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´╗┐Title: Shop Management
Author: Taylor, Frederick Winslow
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Shop Management" ***

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Transcribed by Charles E. Nichols

Shop Management


Frederick Winslow Taylor


Through his business in changing the methods of shop management, the
writer has been brought into intimate contact over a period of years
with the organization of manufacturing and industrial establishments,
covering a large variety and range of product, and employing workmen in
many of the leading trades.

In taking a broad view of the field of management, the two facts which
appear most noteworthy are:

(a) What may be called the great unevenness, or lack of uniformity
shown, even in our best run works, in the development of the several
elements, which together constitute what is called the management.

(b) The lack of apparent relation between good shop management and the
payment of dividends.

Although the day of trusts is here, still practically each of the
component companies of the trusts was developed and built up largely
through the energies and especial ability of some one or two men who
were the master spirits in directing its growth. As a rule, this leader
rose from a more or less humble position in one of the departments, say
in the commercial or the manufacturing department, until he became the
head of his particular section. Having shown especial ability in his
line, he was for that reason made manager of the whole establishment.

In examining the organization of works of this class, it will frequently
be found that the management of the particular department in which this
master spirit has grown up towers to a high point of excellence, his
success having been due to a thorough knowledge of all of the smallest
requirements of his section, obtained through personal contact, and the
gradual training of the men under him to their maximum efficiency.

The remaining departments, in which this man has had but little personal
experience, will often present equally glaring examples of inefficiency.
And this, mainly because management is not yet looked upon as an art,
with laws as exact, and as clearly defined, for instance, as the
fundamental principles of engineering, which demand long and careful
thought and study. Management is still looked upon as a question of men,
the old view being that if you have the right man the methods can be
safely left to him.

The following, while rather an extreme case, may still be considered as
a fairly typical illustration of the unevenness of management. It became
desirable to combine two rival manufactories of chemicals. The great
obstacle to this combination, however, and one which for several years
had proved insurmountable was that the two men, each of whom occupied
the position of owner and manager of his company, thoroughly despised
one another. One of these men had risen to the top of his works through
the office at the commercial end, and the other had come up from a
workman in the factory. Each one was sure that the other was a fool, if
not worse. When they were finally combined it was found that each was
right in his judgment of the other in a certain way. A comparison of
their books showed that the manufacturer was producing his chemicals
more than forty per cent cheaper than his rival, while the business man
made up the difference by insisting on maintaining the highest quality,
and by his superiority in selling, buying, and the management of the
commercial side of the business. A combination of the two, however,
finally resulted in mutual respect, and saving the forty per cent
formerly lost by each man.

The second fact that has struck the writer as most noteworthy is that
there is no apparent relation in many, if not most cases, between good
shop management and the success or failure of the company, many
unsuccessful companies having good shop management while the reverse is
true of many which pay large dividends.

We, however, who are primarily interested in the shop, are apt to forget
that success, instead of hinging upon shop management, depends in many
cases mainly upon other elements, namely,--the location of the
company, its financial strength and ability, the efficiency of its
business and sales departments, its engineering ability, the superiority
of its plant and equipment, or the protection afforded either by
patents, combination, location or other partial monopoly.

And even in those cases in which the efficiency of shop management might
play an important part it must be remembered that for success no company
need be better organized than its competitors.

The most severe trial to which any system can be subjected is that of a
business which is in keen competition over a large territory, and in
which the labor cost of production forms a large element of the expense,
and it is in such establishments that one would naturally expect to find
the best type of management.

Yet it is an interesting fact that in several of the largest and most
important classes of industries in this country shop practice is still
twenty to thirty years behind what might be called modern management.
Not only is no attempt made by them to do tonnage or piece work, but the
oldest of old-fashioned day work is still in vogue under which one
overworked foreman manages the men. The workmen in these shops are still
herded in classes, all of those in a class being paid the same wages,
regardless of their respective efficiency.

In these industries, however, although they are keenly competitive, the
poor type of shop management does not interfere with dividends, since
they are in this respect all equally bad.

It would appear, therefore, that as an index to the quality of shop
management the earning of dividends is but a poor guide.

Any one who has the opportunity and takes the time to study the subject
will see that neither good nor bad management is confined to any one
system or type. He will find a few instances of good management
containing all of the elements necessary for permanent prosperity for
both employers and men under ordinary day work, the task system, piece
work, contract work, the premium plan, the bonus system and the
differential rate; and he will find a very much larger number of
instances of bad management under these systems containing as they do
the elements which lead to discord and ultimate loss and trouble for
both sides.

If neither the prosperity of the company nor any particular type or
system furnishes an index to proper management, what then is the
touchstone which indicates good or bad management?

The art of management has been defined, "as knowing exactly what you
want men to do, and then seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest
way.'" No concise definition can fully describe an art, but the
relations between employers and men form without question the most
important part of this art. In considering the subject, therefore, until
this part of the problem has been fully discussed, the other phases of
the art may be left in the background.

The progress of many types of management is punctuated by a series of
disputes, disagreements and compromises between employers and men, and
each side spends more than a considerable portion of its time thinking
and talking over the injustice which it receives at the hands of the
other. All such types are out of the question, and need not be

It is safe to say that no system or scheme of management should be
considered which does not in the long run give satisfaction to both
employer and employee, which does not make it apparent that their best
interests are mutual, and which does not bring about such thorough and
hearty cooperation that they can pull together instead of apart. It
cannot be said that this condition has as yet been at all generally
recognized as the necessary foundation for good management. On the
contrary, it is still quite generally regarded as a fact by both sides
that in many of the most vital matters the best interests of employers
are necessarily opposed to those of the men. In fact, the two elements
which we will all agree are most wanted on the one hand by the men and
on the other hand by the employers are generally looked upon as

What the workmen want from their employers beyond anything else is high
wages, and what employers want from their workmen most of all is a low
labor cost of manufacture.

These two conditions are not diametrically opposed to one another as
would appear at first glance. On the contrary, they can be made to go
together in all classes of work, without exception, and in the writer's
judgment the existence or absence of these two elements forms the best
index to either good or bad management.

This book is written mainly with the object of advocating high wages and
low labor cost as the foundation of the best management, of pointing out
the general principles which render it possible to maintain these
conditions even under the most trying circumstances, and of indicating
the various steps which the writer thinks should be taken in changing
from a poor system to a better type of management.

The condition of high wages and low labor cost is far from being
accepted either by the average manager or the average workman as a
practical working basis. It is safe to say that the majority of
employers have a feeling of satisfaction when their workmen are
receiving lower wages than those of their competitors. On the other hand
very many workmen feel contented if they find themselves doing the same
amount of work per day as other similar workmen do and yet are getting
more pay for it. Employers and workmen alike should look upon both of
these conditions with apprehension, as either of them are sure, in the
long run, to lead to trouble and loss for both parties.

Through unusual personal influence and energy, or more frequently
through especial conditions which are but temporary, such as dull times
when there is a surplus of labor, a superintendent may succeed in
getting men to work extra hard for ordinary wages. After the men,
however, realize that this is the case and an opportunity comes for them
to change these conditions, in their reaction against what they believe
unjust treatment they are almost sure to lean so far in the other
direction as to do an equally great injustice to their employer.

On the other hand, the men who use the opportunity offered by a scarcity
of labor to exact wages higher than the average of their class, without
doing more than the average work in return, are merely laying up trouble
for themselves in the long run. They grow accustomed to a high rate of
living and expenditure, and when the inevitable turn comes and they are
either thrown out of employment or forced to accept low wages, they are
the losers by the whole transaction.

The only condition which contains the elements of stability and
permanent satisfaction is that in which both employer and employees are
doing as well or better than their competitors are likely to do, and
this in nine cases out of ten means high wages and low labor cost, and
both parties should be equally anxious for these conditions to prevail.
With them the employer can hold his own with his competitors at all
times and secure sufficient work to keep his men busy even in dull
times. Without them both parties may do well enough in busy times, but
both parties are likely to suffer when work becomes scarce.

The possibility of coupling high wages with a low labor cost rests
mainly upon the enormous difference between the amount of work which a
first-class man can do under favorable circumstances and the work which
is actually done by the average man.

That there is a difference between the average and the first-class man
is known to all employers, but that the first-class man can do in most
cases from two to four times as much as is done by an average man is
known to but few, and is fully realized only by those who have made a
thorough and scientific study of the possibilities of men.

The writer has found this enormous difference between the first-class
and average man to exist in all of the trades and branches of labor
which he has investigated, and these cover a large field, as he,
together with several of his friends, has been engaged with more than
usual opportunities for thirty years past in carefully and
systematically studying this subject.

The difference in the output of first-class and average men is as little
realized by the workmen as by their employers. The first-class men know
that they can do more work than the average, but they have rarely made
any careful study of the matter. And the writer has over and over again
found them utterly incredulous when he informed them, after close
observation and study, how much they were able to do. In fact, in most
cases when first told that they are able to do two or three times as
much as they have done they take it as a joke and will not believe that
one is in earnest.

It must be distinctly understood that in referring to the possibilities
of a first-class man the writer does not mean what he can do when on a
spurt or when he is over-exerting himself, but what a good man can keep
up for a long term of years without injury to his health. It is a pace
under which men become happier and thrive.

The second and equally interesting fact upon which the possibility of
coupling high wages with low labor cost rests, is that first-class men
are not only willing but glad to work at their maximum speed, providing
they are paid from 30 to 100 per cent more than the average of their

The exact percentage by which the wages must be increased in order to
make them work to their maximum is not a subject to be theorized over,
settled by boards of directors sitting in solemn conclave, nor voted
upon by trades unions. It is a fact inherent in human nature and has
only been determined through the slow and difficult process of trial and

The writer has found, for example, after making many mistakes above and
below the proper mark, that to get the maximum output for ordinary shop
work requiring neither especial brains, very close application, skill,
nor extra hard work, such, for instance, as the more ordinary kinds of
routine machine shop work, it is necessary to pay about 30 per cent more
than the average. For ordinary day labor requiring little brains or
special skill, but calling for strength, severe bodily exertion, and
fatigue, it is necessary to pay from 50 per cent to 60 per cent above
the average. For work requiring especial skill or brains, coupled with
close application, but without severe bodily exertion, such as the more
difficult and delicate machinist's work, from 70 per cent to 80 per cent
beyond the average. And for work requiring skill, brains, close
application, strength, and severe bodily exertion, such, for instance,
as that involved in operating a well run steam hammer doing
miscellaneous work, from 80 per cent to 100 per cent beyond the average.

There are plenty of good men ready to do their best for the above
percentages of increase, but if the endeavor is made to get the right
men to work at this maximum for less than the above increase, it will be
found that most of them will prefer their old rate of speed with the
lower pay. After trying the high speed piece work for a while they will
one after another throw up their jobs and return to the old day work
conditions. Men will not work at their best unless assured a good
liberal increase, which must be permanent.

It is the writer's judgment, on the other hand, that for their own good
it is as important that workmen should not be very much over-paid, as it
is that they should not be under-paid. If over-paid, many will work
irregularly and tend to become more or less shiftless, extravagant, arid
dissipated. It does not do for most men to get rich too fast. The
writer's observation, however, would lead him to the conclusion that
most men tend to become more instead of less thrifty when they receive
the proper increase for an extra hard day's work, as, for example, the
percentages of increase referred to above. They live rather better,
begin to save money, become more sober, and work more steadily. And this
certainly forms one of the strongest reasons for advocating this type of

In referring to high wages and low labor cost as fundamental in good
management, the writer is most desirous not to be misunderstood.

By high wages he means wages which are high only with relation to the
average of the class to which the man belongs and which are paid only to
those who do much more or better work than the average of their class.
He would not for an instant advocate the use of a high-priced tradesman
to do the work which could be done by a trained laborer or a
lower-priced man. No one would think of using a fine trotter to draw a
grocery wagon nor a Percheron to do the work of a little mule. No more
should a mechanic be allowed to do work for which a trained laborer can
be used, and the writer goes so far as to say that almost any job that
is repeated over and over again, however great skill and dexterity it
may require, providing there is enough of it to occupy a man throughout
a considerable part of the year, should be done by a trained laborer and
not by a mechanic. A man with only the intelligence of an average
laborer can be taught to do the most difficult and delicate work if it
is repeated enough times; and his lower mental caliber renders him more
fit than the mechanic to stand the monotony of repetition. It would seem
to be the duty of employers, therefore, both in their own interest and
in that of their employees, to see that each workman is given as far as
possible the highest class of work for which his brains and physique fit
him. A man, however, whose mental caliber and education do not fit him
to become a good mechanic (and that grade of man is the one referred to
as belonging to the "laboring class"), when he is trained to do some few
especial jobs, which were formerly done by mechanics, should not expect
to be paid the wages of a mechanic. He should get more than the average
laborer, but less than a mechanic; thus insuring high wages to the
workman, and low labor cost to the employer, and in this way making it
most apparent to both that their interests are mutual.

To summarize, then, what the aim in each establishment should be:

(a) That each workman should be given as far as possible the highest
grade of work for which his ability and physique fit him.

(b) That each workman should be called upon to turn out the maximum
amount of work which a first-rate man of his class can do and thrive.

(c) That each workman, when he works at the best pace of a first-class
man, should be paid from 30 per cent to 100 per cent according to the
nature of the work which he does, beyond the average of his class.

And this means high wages and a low labor cost. These conditions not
only serve the best interests of the employer, but they tend to raise
each workman to the highest level which he is fitted to attain by making
him use his best faculties, forcing him to become and remain ambitious
and energetic, and giving him sufficient pay to live better than in the

Under these conditions the writer has seen many first-class men
developed who otherwise would have remained second or third class all of
their lives.

Is not the presence or absence of these conditions the best indication
that any system of management is either well or badly applied? And in
considering the relative merits of different types of management, is not
that system the best which will establish these conditions with the
greatest certainty, precision, and speed?

In comparing the management of manufacturing and engineering companies
by this standard, it is surprising to see how far they fall short. Few
of those which are best organized have attained even approximately the
maximum output of first-class men.

Many of them are paying much higher prices per piece than are required
to secure the maximum product while owing to a bad system, lack of exact
knowledge of the time required to do work, and mutual suspicion and
misunderstanding between employers and men, the output per man is so
small that the men receive little if any more than average wages, both
sides being evidently the losers thereby. The chief causes which produce
this loss to both parties are: First (and by far the most important),
the profound ignorance of employers and their foremen as to the time in
which various kinds of work should be done, and this ignorance is shared
largely by the workmen. Second: The indifference of the employers and
their ignorance as to the proper system of management to adopt and the
method of applying it, and further their indifference as to the
individual character, worth, and welfare of their men. On the part of
the men the greatest obstacle to the attainment of this standard is the
slow pace which they adopt, or the loafing or "soldiering,'" marking
time, as it is called.

This loafing or soldiering proceeds from two causes. First, from the
natural instinct and tendency of men to take it easy, which may be
called natural soldiering. Second, from more intricate second thought
and reasoning caused by their relations with other men, which may be
called systematic soldiering. There is no question that the tendency of
the average man (in all walks of life) is toward working at a slow, easy
gait, and that it is only after a good deal of thought and observation
on his part or as a result of example, conscience, or external pressure
that he takes a more rapid pace.

There are, of course, men of unusual energy, vitality, and ambition who
naturally choose the fastest gait, set up their own standards, and who
will work hard, even though it may be against their best interests. But
these few uncommon men only serve by affording a contrast to emphasize
the tendency of the average.

This common tendency to "take it easy" is greatly increased by bringing
a number of men together on similar work and at a uniform standard rate
of pay by the day.

Under this plan the better men gradually but surely slow down their gait
to that of the poorest and least efficient. When a naturally energetic
man works for a few days beside a lazy one, the logic of the situation
is unanswerable: "Why should I work hard when that lazy fellow gets the
same pay that I do and does only half as much work?"

A careful time study of men working under these conditions will disclose
facts which are ludicrous as well as pitiable.

To illustrate: The writer has timed a naturally energetic workman who,
while going and coming from work, would walk at a speed of from three to
four miles per hour, and not infrequently trot home after a day's work.
On arriving at his work he would immediately slow down to a speed of
about one mile an hour. When, for example, wheeling a loaded wheelbarrow
he would go at a good fast pace even up hill in order to be as short a
time as possible under load, and immediately on the return walk slow
down to a mile an hour, improving every opportunity for delay short of
actually sitting down. In order to be sure not to do more than his lazy
neighbor he would actually tire himself in his effort to go slow.

These men were working under a foreman of good reputation and one highly
thought of by his employer who, when his attention was called to this
state of things, answered: "Well, I can keep them from sitting down, but
the devil can't make them get a move on while they are at work."

The natural laziness of men is serious, but by far the greatest evil
from which both workmen and employers are suffering is the systematic
soldiering which is almost universal under all of the ordinary schemes
of management and which results from a careful study on the part of the
workmen of what they think will promote their best interests.

The writer was much interested recently to hear one small but
experienced golf caddy boy of twelve explaining to a green caddy who had
shown special energy and interest the necessity of going slow and
lagging behind his man when he came up to the ball, showing him that
since they were paid by the hour, the faster they went the less money
they got, and finally telling him that if he went too fast the other
boys would give him a licking.

This represents a type of systematic soldiering which is not, however,
very serious, since it is done with the knowledge of the employer, who
can quite easily break it up if he wishes.

The greater part of the systematic soldiering, however, is done by the
men with the deliberate object of keeping their employers ignorant of
how fast work can be done.

So universal is soldiering for this purpose, that hardly a competent
workman can be found in a large establishment, whether he works by the
day or on piece work, contract work or under any of the ordinary systems
of compensating labor, who does not devote a considerable part of his
time to studying just how slowly he can work and still convince his
employer that he is going at a good pace.

The causes for this are, briefly, that practically all employers
determine upon a maximum sum which they feel it is right for each of
their classes of employees to earn per day, whether their men work by
the day or piece.

Each workman soon finds out about what this figure is for his particular
case, and he also realizes that when his employer is convinced that a
man is capable of doing more work than he has done, he will find sooner
or later some way of compelling him to do it with little or no increase
of pay.

Employers derive their knowledge of how much of a given class of work
can be done in a day from either their own experience, which has
frequently grown hazy with age, from casual and unsystematic observation
of their men, or at best from records which are kept, showing, the
quickest time in which each job has been done. In many cases the
employer will feel almost certain that a given job can be done faster
than it has been, but he rarely cares to take the drastic measures
necessary to force men to do it in the quickest time, unless he has an
actual record, proving conclusively how fast the work can be done.

It evidently becomes for each man's interest, then, to see that no job
is done faster than it has been in the past. The younger and less
experienced men are taught this by their elders, and all possible
persuasion and social pressure is brought to bear upon the greedy and
selfish men to keep them from making new records which result in
temporarily increasing their wages, while all those who come after them
are made to work harder for the same old pay.

Under the best day work of the ordinary type, when accurate records are
kept of the amount of work done by each man and of his efficiency, and
when each man's wages are raised as he improves, and those who fail to
rise to a certain standard are discharged and a fresh supply of
carefully selected men are given work in their places, both the natural
loafing and systematic soldiering can be largely broken up. This can be
done, however, only when the men are thoroughly convinced that there is
no intention of establishing piece work even in the remote future, and
it is next to impossible to make men believe this when the work is of
such a nature that they believe piece work to be practicable. In most
cases their fear of making a record which will be used as a basis for
piece work will cause them to soldier as much as they dare.

It is, however, under piece work that the art of systematic soldiering
is thoroughly developed. After a workman has had the price per piece of
the work he is doing lowered two or three times as a result of his
having worked harder and increased his output, he is likely to entirely
lose sight of his employer's side of the case and to become imbued with
a grim determination to have no more cuts if soldiering can prevent it.
Unfortunately for the character of the workman, soldiering involves a
deliberate attempt to mislead and deceive his employer, and thus upright
and straight-forward workmen are compelled to become more or less
hypocritical. The employer is soon looked upon as an antagonist, if not
as an enemy, and the mutual confidence which should exist between a
leader and his men, the enthusiasm, the feeling that they are all
working for the same end and will share in the results, is entirely

The feeling of antagonism under the ordinary piecework system becomes in
many cases so marked on the part of the men that any proposition made by
their employers, however reasonable, is looked upon with suspicion.
Soldiering becomes such a fixed habit that men will frequently take
pains to restrict the product of machines which they are running when
even a large increase in output would involve no more work on their

On work which is repeated over and over again and the volume of which is
sufficient to permit it, the plan of making a contract with a competent
workman to do a certain class of work and allowing him to employ his own
men subject to strict limitations, is successful.

As a rule, the fewer the men employed by the contactor and the smaller
the variety of the work, the greater will be the success under the
contract system, the reason for this being that the contractor, under
the spur of financial necessity, makes personally so close a study of
the quickest time in which the work can be done that soldiering on the
part of his men becomes difficult and the best of them teach laborers or
lower-priced helpers to do the work formerly done by mechanics.

The objections to the contract system are that the machine tools used by
the contractor are apt to deteriorate rapidly, his chief interest being
to get a large output, whether the tools are properly cared for or not,
and that through the ignorance and inexperience of the contractor in
handling men, his employees are frequently unjustly treated.

These disadvantages are, however, more than counterbalanced by the
comparative absence of soldiering on the part of the men.

The greatest objection to this system is the soldiering which the
contractor himself does in many cases, so as to secure a good price for
his next contract.

It is not at all unusual for a contractor to restrict the output of his
own men and to refuse to adopt improvements in machines, appliances, or
methods while in the midst of a contract, knowing that his next contract
price will be lowered in direct proportion to the profits which he has
made and the improvements introduced.

Under the contract system, however, the relations between employers and
men are much more agreeable and normal than under piece work, and it is
to be regretted that owing to the nature of the work done in most shops
this system is not more generally applicable.

The writer quotes as follows from his paper on "A Piece Rate System,"
read in 1895, before The American Society of Mechanical Engineers:

"Cooperation, or profit sharing, has entered the mind of every student
of the subject as one of the possible and most attractive solutions of
the problem; and there have been certain instances, both in England and
France, of at least a partial success of cooperative experiments.

"So far as I know, however, these trials have been made either in small
towns, remote from the manufacturing centers, or in industries which in
many respects are not subject to ordinary manufacturing conditions.

"Cooperative experiments have failed, and, I think, are generally
destined to fail, for several reasons, the first and most important of
which is, 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.

"The second and almost equally strong reason for failure lies in the
remoteness of the reward. The average workman (I don't say all men)
cannot look forward to a profit which is six months or a year away. The
nice time which they are sure to have today, if they take things easily,
proves more attractive than hard work, with a possible reward to be
shared with others six months later.

"Other and formidable difficulties in the path of cooperation 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 in 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."

Of all the ordinary systems of management in use (in which no accurate
scientific study of the time problem is undertaken, and no carefully
measured tasks are assigned to the men which must be accomplished in a
given time) the best is the plan fundamentally originated by Mr. Henry
R. Towne, and improved and made practical by Mr. F. A. Halsey. This plan
is described in papers read by Mr. Towne before The American Society of
Mechanical Engineers in 1886, and by Mr. Halsey in 1891, and has since
been criticized and ably defended in a series of articles appearing in
the "American Machinist."

The Towne-Halsey plan consists in recording the quickest time in which a
job has been done, and fixing this as a standard. If the workman
succeeds in doing the job in a shorter time, he is still paid his same
wages per hour for the time he works on the job, and in addition is
given a premium for having worked faster, consisting of from one-quarter
to one-half the difference between the wages earned and the wages
originally paid when the job was done in standard time. Mr. Halsey
recommends the payment of one third of the difference as the best
premium for most cases. The difference between this system and ordinary
piece work is that the workman on piece work gets the whole of the
difference between the actual time of a job and the standard time, while
under the Towne-Halsey plan he gets only a fraction of this difference.

It is not unusual to hear the Towne-Halsey plan referred to as
practically the same as piece work. This is far from the truth, for
while the difference between the two does not appear to a casual
observer to be great, and the general principles of the two seem to be
the same, still we all know that success or failure in many cases hinges
upon small differences.

In the writer's judgment, the Towne-Halsey plan is a great invention,
and, like many other great inventions, its value lies in its simplicity.

