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San Francisco, California 

The Principles of 
Scientific Management 

The Principles of 
Scientific Management 









PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT, in his address to 

the Governors at the White House, prophet- 
ically remarked that "The conservation of our 
national resources is only preliminary to the larger 
question of national efficiency." 

The whole country at once recognized the impor- 
tance of conserving our material resources and a 
large movement has been started which will be 
effective in accomplishing this object. As yet, 
however, we have but vaguely appreciated the 
importance of "the larger question of increasing our 
national efficiency. " 

We can see our forests vanishing, our water-powers 
going to waste, our soil being carried by floods into 
the sea; and the end of our coal and our iron is in 
sight. But our larger wastes of human effort, which 
go on every day through such of our acts as are 
blundering, ill-directed, or inefficient, and which 
Mr. Roosevelt refers to as a lack of "national 
efficiency," are less visible, less tangible, and are 
but vaguely appreciated. 

We can see and feel the waste of material things. 
Awkward, inefficient, or ill-directed movements of 
men, however, leave nothing visible or tangible 
behind them. Their appreciation calls for an act 



of memory, an effort of the imagination. And for 
this reason, even though our daily loss from this 
source is greater than from our waste of material 
things, the one has stirred us deeply, while the other 
has moved us but little. 

As yet there has been no public agitation for 
"greater national efficiency," no meetings have been 
called to consider how this is to be brought about. 
And still there are signs that the need for greater 
efficiency is widely felt. 

The search for better, for more competent men, 
from the presidents of our great companies down to 
our household servants, was never more vigorous 
than it is now. And more than ever before is the 
demand for competent men in excess of the supply. 

What we are all looking for, however, is the ready- 
made, competent man; the man whom some one else 
has trained. It is only when we fully realize that 
our duty, as well as our opportunity, lies in system- 
atically cooperating to train and to make this com- 
petent man, instead of in hunting for a man whom 
some one else has trained, that we shall be on the 
road to national efficiency. 

In the past the prevailing idea has been well 
expressed in the saying that " Captains of industry 
are born, not made"; and the theory has been that 
if one could get the right man, methods could be 
safely left to him. In the future it will be appreci- 
ated that our leaders must be trained right as well 
as born right, and that no great man can (with the 
old system of personal management) hope to com- 


pete with a number of ordinary men who have been 
properly organized so as efficiently to cooperate. 

In the past the man has been first; in' the future 
the system must be first. This in no sense, however, 
implies that great men are not needed. On the 
contrary, the first object of any good system must 
be that of developing first-class men; and under 
systematic management the best man rises to the 
top more certainly and more rapidly than ever 

This paper has been written: 

First. To point out, through a series of simple 
illustrations, the great loss which the whole country 
is suffering through inefficiency in almost all of our 
daily acts. 

Second. To try to convince the reader that the 
remedy for this inefficiency lies in systematic man- 
agement, rather than in searching for some unusual 
or extraordinary man. 

Third. To prove that the best management is a 
true science, resting upon clearly defined laws, rules, 
and principles, as a foundation. And further to 
show that the fundamental principles of scientific 
management are applicable to all kinds of human 
activities, from our simplest individual acts to the 
work of our great corporations, which call for the 
most elaborate cooperation. And, briefly, through 
a series of illustrations, to convince the reader that 
whenever these principles are correctly applied, 
results must follow which are truly astounding. 

This paper was originally prepared for presenta- 


tion to The American Society of Mechanical Engi- 
neers. The illustrations chosen are such as, it is 
believed, will especially appeal to engineers and to 
managers of industrial and manufacturing establish- 
ments, and also quite as much to all of the men who 
are working in these establishments. It is hoped, 
however, that it will be clear to other readers that 
the same principles can be applied with equal force 
to all social activities: to the management of our 
homes; the management of our farms; the manage- 
ment of the business of our tradesmen, large and 
small; of our churches, our philanthropic institutions, 
our universities, and our governmental departments. 

The Principles of 
Scientific Management 



HPHE principal object of management should be 
* to secure the maximum prosperity for the em- 
ployer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for 
each employe. 

The words " maximum prosperity" are used, in 
their broad sense, to mean not only large dividends 
for the company or owner, but the development of 
every branch of the business to its highest state of 
excellence, so that the prosperity may be permanent. 

