforcing the adoption of standards and of enforcing this cooperation rests with the management alone.

The management must supply continually one or more teachers to show each new man the new and simpler motions, and the slower men must be constantly watched and helped until they have risen to their proper speed. All of those who, after proper teaching, either will not or cannot work in accordance with the new methods and at the higher speed must be discharged by the management.

The management must also recognize the broad fact that workmen will not submit to this more rigid standardization and will not work extra hard, unless they receive extra pay for doing it. All of this involves an individual study of and treatment for each man, while in the past they have been handled in large groups. The management must also see that those who prepare the bricks and the mortar and adjust the scaffold, etc. Thus it will be seen that it is the assumption by the management of new duties and new kinds of work never done by employers in the past that makes this great improvement possible, and that, without this new help from the management, the workman even with full knowledge of the new methods and with the best of intentions could not attain these startling results.

Not the type of cooperation in which a mass of workmen on one side together cooperate with the management; but that in which several men in the management each one in his own particular way help each workman individually, on the one hand, by studying his needs and his shortcomings and teaching him better and quicker methods, and, on the other hand, by seeing that all other workmen with whom he comes in contact help and cooperate with him by doing their part of the work right and fast. The writer has gone thus fully into Mr. And that his success has been due to the use of the four elements which constitute the essence of scientific management.

The development by the management, not the workman of the science of bricklaying, with rigid rules for each motion of every man, and the perfection and standardization of all implements and working conditions. The careful selection and subsequent training of the bricklayers into first-class men, and the elimination of all men who refuse to or are unable to adopt the best methods. Bringing the first-class bricklayer and the science of bricklaying together, through the constant help and watchfulness of the management, and through paying each man a large daily bonus for working fast and doing what he is told to do. An almost equal division of the work and responsibility between the workman and the management.

All day long the management work almost side by side with the men, helping, encouraging, and smoothing the way for them, while in the past they stood one side, gave the men but little help, and threw on to them almost the entire responsibility as to methods, implements, speed, and harmonious cooperation. Of these four elements, the first the development of the science of bricklaying is the most interesting and spectacular.

Each of the three others is, however, quite as necessary for success. It must not be forgotten that back of all this, and directing it, there must be the optimistic, determined, and hard-working leader who can wait patiently as well as work. A case of this type is well illustrated in the very simple though unusual work of inspecting bicycle balls. When the bicycle craze was at its height some years ago several million small balls made of hardened steel were used annually in bicycle bearings. And among the twenty or more operations used in making steel balls, perhaps the most important was that of inspecting them after final polishing so as to remove all fire-cracked or otherwise imperfect balls before boxing.

The writer was given the task of systematizing the largest bicycle ball factory in this country. It is impossible even in the most elementary work to change rapidly from the old independence of individual day work to scientific cooperation. In most cases, however, there exist certain imperfections in working conditions which can at once be improved with benefit to all concerned. In this instance it was found that the inspectors girls were working ten and one-half hours per day with a Saturday half holiday.

Their work consisted briefly in placing a row of small polished steel balls on the back of the left hand, in the crease between two of the fingers pressed together, and while they were rolled over and over, they were minutely examined in a strong light, and with the aid of a magnet held in the right hand, the defective balls were picked out and thrown into especial boxes. Four kinds of defects were looked for — dented, soft, scratched, and fire-cracked — and they were mostly so minute as to be invisible to an eye not especially trained to this work.

It required the closest attention and concentration, so that the nervous tension of the inspectors was considerable, in spite of the fact that they were comfortably seated and were not physically tired. A most casual study made it evident that a very considerable part of the ten and one-half hours during which the girls were supposed to work was really spent in idleness because the working period was too long.

Before the arrival of Mr. Sanford E. Thompson, who undertook a scientific study of the whole process, we decided, therefore, to shorten the working hours. The old foreman who had been over the inspecting room for years was instructed to interview one after another of the better inspectors and the more influential girls and persuade them that they could do just as much work in ten hours each day as they had been doing in ten and one-half hours. In about two weeks the foreman reported that all of the girls he had talked to agreed that they could do their present work just as well in ten hours as in ten and one-half and that they approved of the change. The writer had not been especially noted for his tact so he decided that it would be wise for him to display a little more of this quality by having the girls vote on the new proposition.

This settled the matter for the time being. The change from the old to the scientific method in this department was made under the direction of Mr. Thompson, perhaps the most experienced man in motion and time study in this country, under the general superintendence of Mr. This is done by suddenly bringing some object, the letter A or B for instance, within the range of vision of the subject, who, the instant he recognizes the letter has to do some definite thing, such as to press a particular electric button. The time which elapses from the instant the letter comes in view until the subject presses the button is accurately recorded by a delicate scientific instrument.