This plan has already been successfully adopted by a large number of
establishments, and has resulted in giving higher wages to many workmen,
accompanied by a lower labor cost to the employer, and at the same time
materially improving their relations by lessening the feeling of
antagonism between the two.

This system is successful because it diminishes soldiering, and this
rests entirely upon the fact that since the workman only receives say
one-third of the increase in pay that he would get under corresponding
conditions on piece work, there is not the same temptation for the
employer to cut prices.

After this system has been in operation for a year or two, if no cuts in
prices have been made, the tendency of the men to soldier on that
portion of the work which is being done under the system is diminished,
although it does not entirely cease. On the other hand, the tendency of
the men to soldier on new work which is started, and on such portions as
are still done on day work, is even greater under the Towne-Halsey plan
than under piece work.

To illustrate: Workmen, like the rest of mankind, are more strongly
influenced by object lessons than by theories. The effect on men of such
an object lesson as the following will be apparent. Suppose that two
men, named respectively Smart and Honest, are at work by the day and
receive the same pay, say 20 cents per hour. Each of these men is given
a new piece of work which could be done in one hour. Smart does his job
in four hours (and it is by no means unusual for men to soldier to this
extent). Honest does his in one and one-half hours.

Now, when these two jobs start on this basis under the Towne-Halsey plan
and are ultimately done in one hour each, Smart receives for his job 20
cents per hour + a premium of 20 cents = a total of 40 cents. Honest
receives for his job 20 cents per hour + a premium of 3 1/8 cents = a
total of 23 1/8 cents.

Most of the men in the shop will follow the example of Smart rather than
that of Honest and will "soldier" to the extent of three or four hundred
per cent if allowed to do so. The Towne-Halsey system shares with
ordinary piece work then, the greatest evil of the latter, namely that
its very foundation rests upon deceit, and under both of these systems
there is necessarily, as we have seen, a great lack of justice and
equality in the starting-point of different jobs.

Some of the rates will have resulted from records obtained when a
first-class man was working close to his maximum speed, while others
will be based on the performance of a poor man at one-third or one
quarter speed.

The injustice of the very foundation of the system is thus forced upon
the workman every day of his life, and no man, however kindly disposed
he may be toward his employer, can fail to resent this and be seriously
influenced by it in his work. These systems are, therefore, of necessity
slow and irregular in their operation in reducing costs. They "drift"
gradually toward an increased output, but under them the attainment of
the maximum output of a first-class man is almost impossible.

Objection has been made to the use of the word "drifting" in this
connection. It is used absolutely without any intention of slurring the
Towne-Halsey system or in the least detracting from its true merit.

It appears to me, however, that "drifting" very accurately describes it,
for the reason that the management, having turned over the entire
control of the speed problem to the men, the latter being influenced by
their prejudices and whims, drift sometimes in one direction and
sometimes in another; but on the whole, sooner or later, under the
stimulus of the premium, move toward a higher rate of speed. This
drifting, accompanied as it is by the irregularity and uncertainty both
as to the final result which will be attained and as to how long it will
take to reach this end, is in marked contrast to the distinct goal which
is always kept in plain sight of both parties under task management, and
the clear-cut directions which leave no doubt as to the means which are
to be employed nor the time in which the work must be done; and these
elements constitute the fundamental difference between the two systems.
Mr. Halsey, in objecting to the use of the word "drifting" as describing
his system, has referred to the use of his system in England in
connection with a "rate-fixing" or planning department, and quotes as
follows from his paper to show that he contemplated control of the speed
of the work by the management:

"On contract work undertaken for the first time the method is the same
except that the premium is based on the estimated time for the execution
of the work."

In making this claim Mr. Halsey appears to have entirely lost sight of
the real essence of the two plans. It is task management which is in use
in England, not the Towne-Halsey system; and in the above quotation Mr.
Halsey describes not his system but a type of task management, in which
the men are paid a premium for carrying out the directions given them by
the management.

There is no doubt that there is more or less confusion in the minds of
many of those who have read about the task management and the
Towne-Halsey system. This extends also to those who are actually using
and working under these systems. This is practically true in England,
where in some cases task management is actually being used under the
name of the "Premium Plan." It would therefore seem desirable to
indicate once again and in a little different way the essential
difference between the two.

The one element which the Towne-Halsey system and task management have
in common is that both recognize the all-important fact that workmen
cannot be induced to work extra hard without receiving extra pay. Under
both systems the men who succeed are daily and automatically, as it
were, paid an extra premium. The payment of this daily premium forms
such a characteristic feature in both systems, and so radically
differentiates these systems from those which were in use before, that
people are apt to look upon this one element as the essence of both
systems and so fail to recognize the more important, underlying
principles upon which the success of each of them is based.

In their essence, with the one exception of the payment of a daily
premium, the systems stand at the two opposite extremes in the field of
management; and it is owing to the distinctly radical, though opposite,
positions taken by them that each one owes its success; and it seems to
me a matter of importance that this should be understood. In any
executive work which involves the cooperation of two different men or
parties, where both parties have anything like equal power or voice in
its direction, there is almost sure to be a certain amount of bickering,
quarreling, and vacillation, and the success of the enterprise suffers
accordingly. If, however, either one of the parties has the entire
direction, the enterprise will progress consistently and probably
harmoniously, even although the wrong one of the two parties may be in

Broadly speaking, in the field of management there are two parties--the
superintendents, etc., on one side and the men on the other, and the
main questions at issue are the speed and accuracy with which the work
shall be done. Up to the time that task management was introduced in the
Midvale Steel Works, it can be fairly said that under the old systems of
management the men and the management had about equal weight in deciding
how fast the work should be done. Shop records showing the quickest time
in which each job had been done and more or less shrewd guessing being
the means on which the management depended for bargaining with and
coercing the men; and deliberate soldiering for the purpose of
misinforming the management being the weapon used by the men in
self-defense. Under the old system the incentive was entirely lacking
which is needed to induce men to cooperate heartily with the management
in increasing the speed with which work is turned out. It is chiefly
due, under the old systems, to this divided control of the speed with
which the work shall be done that such an amount of bickering,
quarreling, and often hard feeling exists between the two sides.

The essence of task management lies in the fact that the control of the
speed problem rests entirely with the management; and, on the other
hand, the true strength of the Towne-Halsey system rests upon the fact
that under it the question of speed is settled entirely by the men
without interference on the part of the management. Thus in both cases,
though from diametrically opposite causes, there is undivided control,
and this is the chief element needed for harmony.

The writer has seen many jobs successfully nursed in several of our
large and well managed establishments under these drifting systems, for
a term of ten to fifteen years, at from one-third to one-quarter speed.
The workmen, in the meanwhile, apparently enjoyed the confidence of
their employers, and in many cases the employers not only suspected the
deceit, but felt quite sure of it.

The great defect, then, common to all the ordinary systems of management
(including the Towne-Halsey system, the best of this class) is that
their starting-point, their very foundation, rests upon ignorance and
deceit, and that throughout their whole course in the one element which
is most vital both to employer and workmen, namely, the speed at which
work is done, they are allowed to drift instead of being intelligently
directed and controlled.

The writer has found, through an experience of thirty years, covering a
large variety in manufactures, as well as in the building trades,
structural and engineering work, that it is not only practicable but
comparatively easy to obtain, through a systematic and scientific time
study, exact information as to how much of any given kind of work either
a first-class or an average man can do in a day, and with this
information as a foundation, he has over and over again seen the fact
demonstrated that workmen of all classes are not only willing, but glad
to give up all idea of soldiering, and devote all of their energies to
turning out the maximum work possible, providing they are sure of a
suitable permanent reward.

With accurate time knowledge as a basis, surprisingly large results can
be obtained under any scheme of management from day work up; there is no
question that even ordinary day work resting upon this foundation will
give greater satisfaction than any of the systems in common use,
standing as they do upon soldiering as a basis.

To many of the readers of this book both the fundamental objects to be
aimed at, namely, high wages with low labor cost, and the means
advocated by the writer for attaining this end; namely, accurate time
study, will appear so theoretical and so far outside of the range of
their personal observation and experience that it would seem desirable,
before proceeding farther, to give a brief illustration of what has been
accomplished in this line.

The writer chooses from among a large variety of trades to which these
principles have been applied, the yard labor handling raw materials in
the works of the Bethlehem Steel Company at South Bethlehem, Pa., not
because the results attained there have been greater than in many other
instances, but because the case is so elementary that the results are
evidently due to no other cause than thorough time study as a basis,
followed by the application of a few simple principles with which all of
us are familiar.

In almost all of the other more complicated cases the large increase in
output is due partly to the actual physical changes, either in the
machines or small tools and appliances, which a preliminary time study
almost always shows to be necessary, so that for purposes of
illustration the simple case chosen is the better, although the gain
made in the more complicated cases is none the less legitimately due to
the system.

Up to the spring of the year 1899, all of the materials in the yard of
the Bethlehem Steel Company had been handled by gangs of men working by
the day, and under the foremanship of men who had themselves formerly
worked at similar work as laborers. Their management was about as good
as the average of similar work, although it was bad all of the men being
paid the ruling wages of laborers in this section of the country,
namely, $1.15 per day, the only means of encouraging or disciplining
them being either talking to them or discharging them; occasionally,
however, a man was selected from among these men and given a better
class of work with slightly higher wages in some of the companies'
shops, and this had the effect of slightly stimulating them. From four
to six hundred men were employed on this class of work throughout the

The work of these men consisted mainly of unloading from railway cars
and shoveling on to piles, and from these piles again loading as
required, the raw materials used in running three blast furnaces and
seven large open-hearth furnaces, such as ore of various kinds, varying
from fine, gravelly ore to that which comes in large lumps, coke,
limestone, special pig, sand, etc., unloading hard and soft coal for
boilers gas-producers, etc., and also for storage and again loading the
stored coal as required for use, loading the pig-iron produced at the
furnaces for shipment, for storage, and for local use, and handling
billets, etc., produced by the rolling mills. The work covered a large
variety as laboring work goes, and it was not usual to keep a man
continuously at the same class of work.

Before undertaking the management of these men, the writer was informed
that they were steady workers, but slow and phlegmatic, and that nothing
would induce them to work fast.

The first step was to place an intelligent, college-educated man in
charge of progress in this line. This man had not before handled this
class of labor, although he understood managing workmen. He was not
familiar with the methods pursued by the writer, but was soon taught the
art of determining how much work a first-class man can do in a day. This
was done by timing with a stop watch a first-class man while he was
working fast. The best way to do this, in fact almost the only way in
which the timing can be done with certainty, is to divide the man's work
into its elements and time each element separately. For example, in the
case of a man loading pig-iron on to a car, the elements should be: (a)
picking up the pig from the ground or pile (time in hundredths of a
minute); (b) walking with it on a level (time per foot walked); (c)
walking with it up an incline to car (time per foot walked); (d)
throwing the pig down (time in hundredths of a minute), or laying it on
a pile (time in hundredths of a minute); (e) walking back empty to get a
load (time per foot walked).

In case of important elements which were to enter into a number of
rates, a large number of observations were taken when practicable on
different first-class men, and at different times, and they were

The most difficult elements to time and decide upon in this, as in most
cases, are the percentage of the day required for rest, and the time to
allow for accidental or unavoidable delays.

In the case of the yard labor at Bethlehem, each class of work was
studied as above, each element being timed separately, and, in addition,
a record was kept in many cases of the total amount of work done by the
man in a day. The record of the gross work of the man (who is being
timed) is, in most cases, not necessary after the observer is skilled in
his work. As the Bethlehem time observer was new to this work, the gross
time was useful in checking his detailed observations and so gradually
educating him and giving him confidence in the new methods.

The writer had so many other duties that his personal help was confined
to teaching the proper methods and approving the details of the various
changes which were in all cases outlined in written reports before being
carried out.

As soon as a careful study had been made of the time elements entering
into one class of work, a single first-class workman was picked out and
started on ordinary piece work on this job. His task required him to do
between three and one-half and four times as much work in a day as had
been done in the past on an average.

Between twelve and thirteen tons of pig-iron per man had been carried
from a pile on the ground, up an inclined plank, and loaded on to a
gondola car by the average pig-iron handler while working by the day.
The men in doing this work had worked in gangs of from five to twenty

The man selected from one of these gangs to make the first start under
the writer's system was called upon to load on piece work from
forty-five to forty-eight tons (2,240 lbs. each) per day.

He regarded this task as an entirely fair one, and earned on an average,
from the start, $1.85 per day, which was 60 per cent more than he had
been paid by the day. This man happened to be considerably lighter than
the average good workman at this class of work. He weighed about 130
pounds. He proved however, to be especially well suited to this job, and
was kept at it steadily throughout the time that the writer was in
Bethlehem, and some years later was still at the same work.

Being the first piece work started in the works, it excited considerable
opposition, both on the part of the workmen and of several of the
leading men in the town, their opposition being based mainly on the old
fallacy that if piece work proved successful a great many men would be
thrown out of work, and that thereby not only the workmen but the whole
town would suffer.

One after another of the new men who were started singly on this job
were either persuaded or intimidated into giving it up. In many cases
they were given other work by those interested in preventing piece work,
at wages higher than the ruling wages. In the meantime, however, the
first man who started on the work earned steadily $1.85 per day, and
this object lesson gradually wore out the concerted opposition, which
ceased rather suddenly after about two months. From this time on there
was no difficulty in getting plenty of good men who were anxious to
start on piece work, and the difficulty lay in making with sufficient
rapidity the accurate time study of the elementary operations or "unit
times" which forms the foundation of this kind of piece work.

Throughout the introduction of piece work, when after a thorough time
study a new section of the work was started, one man only was put on
each new job, and not more than one man was allowed to work at it until
he had demonstrated that the task set was a fair one by earning an
average of $1.85 per day. After a few sections of the work had been
started in this way, the complaint on the part of the better workmen was
that they were not allowed to go on to piece work fast enough. It
required about two years to transfer practically all of the yard labor
from day to piece work. And the larger part of the transfer was made
during the last six months of this time.

As stated above, the greater part of the time was taken up in studying
"unit times," and this time study was greatly delayed by having
successively the two leading men who had been trained to the work leave
because they were offered much larger salaries elsewhere. The study of
"unit times" for the yard labor took practically the time of two trained
men for two years. Throughout this time the day and piece workers were
under entirely separate and distinct management. The original foremen
continued to manage the day work, and day and piece workers were never
allowed to work together. Gradually the day work gang was diminished and
the piece workers were increased as one section of work after another
was transformed from the former to the latter.

Two elements which were important to the success of this work should be

First, on the morning following each day's work, each workman was given
a slip of paper informing him in detail just how much work he had done
the day before, and the amount he had earned. This enabled him to
measure his performance against his earnings while the details were
fresh in his mind. Without this there would have been great
dissatisfaction among those who failed to climb up to the task asked of
them, and many would have gradually fallen off in their performance.

Second, whenever it was practicable, each man's work was measured by
itself. Only when absolutely necessary was the work of two men measured
up together and the price divided between them, and then care was taken
to select two men of as nearly as possible the same capacity. Only on
few occasions, and then upon special permission, signed by the writer,
were more than two men allowed to work on gang work, dividing their
earnings between them. Gang work almost invariably results in a failing
off in earnings and consequent dissatisfaction.

An interesting illustration of the desirability of individual piece work
instead of gang work came to our attention at Bethlehem. Several of the
best piece workers among the Bethlehem yard laborers were informed by
their friends that a much higher price per ton was paid for shoveling
ore in another works than the rate given at Bethlehem. After talking the
matter over with the writer he advised them to go to the other works,
which they accordingly did. In about a month they were all back at work
in Bethlehem again, having found that at the other works they were
obliged to work with a gang of men instead of on individual piece work,
and that the rest of the gang worked so slowly that in spite of the high
price paid per ton they earned much less than Bethlehem.

Table 1, on page 54, gives a summary of the work done by the piece-work
laborers in handling raw materials, such as ores, anthracite and
bituminous coal, coke, pig-iron, sand, limestone, cinder, scale, ashes,
etc., in the works of the Bethlehem Steel Company, during the year
ending April 30, 1900. This work consisted mainly in loading and
unloading cars on arrival or departure from the works, and for local
transportation, and was done entirely by hand, i.e., without the use of
cranes or other machinery.

The greater part of the credit for making the accurate time study and
actually managing the men on this work should be given to Mr. A. B.
Wadleigh, the writer's assistant in this section at that time.


[Transcriber's note -- table 1 omitted]

When the writer left the steel works, the Bethlehem piece workers were
the finest body of picked laborers that he has ever seen together. They
were practically all first-class men, because in each case the task
which they were called upon to perform was such that only a first-class
man could do it. The tasks were all purposely made so severe that not
more than one out of five laborers (perhaps even a smaller percentage
than this) could keep up.

[Footnotes to table 1]

1)  It was our intention to fix piece work rates which should enable
first-class workmen to average about 60 per cent more than they had been
earning on day work, namely $1.85 per day. A year's average shows them
to have earned $1.88 per day, or three cents per man per day more than
we expected--an error of 1 6/10 per cent.

2)  The piece workers handled on an average 3 56/100 times as many tons
per day as the day workers.

[end footnotes to table 1]

It was clearly understood by each newcomer as he went to work that
unless he was able to average at least $1.85 per day he would have to
make way for another man who could do so. As a result, first-class men
from all over that part of the country, who were in most cases earning
from $1.05 to $1.15 per day, were anxious to try their hands at earning
$1.85 per day. If they succeeded they were naturally contented, and if
they failed they left, sorry that they were unable to maintain the
proper pace, but with no hard feelings either toward the system or the
management. Throughout the time that the writer was there, labor was as
scarce and as difficult to get as it ever has been in the history of
this country, and yet there was always a surplus of first-class men
ready to leave other jobs and try their hand at Bethlehem piece work.

Perhaps the most notable difference between these men and ordinary
piece workers lay in their changed mental attitude toward their
employers and their work, and in the total absence of soldiering on
their part. The ordinary piece worker would have spent a considerable
part of his time in deciding just how much his employer would allow him
to earn without cutting prices and in then trying to come as close as
possible to this figure, while carefully guarding each job so as to
keep the management from finding out how fast it really could be done.
These men, however, were faced with a new but very simple and
straightforward proposition, namely, am I a first-class laborer or not?
Each man felt that if he belonged in the first class all he had to do
was to work at his best and he would be paid sixty per cent more than
he had been paid in the past. Each piece work price was accepted by the
men without question. They never bargained over nor complained about
rates, and there was no occasion to do so, since they were all equally
fair, and called for almost exactly the same amount of work and fatigue
per dollar of wages.

A careful inquiry into the condition of these men when away from work
developed the fact that out of the whole gang 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. The results
attained under this system were most satisfactory both to employer and
workmen, and show in a convincing way the possibility of uniting high
wages with a low labor cost.

This is virtually a labor union of first-class men, who are united
together to secure the extra high wages, which belong to them by right
and which in this case are begrudged them by none, and which will be
theirs through dull times as well as periods of activity. Such a union
commands the unqualified admiration and respect of all classes of the
community; the respect equally of workmen, employers, political
economists, and philanthropists. There are no dues for membership, since
all of the expenses are paid by the company. The employers act as
officers of the Union, to enforce its rules and keep its records, since
the interests of the company are identical and bound up with those of
the men. It is never necessary to plead with, or persuade men to join
this Union, since the employers themselves organize it free of cost; the
best workmen in the community are always anxious to belong to it. The
feature most to be regretted about it is that the membership is limited.

The words "labor union" are, however, unfortunately so closely
associated in the minds of most people with the idea of disagreement and
strife between employers and men that it seems almost incongruous to
apply them to this case. Is not this, however, the ideal "labor union,"
with character and special ability of a high order as the only
qualifications for membership.

It is a curious fact that with the people to whom the writer has
described this system, the first feeling, particularly among those more
philanthropically inclined, is one of pity for the inferior workmen who
lost their jobs in order to make way for the first-class men. This
sympathy is entirely misplaced. There was such a demand for labor at the
time that no workman was obliged to be out of work for more than a day
or two, and so the poor workmen were practically as well off as ever.
The feeling, instead of being one of pity for the inferior workmen,
should be one of congratulation and rejoicing that many first-class
men--who through unfortunate circumstances had never had the opportunity
of proving their worth--at last were given the chance to earn high wages
and become prosperous.

What the writer wishes particularly to emphasize is that this whole
system rests upon an accurate and scientific study of unit times, which
is by far the most important element in scientific management. With it,
greater and more permanent results can be attained even under ordinary
day work or piece work than can be reached under any of the more
elaborate systems without it.

In 1895 the writer read a paper before The American Society of
Mechanical Engineers entitled "A Piece Rate System." His chief object in
writing it was to advocate the study of unit times as the foundation of
good management. Unfortunately, he at the same time described the
"differential rate" system of piece work, which had been introduced by
him in the Midvale Steel Works. Although he called attention to the fact
that the latter was entirely of secondary importance, the differential
rate was widely discussed in the journals of this country and abroad
while practically nothing was said about the study of "unit times."
Thirteen members of the Society discussed the piece rate system at
length, and only two briefly referred to the study of the "unit times."

The writer most sincerely trusts that his leading object in writing this
book will not be overlooked, and that scientific time study will receive
the attention which it merits. Bearing in mind the Bethlehem yard labor
as an illustration of the application of the study of unit times as the
foundation of success in management, the following would seem to him a
fair comparison of the older methods with the more modern plan.

For each job there is the quickest time in which it can be done by a
first-class man. This time may be called the "quickest time," or the
"standard time" for the job. Under all the ordinary systems, this
"quickest time" is more or less completely shrouded in mist. In most
cases, however, the workman is nearer to it and sees it more clearly
than the employer.

Under ordinary piece work the management watch every indication given
them by the workmen as to what the "quickest time" is for each job, and
endeavor continually to force the men toward this "standard time," while
the workmen constantly use every effort to prevent this from being done
and to lead the management in the wrong direction. In spite of this
conflict, however, the "standard time" is gradually approached.

Under the Towne-Halsey plan the management gives up all direct effort to
reach this "quickest time," but offers mild inducements to the workmen
to do so, and turns over the whole enterprise to them. The workmen,
peacefully as far as the management is concerned, but with considerable
pulling and hauling among themselves, and without the assistance of a
trained guiding hand, drift gradually and slowly in the direction of the
"standard time," but rarely approach it closely.

With accurate time study as a basis, the "quickest time" for each job
is at all times in plain sight of both employers and workmen, and is
reached with accuracy, precision, and speed, both sides pulling hard in
the same direction under the uniform simple and just agreement that
whenever a first-class man works his best he will receive from 30 to 100
per cent more than the average of his trade.

Probably a majority of the attempts that are made to radically change
the organization of manufacturing companies result in a loss of money to
the company, failure to bring about the change sought for, and a return
to practically the original organization. The reason for this being that
there are but few employers who look upon management as an art, and that
they go at a difficult task without either having understood or
appreciated the time required for organization or its cost, the troubles
to be met with, or the obstacles to be overcome, and without having
studied the means to be employed in doing so.

Before starting to make any changes in the organization of a company the
following matters should be carefully considered: First, the importance
of choosing the general type of management best suited to the particular
case. Second, that in all cases money must be spent, and in many cases a
great deal of money, before the changes are completed which result in
lowering cost. Third, that it takes time to reach any result worth
aiming at. Fourth, the importance of making changes in their proper
order, and that unless the right steps are taken, and taken in their
proper sequence, there is great danger from deterioration in the quality
of the output and from serious troubles with the workmen, often
resulting in strikes.

As to the type of management to be ultimately aimed at, before any
changes whatever are made, it is necessary, or at least highly
desirable, that the most careful consideration should be given to the
type to be chosen; and once a scheme is decided upon it should be
carried forward step by step without wavering or retrograding. Workmen
will tolerate and even come to have great respect for one change after
another made in logical sequence and according to a consistent plan. It
is most demoralizing, however, to have to recall a step once taken,
whatever may be the cause, and it makes any further changes doubly

The choice must be made between some of the types of management in
common use, which the writer feels are properly designated by the word
"drifting," and the more modern scientific management based on an
accurate knowledge of how long it should take to do the work. If, as is
frequently the case, the managers of an enterprise find themselves so
overwhelmed with other departments of the business that they can give
but little thought to the management of the shop, then some one of the
various "drifting" schemes should be adopted; and of these the writer
believes the Towne-Halsey plan to be the best, since it drifts safely
and peacefully though slowly in the right direction; yet under it the
best results can never be reached. The fact, however, that managers are
in this way overwhelmed by their work is the best proof that there is
something radically wrong with the plan of their organization and in
self defense they should take immediate steps toward a more thorough
study of the art.