In the same way maximum prosperity for each 
employ^ means not only higher wages than are 
usually received by men of his class, but, of more im- 
portance still, it also means the development of each 
man to his state of maximum efficiency, so that he 
may be able to do, generally speaking, the highest 
grade of work for which his natural abilities fit him, 
and it further means giving him, when possible, 
this class of work to do. 

It would seem to be so self-evident that maxi- 



mum prosperity for the employer, coupled with 
maximum prosperity for the employ^, ought to be 
the two leading objects of management, that even 
to state this fact should be unnecessary. And yet 
there is no question that, throughout the industrial 
world, a large part of the organization of employers, 
as well as employes, is for war rather than for peace, 
and that perhaps the majority on either side do not 
believe that it is possible so to arrange their mutual 
relations that their interests become identical. 

The majority of these men believe that the funda- 
mental interests of employes and employers are 
necessarily antagonistic. Scientific management, on 
the contrary, has for its very foundation the firm 
conviction that the true interests of the two are one 
and the same; that prosperity for the employer 
cannot exist through a long term of years unless it 
is accompanied by prosperity for the employe, and 
vice versa; and that it is possible to give the work- 
man what he most wants high wages and the 
employer what he wants a low labor cost for 
his manufactures. 

It is hoped that some at least of those who do not 
sympathize with each of these objects may be led 
to modify their views; that some employers, whose 
attitude toward their workmen has been that of 
trying to get the largest amount of work out of 
them for the smallest possible wages, may be led to 
see that a more liberal policy toward their men will 
pay them better; and that some of those workmen 
who begrudge a fair and even a large profit to their 


employers, and who feel that all of the fruits of their 
labor should belong to them, and that those for 
whom they work and the capital invested in the 
business are entitled to little or nothing, may be 
led to modify these views. 

No one can be found who will deny that in the 
case of any single individual the greatest prosperity 
can exist only when that individual has reached his 
highest state of efficiency; that is, when he is turning 
out his largest daily output. 

The truth of this fact is also perfectly clear in the 
case of two men working together. To illustrate: 
if you and your workman have become so skilful 
that you and he together are making two pairs of 
shoes in a day, while your competitor and his work- 
man are making only one pair, it is clear that after 
selling your two pairs of shoes you can pay your 
workman much higher wages than your competitor 
who produces only one pair of shoes is able to pay 
his man, and that there will still be enough money 
left over for you to have a larger profit than your 

In the case of a more complicated manufacturing 
establishment, it should also be perfectly clear that 
the greatest permanent prosperity for the workman, 
coupled with the greatest prosperity for the employer, 
can be brought about only when the work of the 
establishment is done with the smallest combined 
expenditure of human effort, plus nature's resources, 
plus the cost for the use of capital in the shape of 
machines, buildings, etc. Or, to state the same 


thing in a different way: that the greatest pros- 
perity can exist only as the result of the greatest 
possible productivity of the men and machines of the 
establishment that is, when each man and each 
machine are turning out the largest possible output; 
because unless your men and your machines are 
daily turning out more work than others around 
you, it is clear that competition will prevent your 
paying higher wages to your workmen than are paid 
to those of your competitor. And what is true as to 
the possibility of paying high wages in the case of 
two companies competing close beside one another 
is also true as to whole districts of the country and 
even as to nations which are in competition. In a 
word, that maximum prosperity can exist only as 
the result of maximum productivity. Later in this 
paper illustrations will be given of several companies 
which are earning large dividends and at the same 
time paying from 30 per cent, to 100 per cent, 
higher wages to their men than are paid to similar 
men immediately around them, and with whose 
employers they are in competition. These illustra- 
tions will cover different types of work, from the 
most elementary to the most complicated. 

If the above reasoning is correct, it follows that 
the most important object of both the workmen 
and the management should be the training and 
development of each individual in the establishment, 
so that he can do (at his fastest pace and with the 
maximum of efficiency) the highest class of work for 
which his natural abilities fit him. 


These principles appear to be so self-evident 
that many men may think it almost childish to 
state them. Let us, however, turn to the facts, as 
they actually exist in this country and in England. 
The English and American peoples are the greatest 
sportsmen in the world. Whenever an American 
workman plays baseball, or an English workman 
plays cricket, it is safe to say that he strains every 
nerve to secure victory for his side. He does his 
very best to make the largest possible number of 
runs. The universal sentiment is so strong that 
any man who fails to give out all there is in him in 
sport is branded as a "quitter," and treated with 
contempt by those who are around him. 