Some individuals are born with unusually quick powers of perception accompanied by quick responsive action. With some the message is almost instantly transmitted from the eye to the brain, and the brain equally quickly responds by sending the proper message to the hand. One of the dangers to be guarded against, when the pay of the man or woman is made in any way to depend on the quantity of the work done, is that in the effort to increase the quantity the quality is apt to deteriorate. It is necessary in almost all cases, therefore, to take definite steps to insure against any falling off in quality before moving in any way towards an increase in quantity. In the work of these particular girls quality was the very essence.

They were engaged in picking out all defective balls. The first step, therefore, was to make it impossible for them to slight their work without being found out. This was accomplished through what is known as over-inspection. Each one of four of the most trustworthy girls was given each day a lot of balls to inspect which had been examined the day before by one of the regular inspectors; the number identifying the lot to be over-inspected having been changed by the foreman so that none of the over-inspectors knew whose work they were examining. In addition to this one of the lots inspected by the four over-inspectors was examined on the following day by the chief inspector, selected on account of her especial accuracy and integrity. An effective expedient was adopted for checking the honesty and accuracy of the over-inspection.

Every two or three days a lot of balls was especially prepared by the foreman, who counted out a definite number of perfect balls, and added a recorded number of defective balls of each kind. Neither the inspectors nor the over-inspectors had any means of distinguishing this prepared lot from the regular commercial lots. And in this way all temptation to slight their work or make false returns was removed. After insuring in this way against deterioration in quality, effective means were at once adopted to increase the output. Improved day work was substituted for the old slipshod method. An accurate daily record was kept both as to the quantity and quality of the work done in order to guard against any personal prejudice on the part of the foreman and to insure absolute impartiality and justice for each inspector.

In a comparatively short time this record enabled the foreman to stir the ambition of all the inspectors by increasing the wages of those who turned out a large quantity and goof quality, while at the same time lowering the pay of those who did indifferent work and discharging others who proved to be incorrigibly slow or careless. A careful examination was then made of the way in which each girl spent her time and an accurate time study was undertaken, through the use of a stop-watch and record blanks, to determine how fast each kind of inspection should be done, and to establish the exact conditions under which each girl could do her quickest and best work, while at the same time guarding against giving her a task so severe that there was danger from over fatigue or exhaustion.

This investigation showed that the girls spent a considerable part of their time either in partial idleness, talking and half working, or in actually doing nothing. They evidently needed a rest. It is wise to stop short of the point at which overstrain begins, so we arranged for them to have a ten minutes period for recreation at the end of each hour and one quarter. During these recess periods two of ten minutes each in the morning and two in the afternoon they were obliged to stop work and were encouraged to leave their seats and get a complete change of occupation by walking around and talking, etc. In one respect no doubt some people will say that these girls were brutally treated. They were seated so far apart that they could not conveniently talk while at work.

Shortening their hours of labor, however, and providing so far as we knew the most favorable working conditions made it possible for them to really work steadily instead of pretending to do so. And it is only after this stage in the reorganization is reached, when the girls have been properly selected and on the one hand such precautions have been taken as to guard against the possibility of over-driving them, while, on the other hand, the temptation to slight their work has been removed and the most favorable working conditions have been established, that the final step should be taken which insures them what they most want, namely, high wages , and the employers what they most want, namely, the maximum output and best quality of work, — which means a low labor cost.

This was done in this case through establishing what is known as differential rate piece work. As will be shown later, the differential rate the lots inspected by the over-inspectors forming the basis for the differential resulted in a large gain in the quantity of work done and at the same time in a marked improvement in the quality. Before they finally worked to the best advantage it was found to be necessary to measure the output of each girl as often as once every hour, and to send a teacher to each individual who was found to be falling behind to find what was wrong, to straighten her out, and to encourage and help her to catch up.

There is a general principle back of this which should be appreciated by all of those who are especially interested in the management of men. A reward, if it is to be effective in stimulating men to do their best work, must come soon after the work has been done. But few men are able to look forward for more than a week or perhaps at most a month, and work hard for a reward which they are to receive at the end of this time.

The average workman must be able to measure what he has accomplished and clearly see his reward at the end of each day if he is to do his best. And more elementary characters, such as the young girls inspecting bicycle balls, or children , for instance, should have proper encouragement either in the shape of personal attention from those over them or an actual reward in sight as often as once an hour. The nice time which they are sure to have to-day if they take things easily and go slowly proves more attractive than steady hard work with possible reward to be shared with others six months later.

A second reason for the inefficiency of profit-sharing schemes had been that no form of cooperation has yet been devised in which each individual is allowed free scope for his personal ambition. Personal ambition always has been and will remain a more powerful incentive to exertion than a desire for the general welfare. The few misplaced drones, who do the loafing and share equally in the profits, with the rest, under cooperation are sure to drag the better men down toward their level.

Other and formidable difficulties in the path of cooperative schemes are, the equitable division of the profits, and the fact that, while workmen are always ready to share the profits, they are neither able nor willing to share the losses. Further than this, in many cases, it is neither right nor just that they should share either the profits or the losses, since these may be due in great part to causes entirely beyond their influence or control, and to which they do not contribute. To come back to the girls inspecting bicycle balls, however, the final outcome of all the changes was that thirty-five girls did the work formerly done by one hundred and twenty.