It is not at all generally realized that whatever system may be used,
--providing a business is complex in its nature--the building up of an
efficient organization is necessarily slow and sometimes very expensive.
Almost all of the directors of manufacturing companies appreciate the
economy of a thoroughly modern, up-to-date, and efficient plant, and are
willing to pay for it. Very few of them, however, realize that the best
organization, whatever its cost may be, is in many cases even more
important than the plant; nor do they clearly realize that no kind of an
efficient organization can be built up without spending money. The
spending of money for good machinery appeals to them because they can
see machines after they are bought; but putting money into anything so
invisible, intangible, and to the average man so indefinite, as an
organization seems almost like throwing it away.

There is no question that when the work to be done is at all
complicated, a good organization with a poor plant will give better
results than the best plant with a poor organization. One of the most
successful manufacturers in this country was asked recently by a number
of financiers whether he thought that the difference between one style
of organization and another amounted to much providing the company had
an up-to-date plant properly located. His answer was, "If I had to
choose now between abandoning my present organization and burning down
all of my plants which have cost me millions, I should choose the
latter. My plants could be rebuilt in a short while with borrowed money,
but I could hardly replace my organization in a generation."

Modern engineering can almost be called an exact science; each year
removes it further from guess work and from rule-of-thumb methods and
establishes it more firmly upon the foundation of fixed principles.

The writer feels that management is also destined to become more of an
art, and that many of the, elements which are now believed to be outside
the field of exact knowledge will soon be standardized tabulated,
accepted, and used, as are now many of the elements of engineering.
Management will be studied as an art and will rest upon well recognized,
clearly defined, and fixed principles instead of depending upon more or
less hazy ideas received from a limited observation of the few
organizations with which the individual may have come in contact. There
will, of course, be various successful types, and the application of the
underlying principles must be modified to suit each particular case. The
writer has already indicated that he thinks the first object in
management is to unite high wages with a low labor cost. He believes
that this object can be most easily attained by the application of the
following principles:

(a) A LARGE DAILY TASK. --Each man in the establishment, high or low,
should daily have a clearly defined task laid out before him. This task
should not in the least degree be vague nor indefinite, but should be
circumscribed carefully and completely, and should not be easy to

(b) STANDARD CONDITIONS. --Each man's task should call for a full day's
work, and at the same time the workman should be given such standardized
conditions and appliances as will enable him to accomplish his task with

(c) HIGH PAY FOR SUCCESS. --He should be sure of large pay when he
accomplishes his task.

(d) LOSS IN CASE OF FAILURE. --When he fails he should be sure that
sooner or later he will be the loser by it.

When an establishment has reached an advanced state of organization, in
many cases a fifth element should be added, namely: the task should be
made so difficult that it can only be accomplished by a first-class man.

There is nothing new nor startling about any of these principles and yet
it will be difficult to find a shop in which they are not daily violated
over and over again. They call, however, for a greater departure from
the ordinary types of organization than would at first appear. In the
case, for instance, of a machine shop doing miscellaneous work, in order
to assign daily to each man a carefully measured task, a special
planning department is required to lay out all of the work at least one
day ahead. All orders must be given to the men in detail in writing; and
in order to lay out the next day's work and plan the entire progress of
work through the shop, daily returns must be made by the men to the
planning department in writing, showing just what has been done. Before
each casting or forging arrives in the shop the exact route which it is
to take from machine to machine should be laid out. An instruction card
for each operation must be written out stating in detail just how each
operation on every piece of work is to be done and the time required to
do it, the drawing number, any special tools, jigs, or appliances
required, etc. Before the four principles above referred to can be
successfully applied it is also necessary in most shops to make
important physical changes. All of the small details in the shop, which
are usually regarded as of little importance and are left to be
regulated according to the individual taste of the workman, or, at best,
of the foreman, must be thoroughly and carefully standardized; such.
details, for instance, as the care and tightening of the belts; the
exact shape and quality of each cutting tool; the establishment of a
complete tool room from which properly ground tools, as well as jigs,
templates, drawings, etc., are issued under a good check system, etc.;
and as a matter of importance (in fact, as the foundation of scientific
management) an accurate study of unit times must be made by one or more
men connected with the planning department, and each machine tool must
be standardized and a table or slide rule constructed for it showing how
to run it to the best advantage.

At first view the running of a planning department, together with the
other innovations, would appear to involve a large amount of additional
work and expense, and the most natural question would be is whether the
increased efficiency of the shop more than offsets this outlay? It must
be borne in mind, however, that, with the exception of the study of unit
times, there is hardly a single item of work done in the planning
department which is not already being done in the shop. Establishing a
planning department merely concentrates the planning and much other
brainwork in a few men especially fitted for their task and trained in
their especial lines, instead of having it done, as heretofore, in most
cases by high priced mechanics, well fitted to work at their trades, but
poorly trained for work more or less clerical in its nature.

There is a close analogy between the methods of modern engineering and
this type of management. Engineering now centers in the drafting room as
modern management does in the planning department. The new style
engineering has all the appearance of complication and extravagance,
with its multitude of drawings; the amount of study and work which is
put into each detail; and its corps of draftsmen, all of whom would be
sneered at by the old engineer as "non-producers." For the same reason,
modern management, with its minute time study and a managing department
in which each operation is carefully planned, with its many written
orders and its apparent red tape, looks like a waste of money; while the
ordinary management in which the planning is mainly done by the workmen
themselves, with the help of one or two foremen, seems simple and
economical in the extreme.

The writer, however, while still a young man, had all lingering doubt as
to the value of a drafting room dispelled by seeing the chief engineer,
the foreman of the machine shop, the foreman of the foundry, and one or
two workmen, in one of our large and successful engineering
establishments of the old school, stand over the cylinder of an engine
which was being built, with chalk and dividers, and discuss for more
than an hour the proper size and location of the studs for fastening on
the cylinder head. This was simplicity, but not economy. About the same
time he became thoroughly convinced of the necessity and economy of a
planning department with time study, and with written instruction cards
and returns. He saw over and over again a workman shut down his machine
and hunt up the foreman to inquire, perhaps, what work to put into his
machine next, and then chase around the shop to find it or to have a
special tool or template looked up or made. He saw workmen carefully
nursing their jobs by the hour and doing next to nothing to avoid making
a record, and he was even more forcibly convinced of the necessity for a
change while he was still working as a machinist by being ordered by the
other men to slow down to half speed under penalty of being thrown over
the fence.

No one now doubts the economy of the drafting room, and the writer
predicts that in a very few years from now no one will doubt the economy
and necessity of the study of unit times and of the planning department.

Another point of analogy between modern engineering and modern
management lies in the fact that modern engineering proceeds with
comparative certainty to the design and construction of a machine or
structure of the maximum efficiency with the minimum weight and cost of
materials, while the old style engineering at best only approximated
these results and then only after a series of breakdowns, involving the
practical reconstruction of the machine and the lapse of a long period
of time. The ordinary system of management, owing to the lack of exact
information and precise methods, can only approximate to the desired
standard of high wages accompanied by low labor cost and then only
slowly, with marked irregularity in results, with continued opposition,
and, in many cases, with danger from strikes. Modern management, on the
other hand, proceeds slowly at first, but with directness and precision,
step by step, and, after the first few object lessons, almost without
opposition on the part of the men, to high wages and low labor cost; and
as is of great importance, it assigns wages to the men which are
uniformly fair. They are not demoralized, and their sense of justice
offended by receiving wages which are sometimes too low and at other
times entirely too high.

One of the marked advantages of scientific management lies in its
freedom from strikes. The writer has never been opposed by a strike,
although he has been engaged for a great part of his time since 1883 in
introducing this type of management in different parts of the country
and in a great variety of industries. The only case of which the writer
can think in which a strike under this system might be unavoidable would
be that in which most of the employees were members of a labor union,
and of a union whose rules were so inflexible and whose members were so
stubborn that they were unwilling to try any other system, even though
it assured them larger wages than their own. The writer has seen,
however, several times after the introduction of this system, the
members of labor unions who were working under it leave the union in
large numbers because they found that they could do better under the
operation of the system than under the laws of the union.

There is no question that the average individual accomplishes the most
when he either gives himself, or some one else assigns him, a definite
task, namely, a given amount of work which he must do within a given
time; and the more elementary the mind and character of the individual
the more necessary does it become that each task shall extend over a
short period of time only. No school teacher would think of telling
children in a general way to study a certain book or subject. It is
practically universal to assign each day a definite lesson beginning on
one specified page and line and ending on another; and the best progress
is made when the conditions are such that a definite study hour or
period can be assigned in. which the lesson must be learned. Most of us
remain, through a great part of our lives, in this respect, grown-up
children, and do our best only under pressure of a task of comparatively
short duration. Another and perhaps equally great advantage of assigning
a daily task as against ordinary piece work lies in the fact that the
success of a good workman or the failure of a poor one is thereby daily
and prominently called to the attention of the management. Many a poor
workman might be willing to go along in a slipshod way under ordinary
piece work, careless as to whether he fell off a little in his output or
not. Very few of them, however, would be willing to record a daily
failure to accomplish their task even if they were allowed to do so by
their foreman; and also since on ordinary piece work the price alone is
specified without limiting the time which the job is to take, a quite
large falling off in output can in many cases occur without coming to
the attention of the management at all. It is for these reasons that the
writer has above indicated "a large daily task" for each man as the
first of four principles which should be included in the best type of

It is evident, however, that it is useless to assign a task unless at
the same time adequate measures are taken to enforce its accomplishment.
As Artemus Ward says, "I can call the spirits from the windy deep, but
damn `em they won't come!" It is to compel the completion of the daily
task then that two of the other principles are required, namely, "high
pay for success" and "loss in case of failure." The advantage of Mr. H.
L. Gantt's system of "task work with a bonus," and the writer's
"differential rate piece work" over the other systems lies in the fact
that with each of these the men automatically and daily receive either
an extra reward in case of complete success, or a distinct loss in case
they fall off even a little.

The four principles above referred to can be successfully applied either
under day work, piece work, task work with a bonus, or differential rate
piece work, and each of these systems has its own especial conditions
under which it is to be preferred to either of the other three. In no
case, however, should an attempt be made to apply these principles
unless accurate and thorough time study has previously been made of
every item entering into the day's task.

They should be applied under day work only when a number of
miscellaneous jobs have to be done day after day, none of which can
occupy the entire time of a man throughout the whole of a day and when
the time required to do each of these small jobs is likely to vary
somewhat each day. In this case a number of these jobs can be grouped
into a daily task which should be assigned, if practicable, to one man,
possibly even to two or three, but rarely to a gang of men of any size.
To illustrate: In a small boiler house in which there is no storage room
for coal, the work of wheeling the coal to the fireman, wheeling out the
ashes, helping clean fires and keeping the boiler room and the outside
of the boilers clean can be made into the daily task for a man, and if
these items do not sum up into a full day's work, on the average, other
duties can be added until a proper task is assured. Or, the various
details of sweeping, cleaning, and keeping a certain section of a shop
floor windows, machines, etc., in order can be united to form a task.
Or, in a small factory which turns out a uniform product and in uniform
quantities day after day, supplying raw materials to certain parts of
the factory and removing finished product from others may be coupled
with other definite duties to form a task. The task should call for a
large day's work, and the man should be paid more than the usual day's
pay so that the position will be sought for by first-class, ambitious
men. Clerical work can very properly be done by the task in this way,
although when there is enough of it, piece work at so much per entry is
to be preferred.

In all cases a clear cut, definite inspection of the task is desirable
at least once a day and sometimes twice. When a shop is not running at
night, a good time for this inspection is at seven o'clock in the
morning, for instance. The inspector should daily sign a printed card,
stating that he has inspected the work done by ----, and enumerating the
various items of the task. The card should state that the workman has
satisfactorily performed his task, "except the following items," which
should be enumerated in detail.

When men are working on task work by the day they should be made to
start to work at the regular starting hour. They should, however, have
no regular time for leaving. As soon as the task is finished they should
be allowed to go home; and, on the other hand, they should be made to
stay at work until their task is done, even if it lasts into the night,
no deduction being made for shorter hours nor extra pay allowed for
overtime. It is both inhuman and unwise to ask a man, working on task
work, to stay in the shop after his task is finished "to maintain the
discipline of the shop," as is frequently done. It only tends to make
men eye servants.

An amusing instance of the value of task work with freedom to leave when
the task is done was given the writer by his friend, Mr. Chas. D.
Rogers, for many years superintendent of the American Screw Works, of
Providence, R. I., one of the greatest mechanical geniuses and most
resourceful managers that this country has produced, but a man who,
owing to his great modesty, has never been fully appreciated outside of
those who know him well. Mr. Rogers tried several modifications of day
and piece work in an unsuccessful endeavor to get the children who were
engaged in sorting over the very small screws to do a fair day's work.
He finally met with great success by assigning to each child a fair
day's task and allowing him to go home and play as soon as his task was
done. Each child's playtime was his own and highly prized while the
greater part of his wages went to his parents.

Piece work embodying the task idea can be used to advantage when there
is enough work of the same general character to keep a number of men
busy regularly; such work, for instance, as the Bethlehem yard labor
previously described, or the work of bicycle ball inspection referred to
later on. In piece work of this class the task idea should always be
maintained by keeping it clearly before each man that his average daily
earnings must amount to a given high sum (as in the case of the
Bethlehem laborers, $1.85 per day), and that failure to average this
amount will surely result in his being laid off. It must be remembered
that on plain piece work the less competent workmen will always bring
what influence and pressure they can to cause the best men to slow down
towards their level and that the task idea is needed to counteract this
influence. Where the labor market is large enough to secure in a
reasonable time enough strictly first-class men, the piece work rates
should be fixed on such a basis that only a first-class man working at
his best can earn the average amount called for. This figure should be,
in the case of first-class men as stated above, from 30 per cent to 100
per cent beyond the wages usually paid. The task idea is emphasized with
this style of piece work by two things--the high wages and the laying
off, after a reasonable trial, of incompetent men; and for the success
of the system, the number of men employed on practically the same class
of work should be large enough for the workmen quite often to have the
object lesson of seeing men laid off for failing to earn high wages and
others substituted in their places.

There are comparatively few machine shops, or even manufacturing
establishments, in which the work is so uniform in its nature as to
employ enough men on the same grade of work and in sufficiently close
contact to one another to render piece work preferable to the other
systems. In the great majority of cases the work is so miscellaneous in
its nature as to call for the employment of workmen varying greatly in
their natural ability and attainments, all the way, for instance, from
the ordinary laborer, through the trained laborer, helper, rough
machinist, fitter, machine hand, to the highly skilled special or
all-round mechanic. And while in a large establishment there may be
often enough men of the same grade to warrant the adoption of piece work
with the task idea, yet, even in this case, they are generally so
scattered in different parts of the shop that laying off one of their
number for incompetence does not reach the others with sufficient force
to impress them with the necessity of keeping up with their task.

It is evident then that, in the great majority of cases, the four
leading principles in management can be best applied through either task
work with a bonus or the differential piece rate in spite of the slight
additional clerical work and the increased difficulty in planning ahead
incident to these systems of paying wages. Three of the principles of
management given above, namely, (a) a large daily task, (b) high pay for
success, and (c) loss in case of failure form the very essence of both
of these systems and act as a daily stimulant for the men. The fourth
principle of management is a necessary preliminary, since without having
first thoroughly standardized all of the conditions surrounding work,
neither of these two plans can be successfully applied.

In many cases the greatest good resulting from the application of these
systems of paying wages is the indirect gain which comes from the
enforced standardization of all details and conditions, large and small,
surrounding the work. All of the ordinary systems can be and are almost
always applied without adopting and maintaining thorough shop standards.
But the task idea can not be carried out without them.

The differential rate piece work is rather simpler in its application
than task work with bonus and is the more forceful of the two. It should
be used wherever it is practicable, but in no case until after all the
accompanying conditions have been perfected and completely standardized
and a thorough time study has been made of all of the elements of the
work. This system is particularly useful where the same kind of work is
repeated day after day, and also whenever the maximum possible output is
desired, which is almost always the case in the operation of expensive
machinery or of a plant occupying valuable ground or a large building.
It is more forceful than task work with a bonus because it not only
pulls the man up from the top but pushes him equally hard from the
bottom. Both of these systems give the workman a large extra reward when
he accomplishes his full task within the given time. With the
differential rate, if for any reason he fails to do his full task, he
not only loses the large extra premium which is paid for complete
success, but in addition he suffers the direct loss of the piece price
for each piece by which he falls short. Failure under the task with a
bonus system involves a corresponding loss of the extra premium or
bonus, but the workman, since he is paid a given price per hour,
receives his ordinary day's pay in case of failure and suffers no
additional loss beyond that of the extra premium whether he may have
fallen short of the task to the extent of one piece or a dozen.

In principle, these two systems appear to be almost identical, yet this
small difference, the slightly milder nature of task work with a bonus,
is sufficient to render it much more flexible and therefore applicable
to a large number of cases in which the differential rate system cannot
be used. Task work with a bonus was invented by Mr. H. L. Gantt, while
he was assisting the writer in organizing the Bethlehem Steel Company.
The possibilities of his system were immediately recognized by all of
the leading men engaged on the work, and long before it would have been
practicable to use the differential rate, work was started under this
plan. It was successful from the start, and steadily grew in volume and
in favor, and today is more extensively used than ever before.

Mr. Gantt's system is especially useful during the difficult and
delicate period of transition from the slow pace of ordinary day work to
the high speed which is the leading characteristic of good management.
During this period of transition in the past, a time was always reached
when a sudden long leap was taken from improved day work to some form of
piece work; and in making this jump many good men inevitably fell and
were lost from the procession. Mr. Gantt's system bridges over this
difficult stretch and enables the workman to go smoothly and with
gradually accelerated speed from the slower pace of improved day work to
the high speed of the new system.

It does not appear that Mr. Gantt has recognized the full advantages to
be derived through the proper application of his system during this
period of transition, at any rate he has failed to point them out in his
papers and to call the attention to the best method of applying his plan
in such cases.

No workman can be expected to do a piece of work the first time as fast
as he will later. It should also be recognized that it takes a certain
time for men who have worked at the ordinary slow rate of speed to
change to high speed. Mr. Gantt's plan can be adapted to meet both of
these conditions by allowing the workman to take a longer time to do the
job at first and yet earn his bonus; and later compelling him to finish
the job in the quickest time in order to get the premium. In all cases
it is of the utmost importance that each instruction card should state
the quickest time in which the workman will ultimately be called upon to
do the work. There will then be no temptation for the man to soldier
since he will see that the management know accurately how fast the work
can be done.

There is also a large class of work in addition to that of the period of
transition to which task work with a bonus is especially adapted. The
higher pressure of the differential rate is the stimulant required by
the workman to maintain a high rate of speed and secure high wages while
he has the steady swing that belongs to work which is repeated over and
over again. When, however, the work is of such variety that each day
presents an entirely new task, the pressure of the differential rate is
some times too severe. The chances of failing to quite reach the task
are greater in this class of work than in routine work; and in many such
cases it is better, owing to the increased difficulties, that the
workman should feel sure at least of his regular day's rate, which is
secured him by Mr. Gantt's system in case he falls short of the full
task. There is still another case of quite frequent occurrence in which
the flexibility of Mr. Gantt's plan makes it the most desirable. In many
establishments, particularly those doing an engineering business of
considerable variety or engaged in constructing and erecting
miscellaneous machinery, it is necessary to employ continuously a number
of especially skilful and high-priced mechanics. The particular work for
which these men are wanted comes, however, in many cases, at irregular
intervals, and there are frequently quite long waits between their
especial jobs. During such periods these men must be provided with work
which is ordinarily done by less efficient, lower priced men, and if a
proper piece price has been fixed on this work it would naturally be a
price suited to the less skilful men, and therefore too low for the men
in question. The alternative is presented of trying to compel these
especially skilled men to work for a lower price than they should
receive, or of fixing a special higher piece price for the work. Fixing
two prices for the same piece of work, one for the man who usually does
it and a higher price for the higher grade man, always causes the
greatest feeling of injustice and dissatisfaction in the man who is
discriminated against. With Mr. Gantt's plan the less skilledworkman
would recognize the justice of paying his more experienced companion
regularly a higher rate of wages by the day, yet when they were both
working on the same kind of work each man would receive the same extra
bonus for doing the full day's task. Thus, with Mr. Gantt's system, the
total day's pay of the higher classed man would be greater than that of
the less skilled man, even when on the same work, and the latter would
not begrudge it to him. We may say that the difference is one of
sentiment, yet sentiment plays an important part in all of our lives;
and sentiment is particularly strong in the workman when he believes a
direct injustice is being done him.

Mr. James M. Dodge, the distinguished Past President of The American
Society of Mechanical Engineers, has invented an ingenious system of
piece work which is adapted to meet this very case, and which has
especial advantages not possessed by any of the other plans.

It is clear, then, that in carrying out the task idea after the required
knowledge has been obtained through a study of unit times, each of the
four systems, (a) day work, (b) straight piece work, (c) task work with
a bonus, and (d) differential piece work, has its especial field of
usefulness, and that in every large establishment doing a variety of
work all four of these plans can and should be used at the same time.
Three of these systems were in use at the Bethlehem Steel Company when
the writer left there, and the fourth would have soon been started if he
had remained.

Before leaving this part of the book which has been devoted to pointing
out the value of. the daily task in management, it would seem desirable
to give an illustration of the value of the differential rate piece work
and also of the desirability of making each task as simple and short as

The writer quotes as follows from a paper entitled "A Piece Rate
System," read by him before The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
in 1895:

"The first case in which a differential rate was applied during the year
1884, furnishes a good illustration of what can be accomplished by it. A
standard steel forging, many thousands of which are used each year, had
for several years been turned at the rate of from four to five per day
under the ordinary system of piece work, 50 cents per piece being the
price paid for the work. After analyzing the job, and determining the
shortest time required to do each of the elementary operations of which
it was composed, and then summing up the total, the writer became
convinced that it was possible to turn ten pieces a day. To finish the
forgings at this rate, however, the machinists were obliged to work at
their maximum pace from morning to night, and the lathes were run as
fast as the tools would allow, and under a heavy feed. Ordinary tempered
tools 1 inch by 1 1/2 inch, made of carbon tool steel, were used for
this work.

"It will be appreciated that this was a big day's work, both for men and
machines, when it is understood that it involved removing, with a single
16-inch lathe, having two saddles, an average of more than 800 lbs of
steel chips in ten hours. In place of the 50 cent rate, that they had
been paid before, the men were given 35 cents per piece when they turned
them at the speed of 10 per day; and when they produced less than ten
they received only 25 cents per piece.

"It took considerable trouble to induce the men to turn at this high
speed, since they did not at first fully appreciate that it was the
intention of the firm to allow them to earn permanently at the rate of
$3.50 per day. But from the day they first turned ten pieces to the
present time, a period of more than ten years, the men who understood
their work have scarcely failed a single day to turn at this rate.
Throughout that time until the beginning of the recent fall in the scale
of wages throughout the country, the rate was not cut.

"During this whole period, the competitors of the company never
succeeded in averaging over half of this production per lathe, although
they knew and even saw what was being done at Midvale. They, however,
did not allow their men to earn from over $2.00 to $2.50 per day, and so
never even approached the maximum output.

"The following table will show the economy of paying high wages under
the differential rate in doing the above job:


ORDINARY SYSTEM OF PIECE WORK--Man's wages $2.50 Machine cost 3.37 Total
cost per day 5.87 5 pieces produced; Cost per piece $1.17

DIFFERENTIAL RATE SYSTEM--Man's wages $3.50 Machine cost 3.37 Total cost
per day 6.87 10 pieces produced; Cost per piece $0.69

"The above result was mostly though not entirely due to the
differential rate. The superior system of managing all of the small
details of the shop counted for considerable."