When the same workman returns to work on the 
following day, instead of using every effort to turn 
out the largest possible amount of work, in a majority 
of the cases this man deliberately plans to do as 
little as he safely can to turn out far less work 
than he is well able to do in many instances to 
do not more than one-third to one-half of a proper 
day's work. And in fact if he were to do his best 
to turn out his largest possible day's work, he would 
be abused by his fellow-workers for so doing, even 
more than if he had proved himself a "quitter" 
in sport. Underworking, that is, deliberately work- 
ing slowly so as to avoid doing a full day's work, 
"soldiering," as it is called in this country, "hang- 
ing it out," as it is called in England, "ca canae," 
as it is called in Scotland, is almost universal in 
industrial establishments, and prevails also to a 


large extent in the building trades; and the writer 
asserts without fear of contradiction that this con- 
stitutes the greatest evil with which the work- 
ing-people of both England and America are now 

It will be shown later in this paper that doing 
away with slow working and " soldiering" in all its 
forms and so arranging the relations between em- 
ployer and employe that each workman will work 
to his very best advantage and at his best speed, 
accompanied by the intimate cooperation with the 
management and the help (which the workman should 
receive) from the management, would result on the 
average in nearly doubling the output of each man 
and each machine. What other reforms, among 
those which are being discussed by these two nations, 
could do as much toward promoting prosperity, 
toward the diminution of poverty, and the allevia- 
tion of suffering? America and England have been 
recently agitated over such subjects as the tariff, 
the control of the large corporations on the one hand, 
and of hereditary power on the other hand, and over 
various more or less socialistic proposals for taxa- 
tion, etc. On these subjects both peoples have been 
profoundly stirred, and yet hardly a voice has been 
raised to call attention to this vastly greater and 
more important subject of " soldiering," which di- 
rectly and powerfully affects the wages, the prosper- 
ity, and the life of almost every working-man, and 
also quite as much the prosperity of every industrial 
establishment in the nation. 


The elimination of " soldiering " and of the several 
causes of slow working would so lower the cost of 
production that both our home and foreign markets 
would be greatly enlarged, and we could compete 
on more than even terms with our rivals. It would 
remove one of the fundamental causes for dull times, 
for lack of employment, and for poverty, and there- 
fore would have a more permanent and far-reaching 
effect upon these misfortunes than any of the cura- 
tive remedies that are now being used to soften their 
consequences. It would insure higher wages and 
make shorter working hours and better working and 
home conditions possible. 

Why is it, then, in the face of the self-evident 
fact that maximum prosperity can exist only as the 
result of the determined effort of each workman to 
turn out each day his largest possible day's work, 
that the great majority of our men are deliberately 
doing just the opposite, and that even when the men 
have the best of intentions their work is in most 
cases far from efficient? 

There are three causes for this condition, which 
may be briefly summarized as: 

First. The fallacy, which has from time imme- 
morial been almost universal among workmen, that 
a material increase in the output of each man 
or each machine in the trade would result in the 
end in throwing a large number of men out of work. 

Second. The defective systems of management 
which are in common use, and which make it neces- 
sary for each workman to soldier, or work slowly, 


in order that he may protect his own best in- 

Third. The inefficient rule-of-thumb methods, 
which are still almost universal in all trades, and in 
practising which our workmen waste a large part 
of their effort. 

This paper will attempt to show the enormous 
gains which would result from the substitution by 
our workmen of scientific for rule-of-thumb methods. 

To explain a little more fully these three causes: 

First. The great majority of workmen still believe 
that if they were to work at their best speed they 
would be doing a great injustice to the whole trade 
by throwing a lot of men out of work, and yet the 
history of the development of each trade shows that 
each improvement, whether it be the invention of a 
new machine or the introduction of a better method, 
which results in increasing the productive capacity 
of the men in the trade and cheapening the costs, 
instead of throwing men out of work make in the 
end work for more men. 

The cheapening of any article in common use 
almost immediately results in a largely increased 
demand for that article. Take the case of shoes, 
for instance. The introduction of machinery for 
doing every element of the work which was formerly 
done by hand has resulted in making shoes at a 
fraction of their former labor cost, and in selling 
them so cheap that now almost every man, woman, 
and child in the working-classes buys one or two 
pairs of shoes per year, and wears shoes all the time, 


whereas formerly each workman bought perhaps one 
pair of shoes every five years, and went barefoot 
most of the time, wearing shoes only as a luxury or 
as a matter of the sternest necessity. In spite of 
the enormously increased output of shoes per work- 
man, which has come with shoe machinery, the 
demand for shoes has so increased that there are 
relatively more men working in the shoe industry 
now than ever before. 