And that the accuracy of the work at the higher speed was two-thirds greater than at the former slow speed. That they averaged from 80 to per cent. And they were given four recreation periods properly distributed through the day, which made overworking impossible for a healthy girl. Each girl was made to feel that she was the object of especial care and interest on the part of the management, and that if anything went wrong with her she could always have a helper and teacher in the management to lean upon.

All young women should be given two consecutive days of rest with pay each month, to be taken whenever they may choose. It is my impression that these girls were given this privilege, although I am not quite certain on this point. A material reduction in the cost of inspection, in spite of the extra expense involved in clerk work, teachers, time study, over-inspectors, and in paying higher wages. That the most friendly relations existed between the management and the employees, which rendered labor troubles of any kind or a strike impossible.

These good results were brought about by many changes which substituted favorable for unfavorable working conditions. It should be appreciated, however, that the one element which did more than all of the others was, the careful selection of girls with quick perception to replace those whose perceptions were slow — the substitution of girls with a low personal coefficient for those whose personal coefficient was high — the scientific selection of the workers. The illustrations have thus far been purposely confined to the more elementary types of work, so that a very strong doubt must still remain as to whether this kind of cooperation is desirable in the case of more intelligent mechanics, that is, in the case of men who are more capable of generalization, and who would therefore be more likely, of their own volition, to choose the more scientific and better methods.

The following illustrations will be given for the purpose of demonstrating the fact that in the higher classes of work the scientific laws which are developed are so intricate that the high-priced mechanic needs even more than the cheap laborer the cooperation of men better educated than himself in finding the laws, and then in selecting, developing, and training him to work in accordance with these laws.

A doubt, for instance, will remain in the minds perhaps of most readers in the case of an establishment which manufactures the same machine, year in and year out, in large quantities, and in which, therefore, each mechanic repeats the same limited series of operations over and over again , whether the ingenuity of each workman and the help which he from time to time receives from his foreman will not develop such superior methods and such a personal dexterity that no scientific study which could be made would result in a material increase in efficiency. A number of years ago a company employing about three hundred men, which had been manufacturing the same machine for ten to fifteen years, sent for us to report as to whether any gain could be made through the introduction of scientific management.

Their shops had been run for many years under a good superintendent and with excellent foremen and workmen, on piece work. The whole establishment was, without doubt, in better physical condition than the average machine-shop in this country. The superintendent was distinctly displeased when told that through the adoption of task management the output, with the same number of men and machines, could be more than doubled. He said that he believed that any such statement was mere boasting, absolutely false, and instead of inspiring him with confidence, he was disgusted that any one should make such an impudent claim.

He, however, readily assented to the proposition that he should select any one of the machines whose output he considered as representing the average of the shop, and that we should then demonstrate on this machine that through scientific methods its output could be more than doubled. The machine selected by him fairly represented the work of the shop. It had been run for ten or twelve years past by a first-class mechanic who was more than equal in his ability to the average workmen in the establishment.

In a shop of this sort, in which similar machines are made over and over again, the work is necessarily greatly subdivided, so that no one man works upon more than a comparatively small number of parts during the year. A careful record was therefore made, in the presence of both parties, of the time actually taken in finishing each of the parts which this man worked upon. The total time required by him to finish each piece, as well as the exact speeds and feeds which he took, were noted, and a record was kept of the time which he took in setting the work in the machine and removing it. After obtaining in this way a statement of what represented a fair average of the work done in the shop, we applied to this one machine the principles of scientific management.

By means of four quite elaborate slide-rules, which have been especially made for the purpose of determining the all-round capacity of metal-cutting machines, a careful analysis was made of every element of this machine in its relation to the work in hand. Its pulling power at its various speeds, its feeding capacity, and its proper speeds were determined by means of the slide-rules, and changes were then made in the countershaft and driving pulleys so as to run it at its proper speed. Tools, made of high-speed steel, and of the proper shapes, were properly dressed, treated, and ground.

It should be understood, however, that in this case the high-speed steel which had heretofore been in general use in the shop was also used in our demonstration. A large special slide-rule was then made, by means of which the exact speeds and feeds were indicated at which each kind of work could be done in the shortest possible time in this particular lathe. Proper attention has also to be devoted to the training of the workers in the correct methods of work. Standardization: Standardization may be introduced in respect of the following. Specialization: Scientific management will not be complete without the introduction of specialization.

Taylor suggested eight functional foremen under his scheme of functional foremanship. Mental Revolution: At present, industry is divided into two groups — management and labor. The major problem between these two groups is the division of surplus. The management wants the maximum possible share of the surplus as profit; the workers want, as large share in the form of wages. Taylor has in mind the enormous gain that arises from higher productivity. Such gains can be shared both by the management and workers in the form of increased profits and increased wages.

The benefits of scientific management are:. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Previous: Definition of Management by Eminent Authors.

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