The exceedingly dull times that began in July, 1893, and were
accompanied by a great fall in prices, rendered it necessary to lower
the wages of machinists throughout the country. The wages of the men in
A. the Midvale Steel Works were reduced at this time, and the change was
accepted by them as fair and just.

Throughout the works, however, the principle of the differential rate
was maintained, and was, and is still, fully appreciated by both the
management and men. Through some error at the time of the general
reduction of wages in 1893, the differential rate on the particular job
above referred to was removed, and a straight piece work rate of 25
cents per piece was substituted for it. The result of abandoning the
differential proved to be the best possible demonstration of its value.
Under straight piece work, the output immediately fell to between six
and eight pieces per day, and remained at this figure for several years,
although under the differential rate it had held throughout a long term
of years steadily at ten per day.

When work is to be repeated many times, the time study should be minute
and exact. Each job should be carefully subdivided into its elementary
operations, and each of these unit times should receive the most
thorough time study. In fixing the times for the tasks, and the piece
work rates on jobs of this class, the job should be subdivided into a
number of divisions, and a separate time and price assigned to each
division rather than to assign a single time and price for the whole
job. This should be done for several reasons, the most important of
which is that the average workman, in order to maintain a rapid pace,
should be given the opportunity of measuring his performance against the
task set him at frequent intervals. Many men are incapable of looking
very far ahead, but if they see a definite opportunity of earning so
many cents by working hard for so many minutes, they will avail
themselves of it.

As an illustration, the steel tires used on car wheels and locomotives
were originally turned in the Midvale Steel Works on piece work, a
single piece-work rate being paid for all of the work which could be
done on a tire at a single setting. A fixed price was paid for this
work, whether there was much or little metal to be removed, and on the
average this price was fair to the men. The apparent advantage of fixing
a fair average rate was, that it made rate-fixing exceedingly simple,
and saved clerk work in the time, cost and record keeping.

A careful time study, however, convinced the writer that for the reasons
given above most of the men failed to do their best. In place of the
single rate and time for all of the work done at a setting, the writer
subdivided tire-turning into a number of short operations, and fixed a
proper time and price, varying for each small job, according to the
amount of metal to be removed, and the hardness and diameter of the
tire. The effect of this subdivision was to increase the output, with
the same men, methods, and machines, at least thirty-three per cent.

As an illustration of the minuteness of this subdivision, an instruction
card similar to the one used is reproduced in Figure 1 on the next page.
(This card was about 7 inches long by 4 inches wide.)

[Transcriber's note -- Figure 1 not shown]

The cost of the additional clerk work involved in this change was so
insignificant that it practically did not affect the problem. This
principle of short tasks in tire turning was introduced by the writer in
the Midvale Steel Works in 1883 and is still in full use there, having
survived the test of over twenty years' trial with a change of

In another establishment a differential rate was applied to tire
turning, with operations subdivided in this way, by adding fifteen per
cent to the pay of each tire turner whenever his daily or weekly piece
work earnings passed a given figure.

Another illustration of the application of this principle of measuring a
man's performance against a given task at frequent intervals to an
entirely different line of work may be of interest. For this purpose the
writer chooses the manufacture of bicycle balls in the works of the
Symonds Rolling Machine Company, in Fitchburg, Mass. All of the work
done in this factory was subjected to an accurate time study, and then
was changed from day to piece work, through the assistance of functional
foreman ship, etc. The particular operation to be described however, is
that of inspecting bicycle balls before they were finally boxed for
shipment. Many millions of these balls were inspected annually. When the
writer undertook to systematize this work, the factory had been running
for eight or ten years on ordinary day work, so that the various
employees were "old hands," and skilled at their jobs. The work of
inspection was done entirely by girls--about one hundred and twenty
being employed at it--all on day work.

This 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, with
the aid of a magnet held in the right hand, they were minutely examined
in a strong light, and the defective balls picked out and thrown into
especial boxes. Four kinds of defects were looked for--dented, soft,
scratched, and fire cracked--and they were mostly 50 minute as to be
invisible to an eye not especially trained to this work. It required the
closest attention and concentration. The girls had worked on day work
for years, ten and one-half hours per day, with a Saturday half-holiday.

The first move before in any way stimulating them toward a larger output
was to insure against a falling off in quality. This was accomplished
through over-inspection. Four of the most trustworthy girls were given
each a lot of balls which had been examined the day before by one of the
regular inspectors. The number identifying the lot having been changed
by the foreman so that none of the over-inspectors knew whose work they
were examining. In addition, 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 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. The inspectors had no means of distinguishing this 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, both
as to quantity and quality, was kept for each inspector. In a
comparatively short time this enabled the foreman to stir the ambition
of all the inspectors by increasing the wages of those who turned out a
large quantity and good quality, at the same time lowering the pay of
those who fell short, and discharging others who proved to be
incorrigibly slow or careless. An accurate time study was made through
the use of a stop watch and record blanks, to determine how fast each
kind of inspection should be done. This showed that the girls spent a
considerable part of their time in partial idleness, talking and half
working, or in actually doing nothing.

Talking while at work was stopped by seating them far apart. The hours
of work were shortened from 10 1/2 per day, first to 9 1/2, and later to
8 1/2; a Saturday half holiday being given them even with the shorter
hours. Two recesses of ten minutes each were given them, in the middle
of the morning and afternoon, during which they were expected to leave
their seats, and were allowed to talk.

The shorter hours and improved conditions made it possible for the girls
to really work steadily, instead of pretending to do so. Piece work was
then introduced, a differential rate being paid, not for an increase in
output, but for greater accuracy in the inspection; the lots inspected
by the over-inspectors forming the basis for the payment of the
differential. The work of each girl was measured every hour, and they
were all informed whether they were keeping up with their tasks, or how
far they had fallen short and an assistant was sent by the foreman to
encourage those who were falling behind, and help them to catch up.

The principle of measuring the performance of each workman against a
standard at frequent intervals, of keeping them informed as to their
progress, and of sending an assistant to help those who were falling
down, was carried out throughout the works, and proved to be most

The final results of the improved system in the inspecting department
were as follows:

(a) Thirty-five girls did the work formerly done by one hundred and

(b) The girls averaged from $6.50 to $9.00 per week instead of $3.50 to
$4.50, as formerly.

(c) They worked only 8 1/2 hours per day, with Saturday a half-holiday,
while they had formerly worked 10 1/2 hours per day.

(d) An accurate comparison of the balls which were inspected under the
old system of day work with those done under piece work, with
over-inspection, showed that, in spite of the large increase in output
per girl, there were 58 per cent more defective balls left in the
product as sold under day work than under piece work. In other words,
the accuracy of inspection under piece work was one-third greater than
that under day work.

That thirty-five girls were able to do the work which formerly required
about one hundred and twenty is due, not only to the improvement in the
work of each girl, owing to better methods, but to the weeding out of
the lazy and unpromising candidates, and the substitution of more
ambitious individuals.

A more interesting illustration of the effect of the improved conditions
and treatment is shown in the following comparison. Records were kept of
the work of ten girls, all "old hands," and good inspectors, and the
improvement made by these skilled hands is undoubtedly entirely due to
better management. All of these girls throughout the period of
comparison were engaged on the same kind of work, viz.: inspecting
bicycle balls, three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter.

The work of organization began in March, and although the records for
the first three months were not entirely clear, the increased output due
to better day work amounted undoubtedly to about 33 per cent. The
increase per day from June on day work, to July on piece work, the hours
each month being 10 1/2 per day, was 37 per cent. This increase was due
to the introduction of piece work. The increase per day from July to
August (the length of working days in July being 10 1/2 hours, and in
August 9 1/2 hours, both months piece work) was 33 per cent.

The increase from August to September (the length of working day in
August being 9 1/2 hours, and in September 8 1/2 hours) was 0.08 per
cent This means that the girls did practically the same amount of work
per day in September, in 8 1/2 hours, that they did in August in 9 1/2

To summarize: the same ten girls did on an average each day in
September, on piece work, when only working 8 1/2 hours per day, 2.42
times as much, or nearly two and one-half times as much, in a day (not
per hour, the increase per hour was of course much greater) as they had
done when working on day work in March with a working day of 10 1/2
hours. They earned $6.50 to $9.00 per week on piece work, while they had
only earned $3.50 to $4.50 on day work. The accuracy of inspection under
piece work was one-third greater than under day work.

The time study for this work was done by my friend, Sanford E. Thompson,
C. E. who also had the actual management of the girls throughout the
period of transition. At this time Mr. H. L. Gantt was general
superintendent of the company, and the work of systematizing was under
the general direction of the writer. It is, of course, evident that the
nature of the organizations required to manage different types of
business must vary to an enormous extent, from the simple tonnage works
(with its uniform product, which is best managed by a single strong man
who carries all of the details in his head and who, with a few
comparatively cheap assistants, pushes the enterprise through to
success) to the large machine works, doing a miscellaneous business,
with its intricate organization, in which the work of any one man
necessarily counts for but little.

It is this great difference in the type of the organization required
that so frequently renders managers who have been eminently successful
in one line utter failures when they undertake the direction of works of
a different kind. This is particularly true of men successful in tonnage
work who are placed in charge of shops involving much greater detail.

In selecting an organization for illustration, it would seem best to
choose one of the most elaborate. The manner in which this can be
simplified to suit a less intricate case will readily suggest itself to
any one interested in the subject. One of the most difficult works to
organize is that of a large engineering establishment building
miscellaneous machinery, and the writer has therefore chosen this for

Practically all of the shops of this class are organized upon what may
be called the military plan. The orders from the general are transmitted
through the colonels, majors, captains, lieutenants and noncommissioned
officers to the men. In the same way the orders in industrial
establishments go from the manager through superintendents, foremen of
shops, assistant foremen and gang bosses to the men. In an establishment
of this kind the duties of the foremen, gang bosses, etc., are so
varied, and call for an amount of special information coupled with such
a variety of natural ability, that only men of unusual qualities to
start with, and who have had years of special training, can perform them
in a satisfactory manner. It is because of the difficulty--almost the
impossibility of getting suitable foremen and gang bosses, more than for
any other reason, that we so seldom hear of a miscellaneous machine
works starting in on a large scale and meeting with much, if any,
success for the first few years. This difficulty is not fully realized
by the managers of the old well established companies, since their
superintendents and assistants have grown up with the business, and have
been gradually worked into and fitted for their especial duties through
years of training and the process of natural selection. Even in these
establishments, however, this difficulty has impressed itself upon the
managers so forcibly that most of them have of late years spent
thousands of dollars in re-grouping their machine tools for the purpose
of making their foremanship more effective. The planers have been placed
in one group, slotters in another, lathes in another, etc., so as to
demand a smaller range of experience and less diversity of knowledge
from their respective foremen.

For an establishment, then, of this kind, starting up on a large scale,
it may be said to be an impossibility to get suitable superintendents
and foremen.

The writer found this difficulty at first to be an almost insurmountable
obstacle to his work in organizing manufacturing establishments; and
after years of experience, overcoming the opposition of the heads of
departments and the foremen and gang bosses, and training them to their
new duties, still remains the greatest problem in organization. The
writer has had comparatively little trouble in inducing workmen to
change their ways and to increase their speed, providing the proper
object lessons are presented to them, and time enough is allowed for
these to produce their effect. It is rarely the case, however, that
superintendents and foremen can find any reasons for changing their
methods, which, as far as they can see, have been successful. And
having, as a rule, obtained their positions owing to their unusual force
of character, and being accustomed daily to rule other men, their
opposition is generally effective.

In the writer's experience, almost all shops are under-officered.
Invariably the number of leading men employed is not sufficient to do
the work economically. Under the military type of organization, the
foreman is held responsible for the successful running of the entire
shop, and when we measure his duties by the standard of the four leading
principles of management above referred to, it becomes apparent that in
his case these conditions are as far as possible from being fulfilled.
His duties may be briefly enumerated in the following way. He must lay
out the work for the whole shop, see that each piece of work goes in the
proper order to the right machine, and that the man at the machine knows
just what is to be done and how he is to do it. He must see that the
work is not slighted, and that it is done fast, and all the while he
must look ahead a month or so, either to provide more men to do the work
or more work for the men to do. He must constantly discipline the men
and readjust their wages, and in addition to this must fix piece work
prices and supervise the timekeeping.

The first of the four leading principles in management calls for a
clearly defined and circumscribed task. Evidently the foreman's duties
are in no way clearly circumscribed. It is left each day entirely to his
judgment what small part of the mass of duties before him it is most
important for him to attend to, and he staggers along under this
fraction of the work for which he is responsible, leaving the balance to
be done in many cases as the gang bosses and workmen see fit. The second
principle calls for such conditions that the daily task can always be
accomplished. The conditions in his case are always such that it is
impossible for him to do it all, and he never even makes pretence of
fulfilling his entire task. The third and fourth principles call for
high pay in case the task is successfully done, and low pay in case of
failure. The failure to realize the first two conditions, however,
renders the application of the last two out of the question.

The foreman usually endeavors to lighten his burdens by delegating his
duties to the various assistant foremen or gang bosses in charge of
lathes, planers, milling machines, vise work, etc. Each of these men is
then called upon to perform duties of almost as great variety as those
of the foreman himself. The difficulty in obtaining in one man the
variety of special information and the different mental and moral
qualities necessary to perform all of the duties demanded of those men
has been clearly summarized in the following list of the nine qualities
which go to make up a well rounded man:



Special or technical knowledge; manual dexterity or strength.





Judgment or common sense and

Good health.

Plenty of men who possess only three of the above qualities can be hired
at any time for laborers' wages. Add four of these qualities together
and you get a higher priced man. The man combining five of these
qualities begins to be hard to find, and those with six, seven, and
eight are almost impossible to get. Having this fact in mind, let us go
over the duties which a gang boss in charge, say, of lathes or planers,
is called upon to perform, and note the knowledge and qualities which
they call for. First. He must be a good machinist--and this alone calls
for years of special training, and limits the choice to a comparatively
small class of men.

Second. He must be able to read drawings readily, and have sufficient
imagination to see the work in its finished state clearly before him.
This calls for at least a certain amount of brains and education.

Third. He must plan ahead and see that the right jigs, clamps, and
appliances, as well as proper cutting tools, are on hand, and are used
to set the work correctly in the machine and cut the metal at the right
speed and feed. This calls for the ability to concentrate the mind upon
a multitude of small details, and take pains with little, uninteresting

Fourth. He must see that each man keeps his machine clean and in good
order. This calls for the example of a man who is naturally neat and
orderly himself.

Fifth. He must see that each man turns out work of the proper quality.
This calls for the conservative judgment and the honesty which are the
qualities of a good inspector.

Sixth. He must see that the men under him work steadily and fast. To
accomplish this he should himself be a hustler, a man of energy, ready
to pitch in and infuse life into his men by working faster than they do,
and this quality is rarely combined with the painstaking care, the
neatness and the conservative judgment demanded as the third, fourth,
and fifth requirements of a gang boss.

Seventh. He must constantly look ahead over the whole field of work and
see that the parts go to the machines in their proper sequence, and that
the right job gets to each machine.

Eighth. He must, at least in a general way, supervise the timekeeping
and fix piece work rates. Both the seventh and eighth duties call for a
certain amount of clerical work and ability, and this class of work is
almost always repugnant to the man suited to active executive work, and
difficult for him to do; and the rate-fixing alone requires the whole
time and careful study of a man especially suited to its minute detail.

Ninth. He must discipline the men under him, and readjust their wages;
and these duties call for judgment, tact, and judicial fairness.

It is evident, then, that the duties which the ordinary gang boss is
called upon to perform would demand of him a large proportion of the
nine attributes mentioned above; and if such a man could be found he
should be made manager or superintendent of a works instead of gang
boss. However, bearing in mind the fact that plenty of men can be had
who combine four or five of these attributes, it becomes evident that
the work of management should be so subdivided that the various
positions can be filled by men of this caliber, and a great part of the
art of management undoubtedly lies in planning the work in this way.
This can, in the judgment of the writer, be best accomplished by
abandoning the military type of organization and introducing two broad
and sweeping changes in the art of management:

(a) As far as possible the workmen, as well as the gang bosses and
foremen, should be entirely relieved of the work of planning, and of all
work which is more or less clerical in its nature. All possible brain
work should be removed from the shop and centered in the planning or
laying-out department, leaving for the foremen and gang bosses work
strictly executive in its nature. Their duties should be to see that the
operations planned and directed from the planning room are promptly
carried out in the shop. Their time should be spent with the men,
teaching them to think ahead, and leading and instructing them in their

(b) Throughout the whole field of management the military type of
organization should be abandoned, and what may be called the'
"functional type" substituted in its place. "Functional management"
consists in so dividing the work of management that each man from the
assistant superintendent down shall have as few functions as possible to
perform. If practicable the work of each man in the management should be
confined to the performance of a single leading function. Under the
ordinary or military type, the workmen are divided into groups. The men
in each group receive their orders from one man only, the foreman or
gang boss of that group. This man is the single agent through which the
various functions of the management are brought into contact with the
men. Certainly the most marked outward characteristic of functional
management lies in the fact that each workman, instead of coming in
direct contact with the management at one point only, namely, through
his gang boss, receives his daily orders and help directly from eight
different bosses, each of whom performs his own particular function.
Four of these bosses are in the planning room and of these three send
their orders to and receive their returns from the men, usually in
writing. Four others are in the shop and personally help the men in
their work, each boss helping in his own particular `line or function
only. Some of these bosses come in contact with each man only once or
twice a day and then for a few minutes perhaps, while others are with
the men all the time, and help each man frequently. The functions of one
or two of these bosses require them to come in contact with each workman
for so short a time each day that they can perform their particular
duties perhaps for all of the men in the shop, and in their line they
manage the entire shop. Other bosses are called upon to help their men
so much and so often that each boss can perform his function for but a
few men, and in this particular line a number of bosses are required,
all performing the same function but each having his particular group of
men to help. Thus the grouping of the men in the shop is entirely
changed, each workman belonging to eight different groups according to
the particular functional boss whom he happens to be working under at
the moment.

The following is a brief description of the duties of the four types of
executive functional bosses which the writer has found it profitable to
use in the active work of the shop: (1) gang bosses, (2) speed bosses,
(3) inspectors, and (4) repair bosses.

The gang boss has charge of the preparation of all work up to the time
that the piece is set in the machine. It is his duty to see that every
man under him has at all times at least one piece of work ahead at his
machine, with all the jigs, templates, drawings, driving mechanism,
sling chains, etc., ready to go into his machine as soon as the piece he
is actually working on is done. The gang boss must show his men how to
set their work in their machines in the quickest time, and see that they
do it. He is responsible for the work being accurately and quickly set,
and should be not only able but willing to pitch in himself and show the
men how to set the work in record time.

The speed boss must see that the proper cutting tools are used for each
piece of work, that the work is properly driven, that the cuts are
started in the right part of the piece, and that the best speeds and
feeds and depth of cut are used. His work begins only after the piece is
in the lathe or planer, and ends when the actual machining ends. The
speed boss must not only advise his men how best to do this work, but he
must see that they do it in the quickest time, and that they use the
speeds and feeds and depth of cut as directed on the instruction card In
many cases he is called upon to demonstrate that the work can be done in
the specified time by doing it himself in the presence of his men.

The inspector is responsible for the quality of the work, and both the
workmen and speed bosses must see that the work is all finished to suit
him. This man can, of course, do his work best if he is a master of the
art of finishing work both well and quickly.

The repair boss sees that each workman keeps his machine clean, free
from rust and scratches, and that he oils and treats it properly, and
that all of the standards established for the care and maintenance of
the machines and their accessories are rigidly maintained, such as care
of belts and shifters, cleanliness of floor around machines, and orderly
piling and disposition of work.

The following is an outline of the duties of the four functional bosses
who are located in the planning room, and who in their various functions
represent the department in its connection with the men. The first three
of these send their directions to and receive their returns from the
men, mainly in writing. These four representatives of the planning
department are, the (1) order of work and route clerk, (2) instruction
card clerk, (3) time and cost clerk, and (4) shop disciplinarian.

Order of Work and Route Clerk. After the route clerk in the planning
department has laid out the exact route which each piece of work is to
travel through the shop from machine to machine in order that it may be
finished at the time it is needed for assembling, and the work done in
the most economical way, the order of work clerk daily writes lists
instructing the workmen and also all of the executive shop bosses as to
the exact order in which the work is to be done by each class of
machines or men, and these lists constitute the chief means for
directing the workmen in this particular function.

Instruction Card Clerks. The "instruction card," as its name indicates,
is the chief means employed by the planning department for instructing
both the executive bosses and the men in all of the details of their
work. It tells them briefly the general and detail drawing to refer to,
the piece number and the cost order number to charge the work to, the
special jigs, fixtures, or tools to use, where to start each cut, the
exact depth of each cut, and how many cuts to take, the speed and feed
to be used for each cut, and the time within which each operation must
be finished. It also informs them as to the piece rate, the differential
rate, or the premium to be paid for completing the task within the
specified time (according to the system employed); and further, when
necessary, refers them by name to the man who will give them especial
directions. This instruction card is filled in by one or more members of
the planning department, according to the nature and complication of the
instructions, and bears the same relation to the planning room that the
drawing does to the drafting room. The man who sends it into the shop
and who, in case difficulties are met with in carrying out the
instructions, sees that the proper man sweeps these difficulties away,
is called the instruction card foreman.

Time and Cost Clerk. This man sends to the men through the "time ticket"
all the information they need for recording their time and the cost of
the work, and secures proper returns from them. He refers these for
entry to the cost and time record clerks in the planning room.

Shop Disciplinarian. In case of insubordination or impudence, repeated
failure to do their duty, lateness or unexcused absence, the shop
disciplinarian takes the workman or bosses in hand and applies the
proper remedy. He sees that a complete record of each man's virtues and
defects is kept. This man should also have much to do with readjusting
the wages of the workmen. At the very least, he should invariably be
consulted before any change is made. One of his important functions
should be that of peace-maker.

Thus, under functional foremanship, we see that the work which, under
the military type of organization, was done by the single gang boss, is
subdivided among eight men: (1) route clerks, (2) instruction card
clerks, (3) cost and time clerks, who plan and give directions from the
planning room; (4) gang bosses, (5) speed bosses, (6) inspectors, (7)
repair bosses, who show the men how to carry out their instructions, and
see that the work is done at the proper speed; and (8) the shop
disciplinarian, who performs this function for the entire establishment.

The greatest good resulting from this change is that it becomes possible
in a comparatively short time to train bosses who can really and fully
perform the functions demanded of them, while under the old system it
took years to train men who were after all able to thoroughly perform
only a portion of their duties. A glance at the nine qualities needed
for a well rounded man and then at the duties of these functional
foremen will show that each of these men requires but a limited number
of the nine qualities in order to successfully fill his position; and
that the special knowledge which he must acquire forms only a small part
of that needed by the old style gang boss. The writer has seen men taken
(some of them from the ranks of the workmen, others from the old style
bosses and others from among the graduates of industrial schools,
technical schools and colleges) and trained to become efficient
functional foremen in from six to eighteen months. Thus it becomes
possible with functional foremanship to thoroughly and completely equip
even a new company starting on a large scale with competent officers in
a reasonable time, which is entirely out of the question under the old
system. Another great advantage resulting from functional or divided
foremanship is that it becomes entirely practicable to apply the four
leading principles of management to the bosses as well as to the
workmen. Each foreman can have a task assigned him which is so
accurately measured that he will be kept fully occupied and still will
daily be able to perform his entire function. This renders it possible
to pay him high wages when he is successful by giving him a premium
similar to that offered the men and leave him with low pay when he

The full possibilities of functional foremanship, however, will not have
been realized until almost all of the machines in the shop are run by
men who are of smaller calibre and attainments, and who are therefore
cheaper than those required under the old system. The adoption of
standard tools, appliances, and methods throughout the shop, the
planning done in the planning room and the detailed instructions sent
them from this department, added to the direct help received from the
four executive bosses, permit the use of comparatively cheap men even on
complicated work. Of the men in the machine shop of the Bethlehem Steel
Company engaged in running the roughing machines, and who were working
under the bonus system when the writer left them, about 95 per cent were
handy men trained up from laborers. And on the finishing machines,
working on bonus, about 25 per cent were handy men.