The workmen in almost every trade have before 
them an object lesson of this kind, and yet, because 
they are ignorant of the history of their own trade 
even, they still firmly believe, as their fathers did 
before them, that it is against their best interests 
for each man to turn out each day as much work 
as possible. 

Under this fallacious idea a large proportion of 
the workmen of both countries each day deliberately 
work slowly so as to curtail the output. Almost 
every labor union has made, or is contemplating 
making, rules which have for their object curtailing 
the output of their members, and those men who 
have the greatest influence with the working-people, 
the labor leaders as well as many people with phil- 
anthropic feelings who are helping them, are daily 
spreading this fallacy and at the same tune telling 
them that they are overworked. 

A great deal has been and is being constantly 
said about "sweat-shop" work and conditions. The 
writer has great sympathy with those who are over- 
worked, but on the whole a greater sympathy for 


those who are under paid. For every individual, 
however, who is overworked, there are a hundred 
who intentionally underwork greatly underwork 
every day of their lives, and who for this reason 
deliberately aid in establishing those conditions 
which in the end inevitably result in low wages. 
And yet hardly a single voice is being raised in an 
endeavor to correct this evil. 

As engineers and managers, we are more inti- 
mately acquainted with these facts than any other 
class in the community, and are therefore best fitted 
to lead in a movement to combat this fallacious idea 
by educating not only the workmen but the whole 
of the country as to the true facts. And yet we are 
practically doing nothing in this direction, and are 
leaving this field entirely in the hands of the labor 
agitators (many of whom are misinformed and mis- 
guided), and of sentimentalists who are ignorant as 
to actual working conditions. 

Second. As to the second cause for soldiering 
the relations which exist between employers and 
employes under almost all of the systems of manage- 
ment which are in common use it is impossible 
in a few words to make it clear to one not familiar 
with this problem why it is that the ignorance of 
employers as to the proper time in which work of 
various kinds should be done makes it for the interest 
of the workman to "soldier." 

The writer therefore quotes herewith from a 
paper read before The American Society of Mechan- 
ical Engineers, in June, 1903, entitled "Shop Man- 


agement," which it is hoped will explain fully this 
cause for soldiering: 

"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 

" 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, who set up their own standards, and 
who work hard, even though it may be against their 
best interests. But these few uncommon men only 
serve by forming a contrast to emphasize the ten- 
dency of the average. 

"This common tendency to Hake 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 poor- 
est and least efficient. When a naturally ener- 
getic 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 oppor- 
tunity 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 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 
will promote their best interests. 

" The writer was much interested recently in hearing 
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, who does not devote a con- 
siderable part of his time to studying just how slow 
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 only be done, however, 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 entirely to lose sight of his 
employer's side of the case and become imbued with 
a grim determination to have no more cuts if soldier- 
ing 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 straightforward workmen are com- 
pelled to become more or less hypocritical. The 
employer is soon looked upon as an antagonist, if 
not 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 lacking. 

"The feeling of antagonism under the ordinary 
piece-work 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, and 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 part." 

Third. As to the third cause for slow work, con- 
siderable space will later in this paper be devoted 
to illustrating the great gain, both to employers 
and employes, which results from the substitution 
of scientific for rule-of-thumb methods in even the 
smallest details of the work of every trade. The 
enormous saving of time and therefore increase in 
the output which it is possible to effect through 
eliminating unnecessary motions and substituting 
fast for slow and inefficient motions for the men 
working in any of our trades can be fully realized 
only after one has personally seen the improvement 
which results from a thorough motion and time study, 
made by a competent man. 

To explain briefly: owing to the fact that the 
workmen in all of our trades have been taught the 
details of their work by observation of those immedi- 
ately around them, there are many different ways in 


common use for doing the same thing, perhaps forty, 
fifty, or a hundred ways of doing each act in each 
trade, and for the same reason there is a great 
variety in the implements used for each class of 
work. Now, among the various methods and 
implements used in each element of each trade 
there is always one method and one implement 
which is quicker and better than any of the rest. 
And this one best method and best implement can 
only be discovered or developed through a scientific 
study and analysis of all of the methods and imple- 
ments in use, together with accurate, minute, motion 
and time study. This involves the gradual substi- 
tution of science for rule of thumb throughout the 
mechanic arts. 