To fully understand the importance of the work which was being done by
these former laborers, it must be borne in mind that a considerable part
of their work was very large and expensive. The forgings which they were
engaged in roughing and finishing weighed frequently many tons. Of
course they were paid more than laborer's wages, though not as much as
skilled machinists. The work in this shop was most miscellaneous in its

Functional foremanship is already in limited use in many of the best
managed shops. A number of managers have seen the practical good that
arises from allowing two or three men especially trained in their
particular lines to deal directly with the men instead of at second hand
through the old style gang boss as a mouthpiece. So deep rooted,
however, is the conviction that the very foundation of management rests
in the military type as represented by the principle that no workman can
work under two bosses at the same time, that all of the managers who are
making limited use of the functional plan seem to feel it necessary to
apologize for or explain away their use of it; as not really in this
particular case being a violation of that principle. The writer has
never yet found one, except among the works which he had assisted in
organizing, who came out squarely and acknowledged that he was using
functional foremanship because it was the right principle.

The writer introduced five of the elements of functional foremanship
into the management of the small machine shop of the Midvale Steel
Company of Philadelphia while he was foreman of that shop in 1882-1883:
(1) the instruction card clerk, (2) the time clerk, (3) the inspector,
(4) the gang boss, and (5) the shop disciplinarian. Each of these
functional foremen dealt directly with the workmen instead of giving
their orders through the gang boss. The dealings of the instruction card
clerk and time clerk with the workmen were mostly in writing, and the
writer himself performed the functions of shop disciplinarian, so that
it was not until he introduced the inspector, with orders to go straight
to the men instead of to the gang boss, that he appreciated the
desirability of functional foremanship as a distinct principle in
management. The prepossession in favor of the military type was so
strong with the managers and owners of Midvale that it was not until
years after functional foremanship was in continual use in this shop
that he dared to advocate it to his superior officers as the correct

Until very recently in his organization of works he has found it best to
first introduce five or six of the elements of functional foremanship
quietly, and get them running smoothly in a shop before calling
attention to the principle involved. When the time for this announcement
comes, it invariably acts as the proverbial red rag on the bull. It was
some years later that the writer subdivided the duties of the "old gang
boss" who spent his whole time with the men into the four functions of
(1) speed boss, (2) repair boss, (3) inspector, and (4) gang boss, and
it is the introduction of these four shop bosses directly helping the
men (particularly that of the speed boss) in place of the single old
boss, that has produced the greatest improvement in the shop.

When functional foremanship is introduced in a large shop, it is
desirable that all of the bosses who are performing the same function
should have their own foreman over them; for instance, the speed bosses
should have a speed foreman over them, the gang bosses, a head gang
boss; the inspectors, a chief inspector, etc., etc. The functions of
these over-foremen are twofold. The first part of their work is to teach
each of the bosses under them the exact nature of his duties, and at the
start, also to nerve and brace them up to the point of insisting that
the workmen shall carry out the orders exactly as specified on the
instruction cards. This is a difficult task at first, as the workmen
have been accustomed for years to do the details of the work to suit
themselves, and many of them are intimate friends of the bosses and
believe they know quite as much about their business as the latter. The
second function of the over-foreman is to smooth out the difficulties
which arise between the different types of bosses who in turn directly
help the men. The speed boss, for instance, always follows after the
gang boss on any particular job in taking charge of the workmen. In this
way their respective duties come in contact edgeways, as it were, for a
short time, and at the start there is sure to be more or less friction
between the two. If two of these bosses meet with a difficulty which
they cannot settle, they send for their respective over-foremen, who are
usually able to straighten it out. In case the latter are unable to
agree on the remedy, the case is referred by them to the assistant
superintendent, whose duties, for a certain time at least, may consist
largely in arbitrating such difficulties and thus establishing the
unwritten code of laws by which the shop is governed. This serves as one
example of what is called the "exception principle" in management, which
is referred to later.

Before leaving this portion of the subject the writer wishes to call
attention to the analogy which functional foremanship bears to the
management of a large, up-to-date school. In such a school the children
are each day successively taken in hand by one teacher after another who
is trained in his particular specialty, and they are in many cases
disciplined by a man particularly trained in this function. The old
style, one teacher to a class plan is entirely out of date.

The writer has found that better results are attained by placing the
planning department in one office, situated, of course, as close to the
center of the shop or shops as practicable, rather than by locating its
members in different places according to their duties. This department
performs more or less the functions of a clearing house. In doing their
various duties, its members must exchange information frequently, and
since they send their orders to and receive their returns from the men
in the shop, principally in writing, simplicity calls for the use, when
possible, of a single piece of paper for each job for conveying the
instructions of the different members of the planning room to the men
and another similar paper for receiving the returns from the men to the
department. Writing out these orders and acting promptly on receipt of
the returns and recording same requires the members of the department to
be close together. The large machine shop of the Bethlehem Steel Company
was more than a quarter of a mile long, and this was successfully run
from a single planning room situated close to it. The manager,
superintendent, and their assistants should, of course, have their
offices adjacent to the planning room and, if practicable, the drafting
room should be near at hand, thus bringing all of the planning and
purely brain work of the establishment close together. The advantages of
this concentration were found to be so great at Bethlehem that the
general offices of the company, which were formerly located in the
business part of the town, about a mile and a half away, were moved into
the middle of the works adjacent to the planning room.

The shop, and indeed the whole works, should be managed, not by the
manager, superintendent, or foreman, but by the planning department. The
daily routine of running the entire works should be carried on by the
various functional elements of this department, so that, in theory at
least, the works could run smoothly even if the manager, superintendent
and their assistants outside the planning room were all to be away for a
month at a time.

The following are the leading functions of the planning department:

(a) The complete analysis of all orders for machines or work taken by
the company.

(b) Time study for all work done by hand throughout the works, including
that done in setting the work in machines, and all bench, vise work and
transportation, etc.

(c) Time study for all operations done by the various machines.

(d) The balance of all materials, raw materials, stores and finished
parts, and the balance of the work ahead for each class of machines and

(e) The analysis of all inquiries for new work received in the sales
department and promises for time of delivery.

(f) The cost of all items manufactured with complete expense analysis
and complete monthly comparative cost and expense exhibits.

(g) The pay department.

(h) The mnemonic symbol system for identification of parts and for

(i) Information bureau.

(j) Standards.

(k) Maintenance of system and plant, and use of the tickler.

(l) Messenger system and post office delivery.

(m) Employment bureau.

(n) Shop disciplinarian.

(o) A mutual accident insurance association.

(p) Rush order department.

(q) Improvement of system or plant.

These several functions may be described more in detail as follows:


This analysis should indicate the designing and drafting required, the
machines or parts to be purchased and all data needed by the purchasing
agent, and as soon as the necessary drawings and information come from
the drafting room the lists of patterns, castings and forgings to be
made, together with all instructions for making them, including general
and detail drawing, piece number, the mnemonic symbol belonging to each
piece (as referred to under (h) below) a complete analysis of the
successive operations to be done on each piece, and the exact route
which each piece is to travel from place to place in the works.


This information for each particular operation should be obtained by
summing up the various unit times of which it consists. To do this, of
course, requires the men performing this function to keep continually
posted as to the best methods and appliances to use, and also to
frequently consult with and receive advice from the executive gang
bosses who carry out this work in the shop, and from the man in the
department of standards and maintenance of plant (j) beneath. The actual
study of unit times, of course, forms the greater part of the work of
this section of the planning room.


This information is best obtained from slide rules, one of which is made
for each machine tool or class of machine tools throughout the works;
one, for instance, for small lathes of the same type, one for planers of
same type, etc. These slide rules show the best way to machine each
piece and enable detailed directions to be given the workman as to how
many cuts to take, where to start each cut, both for roughing out work
and finishing it, the depth of the cut, the best feed and speed, and the
exact time required to do each operation.

The information obtained through function (b), together with that
obtained through (c) afford the basis for fixing the proper piece rate,
differential rate or the bonus to be paid, according to the system


Returns showing all receipts, as well as the issue of all raw materials,
stores, partly finished work, and completed parts and machines, repair
parts, etc., daily pass through the balance clerk, and each item of
which there have been issues or receipts, or which has been appropriated
to the use of a machine about to be manufactured, is daily balanced.
Thus the balance clerk can see that the required stocks of materials are
kept on hand by notifying at once the purchasing agent or other proper
party when the amount on hand falls below the prescribed figure. The
balance clerk should also keep a complete running balance of the hours
of work ahead for each class of machines and workmen, receiving for this
purpose daily from (a), (b), and (c) above statements of the hours of
new work entered, and from the inspectors and daily time cards a
statement of the work as it is finished. He should keep the manager and
sales department posted through daily or weekly condensed reports as to
the number of days of work ahead for each department, and thus enable
them to obviate either a congestion or scarcity of work.

planning room who perform the duties indicated at (a) above should
consult with (b) and (c) and obtain from them approximately the time
required to do the work inquired for, and from (d) the days of work
ahead for the various machines and departments, and inform the sales
department as to the probable time required to do the work and the
earliest date of delivery.


The books of the company should be closed once a month and balanced as
completely as they usually are at the end of the year, and the exact
cost of each article of merchandise finished during the previous month
should be entered on a comparative cost sheet. The expense exhibit
should also be a comparative sheet. The cost account should be a
completely balanced account, and not a memorandum account as it
generally is. All the expenses of the establishment, direct and
indirect, including the administration and sales expense, should be
charged to the cost of the product which is to be sold.


The pay department should include not only a record of the time and
wages and piece work earnings of each man, and his weekly or monthly
payment, but the entire supervision of the arrival and departure of the
men from the works and the various checks needed to insure against error
or cheating. It is desirable that some one of the "exception systems" of
time keeping should be used.


Some one of the mnemonic symbol systems should be used instead of
numbering the parts or orders for identifying the various articles of
manufacture, as well as the operations to be performed on each piece and
the various expense charges of the establishment. This becomes a matter
of great importance when written directions are sent from the planning
room to the men, and the men make their returns in writing. The clerical
work and chances for error are thereby greatly diminished.


The information bureau should include catalogues of drawings (providing
the drafting room is close enough to the planning room) as well as all
records and reports for the whole establishment. The art of properly
indexing information is by no means a simple one, and as far as possible
it should be centered in one man.


The adoption and maintenance of standard tools, fixtures, and appliances
down to the smallest item throughout the works and office, as well as
the adoption of standard methods of doing all operations which are
repeated, is a matter of importance, so that under similar conditions
the same appliances and methods shall be used throughout the plant. This
is an absolutely necessary preliminary to success in assigning daily
tasks which are fair and which can be carried out with certainty.


One of the most important functions of the planning room is that of the
maintenance of the entire system, and of standard methods and appliances
throughout the establishment, including the planning room itself. An
elaborate time table should be made out showing daily the time when and
place where each report is due, which is necessary to carry on the work
and to maintain the system. It should be the duty of the member of the
planning room in charge of this function to find out at each time
through the day when reports are due, whether they have been received,
and if not, to keep bothering the man who is behind hand until he has
done his duty. Almost all of the reports, etc., going in and out of the
planning room can be made to pass through this man. As a mechanical aid
to him in performing his function the tickler is invaluable. The best
type of tickler is one which has a portfolio for each day in the year,
large enough to insert all reminders and even quite large instruction
cards and reports without folding. In maintaining methods and
appliances, notices should be placed in the tickler in advance, to come
out at proper intervals throughout the year for the inspection of each
element of the system and the inspection and overhauling of all
standards as well as the examination and repairs at stated intervals of
parts of machines, boilers, engines, belts, etc., likely to wear out or
give trouble, thus preventing breakdowns and delays. One tickler can be
used for the entire works and is preferable to a number of individual
ticklers. Each man can remind himself of his various small routine
duties to be performed either daily or weekly, etc., and which might be
otherwise overlooked, by sending small reminders, written on slips of
paper, to be placed in the tickler and returned to him at the proper
time. Both the tickler and a thoroughly systematized messenger service
should be immediately adjacent to this man in the planning room, if not
directly under his management.

The proper execution of this function of the planning room will relieve
the superintendent of some of the most vexatious and time-consuming of
his duties, and at the same time the work will be done more thoroughly
and cheaper than if he does it himself. By the adoption of standards and
the use of instruction cards for overhauling machinery, etc., and the
use of a tickler as above described, the writer reduced the repair force
of the Midvale Steel Works to one-third its size while he was in the
position of master mechanic. There was no planning department, however,
in the works at that time.


The messenger system should be thoroughly organized and records kept
showing which of the boys are the most efficient. This should afford one
of the best opportunities for selecting boys fit to be taught trades, as
apprentices or otherwise. There should be a regular half hourly post
office delivery system for collecting and distributing routine reports
and records and messages in no especial hurry throughout the works.


The selection of the men who are employed to fill vacancies or new
positions should receive the most careful thought and attention and
should be under the supervision of a competent man who will inquire into
the experience and especial fitness and character of applicants and keep
constantly revised lists of men suitable for the various positions in
the shop. In this section of the planning room. an individual record of
each of the men in the works can well be kept showing his punctuality,
absence without excuse, violation of shop rules, spoiled work or damage
to machines or tools, as well as his skill at various kinds of work;
average earnings, and other good qualities for the use of this
department as well as the shop disciplinarian.


This man may well be closely associated with the employment bureau and,
if the works is not too large, the two functions can be performed by the
same man. The knowledge of character and of the qualities needed for
various positions acquired in disciplining the men should be useful in
selecting them for employment. This man should, of course, consult
constantly with the various foremen and bosses, both in his function as
disciplinarian arid in the employment of men.


A mutual accident insurance association should be established, to which
the company contributes as well as the men. The object of this
association is twofold: first the relief of men who are injured, and
second, an opportunity of returning to the workmen all fines which are
imposed upon them in disciplining them, and for damage to company's
property or work spoiled.


Hurrying through parts which have been spoiled or have developed
defects, and also special repair orders for customers, should receive
the attention of one man.


One man should be especially charged with the work of improvement in the
system and in the running of the plant.

The type of organization described in the foregoing paragraphs has such
an appearance of complication and there are so many new positions
outlined in the planning room which do not exist even in a well managed
establishment of the old school, that it seems desirable to again call
attention to the fact that, with the exception of the study of unit
times and one or two minor functions, each item of work which is
performed in the planning room with the superficial appearance of great
complication must also be performed by the workmen in the shop under the
old type of management, with its single cheap foreman and the appearance
of great simplicity. In the first case, however, the work is done by an
especially trained body of men who work together like a smoothly running
machine, and in the second by a much larger number of men very poorly
trained and ill-fitted for this work, and each of whom while doing it is
taken away from some other job for which he is well trained. The work
which is now done by one sewing machine, intricate in its appearance,
was formerly done by a number of women with no apparatus beyond a simple
needle and thread.

There is no question that the cost of production is lowered by
separating the work of planning and the brain work as much as possible
from the manual labor. When this is done, however, it is evident that
the brain workers must be given sufficient work to keep them fully busy
all the time. They must not be allowed to stand around for a
considerable part of their time waiting for their particular kind of
work to come along, as is so frequently the case.

The belief is almost universal among manufacturers that for economy the
number of brain workers, or non-producers, as they are called, should be
as small as possible in proportion to the number of producers, i.e.,
those who actually work with their hands. An examination of the most
successful establishments will, however, show that the reverse is true.
A number of years ago the writer made a careful study of the proportion
of producers to non-producers in three of the largest and most
successful companies in the world, who were engaged in doing the same
work in a general way. One of these companies was in France, one in
Germany, and one in the United States. Being to a certain extent rivals
in business and situated in different countries, naturally neither one
had anything to do with the management of the other. In the course of
his investigation, the writer found that the managers had never even
taken the trouble to ascertain the exact proportion of non-producers to
producers in their respective works; so that the organization of each
company was an entirely independent evolution.

By non-producers the writer means such employees as all of the general
officers, the clerks, foremen, gang bosses, watchmen, messenger boys,
draftsmen, salesmen, etc.; and by "producers," only those who actually
work with their hands.

In the French and German works there was found to be in each case one
non-producer to between six and seven producers, and in the American
works one non-producer to about seven producers. The writer found that
in the case of another works, doing the same kind of business and whose
management was notoriously bad, the proportion of non-producers to
producers was one non-producer to about eleven producers. These
companies all had large forges, foundries, rolling mills and machine
shops turning out a miscellaneous product, much of which was machined.
They turned out a highly wrought, elaborate and exact finished product,
and did an extensive engineering and miscellaneous machine construction

In the case of a company doing a manufacturing business with a uniform
and simple product for the maximum economy, the number of producers to
each non-producer would of course be larger. No manager need feel
alarmed then when he sees the number of non-producers increasing in
proportion to producers, providing the non-producers are busy all of
their time, and providing, of course, that in each case they are doing
efficient work.

It would seem almost unnecessary to dwell upon the desirability of
standardizing, not only all of the tools, appliances and implements
throughout the works and office, but also the methods to be used in the
multitude of small operations which are repeated day after day. There
are many good managers of the old school, however, who feel that this
standardization is not only unnecessary but that it is undesirable,
their principal reason being that it is better to allow each workman to
develop his individuality by choosing the particular implements and
methods which suit him best. And there is considerable weight in this
contention when the scheme of management is to allow each workman to do
the work as he pleases and hold him responsible for results.
Unfortunately, in ninety-nine out of a hundred such cases only the first
part of this plan is carried out. The workman chooses his own methods
and implements, but is not held in any strict sense accountable unless
the quality of the work is so poor or the quantity turned out is so
small as to almost amount to a scandal. In the type of management
advocated by the writer, this complete standardization of all details
and methods is not only desirable but absolutely indispensable as a
preliminary to specifying the time in which each operation shall be
done, and then insisting that it shall be done within the time allowed.

Neglecting to take the time and trouble to thoroughly standardize all of
such methods and details is one of the chief causes for setbacks and
failure in introducing this system. Much better results can be attained,
even if poor standards be adopted, than can be reached if some of a
given class of implements are the best of their kind while others are
poor. It is uniformity that is required. Better have them uniformly
second class than mainly first with some second and some third class
thrown in at random. In the latter case the workmen will almost always
adopt the pace which conforms to the third class instead of the first or
second. In fact, however, it is not a matter involving any great expense
or time to select in each case standard implements which shall be nearly
the best or the best of their kinds. The writer has never failed to make
enormous gains in the economy of running by the adoption of standards.

It was in the course of making a series of experiments with various air
hardening tool steels with a view to adopting a standard for the
Bethlehem works that Mr. J. Maunsel White, together with the writer,
discovered the Taylor-White process of treating tool steel, which marks
a distinct improvement in the art. The fact that this improvement was
made not by manufacturers of tool steel, but in the course of the
adoption of standards, shows both the necessity and fruitfulness of
methodical and careful investigation in the choice of much neglected
details. The economy to be gained through the adoption of uniform
standards is hardly realized at all by the managers of this country. No
better illustration of this fact is needed than that of the present
condition of the cutting tools used throughout the machine shops of the
United States. Hardly a shop can be found in which tools made from a
dozen different qualities of steel are not used side by side, in many
cases with little or no means of telling one make from another; and in
addition, the shape of the cutting edge of the tool is in most cases
left to the fancy of each individual workman. When one realizes that the
cutting speed of the best treated air hardening steel is for a given
depth of cut, feed and quality of metal being cut, say sixty feet per
minute, while with the same shaped tool made from the best carbon tool
steel and with the same conditions, the cutting speed will be only
twelve feet per minute, it becomes apparent how little the necessity for
rigid standards is appreciated.

Let us take another illustration. The machines of the country are still
driven by belting. The motor drive, while it is coming, is still in the
future. There is not one establishment in one hundred that does not
leave the care and tightening of the belts to the judgment of the
individual who runs the machine, although it is well known to all who
have given any study to the subject that the most skilled machinist
cannot properly tighten a belt without the use of belt clamps fitted
with spring balances to properly register the tension. And the writer
showed in a paper entitled "Notes on Belting" presented to The American
Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1893, giving the results of an
experiment tried on all of the belts in a machine shop and extending
through nine years, in which every detail of the care and tightening and
tension of each belt was recorded, that belts properly cared for
according to a standard method by a trained laborer would average twice
the pulling power and only a fraction of the interruptions to
manufacture of those tightened according to the usual methods. The loss
now going on throughout the country from failure to adopt and maintain
standards for all small details is simply enormous.

It is, however, a good sign for the future that a firm such as Messrs.
Dodge & Day of Philadelphia, who are making a specialty of standardizing
machine shop details, find their time fully occupied.

What may be called the "exception principle" in management is coming
more and more into use, although, like many of the other elements of
this art, it is used in isolated cases, and in most instances without
recognizing it as a principle which should extend throughout the entire
field. It is not an uncommon sight, though a sad one, to see the manager
of a large business fairly swamped at his desk with an ocean of letters
and reports, on each of which he thinks that he should put his initial
or stamp. He feels that by having this mass of detail pass over his desk
he is keeping in close touch with the entire business. The exception
principle is directly the reverse of this. Under it the manager should
receive only condensed, summarized, and invariably comparative reports,
covering, however, all of the elements entering into the management, and
even these summaries should all be carefully gone over by an assistant
before they reach the manager, and have all of the exceptions to the
past averages or to the standards pointed out, both the especially good
and especially bad exceptions, thus giving him in a few minutes a full
view of progress which is being made, or the reverse, and leaving him
free to consider the broader lines of policy and to study the character
and fitness of the important men under him. The exception principle can
be applied in many ways, and the writer will endeavor to give some
further illustrations of it later.

The writer has dwelt at length upon the desirability of concentrating as
much as possible clerical and brain work in the planning department.
There is, however, one such important exception to this rule that it
would seem desirable to call attention to it. As already stated, the
planning room gives its orders and instructions to the men mainly in
writing and of necessity must also receive prompt and reliable written
returns and reports which shall enable its members to issue orders for
the next movement of each piece, lay out the work for each man for the
following day, properly post the balance of work and materials accounts,
enter the records on cost accounts and also enter the time and pay of
each man on the pay sheet. There is no question that all of this
information can be given both better and cheaper by the workman direct
than through the intermediary of a walking time keeper, providing the
proper instruction and report system has been introduced in the works
with carefully ruled and printed instruction and return cards, and
particularly providing a complete mnemonic system of symbols has been
adopted so as to save the workmen the necessity of doing much writing.
The principle to which the writer wishes to call particular attention is
that the only way in which workmen can be induced to write out all of
this information accurately and promptly is by having each man write his
own time while on day work and pay when on piece work on the same card
on which he is to enter the other desired information, and then refusing
to enter his pay on the pay sheet until after all of the required
information has been correctly given by him. Under this system as soon
as a workman completes a job and at quitting time, whether the job is
completed or not, he writes on a printed time card all of the
information needed by the planning room in connection with that job,
signs it and forwards it at once to the planning room. On arriving in
the planning room each time card passes through the order of work or
route clerk, the balance clerk, the cost clerk, etc., on its way to the
pay sheet, and unless the workman has written the desired information
the card is sent back to him, and he is apt to correct and return it
promptly so as to have his pay entered up. The principle is clear that
if one wishes to have routine clerical work done promptly and correctly
it should somehow be attached to the pay card of the man who is to give
it. This principle, of course, applies to the information desired from
inspectors, gang bosses and others as well as workmen, and to reports
required from various clerks. In the case of reports, a pay coupon can
be attached to the report which will be detached and sent to the pay
sheet as soon as the report has been found correct.

Before starting to make any radical changes leading toward an
improvement in the system of management, it is desirable, and for
ultimate success in most cases necessary, that the directors and the
important owners of an enterprise shall be made to understand, at least
in a general way, what is involved in the change. They should be
informed of the leading objects which the new system aims at, such, for
instance, as rendering mutual the interests of employer and employee
through "high wages and low labor cost," the gradual selection and
development of a body of first class picked workmen who will work extra
hard and receive extra high wages and be dealt with individually instead
of in masses. They should thoroughly understand that this can only be
accomplished through the adoption of precise and exact methods, and
having each smallest detail, both as to methods and appliances,
carefully selected so as to be the best of its kind. They should
understand the general philosophy of the system and should see that, as
a whole, it must be in harmony with its few leading ideas, and that
principles and details which are admirable in one type of management
have no place whatever in another. They should be shown that it pays to
employ an especial corps to introduce a new system just as it pays to
employ especial designers and workmen to build a new plant; that, while
a new system is being introduced, almost twice the number of foremen are
required as are needed to run it after it is in; that all of this costs
money, but that, unlike a new plant, returns begin to come in almost
from the start from improved methods and appliances as they are
introduced, and that in most cases the new system more than pays for
itself as it goes along; that time, and a great deal of time, is
involved in a radical change in management, and that in the case of a
large works if they are incapable of looking ahead and patiently waiting
for from two to four years, they had better leave things just as they
are, since a change of system involves a change in the ideas, point of
view and habits of many men with strong convictions and prejudices, and
that this can only be brought about slowly and chiefly through a series
of object lessons, each of which takes time, and through continued
reasoning; and that for this reason, after deciding to adopt a given
type, the necessary steps should be taken as fast as possible, one after
another, for its introduction. The directors should be convinced that an
increase m the proportion of non-producers to producers means increased
economy and not red tape, providing the non-producers are kept busy at
their respective functions. They should be prepared to lose some of
their valuable men who cannot stand the change and also for the
continued indignant protest of many of their old and trusted employees
who can see nothing but extravagance in the new ways and ruin ahead. It
is a matter of the first importance that, in addition to the directors
of the company, all of those connected with the management should be
given a broad and comprehensive view of the general objects to be
attained and the means which will be employed. They should fully realize
before starting on their work and should never lose sight of the fact
that the great object of the new organization is to bring about two
momentous changes in the men:

First. A complete revolution in their mental attitude toward their
employers and their work.

Second. As a result of this change of feeling such an increase in their
determination and physical activity, and such an improvement in the
conditions under which the work is done as will result in many cases in
their turning out from two to three times as much work as they have done
in the past.

First, then, the men must be brought to see that the new system changes
their employers from antagonists to friends who are working as hard as
possible side by side with them, all pushing in the same direction and
all helping to bring about such an increase in the output and to so
cheapen the cost of production that the men will be paid permanently
from thirty to one hundred per cent more than they have earned in the
past, and that there will still be a good profit left over for the
company. At first workmen cannot see why, if they do twice as much work
as they have done, they should not receive twice the wages. When the
matter is properly explained to them and they have time to think it
over, they will see that in most cases the increase in output is quite
as much due to the improved appliances and methods, to the maintenance
of standards and to the great help which they receive from the men over
them as to their own harder work. They will realize that the company
must pay for the introduction of the improved system, which costs
thousands of dollars, and also the salaries of the additional foremen
and of the clerks, etc., in the planning room as well as tool room and
other expenses and that, in addition, the company is entitled to an
increased profit quite as much as the men are. All but a few of them
will come to understand in a general way that under the new order of
things they are cooperating with their employers to make as great a
saving as possible and that they will receive permanently their fair
share of this gain.

Then after the men acquiesce in the new order of things and are willing
to do their part toward cheapening production, it will take time for
them to change from their old easy-going ways to a higher rate of speed,
and to learn to stay steadily at their work, think ahead and make every
minute count. A certain percentage of them, with the best of intentions,
will fail in this and find that they have no place in the new
organization, while still others, and among them some of the best
workers who are, however, either stupid or stubborn, can never be made
to see that the new system is as good as the old; and these, too, must
drop out. Let no one imagine, however, that this great change in the
mental attitude of the men and the increase in their activity can be
brought about by merely talking to them. Talking will be most useful--in
fact indispensable--and no opportunity should be lost of explaining
matters to them patiently, one man at a time, and giving them every
chance to express their views.

Their real instruction, however, must come through a series of object
lessons. They must be convinced that a great increase in speed is
possible by seeing here and there a man among them increase his pace and
double or treble his output. They must see this pace maintained until
they are convinced that it is not a mere spurt; and, most important of
all, they must see the men who "get there" in this way receive a proper
increase in wages and become satisfied. It is only with these object
lessons in plain sight that the new theories can be made to stick. It
will be in presenting these object lessons and in smoothing away the
difficulties so that tile high speed can be maintained, and in assisting
to form public opinion in the shop, that the great efficiency of
functional foremanship under the direction of the planning room will
first become apparent.

In reaching the final high rate of speed which shall be steadily
maintained, the broad fact should be realized that the men must pass
through several distinct phases, rising from one plane of efficiency to
another until the final level is reached. First they must be taught to
work under an improved system of day work. Each man must learn how to
give up his own particular way of doing things, adapt his methods to the
many new standards, and grow accustomed to receiving and obeying
directions covering details, large and small, which in the past have
been left to his individual judgment. At first the workmen can see
nothing in all of this but red tape and impertinent interference, and
time must be allowed them to recover from their irritation, not only at
this, but at every stage in their upward march. If they have been
classed together and paid uniform wages for each class, the better men
should be singled out and given higher wages so that they shall
distinctly recognize the fact that each man is to be paid according to
his individual worth. After becoming accustomed to direction in minor
matters, they must gradually learn to obey instructions as to the pace
at which they are to work, and grasp the idea, first, that the planning
department knows accurately how long each operation should take; and
second, that sooner or later they will have to work at the required
speed if they expect to prosper. After they are used to following the
speed instructions given them, then one at a time they can be raised to
the level of maintaining a rapid pace throughout the day. And it is not
until this final step has been taken that the full measure of the value
of the new system will be felt by the men through daily receiving larger
wages, and by the company through a materially larger output and lower
cost of production. It is evident, of course, that all of the workmen in
the shop will not rise together from one level to another. Those engaged
in certain lines of work will have reached their final high speed while
others have barely taken the first step. The efforts of the new
management should not be spread out thin over the whole shop. They
should rather be focused upon a few points, leaving the ninety and nine
under the care of their former shepherds. After the efficiency of the
men who are receiving special assistance and training has been raised to
the desired level, the means for holding them there should be perfected,
and they should never be allowed to lapse into their old ways. This
will, of course, be accomplished in the most permanent way and rendered
almost automatic, either through introducing task work with a bonus or
the differential rate.

Before taking any steps toward changing methods the manager should
realize that at no time during the introduction of the system should any
broad, sweeping changes be made which seriously affect a large number of
the workmen. It would be preposterous, for instance, in going from day
to piece work to start a large number of men on piece work at the same
time. Throughout the early stages of organization each change made
should affect one workman only, and after the single man affected has
become used to the new order of things, then change one man after
another from the old system to the new, slowly at first, and rapidly as
public opinion in the shop swings around under the influence of proper
object lessons. Throughout a considerable part of the time, then, there
will be two distinct systems of management in operation in the same
shop; and in many cases it is desirable to have the men working under
the new system managed by an entirely different set of foremen, etc.,
from those under the old.

The first step, after deciding upon the type of organization, should be
the selection of a competent man to take charge of the introduction of
the new system. The manager should think himself fortunate if he can get
such a man at almost any price, since the task is a difficult and
thankless one and but few men can be found who possess the necessary
information coupled with the knowledge of men, the nerve, and the tact
required for success in this work. The manager should keep himself free
as far as possible from all active part in the introduction of the new
system. While changes are going on it will require his entire energies
to see that there is no falling off in the efficiency of the old system
and that the quality and quantity of the output is kept up. The mistake
which is usually made when a change in system is decided upon is that
the manager and his principal assistants undertake to make all of the
improvements themselves during their spare time, with the common result
that weeks, months, and years go by without anything great being
accomplished. The respective duties of the manager and the man in charge
of improvement, and the limits of the authority of the latter should be
clearly defined and agreed upon, always bearing in mind that
responsibility should invariably be accompanied by its corresponding
measure of authority.

The worst mistake that can be made is to refer to any part of the system
as being "on trial." Once a given step is decided upon, all parties must
be made to understand that it will go whether any one around the place
likes it or not. In making changes in system the things that are given a
"fair trial" fail, while the things that "must go," go all right.

To decide where to begin is a perplexing and bewildering problem which
faces the reorganizer in management when he arrives in a large
establishment. In making this decision, as in taking each subsequent
step, the most important consideration, which should always be first in
the mind of the reformer, is "what effect will this step have upon the
workmen?" Through some means (it would almost appear some especial
sense) the workman seems to scent the approach of a reformer even before
his arrival in town. Their suspicions are thoroughly aroused, and they
are on the alert for sweeping changes which are to be against their
interests and which they are prepared to oppose from the start. Through
generations of bitter experiences working men as a class have teamed to
look upon all change as antagonistic to their best interests. They do
not ask the object of the change, but oppose it simply as change. The
first changes, therefore, should be such as to allay the suspicions of
the men and convince them by actual contact that the reforms are after
all rather harmless and are only such as will ultimately be of benefit
to all concerned. Such improvements then as directly affect the workmen
least should be started first. At the same time it must be remembered
that the whole operation is of necessity so slow that the new system
should be started at as many points as possible, and constantly pushed
as hard as possible. In the metal working plant which we are using for
purposes of illustration a start can be made at once along all of the
following lines:

First. The introduction of standards throughout the works and office.

Second. The scientific study of unit times on several different kinds of

Third. A complete analysis of the pulling, feeding power and the proper
speeding of the various machine tools throughout the place with a view
of making a slide rule for properly running each machine.

Fourth. The work of establishing the system of time cards by means of
which ultimately all of the desired information will be conveyed from
the men to the planning room.

Fifth. Overhauling the stores issuing and receiving system so as to
establish a complete running balance of materials.

Sixth. Ruling and printing the various blanks that will be required for
shop returns and reports, time cards, instruction cards, expense sheets,
cost sheets, pay sheet, and balance records; storeroom; tickler; and
maintenance of standards, system, and plant, etc.; and starting such
functions of the planning room as do not directly affect the men.

If the works is a large one, the man in charge of introducing the system
should appoint a special assistant in charge of each of the above
functions just as an engineer designing a new plant would start a number
of draftsmen to work upon the various elements of construction. Several
of these assistants will be brought into close contact with the men, who
will in this way gradually get used to seeing changes going on and their
suspicion, both of the new men and the methods, will have been allayed
to such an extent before any changes which seriously affect them are
made, that little or no determined opposition on their part need be
anticipated. The most important and difficult task of the organizer will
be that of selecting and training the various functional foremen who are
to lead and instruct the workmen, and his success will be measured
principally by his ability to mold and reach these men. They cannot be
found, they must be made. They must be instructed in their new functions
largely, in the beginning at least, by the organizer himself; and this
instruction, to be effective, should be mainly in actually doing the
work. Explanation and theory Will go a little way, but actual doing is
needed to carry conviction. To illustrate: For nearly two and one-half
years in the large shop of the Bethlehem Steel Company, one speed boss
after another was instructed in the art of cutting metals fast on a
large motor-driven lathe which was especially fitted to run at any
desired speed within a very wide range. The work done in this machine
was entirely connected, either with the study of cutting tools or the
instruction of speed bosses. It was most interesting to see these men,
principally either former gang bosses or the best workmen, gradually
change from their attitude of determined and positive opposition to that
in most cases of enthusiasm for, and earnest support of, the new
methods. It was actually running the lathe themselves according to the
new method and under the most positive and definite orders that produced
the effect. The writer himself ran the lathe and instructed the first
few bosses. It required from three weeks to two months for each man.
Perhaps the most important part of the gang boss's and foreman's
education lies ill teaching them to promptly obey orders and
instructions received not only from the superintendent or some official
high in the company, but from any member of the planning room whose
especial function it is to direct the rest of the works in his
particular line; and it may be accepted as an unquestioned fact that no
gang boss is fit to direct his men until after he has learned to
promptly obey instructions received from any proper source, whether he
likes his instructions and the instructor or not, and even although he
may be convinced that he knows a much better way of doing the work. The
first step is for each man to learn to obey the laws as they exist, and
next, if the laws are wrong, to have them reformed in the proper way.

In starting to organize even a comparatively small shop, containing say
from 75 to 100 men, it is best to begin by training in the full number
of functional foremen, one for each function, since it must be
remembered that about two out of three of those who are taught this work
either leave of their own accord or prove unsatisfactory; and in
addition, while both the workmen and bosses are adjusting themselves to
their new duties, there are needed fully twice the number of bosses as
are required to carry on the work after it is fully systematized.

Unfortunately, there is no means of selecting in advance those out of a
number of candidates for a given work who are likely to prove
successful. Many of those who appear to have all of the desired
qualities, and who talk and appear the best, will turn out utter
failures, while on the other hand, some of the most unlikely men rise to
the top. The fact is that the more attractive qualities of good manners,
education, and even special training and skill, which are more apparent
on the surface, count for less in an executive position than the grit,
determination and bulldog endurance and tenacity that knows no defeat
and comes up smiling to be knocked down over and over again. The two
qualities which count most for success in this kind of executive work
are grit and what may be called "constructive imagination"--the faculty
which enables a man to use the few facts that are stored in his mind in
getting around the obstacles that oppose him, and in building up
something useful in spite of them; and unfortunately, the presence of
these qualities, together with honesty and common sense, can only be
proved through an actual trial at executive work. As we all know,
success at college or in the technical school does not indicate the
presence of these qualities, even though the man may have worked hard.
Mainly, it would seem, because the work of obtaining an education is
principally that of absorption and assimilation; while that of active
practical life is principally the direct reverse, namely, that of giving

In selecting men to be tried as foremen, or in fact for any position
throughout the place, from the day laborer up, one of two different
types of men should be chosen, according to the nature of the work to be
done. For one class of work, men should be selected who are too good for
the job; and for the other class of work, men who are barely good

If the work is of a routine nature, in which the same operations are
likely to be done over and over again, with no great variety, and in
which there is no apparent prospect of a radical change being made,
perhaps through a term of years, even though the work itself may be
complicated in its nature, a man should be selected whose abilities are
barely equal to the task. Time and training will fit him for his work,
and since he will be better paid than in the past, and will realize that
he has been given the chance to make his abilities yield him the largest
return--all of the elements for promoting contentment will be present;
and those men who are blessed with cheerful dispositions will become
satisfied and remain so. Of course, a considerable part of mankind is so
born or educated that permanent contentment is out of the question. No
one, however, should be influenced by the discontent of this class.

On the other hand, if the work to be done is of great
variety--particularly if improvements in methods are to be
anticipated--throughout the period of active organization the men
engaged in systematizing should be too good for their jobs. For such
work, men should be selected whose mental caliber and attainments will
fit them, ultimately at least, to command higher wages than can be
afforded on the work which they are at. It will prove a wise policy to
promote such men both to better positions and pay, when they have shown
themselves capable of accomplishing results and the opportunity offers.
The results which these high-class men will accomplish, and the
comparatively short time which they will take in organizing, will much
more than pay for the expense and trouble, later on, of training other
men, cheaper and of less capacity, to take their places. In many cases,
however, gang bosses and men will develop faster than new positions open
for them. When this occurs, it will pay employers well to find them
positions in other works, either with better pay, or larger
opportunities; not only as a matter of kindly feeling and generosity
toward their men, but even more with the object of promoting the best
interests of their own establishments. For one man lost in this way,
five will be stimulated to work to the very limit of their abilities,
and will rise ultimately to take the place of the man who has gone, and
the best class of men will apply for work where these methods prevail.
But few employers, however, are sufficiently broad-minded to adopt this
policy. They dread the trouble and temporary inconvenience incident to
training in new men.

Mr. James M. Dodge, Chairman of the Board of the Link-Belt Company, is
one of the few men with whom the writer is acquainted who has been led
by his kindly instincts, as well as by a far-sighted policy, to treat
his employees in this way; and this, together with the personal
magnetism and influence which belong to men of his type, has done much
to render his shop one of the model establishments of the country,
certainly as far as the relations of employer and men are concerned. On
the other hand, this policy of promoting men and finding them new
positions has its limits. No worse mistake can be made than that of
allowing an establishment to be looked upon as a training school, to be
used mainly for the education of many of its employees. All employees
should bear in mind that each shop exists, first, last, and all the
time, for the purpose of paying dividends to its owners. They should
have patience, and never lose sight of this fact. And no man should
expect promotion until after he has trained his successor to take his
place. The writer is quite sure that in his own case, as a young man, no
one element was of such assistance to him in obtaining new opportunities
as the practice of invariably training another man to fill his position
before asking for advancement.

The first of the functional foremen to be brought into actual contact
with the men should be the inspector; and the whole system of
inspection, with its proper safeguards, should be in smooth and
successful operation before any steps are taken toward stimulating the
men to a larger output; otherwise an increase in quantity will probably
be accompanied by a falling off in quality.

Next choose for the application of the two principal functional foremen,
viz., the speed boss and the gang boss, that portion of the work in
which there is the largest need of, and opportunity for, making a gain.
It is of the utmost importance that the first combined application of
time study, slide rules, instruction cards, functional foremanship, and
a premium for a large daily task should prove a success both for the
workmen and for the company, and for this reason a simple class of work
should be chosen for a start. The entire efforts of the new management
should be centered on one point, and continue there until unqualified
success has been attained.

When once this gain has been made, a peg should be put in which shall
keep it from sliding back in the least; and it is here that the task
idea with a time limit for each job will be found most useful. Under
ordinary piece work, or the Towne-Halsey plan, the men are likely at any
time to slide back a considerable distance without having it
particularly noticed either by them or the management. With the task
idea, the first falling off is instantly felt by the workman through the
loss of his day's bonus, or his differential rate, and is thereby also
forcibly brought to the attention of the management.

There is one rather natural difficulty which arises when the functional
foremanship is first introduced. Men who were formerly either gang
bosses, or foremen, are usually chosen as functional foremen, and these
men, when they find their duties restricted to their particular
functions, while they formerly were called upon to do everything, at
first feel dissatisfied. They think that their field of usefulness is
being greatly contracted. This is, however, a theoretical difficulty,
which disappears when they really get into the full swing of their new
positions. In fact the new position demands an amount of special
information, forethought, and a clear-cut, definite responsibility that
they have never even approximated in the past, and which is amply
sufficient to keep all of their best faculties and energies alive and
fully occupied. It is the experience of the writer that there is a great
commercial demand for men with this sort of definite knowledge, who are
used to accepting real responsibility and getting results; so that the
training in their new duties renders them more instead of less valuable.

As a rule, the writer has found that those who were growling the most,
and were loudest in asserting that they ought to be doing the whole
thing, were only one-half or one-quarter performing their own particular
functions. This desire to do every one's else work in addition to their
own generally disappears when they are held to strict account in their
particular line, and are given enough work to keep them hustling.

There are many people who will disapprove of the whole scheme of a
planning department to do the thinking for the men, as well as a number
of foremen to assist and lead each man in his work, on the ground that
this does not tend to promote independence, self-reliance, and
originality in the individual. Those holding this view, however, must
take exception to the whole trend of modern industrial development; and
it appears to the writer that they overlook the real facts in the case.

It is true, for instance, that the planning room, and functional
foremanship, render it possible for an intelligent laborer or helper in
time to do much of the work now done by a machinist. Is not this a good
thing for the laborer and helper? He is given a higher class of work,
which tends to develop him and gives him better wages. In the sympathy
for the machinist the case of the laborer is overlooked. This sympathy
for the machinist is, however, wasted, since the machinist, with the aid
of the new system, will rise to a higher class of work which he was
unable to do in the past, and in addition, divided or functional
foremanship will call for a larger number of men in this class, so that
men, who must otherwise have remained machinists all their lives, will
have the opportunity of rising to a foremanship.

The demand for men of originality and brains was never so great as it is
now, and the modern subdivision of labor, instead of dwarfing men,
enables them all along the line to rise to a higher plane of efficiency,
involving at the same time more brain work and less monotony. The type
of man who was formerly a day laborer and digging dirt is now for
instance making shoes in a shoe factory. The dirt handling is done by
Italians or Hungarians.

After the planning room with functional foremanship has accomplished its
most difficult task, of teaching the men how to do a full day's work
themselves, and also how to get it out of their machines steadily, then,
if desired, the number of non-producers can be diminished, preferably,
by giving each type of functional foreman more to do in his specialty;
or in the case of a very small shop, by combining two different
functions in the same man. The former expedient is, however, much to be
preferred to the latter. There need never be any worry about what is to
become of those engaged in systematizing after the period of active
organization is over. The difficulty will still remain even with
functional foremanship, that of getting enough good men to fill the
positions, and the demand for competent gang bosses will always be so
great that no good boss need look for a job.

Of all the farces in management the greatest is that of an establishment
organized along well planned lines, with all of the elements needed for
success, and yet which fails to get either output or economy. There must
be some man or men present in the organization who will not mistake the
form for the essence, and who will have brains enough to find out those
of their employees who "get there," and nerve enough to make it
unpleasant for those who fail, as well as to reward those who succeed.
No system can do away with the need of real men. Both system and good
men are needed, and after introducing the best system, success will be
in proportion to the ability, consistency, and respected authority of
the management.

In a book of this sort, it would be manifestly impossible to discuss at
any length all of the details which go toward making the system a
success. Some of them are of such importance as to render at least a
brief reference to them necessary. And first among these comes the study
of unit times.

This, as already explained, is the most important element of the system
advocated by the writer. Without it, the definite, clear-cut directions
given to the workman, and the assigning of a full, yet just, daily task,
with its premium for success, would be impossible; and the arch without
the keystone would fall to the ground.

In 1883, while foreman of the machine shop of the Midvale Steel Company
of Philadelphia, it occurred to the writer that it was simpler to time
with a stop watch each of the elements of the various kinds of work done
in the place, and then find the quickest time in which each job could be
done by summing up the total times of its component parts, than it was
to search through the time records of former jobs and guess at the
proper time and price. After practicing this method of time study
himself for about a year, as well as circumstances would permit, it
became evident that the system was a success.

The writer then established the time-study and rate-fixing department,
which has given out piece work prices in the place ever since.

This department far more than paid for itself from the very start; but
it was several years before the full benefits of the system were felt,
owing to the fact that the best methods of making and recording time
observations, as well as of determining the maximum capacity of each of
the machines in the place, and of making working tables and time tables,
were not at first adopted.

It has been the writer's experience that the difficulties of scientific
time study are underestimated at first, and greatly overestimated after
actually trying the work for two or three months. The average manager
who decides to undertake the study of unit times in his works fails at
first to realize that he is starting a new art or trade. He understands,
for instance, the difficulties which he would meet with in establishing
a drafting room, and would look for but small results at first, if he
were to give a bright man the task of making drawings, who had never
worked in a drafting room, and who was not even familiar with drafting
implements and methods, but he entirely underestimates the difficulties
of this new trade.

The art of studying unit times is quite as important and as difficult as
that of the draftsman. It should be undertaken seriously, and looked
upon as a profession. It has its own peculiar implements and methods,
without the use and understanding of which progress will necessarily be
slow, and in the absence of which there will be more failures than
successes scored at first.

When, on the other hand, an energetic, determined man goes at time study
as if it were his life's work, with the determination to succeed, the
results which he can secure are little short of astounding. The
difficulties of the task will be felt at once and so strongly by any one
who undertakes it, that it seems important to encourage the beginner by
giving at least one illustration of what has been accomplished.

Mr. Sanford E. Thompson, C. E., started in 1896 with but small help from
the writer, except as far as the implements and methods are concerned,
to study the time required to do all kinds of work in the building
trades. In six years he has made a complete study of eight of the most
important trades--excavation, masonry (including sewer-work and paving),
carpentry, concrete and cement work, lathing and plastering, slating and
roofing and rock quarrying. He took every stop watch observation himself
and then, with the aid of two comparatively cheap assistants, worked up
and tabulated all of his data ready for the printer. The magnitude of
this undertaking will be appreciated when it is understood that the
tables and descriptive matter for one of these trades alone take up
about 250 pages. Mr. Thompson and the writer are both engineers, but
neither of us was especially familiar with the above trades, and this
work could not have been accomplished in a lifetime without the study of
elementary units with a stop watch.

In the course of this work, Mr. Thompson has developed what are in many
respects the best implements in use, and with his permission some of
them will be described. The blank form or note sheet used by Mr.
Thompson, shown in Fig. 2 (see page 151), contains essentially:
[Transcriber's note -- Figure 2 omitted]

(1) Space for the description of the work and notes in regard to it.