This paper will show that the underlying phi- 
losophy of all of the old systems of management in 
common use makes it imperative that each work- 
man shall be left with the final responsibility for 
doing his job practically as he thinks best, with 
comparatively little help and advice from the 
management. And it will also show that because 
of this isolation of workmen, it is in most cases 
impossible for the men working under these systems 
to do their work in accordance with the rules and 
laws of a science or art, even where one exists. 

The writer asserts as a general principle (and he 
proposes to give illustrations tending to prove the 
fact later in this paper) that in almost all of the 
mechanic arts the science which underlies each act 
of each workman is so great and amounts to so much 


that the workman who is best suited to actually 
doing the work is incapable of fully understanding 
this science, without the guidance and help of those 
who are working with him or over him, either through 
lack of education or through insufficient mental 
capacity. In order that the work may be done in 
accordance with scientific laws, it is necessary that 
there shall be a far more equal division of the respon- 
sibility between the management and the workmen 
than exists under any of the ordinary types of 
management. Those in the management whose 
duty it is to develop this science should also guide 
and help the workman in working under it, and 
should assume a much larger share of the respon- 
sibility for results than under usual conditions is 
assumed by the management. 

The body of this paper will make it clear that, to 
work according to scientific laws, the management 
must take over and perform much of the work which 
is now left to the men; almost every act of the work- 
man should be preceded by one or more preparatory 
acts of the management which enable him to do his 
work better and quicker than he otherwise could. 
And each man should daily be taught by and receive 
the most friendly help from those who are over him, 
instead of being, at the one extreme, driven or 
coerced by his bosses, and at the other left to his 
own unaided devices. 

This close, intimate, personal cooperation between 
the management and the men is of the essence of 
modern scientific or task management. 


It will be shown by a series of practical illustra- 
tions that, through this friendly cooperation, namely, 
through sharing equally in every day's burden, all 
of the great obstacles (above described) to obtain- 
ing the maximum output for each man and each 
machine in the establishment are swept away. The 
30 per cent, to 100 per cent, increase in wages which 
the workmen are able to earn beyond what they 
receive under the old type of management, coupled 
with the daily intimate shoulder to shoulder contact 
with the management, entirely removes all cause for 
soldiering. And in a few years, under this system, 
the workmen have before them the object lesson 
of seeing that a great increase in the output per man 
results in giving employment to more men, instead 
of throwing men out of work, thus completely eradi- 
cating the fallacy that a larger output for each man 
will throw other men out of work. 

It is the writer's judgment, then, that while much 
can be done and should be done by writing and talk- 
ing toward educating not only workmen, but all 
classes in the community, as to the importance of 
obtaining the maximum output of each man and 
each machine, it is only through the adoption of 
modern scientific management that this great prob- 
lem can be finally solved. Probably most of the 
readers of this paper will say that all of this is mere 
theory. On the contrary, the theory, or philosophy, 
of scientific management is just beginning to be 
understood, whereas the management itself has 
been a gradual evolution, extending over a period 


of nearly thirty years. And during this time the 
employes of one company after another, including a 
large range and diversity of industries, have grad- 
ually changed from the ordinary to the scientific 
type of management. At least 50,000 workmen in 
the United States are now employed under this 
system; and they are receiving from 30 per cent, 
to 100 per cent, higher wages daily than are paid 
to men of similar caliber with whom they are sur- 
rounded, while the companies employing them are 
more prosperous than ever before. In these com- 
panies the output, per man and per machine, has 
on an average been doubled. During all these 
years there has never been a single strike among 
the men working under this system. In place of 
the suspicious watchfulness and the more or less 
open warfare which characterizes the ordinary types 
of management, there is universally friendly cooper- 
ation between the management and the men. 

Several papers have been written, describing the 
expedients which have been adopted and the details 
which have been developed under scientific manage- 
ment and the steps to be taken in changing from 
the ordinary to the scientific type. But unfortu- 
nately most of the readers of these papers have 
mistaken the mechanism for the true essence. Sci- 
entific management fundamentally consists of certain 
broad general principles, a certain philosophy, which 
can be applied in many ways, and a description of 
what any one man or men may believe to be the 
best mechanism for applying these general principles 


should in no way be confused with the principles 

It is not here claimed that any single panacea 
exists for all of the troubles of the working-people 
or of employers. As long as some people are born 
lazy or inefficient, and others are born greedy and 
brutal, as long as vice and crime are with us, just 
so long will a certain amount of poverty, misery, and 
unhappiness be with us also. No system of manage- 
ment, no single expedient within the control of any 
man or any set of men can insure continuous pros- 
perity to either workmen or employers. Prosperity 
depends upon so many factors entirely beyond the 
control of any one set of men, any state, or even 
any one country, that certain periods will inevitably 
come when both sides must suffer, more or less. 
It is claimed, however, that under scientific manage- 
ment the intermediate periods will be far more 
prosperous, far happier, and more free from discord 
and dissension. And also, that the periods will be 
fewer, shorter and the suffering less. And this will 
be particularly true in any one town, any one section 
of the country, or any one state which first substi- 
tutes the principles of scientific management for the 
rule of thumb. 