(2) A place for recording the total time of complete operations--that
is, the gross time including all necessary delays, for doing a whole job
or large portions of it.

(3) Lines for setting down the "detail operations, or units" into which
any piece of work may be divided, followed by columns for entering the
averages obtained from the observations.

(4) Squares for recording the readings of the stop watch when observing
the times of these elements. If these squares are filled, additional
records can be entered on the back. The size of the sheets, which should
be of best quality ledger paper, is 8 3/4 inches wide by 7 inches long,
and by folding in the center they can be conveniently carried in the
pocket, or placed in a case (see Fig. 3, page 153) containing one or
more stop watches.

This case, or "watch book," is another device of Mr. Thompson's. It
consists of a frame work, containing concealed in it one, two, or three
watches, whose stop and start movements can be operated by pressing with
the fingers of the left hand upon the proper portion of the cover of the
note-book without the knowledge of the workman who is being observed.
The frame is bound in a leather case resembling a pocket note-book, and
has a place for the note sheets described.

The writer does not believe at all in the policy of spying upon the
workman when taking time observations for the purpose of time study. If
the men observed are to be ultimately affected by the results of these
observations, it is generally best to come out openly, and let them know
that they are being timed, and what the object of the timing is. There
are many cases, however, in which telling the workman that he was being
timed in a minute way would only result in a row, and in defeating the
whole object of the timing; particularly when only a few time units are
to be studied on one man's work, and when this man will not be
personally affected by the results of the observations. In these cases,
the watch book of Mr. Thompson, holding the watches in the cover, is
especially useful. A good deal of judgment is required to know when to
time openly, or the reverse.

[Transcriber's note -- Figure 3 omitted]

The operation selected for illustration on the note sheet shown in Fig.
2, page 151, is the excavation of earth with wheelbarrows, and the
values given are fair averages of actual contract work where the
wheelbarrow man fills his own barrow. It is obvious that similar methods
of analyzing and recording may be applied to work ranging from unloading
coal to skilled labor on fine machine tools.

The method of using the note sheets for timing a workman is as follows:

After entering the necessary descriptive matter at the top of the sheet,
divide the operation to be timed into its elementary units, and write
these units one after another under the heading "Detail Operations." If
the job is long and complicated, it may be analyzed while the timing is
going on, and the elementary units entered then instead of beforehand.
In wheelbarrow work as illustrated in the example shown on the note
sheet, the elementary units consist of "filling barrow," "starting"
(which includes throwing down shovel and lifting handles of barrow),
"wheeling full," etc. These units might have been further
subdivided--the first one into time for loading one shovelful, or still
further into the time for filling and the time for emptying each
shovelful. The letters a, b, c, etc., which are printed, are simply for
convenience in designating the elements.

We are now ready for the stop watch, which, to save clerical work,
should be provided with a decimal dial similar to that shown in Fig. 4.
The method of using this and recording the times depends upon the
character of the time observations. In all cases, however, the stop
watch times are recorded in the columns headed "Time" at the top of the
right-hand half of the note sheet. These columns are the only place on
the face of the sheet where stop watch readings are to be entered. If
more space is required for these times, they should be entered on the
back of the sheet. The rest of the figures (except those on the
left-hand side of the note sheet, which may be taken from an ordinary
timepiece) are the results of calculation, and may be made in the office
by any clerk.

[Transcriber's note -- omitted]

As has been stated, the method of recording the stop watch observations
depends upon the work which is being observed. If the operation consists
of the same element repeated over and over, the time of each may be set
down separately; or, if the element is very small, the total time of,
say, ten may be entered as a fraction, with the time for all ten
observations as the numerator, and the number of observations for the

In the illustration given on the note sheet, Fig. 2, the operation
consists of a series of elements. In such a case, the letters
designating each elementary unit are entered under the columns "Op.,"
the stop watch is thrown to zero, and started as the man commences to
work. As each new division of the operation (that is, as each
elementary unit or unit time) is begun, the time is recorded. During
any special delay the watch may be stopped, and started again from the
same point, although, as a rule, Mr. Thompson advocates allowing the
watch to run continuously, and enters the time of such a stop,
designating it for convenience by the letter "Y."

In the case we are considering, two kinds of materials were handled sand
and clay. The time of each of the unit times, except the "filling," is
the same for both sand and clay; hence, if we have sufficient
observations on either one of the materials, the only element of the
other which requires to be timed is the loading. This illustrates one of
the merits of the elementary system.

The column "Av." is filled from the preceding column. The figures thus
found are the actual net times of the different unit times. These unit
times are averaged and entered in the "Time" column, on the lower half
of the right-hand page, preceded, in the "No." column, by the number of
observations which have been taken of each unit. These times, combined
and compared with the gross times on the left-hand page, will determine
the percentage lost in resting and other necessary delays. A convenient
method for obtaining the time of an operation, like picking, in which
the quantity is difficult to measure, is suggested by the records on the
left-hand page.

The percentage of the time taken in rest and other necessary delays,
which is noted on the sheet as, in this case, about 27 per cent, is
obtained by a comparison of the average net "time per barrow" on the
right with the "time per barrow" on the left. The latter is the quotient
of the total time shoveling and wheeling divided by the number of loads

It must be remembered that the example given is simply for illustration.
To obtain accurate average times, for any item of work under specified
conditions, it is necessary to take observations upon a number of men,
each of whom is at work under conditions which are comparable. The total
number of observations which should be taken of any one elementary unit
depends upon its variableness, and also upon its frequency of occurrence
in a day's work.

An expert observer can, on many kinds of work, time two or three men at
the same time with the same watch, or he can operate two or three
watches--one for each man. A note sheet can contain only a comparatively
few observations. It is not convenient to make it of larger size than
the dimensions given, when a watch-book is to be used, although it is
perfectly feasible to make the horizontal rulings 8 lines to the inch
instead of 5 lines to the inch as on the sample sheet. There will have
to be, in almost all cases, a large number of note sheets on the same
subject. Some system must be arranged for collecting and tabulating
these records. On Tables 2A and 2B (pages 160 and 161) is shown the form
used for tabulating. The length should be either 17 or 22 inches. The
height of the form is 11 inches. With these dimensions a form may be
folded and filed with ordinary letter sheets (8 1/2 inches by 11
inches). The ruling which has been found most convenient is for the
vertical divisions 3 columns to 1 1/8 inches, while the horizontal lines
are ruled 6 to the inch. The columns may, or may not, have printed

The data from the note sheet in Fig. 2 (page 151) is copied on to the
table for illustration. The first columns of the table are descriptive.
The rest of them are arranged so as to include all of the unit times,
with any other data which are to be averaged or used when studying the
results. At the extreme right of the sheet the gross times, including
rest and necessary delay, are recorded and the percentages of rest are

Formulae are convenient for combining the elements. For simplicity, in
the example of barrow excavation, each of the unit times may be
designated by the same letters used on the note sheet (Fig. 2) although
in practice each element can best be designated .by the initial letters
of the words describing it.


a = time filling a barrow with any material.

b = time preparing to wheel.

c = time wheeling full barrow 100 feet.

d = time dumping and turning.

e = time returning 100 feet with empty barrow.

f = time dropping barrow and starting to shovel.

p = time loosening one cubic yard with the pick.

P = percentage of a day required to rest and necessary delays.

L = load of a barrow in cubic feet.

B = time per cubic yard picking, loading, and wheeling any given kind of
earth to any given distance when the wheeler loads his own barrow.

[Transcriber's note -- formula  and Tables omitted]

This general formula for barrow work can be simplified by choosing
average values for the constants, and substituting numerals for the
letters now representing them. Substituting the average values from the
note sheet on Fig. 2 (page 151), our formula becomes:
[Transcriber's note -- formula omitted]

In classes of work where the percentage of rest varies with the
different elements of an operation it is most convenient to correct all
of the elementary times by the proper percentages before combining them.
Sometimes after having constructed a general formula, it may be solved
by setting down the substitute numerical values in a vertical column for
direct addition.

Table 3 (page 164) gives the times for throwing earth to different
distances and different heights. It will be seen that for each special
material the time for filling shovel remains the same regardless of the
distance to which it is thrown. Each kind of material requires a
different time for filling the shovel. The time throwing one shovelful,
on the other hand, varies with the length of throw, but for any given
distance it is the same for all of the earths. If the earth is of such a
nature that it sticks to the shovel, this relation does not hold. For
the elements of shoveling we have therefore:

s = time filling shovel and straightening up ready to throw.

t = time throwing one shovelful.

w = time walking one foot with loaded shovel.

w1 = time returning one foot with empty shovel.

L = load of a shovel in cubic feet.

P = percentage of a day required for rest and necessary delays.

T = time for shoveling one cubic yard.

Our formula, then, for handling any earth after it is loosened, is:
[Transcriber's note -- omitted]

Where the material is simply thrown without walking, the formula

If weights are used instead of volumes:
[Transcriber's note -- omitted]

The writer has found the printed form shown on the insert, Fig. 5
(opposite page 166), useful in studying unit times in a certain class of
the hand work done in a machine shop. This blank is fastened to a thin
board held in the left hand and resting on the left arm of the observer.
A stop watch is inserted in a small compartment attached to the back of
the board at a point a little above its center, the face of the watch
being seen from the front of the board through a small flap cut partly
loose from the observation blank. While the watch is operated by the
fingers of the left hand, the right hand of the operator is at all times
free to enter the time observations on the blank. A pencil sketch of the
work to be observed is made in the blank space on the upper left-hand
portion of the sheet. In using this blank, of course, all attempt at
secrecy is abandoned.

The mistake usually made by beginners is that of failing to note in
sufficient detail the various conditions surrounding the job. It is not
at first appreciated that the whole work of the time observer is useless
if there is any doubt as to even one of these conditions. Such items,
for instance, as the name of the man or men on the work, the number of
helpers, and exact description of all of the implements used, even those
which seem unimportant, such, for instance, as the diameter and length
of bolts and the style of clamps used, the weight of the piece upon
which work is being done, etc.

It is also desirable that, as soon as practicable after taking a few
complete sets of time observations, the operator should be given the
opportunity of working up one or two sets at least by summing up the
unit times and allowing the proper per cent of rest, etc., and putting
them into practical use, either by comparing his results with the actual
time of a job which is known to be done in fast time, or by setting a
time which a workman is to live up to.

The actual practical trial of the time student's work is most useful,
both in teaching him the necessity of carefully noting the minutest
details, and on the other hand convincing him of the practicability of
the whole method, and in encouraging him in future work.

In making time observations, absolutely nothing should be left to the
memory of the student. Every item, even those which appear self-evident,
should be accurately recorded. The writer, and the assistant who
immediately followed him, both made the mistake of not putting the
results of much of their time study into use soon enough, so that many
times observations which extended over a period of months were thrown
away, in most instances because of failure to note some apparently
unimportant detail.

It may be needless to state that when the results of time observations
are first worked up, it will take far more time to pick out and add up
the proper unit times, and allow the proper percentages of rest, etc.,
than it originally did for the workman to do the job. This fact need not
disturb the operator, however. It will be evident that the slow time
made at the start is due to his lack of experience, and he must take it
for granted that later many short-cuts can be found, and that a man with
an average memory will be able with practice to carry all of the
important time units in his head.

No system of time study can be looked upon as a success unless it
enables the time observer, after a reasonable amount of study, to
predict with accuracy how long it should take a good man to do almost
any job in the particular trade, or branch of a trade, to which the time
student has been devoting himself. It is true that hardly any two jobs
in a given trade are exactly the same and that if a time student were to
follow the old method of studying and recording the whole time required
to do the various jobs which came under his observation, without
dividing them into their elements, he would make comparatively small
progress in a lifetime, and at best would become a skilful guesser. It
is, however, equally true that all of the work done in a given trade can
be divided into a comparatively small number of elements or units, and
that with proper implements arid methods it is comparatively easy for a
skilled observer to determine the time required by a good man to do any
one of these elementary units.

Having carefully recorded the time for each of these elements, it is a
simple matter to divide each job into its elementary units, and by
adding their times together, to arrive accurately at the total time for
the job. The elements of the art which at first appear most difficult to
investigate are the percentages which should be allowed, under different
conditions, for rest and for accidental or unavoidable delays. These
elements can, however, be studied with about the same accuracy as the

Perhaps the greatest difficulty rests upon the fact that no two men work
at exactly the same speed. The writer has found it best to take his time
observations on first-class men only, when they can be found; and these
men should be timed when working at their best. Having obtained the best
time of a first-class man, it is a simple matter to determine the
percentage which an average man will fall short of this maximum.

It is a good plan to pay a first-class man an extra price while his work
is being timed. When work men once understand that the time study is
being made to enable them to earn higher wages, the writer has found
them quite ready to help instead of hindering him in his work. The
division of a given job into its proper elementary units, before
beginning the time study, calls for considerable skill and good
judgment. If the job to be observed is one which will be repeated over
and over again, or if it is one of a series of similar jobs which form
an important part of the standard work of an establishment, or of the
trade which is being studied, then it is best to divide the job into
elements which are rudimentary. In some cases this subdivision should be
carried to a point which seems at first glance almost absurd.

For example, in the case of the study of the art of shoveling earths,
referred to in Table 3, page 164, it will be seen that handling a
shovelful of dirt is subdivided into, s = "Time filling shovel and
straightening up ready to throw," and t = "Time throwing one shovelful."

The first impression is that this minute subdivision of the work into
elements, neither of which takes more than five or six seconds to
perform, is little short of preposterous; yet if a rapid and thorough
time study of the art of shoveling is to be made, this subdivision
simplifies the work, and makes time study quicker and more thorough.

The reasons for this are twofold:

First. In the art of shoveling dirt, for instance, the study of fifty or
sixty small elements, like those referred to above, will enable one to
fix the exact time for many thousands of complete jobs of shoveling,
constituting a very considerable proportion of the entire art.

Second. The study of single small elements is simpler, quicker, and more
certain to be successful than that of a large number of elements
combined. The greater the length of time involved in a single item of
time study, the greater will be the likelihood of interruptions or
accidents, which will render the results obtained by the observer
questionable or even useless.

There is a considerable part of the work of most establishments that is
not what may be called standard work, namely, that which is repeated
many times. Such jobs as this can be divided for time study into groups,
each of which contains several rudimentary elements. A division of this
sort will be seen by referring to the data entered on face of note
sheet, Fig. 2 (page 151).

In this case, instead of observing, first, the "time to fill a shovel,"
and then the time to "throw it into a wheelbarrow," etc., a number of
these more rudimentary operations are grouped into the single operation

a = "Time filling a wheelbarrow with any material."

This group of operations is thus studied as a whole.

Another illustration of the degree of subdivision which is desirable
will be found by referring to the inserts, Fig. 5 (opposite page 166).

Where a general study is being made of the time required to do all kinds
of hand work connected with and using machine tools, the items printed
in detail should be timed singly.

When some special job, not to be repeated many times, is to be studied,
then several elementary items can be grouped together and studied as a
whole, in such groups for example as:

(a) Getting job ready to set.

(b) Setting work.

(c) Setting tool.

(d) Extra hand work.

(e) Removing work.

And in some cases even these groups can be further condensed.

An illustration of the time units which it is desirable to sum up and
properly record and index for a certain kind of lathe work is given in
Fig. 6.


The writer has found that when some jobs are divided into their proper
elements, certain of these elementary operations are so very small in
time that it is difficult, if not impossible, to obtain accurate
readings on the watch. In such cases, where the work consists of
recurring cycles of elementary operations, that is, where a series of
elementary operations is repeated over and over again, it is possible to
take sets of observations on two or more of the successive elementary
operations which occur in regular order, and from the times thus
obtained to calculate the time of each element. An example of this is
the work of loading pig iron on to bogies. The elementary operations or
elements consist of:

(a) Picking up a pig.

(b) Walking with it to the bogie.

(c) Throwing or placing it on the bogie.

(d) Returning to the pile of pigs.

Here the length of time occupied in picking up the pig and throwing or
placing it on the bogie is so small as to be difficult to time, but
observations may be taken successively on the elements in sets of three.
We may, in other words, take one set of observations upon the combined
time of the three elements numbered 1, 2, 3; another set upon elements
2, 3, 4; another set upon elements, 3, 4, 1, and still another upon the
set 4,1, 2. By algebraic equations we may solve the values of each of
the separate elements.

If we take a cycle consisting of five (5) elementary operations, a, b,
c, d, e, and let observations be taken on three of them at a time, we
have the equations:

[Transcriber's Note: omitted]

The writer was surprised to find, however, that while in some cases
these equations were readily solved, in others they were impossible of
solution. My friend, Mr. Carl G. Barth, when the matter was referred to
him, soon developed the fact that the number of elements of a cycle
which may be observed together is subject to a mathematical law, which
is expressed by him as follows:

The number of successive elements observed together must be prime to the
total number of elements in the cycle.

Namely, the number of elements in any set must contain no factors; that
is, must be divisible by no numbers which are contained in the total
number of elements. The following table is, therefore, calculated by Mr.
Barth showing how many operations may be observed together in various
cases. The last column gives the number of observations in a set which
will lead to the determination of the results with the minimum of labor.

[Transcriber's note -- Table omitted]

When time study is undertaken in a systematic way, it becomes possible
to do greater justice in many ways both to employers and workmen than
has been done in the past. For example, we all know that the first time
that even a skilled workman does a job it takes him a longer time than
is required after he is familiar with his work, and used to a particular
sequence of operations. The practiced time student can not only figure
out the time in which a piece of work should be done by a good man,
after he has become familiar with this particular job through practice,
but he should also be able to state how much more time would be required
to do the same job when a good man goes at it for the first time; and
this knowledge would make it possible to assign one time limit and price
for new work, and a smaller time and price for the same job after being
repeated, which is much more fair and just to both parties than the
usual fixed price.

As the writer has said several times, the difference between the best
speed of a first-class man and the actual speed of the average man is
very great. One of the most difficult pieces of work which must be faced
by the man who is to set the daily tasks is to decide just how hard it
is wise for him to make the task. Shall it be fixed for a first-class
man, and if not, then at what point between the first-class and the
average? One fact is clear, it should always be well above the
performance of the average man, since men will invariably do better if a
bonus is offered them than they have done without this incentive. The
writer has, in almost all cases, solved this part of the problem by
fixing a task which required a first-class man to do his best, and then
offering a good round premium. When this high standard is set it takes
longer to raise the men up to it. But it is surprising after all how
rapidly they develop.

The precise point between the average and the first-class, which is
selected for the task, should depend largely upon the labor market in
which the works is situated. If the works were in a fine labor market,
such, for instance, as that of Philadelphia, there is no question that
the highest standard should be aimed at. If, on the other hand, the shop
required a good deal of skilled labor, and was situated in a small
country town, it might be wise to aim rather lower. There is a great
difference in the labor markets of even some of the adjoining states in
this country, and in one instance, in which the writer was aiming at a
high standard in organizing a works, he found it necessary to import
almost all of his men from a neighboring state before meeting with

Whether the bonus is given only when the work is done in the quickest
time or at some point between this and the average time, in all cases
the instruction card should state the best time in which the work can be
done by a first-class man. There will then be no suspicion on the part
of the men when a longer "bonus time" is allowed that the time student
does not really know the possibilities of the case. For example, the
instruction card might read:

Proper time . . . . . 65 minutes

Bonus given first time job is done. 108 minutes

It is of the greatest importance that the man who has charge of
assigning tasks should be perfectly straightforward in all of his
dealings with the men. Neither in this nor in any other branch of the
management should a man make any pretense of having more knowledge than
he really possesses. He should impress the workmen with the fact that he
is dead in earnest, and that he fully intends to know all about it some
day; but he should make no claim to omniscience, and should always be
ready to acknowledge and correct an error if he makes one. This
combination of determination and frankness establishes a sound and
healthy relation between the management and men.

There is no class of work which cannot be profitably submitted to time
study, by dividing it into its time elements, except such operations as
take place in the head of the worker; and the writer has even seen a
time study made of the speed of an average and first-class boy in
solving problems in mathematics.

Clerk work can well be submitted to time study, and a daily task
assigned in work of this class which at first appears to be very
miscellaneous in its character.

One of the needs of modern management is that of literature on the
subject of time study. The writer quotes as follows from his paper on "A
Piece Rate System," written in 1895:

"Practically the greatest need felt in an establishment wishing to start
a rate-fixing department is the lack of data as to the proper rate of
speed at which work should be done. There are hundreds of operations
which are common to most large establishments, yet each concern studies
the speed problem for itself, and days of labor are wasted in what
should be settled once for all, and recorded in a form which is
available to all manufacturers.

"What is needed is a hand-book on the speed with which work can be done,
similar to the elementary engineering handbooks. And the writer ventures
to predict that such a book will before long be forthcoming. Such a book
should describe the best method of making, recording, tabulating, and
indexing time observations, since much time and effort are wasted by the
adoption of inferior methods."

Unfortunately this prediction has not yet been realized. The writer's
chief object in inducing Mr. Thompson to undertake a scientific time
study of the various building trades and to join him in a publication of
this work was to demonstrate on a large scale not only the desirability
of accurate time study, but the efficiency and superiority of the method
of studying elementary units as outlined above. He trusts that his
object may be realized and that the publication of this book may be
followed by similar works on other trades and more particularly on the
details of machine shop practice, in which he is especially interested.

As a machine shop has been chosen to illustrate the application of such
details of scientific management as time study, the planning department,
functional foremanship, instruction cards, etc., the description would
be far from complete without at least a brief reference to the methods
employed in solving the time problem for machine tools.

The study of this subject involved the solution of four important

First. The power required to cut different kinds of metals with tools of
various shapes when using different depths of cut and coarseness of
feed, and also the power required to feed the tool under varying

Second. An investigation of the laws governing the cutting of metals
with tools, chiefly with the object of determining the effect upon the
best cutting speed of each of the following variables:

(a) The quality of tool steel and treatment of tools (i.e., in heating,
forging, and tempering them).

(b) The shape of tool (i.e., the curve or line of the cutting edge, the
lip angle, and clearance angle)

(c) The duration of cut or the length of time the tool is required to
last before being re-ground.

(d) The quality or hardness of the metal being cut (as to its effect on
cutting speed).

(e) The depth of the cut.

(f) The thickness of the feed or shaving

(g) The effect on cutting speed of using water or other cooling medium
on the tool.

Third. The best methods of analyzing the driving and feeding power of
machine tools and, after considering their limitations as to speeds and
feeds, of deciding upon the proper counter-shaft or other general
driving speeds.

Fourth. After the study of the first, second, and third problems had
resulted in the discovery of certain clearly defined laws, which were
expressed by mathematical formulae, the last and most difficult task of
all lay in finding a means for solving the entire problem which should
be so practical and simple as to enable an ordinary mechanic to answer
quickly and accurately for each machine in the shop the question, "What
driving speed, feed, and depth of cut will in each particular case do
the work in the quickest time?"

In 1881, in the machine shop of the Midvale Steel Company, the writer
began a systematic study of the laws involved in the first and second
problems above referred to by devoting the entire time of a large
vertical boring mill to this work, with special arrangements for varying
the drive so as to obtain any desired speed. The needed uniformity of
the metal was obtained by using large locomotive tires of known chemical
composition, physical properties and hardness, weighing from 1,500 to
2,000 pounds.

For the greater part of the succeeding 22 years these experiments were
carried on, first at Midvale and later in several other shops, under the
general direction of the writer, by his friends and assistants, six
machines having been at various times especially fitted up for this

The exact determination of these laws and their reduction to formulae
have proved a slow but most interesting problem; but by far the most
difficult undertaking has been the development of the methods and
finally the appliances (i.e., slide rules) for making practical use of
these laws after they were discovered.

In 1884 the writer succeeded in making a slow solution of this problem
with the help of his friend, Mr. Geo. M. Sinclair, by indicating the
values of these variables through curves and laying down one set of
curves over another. Later my friend, Mr. H. L. Gantt, after devoting
about 1 1/2 years exclusively to this work, obtained a much more rapid
and simple solution. It was not, however, until 1900, in the works of
the Bethlehem Steel Company, that Mr. Carl G. Barth, with the assistance
of Mr. Gantt and a small amount of help from the writer, succeeded in
developing a slide rule by means of which the entire problem can be
accurately and quickly solved by any mechanic.