That these principles are certain to come into 
general use practically throughout the civilized 
world, sooner or later, the writer is profoundly con- 
vinced, and the sooner they come the better for all 
the people. 



^PHE writer has found that there are three ques- 
tions uppermost in the minds of men when they 
become interested in scientific management. 

First. Wherein do the principles of scientific man- 
agement differ essentially from those of ordinary 

Second. Why are better results attained under 
scientific management than under the other types? 

Third. Is not the most important problem that 
of getting the right man at the head of the company? 
And if you have the right man cannot the choice 
of the type of management be safely left to him? 

One of the principal objects of the following pages 
will be to give a satisfactory answer to these ques- 


Before starting to illustrate the principles of scien- 
tific management, or "task management" as it is 
briefly called, it seems desirable to outline what the 
writer believes will be recognized as the best type of 
management which is in common use. This is done 
so that the great difference between the best of the 



ordinary management and scientific management 
may be fully appreciated. 

In an industrial establishment which employs say 
from 500 to 1000 workmen, there will be found in 
many cases at least twenty to thirty different trades. 
The workmen in each of these trades have had their 
knowledge handed down to them by word of mouth, 
through the many years in which their trade has 
been developed from the primitive condition, in 
which our far-distant ancestors each one practised 
the rudiments of many different trades, to the 
present state of great and growing subdivision of 
labor, in which each man specializes upon some com- 
paratively small class of work. 

The ingenuity of each generation has developed 
quicker and better methods for doing every element 
of the work in every trade. Thus the methods which 
are now in use may in a broad sense be said to be 
an evolution representing the survival of the fittest 
and best of the ideas which have been developed 
since the starting of each trade. However, while this 
is true in a broad sense, only those who are inti- 
mately acquainted with each of these trades are fully 
aware of the fact that in hardly any element of any 
trade is there uniformity in the methods which are 
used. Instead of having only one way which is 
generally accepted as a standard, there are in daily 
use, say, fifty or a hundred different ways of doing 
each element of the work. And a little thought 
will make it clear that this must inevitably be the 
case, since our methods have been handed down from 


man to man by word of mouth, or have, in most 
cases, been almost unconsciously learned through 
personal observation. Practically in no instances 
have they been codified or systematically analyzed 
or described. The ingenuity and experience of each 
generation of each decade, even, have without 
doubt handed over better methods to the next. 
This mass of rule-of-thumb or traditional knowledge 
may be said to be the principal asset or possession 
of every tradesman. Now, in the best of the ordinary 
types of management, the managers recognize frankly 
the fact that the 500 or 1000 workmen, included in 
the twenty to thirty trades, who are under them, 
possess this mass of traditional knowledge, a large 
part of which is not in the possession of the manage- 
ment. The management, of course, includes fore- 
men and superintendents, who themselves have been 
in most cases first-class workers at their trades. 
And yet these foremen and superintendents know, 
better than any one else, that their own knowledge 
and personal skill falls far short of the combined 
knowledge and dexterity of all the workmen under 
them. The most experienced managers therefore 
frankly place before their workmen the problem of 
doing the work in the best and most economical 
way. They recognize the task before them as that 
of inducing each workman to use his best endeavors, 
his hardest work, all his traditional knowledge, his 
skill, his ingenuity, and his good-will in a word, 
his " initiative," so as to yield the largest possible 
return to his employer. The problem before the 


management, then, may be briefly said to be that 
of obtaining the best initiative of every workman. 
And the writer uses the word "initiative" in its 
broadest sense, to cover all of the good qualities 
sought for from the men. 

On the other hand, no intelligent manager would 
hope to obtain in any full measure the initiative of 
his workmen unless he felt that he was giving them 
something more than they usually receive from their 
employers. Only those among the readers of this 
paper who have been managers or who have worked 
themselves at a trade realize how far the average 
workman falls short of giving his employer his full 
initiative. It is well within the mark to state that 
in nineteen out of twenty industrial establishments 
the workmen believe it to be directly against their 
interests to give their employers their best initiative, 
and that instead of working hard to do the largest 
possible amount of work and the best quality of work 
for their employers, they deliberately work as slowly 
as they dare while they at the same time try to make 
those over them believe that they are working fast. 1 

The writer repeats, therefore, that in order to 
have any hope of obtaining the initiative of his 
workmen the manager must give some special 
incentive to his men beyond that which is given to 
the average of the trade. This incentive can be 
given in several different ways, as, for example, 

1 The writer has tried to make the reason for this unfortunate state of 
things clear in a paper entitled "Shop Management," read before the 
American Society of Mechanical Engineers." 


the hope of rapid promotion or advancement; 
higher wages, either in the form of generous piece- 
work prices or of a premium or bonus of some kind 
for good and rapid work; shorter hours of labor; 
better surroundings and working conditions than are 
ordinarily given, etc., and, above all, this special 
incentive should be accompanied by that personal 
consideration for, and friendly contact with, his 
workmen which comes only from a genuine and 
kindly interest in the welfare of those under him. 
It is only by giving a special inducement or " incen- 
tive" of this kind that the employer can hope 
even approximately to get the "initiative" of his 
workmen. Under the ordinary type of manage- 
ment the necessity for offering the workman a 
special inducement has come to be so generally 
recognized that a large proportion of those most 
interested in the subject look upon the adoption 
of some one of the modern schemes for paying men 
(such as piece work, the premium plan, or the 
bonus plan, for instance) as practically the whole 
system of management. Under scientific manage- 
ment, however, the particular pay system which is 
adopted is merely one of the subordinate elements. 

Broadly speaking, then, the best type of manage- 
ment in ordinary use may be defined as manage- 
ment in which the workmen give their best initiative 
and in return receive some special incentive from 
their employers. This type of management will be 
referred to as the management of u initiative and 
incentive" in contradistinction to scientific manage- 


ment, or task management, with which it is to be 

The writer hopes that the management of "initia- 
tive and incentive" will be recognized as representing 
the best type in ordinary use, and in fact he believes 
that it will be hard to persuade the average mana- 
ger that anything better exists in the whole field than 
this type. The task which the writer has before him, 
then, is the difficult one of trying to prove in a 
thoroughly convincing way that there is another 
type of management which is not only better but 
overwhelmingly better than the management of 
"initiative and incentive." 

The universal prejudice in favor of the manage- 
ment of "initiative and incentive" is so strong that 
no mere theoretical advantages which can be pointed 
out will be likely to convince the average manager 
that any other system is better. It will be upon a 
series of practical illustrations of the actual working 
of the two systems that the writer will depend in 
his efforts to prove that scientific management is so 
greatly superior to other types. Certain elementary 
principles, a certain philosophy, will however be 
recognized as the essence of that which is being illus- 
trated in all of the practical examples which will be 
given. And the broad principles in which the scien- 
tific system differs from the ordinary or "rule-of- 
thumb" system are so simple in their nature that it 
seems desirable to describe them before starting with 
the illustrations. 

Under the old type of management success depends 


almost entirely upon getting the " initiative" of the 
workmen, and it is indeed a rare case in which this 
initiative is really attained. Under scientific man- 
agement the "initiative" of the workmen (that is, 
their hard work, their good-will, and their ingenuity) 
is obtained with absolute uniformity and to a greater 
extent than is possible under the old system; and in 
addition to this improvement on the part of the men, 
the managers assume new burdens, new duties, and 
responsibilities never dreamed of in the past. The 
managers assume, for instance, the burden of gather- 
ing together all of the traditional knowledge which 
in the past has been possessed by the workmen and 
then of classifying, tabulating, and reducing this 
knowledge to rules, laws, and formulae which are im- 
mensely helpful to the workmen in doing their daily 
work. In addition to developing a science in this way, 
the management take on three other types of duties 
which involve new and heavy burdens for themselves. 

These new duties are grouped under four heads: 

First. They develop a science for each element 
of a man's work, which replaces the old rule-of- 
thumb method. 

Second. They scientifically select and then train, 
teach, and develop the workman, whereas in the 
past he chose his own work and trained himself as 
best he could. 

Third. They heartily cooperate with the men so 
as to insure all of the work being done in accord- 
ance with the principles of the science which has 
been developed. 