The difficulty from a mathematical standpoint of obtaining a rapid and
accurate solution of this problem will be appreciated when it is
remembered that twelve independent variables enter into each problem,
and that a change in any of these will affect the answer. The
instruction card can be put to wide and varied use. It is to the art of
management what the drawing is to engineering, and, like the latter,
should vary in size and form according to the amount and variety of the
information which it is to convey. In some cases it should consist of a
pencil memorandum on a small piece of paper which will be sent directly
to the man requiring the instructions, while in others it will be in the
form of several pages of typewritten matter, properly varnished and
mounted, and issued under the check or other record system, so that it
can be used time after time. A description of an instruction card of
this kind may be useful.

After the writer had become convinced of the economy of standard methods
and appliances, and the desirability of relieving the men as far as
possible from the necessity of doing the planning, while master mechanic
at Midvale, he tried to get his assistant to write a complete
instruction card for overhauling and cleaning the boilers at regular
periods, to be sure that the inspection was complete, and that while the
work was thoroughly done, the boilers should be out of use as short a
time as possible, and also to have the various elements of this work
done on piece work instead of by the day. His assistant, not having
undertaken work of this kind before, failed at it, and the writer was
forced to do it himself. He did all of the work of chipping, cleaning,
and overhauling a set of boilers and at the same time made a careful
time study of each of the elements of the work. This time study showed
that a great part of the time was lost owing to the constrained position
of the workman. Thick pads were made to fasten to the elbows, knees, and
hips; special tools and appliances were made for the various details of
the work; a complete list of the tools and implements was entered on the
instruction card, each tool being stamped with its own number for
identification, and all were issued from the tool room in a tool box so
as to keep them together and save time. A separate piece work price was
fixed for each of the elements of the job and a thorough inspection of
each part of the work secured as it was completed.

The instruction card for this work filled several typewritten pages, and
described in detail the order in which the operations should be done and
the exact details of each man's work, with the number of each tool
required, piece work prices, etc.

The whole scheme was much laughed at when it first went into use, but
the trouble taken was fully justified, for the work was better done than
ever before, and it cost only eleven dollars to completely overhaul a
set of 300 H.P. boilers by this method, while the average cost of doing
the same work on day work without an instruction card was sixty-two

Regarding the personal relations which should be maintained between
employers and their men, the writer quotes the following paragraphs from
a paper written in 1895. Additional experience has only served to
confirm and strengthen these views; and although the greater part of
this time, in his work of shop organization, has been devoted to the
difficult and delicate task of inducing workmen to change their ways of
doing things he has never been opposed by a strike.

"There has never been a strike by men working under this system,
although it has been applied at the Midvale Steel Works for the past
ten years; and the steel business has proved during this period the
most fruitful field for labor organizations and strikes. And this
notwithstanding the fact that the Midvale Company has never prevented
its men from joining any labor organization. All of the best men in the
company saw clearly that the success of a labor organization meant the
lowering of their wages in order that the inferior men might earn more,
and, of course, could not be persuaded to join.

"I attribute a great part of this success in avoiding strikes to the
high wages which the best men were able to earn with the differential
rates, and to the pleasant feeling fostered by this system; but this is
by no means the whole cause. It has for years been the policy of that
company to stimulate the personal ambition of every man in their employ
by promoting them either in wages or position whenever they deserved it
and the opportunity came.

"A careful record has been kept of each man's good points as well as his
shortcomings, and one of the principal duties of each foreman was to
make this careful study of his men so that substantial justice could be
done to each. When men throughout an establishment are paid varying
rates of day-work wages according to their individual worth, some being
above and some below the average, it cannot be for the interest of those
receiving high pay to join a union with the cheap men.

"No system of management, however good, should be applied in a wooden
way. The proper personal relations should always be maintained between
the employers and men; and even the prejudices of the workmen should be
considered in dealing with them.

"The employer who goes through his works with kid gloves on, and is
never known to dirty his hands or clothes, and who either talks to his
men in a condescending or patronizing way, or else not at all, has no
chance whatever of ascertaining their real thoughts or feelings.

"Above all is it desirable that men should be talked to on their own
level by those who are over them. Each man should be encouraged to
discuss any trouble which he may have, either in the works or outside,
with those over him. Men would far rather even be blamed by their
bosses, especially if the 'tearing out' has a touch of human nature and
feeling in it, than to be passed by day after day without a word, and
with no more notice than if they were part of the machinery.

"The opportunity which each man should have of airing his mind freely,
and having it out with his employers, is a safety-valve; and if the
superintendents are reasonable men, and listen to and treat with respect
what their men have to say, there is absolutely no reason for labor
unions and strikes.

"It is not the large charities (however generous they may be) that are
needed or appreciated by workmen so much as small acts of personal
kindness and sympathy, which establish a bond of friendly feeling
between them and their employers.

"The moral effect of this system on the men is marked. The feeling that
substantial justice is being done them renders them on the whole much
more manly, straightforward, and truthful. They work more cheerfully,
and are more obliging to one another and their employers. They are not
soured, as under the old system, by brooding over the injustice done
them; and their spare minutes are not spent to the same extent in
criticizing their employers."

The writer has a profound respect for the working men of this country.
He is proud to say that he has as many firm friends among them as among
his other friends who were born in a different class, and he believes
that quite as many men of fine character and ability are to be found
among the former as in the latter. Being himself a college educated man,
and having filled the various positions of foreman, master mechanic,
chief draftsman, chief engineer, general superintendent, general
manager, auditor, and head of the sales department, on the one hand, and
on the other hand having been for several years a workman, as
apprentice, laborer, machinist, and gang boss, his sympathies are
equally divided between the two classes.

He is firmly convinced that the best interests of workmen and their
employers are the same; so that in his criticism of labor unions he
feels that he is advocating the interests of both sides. The following
paragraphs on this subject are quoted from the paper written in 1895 and
above referred to:

"The author is far from taking the view held by many manufacturers that
labor unions are an almost unmitigated detriment to those who join them,
as well as to employers and the general public.

"The labor unions--particularly the trades unions of England--have
rendered a great service, not only to their members, but to the world,
in shortening the hours of labor and in modifying the hardships and
improving the conditions of wage workers.

"In the writer's judgment the system of treating with labor unions would
seem to occupy a middle position among the various methods of adjusting
the relations between employers and men.

"When employers herd their men together in classes, pay all of each
class the same wages, and offer none of them any inducements to work
harder or do better than the average, the only remedy for the men lies
in combination; and frequently the only possible answer to encroachments
on the part of their employers is a strike.

"This state of affairs is far from satisfactory to either employers or
men, and the writer believes the system of regulating the wages and
conditions of employment of whole classes of men by conference and
agreement between the leaders of unions and manufacturers to be vastly
inferior, both in its moral effect on the men and on the material
interests of both parties, to the plan of stimulating each workman's
ambition by paying him according to his individual worth, and without
limiting him to the rate of work or pay of the average of his class."

The amount of work which a man should do in a day, what constitutes
proper pay for this work, and the maximum number of hours per day which
a man should work, together form the most important elements which are
discussed between workmen and their employers. The writer has attempted
to show that these matters can be much better determined by the expert
time student than by either the union or a board of directors, and he
firmly believes that in the future scientific time study will establish
standards which will be accepted as fair by both sides.

There is no reason why labor unions should not be so constituted as to
be a great help both to employers and men. Unfortunately, as they now
exist they are in many, if not most, cases a hindrance to the prosperity
of both.

The chief reasons for this would seem to be a failure on the part of the
workmen to understand the broad principles which affect their best
interests as well as those of their employers. It is undoubtedly true,
however, that employers as a whole are not much better informed nor more
interested in this matter than their workmen.

One of the unfortunate features of labor unions as they now exist is
that the members look upon the dues which they pay to the union, and the
time that they devote to it, as an investment which should bring them an
annual return, and they feel that unless they succeed in getting either
an increase in wages or shorter hours every year or so, the money which
they pay into the union is wasted. The leaders of the unions realize
this and, particularly if they are paid for their services, are apt to
spend considerable of their time scaring up grievances whether they
exist or not This naturally fosters antagonism instead of friendship
between the two sides. There are, of course, marked exceptions to this
rule; that of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers being perhaps the
most prominent.

The most serious of the delusions and fallacies under which workmen, and
particularly those in many of the unions, are suffering is that it is
for their interest to limit the amount of work which a man should do in
a day.

There is no question that the greater the daily output of the average
individual in a trade the greater will be the average wages earned in
the trade, and that in the long run turning out a large amount of work
each day will give them higher wages, steadier and more work, instead of
throwing them out of work. The worst thing that a labor union can do for
its members in the long run is to limit the amount of work which they
allow each workman to do in a day. If their employers are in a
competitive business, sooner or later those competitors whose workmen do
not limit the output will take the trade away from them, and they will
be thrown out of work. And in the meantime the small day's work which
they have accustomed themselves to do demoralizes them, and instead of
developing as men do when they use their strength and faculties to the
utmost, and as men should do from year to year, they grow lazy, spend
much of their time pitying themselves, and are less able to compete with
other men. Forbidding their members to do more than a given amount of
work in a day has been the greatest mistake made by the English trades
unions. The whole of that country is suffering more or less from this
error now. Their workmen are for this reason receiving lower wages than
they might get, and in many cases the men, under the influence of this
idea, have grown so slow that they would find it difficult to do a good
day's work even if public opinion encouraged them in it.

In forcing their members to work slowly they use certain cant phrases
which sound most plausible until their real meaning is analyzed. They
continually use the expression, "Workmen should not be asked to do more
than a fair day's work," which sounds right and just until we come to
see how it is applied. The absurdity of its usual application would be
apparent if we were to apply it to animals. Suppose a contractor had in
his stable a miscellaneous collection of draft animals, including small
donkeys, ponies, light horses, carriage horses and fine dray horses, and
a law were to be made that no animal in the stable should be allowed to
do more than "a fair day's work" for a donkey. The injustice of such a
law would be apparent to every one. The trades unions, almost without an
exception, admit all of those in the trade to membership--providing they
pay their dues. And the difference between the first-class men and the
poor ones is quite as great as that between fine dray horses and
donkeys. In the case of horses this difference is well known to every
one; with men, however, it is not at all generally recognized. When a
labor union, under the cloak of the expression "a fair day's work,"
refuses to allow a first-class man to do any more work than a slow or
inferior workman can do, its action is quite as absurd as limiting the
work of a fine dray horse to that of a donkey would be.

Promotion, high wages, and, in some cases, shorter hours of work are the
legitimate ambitions of a workman, but any scheme which curtails the
output should be recognized as a device for lowering wages in the long

Any limit to the maximum wages which men are allowed to earn in a trade
is equally injurious to their best interests. The "minimum wage" is the
least harmful of the rules which are generally adopted by trades unions,
though it frequently works an injustice to the better workmen. For
example, the writer has been used to having his machinists earn all the
way from $1.50 to seven and eight dollars per day, according to the
individual worth of the men. Supposing a rule were made that no
machinist should be paid less than $2.50 per day. It is evident that if
an employer were forced to pay $2.50 per day to men who were only worth
$1.50 or $1.75, in order to compete he would be obliged to lower the
wages of those who in the past were getting more than $2.50, thus
pulling down the better workers in order to raise up the poorer men. Men
are not born equal, and any attempt to make them so is contrary to
nature's laws and will fail.

Some of the labor unions have succeeded in persuading the people in
parts of this country that there is something sacred in the cause of
union labor and that, in the interest of this cause, the union should
receive moral support whether it is right in any particular case or not.

Union labor is sacred just so long as its acts are fair and good, and it
is damnable just as soon as its acts are bad. Its rights are precisely
those of nonunion labor, neither greater nor less. The boycott, the use
of force or intimidation, and the oppression of non-union workmen by
labor unions are damnable; these acts of tyranny are thoroughly
un-American and will not be tolerated by the American people.

One of the most interesting and difficult problems connected with the
art of management is how to persuade union men to do a full day's work
if the union does not wish them to do it. I am glad of the opportunity
of saying what I think on the matter, and of explaining somewhat in
detail just how I should expect, in fact, how I have time after time
induced union men to do a large day's work, quite as large as other men

In dealing with union men certain general principles should never be
lost sight of. These principles are the proper ones to apply to all men,
but in dealing with union men their application becomes all the more

First. One should be sure, beyond the smallest doubt, that what is
demanded of the men is entirely just and can surely be accomplished.
This certainty can only be reached by a minute and thorough time study.

Second. Exact and detailed directions should be given to the workman
telling him, not in a general way but specifying in every small
particular, just what he is to do and how he is to do it.

Third. It is of the utmost importance in starting to make a change that
the energies of the management should be centered upon one single
workman, and that no further attempt at improvement should be made until
entire success has been secured in this case. Judgment should be used in
selecting for a start work of such a character that the most clear cut
and definite directions can be given regarding it, so that failure to
carry out these directions will constitute direct disobedience of a
single, straightforward order.

Fourth. In case the workman fails to carry out the order the management
should be prepared to demonstrate that the work called for can be done
by having some one connected with the management actually do it in the
time called for.

The mistake which is usually made in dealing with union men, lies in
giving an order which affects a number of workmen at the same time and
in laying stress upon the increase in the output which is demanded
instead of emphasizing one by one the details which the workman is to
carry out in order to attain the desired result. In the first case a
clear issue is raised: say that the man must turn out fifty per cent
more pieces than he has in the past, and therefore it will be assumed by
most people that he must work fifty per cent harder. In this issue the
union is more than likely to have the sympathy of the general public,
and they can logically take it up and fight upon it. If, however, the
workman is given a series of plain, simple, and reasonable orders, and
is offered a premium for carrying them out, the union will have a much
more difficult task in defending the man who disobeys them. To
illustrate: If we take the case of a complicated piece of machine work
which is being done on a lathe or other machine tool, and the workman is
called upon (under the old type of management) to increase his output by
twenty-five or fifty per cent there is opened a field of argument in
which the assertion of the man, backed by the union, that the task is
impossible or too hard, will have quite as much weight as that of the
management. If, however, the management begins by analyzing in detail
just how each section of the work should be done and then writes out
complete instructions specifying the tools to be used in succession, the
cone step on which the driving belt is to run, the depth of cut and the
feed to be used, the exact manner in which the work is to be set in the
machine, etc., and if before starting to make any change they have
trained in as functional foremen several men who are particularly expert
and well informed in their specialties, as, for instance, a speed boss,
gang boss, and inspector; if you then place for example a speed boss
alongside of that workman, with an instruction card clearly written out,
stating what both the speed boss and the man whom he is instructing are
to do, and that card says you are to use such and such a tool, put your
driving belt on this cone, and use this feed on your machine, and if you
do so you will get out the work in such and such a time, I can hardly
conceive of a case in which a union could prevent the boss from ordering
the man to put his driving belt just where he said and using just the
feed that he said, and in doing that the workman can hardly fail to get
the work out on time. No union would dare to say to the management of a
works, you shall not run the machine with the belt on this or that cone
step. They do not come down specifically in that way; they say, "You
shall not work so fast," but they do not say, "You shall not use such
and such a tool, or run with such a feed or at such a speed." However
much they might like to do it, they do not dare to interfere
specifically in this way. Now, when your single man under the
supervision of a speed boss, gang boss, etc., runs day after day at the
given speed and feed, and gets work out in the time that the instruction
card calls for, and when a premium is kept for him in the office for
having done the work in the required time, you begin to have a moral
suasion on that workman which is very powerful. At first he won't take
the premium if it is contrary to the laws of his union, but as time goes
on and it piles up and amounts to a big item, he will be apt to step
into the office and ask for his premium, and before long your man will
be a thorough convert to the new system. Now, after one man has been
persuaded, by means of the four functional foremen, etc., that he will
earn more money under the new system than under the laws of the union,
you can then take the next man, and so convert one after another right
through your shop, and as time goes on public opinion will swing around
more and more rapidly your way.

I have a profound respect for the workmen of the United States; they are
in the main sensible men--not all of them, of course, but they are just
as sensible as are those on the side of the management There are some
fools among them; so there are among the men who manage industrial
plants. They are in many respects misguided men, and they require a
great deal of information that they have not got. So do most managers.

All that most workmen need to make them do what is right is a series of
proper object lessons. When they are convinced that a system is offered
them which will yield them larger returns than the union provides for,
they will promptly acquiesce. The necessary object lessons can best be
given by centering the efforts of the management upon one spot. The
mistake that ninety-nine men out of a hundred make is that they have
attempted to influence a large body of men at once instead of taking one
man at a time.

Another important factor is the question of time. If any one expects
large results in six months or a year in a very large works he is
looking for the impossible. If any one expects to convert union men to a
higher rate of production, coupled with high wages, in six months or a
year, he is expecting next to an impossibility. But if he is patient
enough to wait for two or three years, he can go among almost any set of
workmen in the country and get results.

Some method of disciplining the men is unfortunately a necessary element
of all systems of management. It is important that a consistent,
carefully considered plan should be adopted for this as for all other
details of the art. No system of discipline is at all complete which is
not sufficiently broad to cover the great variety in the character and
disposition of the various men to be found in a shop.

There is a large class of men who require really no discipline in the
ordinary acceptance of the term; men who are so sensitive, conscientious
and desirous of doing just what is right that a suggestion, a few words
of explanation, or at most a brotherly admonition is all that they
require. In all cases, therefore, one should begin with every new man by
talking to him in the most friendly way, and this should be repeated
several times over until it is evident that mild treatment does not
produce the desired effect.

Certain men are both thick-skinned and coarse-grained, and these
individuals are apt to mistake a mild manner and a kindly way of saying
things for timidity or weakness. With such men the severity both of
words and manner should be gradually increased until either the desired
result has been attained or the possibilities of the English language
have been exhausted.

Up to this point all systems of discipline should be alike. There will
be found in all shops, however, a certain number of men with whom talk,
either mild or severe, will have little or no effect, unless it produces
the conviction that something more tangible and disagreeable will come
next. The question is what this something shall be.

Discharging the men is, of course, effective as far as that individual
is concerned, and this is in all cases the last step; but it is
desirable to have several remedies between talking and discharging more
severe than the one and less drastic than the other.

Usually one or more of the following expedients are adopted for this

First. Lowering the man's wages.

Second. Laying him off for a longer or shorter period of time.

Third. Fining him.

Fourth. Giving him a series of "bad marks," and when these sum up to
more than a given number per week or month, applying one or the other of
the first three remedies.

The general objections to the first and second expedients is that for a
large number of offenses they are too severe, so that the disciplinarian
hesitates to apply them. The men find this out, and some of them will
take advantage of this and keep much of the time close to the limit. In
laying a man off, also, the employer is apt to suffer as much in many
cases as the man, through having machinery lying idle or work delayed.
The fourth remedy is also objectionable because some men will
deliberately take close to their maximum of "bad marks."

In the writer's experience, the fining system, if justly and properly
applied, is more effective and much to be preferred to either of the
others. He has applied this system of discipline in various works with
uniform success over a long period of years, and so far as he knows,
none of those who have tried it under his directions have abandoned it.

The success of the fining system depends upon two elements:

First. The impartiality, good judgment and justice with which it is

Second. Every cent of the fines imposed should in some form be returned
to the workmen. If any part of the fines is retained by the company, it
is next to impossible to keep the workmen from believing that at least a
part of the motive in fining them is to make money out of them; and this
thought works so much harm as to more than overbalance the good effects
of the system. If, however, all of the fines are in some way promptly
returned to the men, they recognize it as purely a system of discipline,
and it is so direct, effective and uniformly just that the best men soon
appreciate its value and approve of it quite as much as the company.

In many cases the writer has first formed a mutual beneficial
association among the employees, to which all of the men as well as the
company contribute. An accident insurance association is much safer and
less liable to be abused than a general sickness or life insurance
association; so that, when practicable, an association of this sort
should be formed and managed by the men. All of the fines can then be
turned over each week to this association and so find their way directly
back to the men. Like all other elements, the fining system should not
be plunged into head first. It should be worked up to gradually and with
judgment, choosing at first only the most flagrant cases for fining and
those offenses which affect the welfare of some of the other workmen. It
will not be properly and most effectively applied until small offenses
as well as great receive their appropriate fine. The writer has fined
men from one cent to as high as sixty dollars per fine. It is most
important that the fines should be applied absolutely impartially to all
employees, high and low. The writer has invariably fined himself just as
he would the men under him for all offenses committed.

The fine is best applied in the form of a request to contribute a
certain amount to the mutual beneficial association, with the
understanding that unless this request is complied with the man will be

In certain cases the fining system may not produce the desired result,
so that coupled with it as an additional means of disciplining the men
should be the first and second expedients of "lowering wages" and
"laying the men off for a longer or shorter time"

The writer does not at all depreciate the value of the many
semi-philanthropic and paternal aids and improvements, such as
comfortable lavatories, eating rooms, lecture halls, and free lectures,
night schools, kindergartens, baseball and athletic grounds, village
improvement societies, and mutual beneficial associations, unless done
for advertising purposes. This kind of so-called welfare work all tends
to improve and elevate the workmen and make life better worth living.
Viewed from the managers' standpoint they are valuable aids in making
more intelligent and better workmen, and in promoting a kindly feeling
among the men for their employers. They are, however, of distinctly
secondary importance, and should never be allowed to engross the
attention of the superintendent to the detriment of the more important
and fundamental elements of management. They should come in all
establishments, but they should come only after the great problem of
work and wages has been permanently settled to the satisfaction of both
parties. The solution of this problem will take more than the entire
time of the management in the average case for several years.

Mr. Patterson, of the National Cash Register Company, of Dayton, Ohio,
has presented to the world a grand object lesson of the combination of
many philanthropic schemes with, in many respects, a practical and
efficient management. He stands out a pioneer in this work and an
example of a kindhearted and truly successful man. Yet I feel that the
recent strike in his works demonstrates all the more forcibly my
contention that the establishment of the semi-philanthropic schemes
should follow instead of preceding the solution of the wages question;
unless, as is very rarely the case, there are brains, energy and money
enough available in a company to establish both elements at the same

Unfortunately there is no school of management. There is no single
establishment where a relatively large part of the details of management
can be seen, which represent the best of their kinds. The finest
developments are for the most part isolated, and in many cases almost
buried with the mass of rubbish which surrounds them.

Among the many improvements for which the originators will probably
never receive the credit which they deserve the following may be

The remarkable system for analyzing all of the work upon new machines as
the drawings arrived from the drafting-room and of directing the
movement and grouping of the various parts as they progressed through
the shop, which was developed and used for several years by Mr. Wm. II.
Thorne, of Wm. Sellers & Co., of Philadelphia, while the company was
under the general management of Mr. J. Sellers Bancroft. Unfortunately
the full benefit of this method was never realized owing to the lack of
the other functional elements which should have accompanied it.

And then the employment bureau which forms such an important element of
the Western Electric Company in Chicago; the complete and effective
system for managing the messenger boys introduced by Mr. Almon Emrie
while superintendent of the Ingersoll Sargent Drill Company, of Easton,
Pa.; the mnemonic system of order numbers invented by Mr. Oberlin Smith
and amplified by Mr. Henry R. Towne, of The Yale & Towne Company, of
Stamford, Conn.; and the system of inspection introduced by Mr. Chas. D.
Rogers in the works of the American Screw Company, at Providence, R. I.
and the many good points in the apprentice system developed by Mr.
Vauclain, of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, of Philadelphia.

The card system of shop returns invented and introduced as a complete
system by Captain Henry Metcalfe, U. S. A., in the government shops of
the Frankford Arsenal represents another such distinct advance in the
art of management. The writer appreciates the difficulty of this
undertaking as he was at the same time engaged in the slow evolution of
a similar system in the Midvale Steel Works, which, however, was the
result of a gradual development instead of a complete, well thought out
invention as was that of Captain Metcalfe.

The writer is indebted to most of these gentlemen and to many others,
but most of all to the Midvale Steel Company, for elements of the system
which he has described. The rapid and successful application of the
general principles involved in any system will depend largely upon the
adoption of those details which have been found in actual service to be
most useful. There are many such elements which the writer feels should
be described in minute detail. It would, however, be improper to burden
this record with matters of such comparatively small importance.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Shop Management" ***

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Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.