Fourth. There is an almost equal division of the 
work and the responsibility between the management 
and the workmen. The management take over all 
work for which they are better fitted than the work- 
men, while in the past almost all of the work and 
the greater part of the responsibility were thrown 
upon the men. 

It is this combination of the initiative of the work- 
men, coupled with the new types of work done by 
the management, that makes scientific management 
so much more efficient than the old plan. 

Three of these elements exist in many cases, under 
the management of "initiative and incentive," in a 
small and rudimentary way, but they are, under this 
management, of minor importance, whereas under 
scientific management they form the very essence of 
the whole system. 

The fourth of these elements, "an almost equal 
division of the responsibility between the manage- 
ment and the workmen," requires further explana- 
tion. The philosophy of the management of "initia- 
tive and incentive" makes it necessary for each 
workman to bear almost the entire responsibility 
for the general plan as well as for each detail of his 
work, and in many cases for his implements as well. 
In addition to this he must do all of the actual 
physical labor. The development of a science, on 
the other hand, involves the establishment of many 
rules, laws, and formulae which replace the judgment 
of the individual workman and which can be effect- 
ively used only after having been systematically 


recorded, indexed, etc. The practical use of scientific 
data also calls for a room in which to keep the books, 
records, 1 etc., and a desk for the planner to work at. 
Thus all of the planning which under the old system 
was done by the workman, as a result of his personal 
experience, must of necessity under the new system 
be done by the management in accordance with the 
laws of the science; because even if the workman 
was well suited to the development and use of 
scientific data, it would be physically impossible 
for him to work at his machine and at a desk at the 
same time. It is also clear that in most cases one 
type of man is needed to plan ahead and an entirely 
different type to execute the work. 

The man in the planning room, whose specialty 
under scientific management is planning ahead, in- 
variably finds that the work can be done better and 
more economically by a subdivision of the labor; 
each act of each mechanic, for example, should 
be preceded by various preparatory acts done by 
other men. And all of this involves, as we have 
said, "an almost equal division of the responsi- 
bility and the work between the management and 
the workman." 

To summarize: Under the management of "initia- 
tive and incentive" practically the whole problem 
is "up to the workman," while under scientific 
management fully one-half of the problem is "up 
to the management." 

1 For example, the records containing the data used under scientific 
management in an ordinary machine-shop fill thousands of pages. 


Perhaps the most prominent single element in 
modern scientific management is the task idea. 
The work of every workman is fully planned out 
by the management at least one day in advance, 
and each man receives in most cases complete writ- 
ten instructions, describing in detail the task which 
he is to accomplish, as well as the means to be 
used in doing the work. And the work planned in 
advance in this way constitutes a task which is to 
be solved, as explained above, not by the workman 
alone, but in almost all cases by the joint effort 
of the workman and the management. This task 
specifies not only what is to be done but how it is 
to be done and the exact time allowed for doing it. 
And whenever the workman succeeds in doing his 
task right, and within the time limit specified, he 
receives an addition of from 30 per cent, to 100 
per cent, to his ordinary wages. These tasks are 
carefully planned, so that both good and careful 
work are called for in their performance, but it 
should be distinctly understood that in no case is 
the workman called upon to work at a pace which 
would be injurious to his health. The task is always 
so regulated that the man who is well suited to his 
job will thrive while working at this rate during 
a long term of years and grow happier and more 
prosperous, instead of being overworked. Scientific 
management consists very largely in preparing for 
and carrying out these tasks. 

The writer is fully aware that to perhaps most 
of the readers of this paper the four elements 


which differentiate the new management from the 
old will at first appear to be merely high-sounding 
phrases; and he would again repeat that he has no 
idea of convincing the reader of their value merely 
through announcing their existence. His hope of 
carrying conviction rests upon demonstrating the 
tremendous force and effect of these four elements 
through a series of practical illustrations. It will 
be shown, first, that they can be applied absolutely 
to all classes of work, from the most elementary to 
the most intricate; and second, that when they are 
applied, the results must of necessity be overwhelm- 
ingly greater than those which it is possible to attain 
under the management of initiative and incentive. 

The first illustration is that of handling pig iron, 
and this work is chosen because it is typical of 
perhaps the crudest and most elementary form of 
labor which is performed by man. This work is 
done by men with no other implements than their 
hands. The pig-iron handler stoops down, picks 
up a pig weighing about 92 pounds, walks for a few 
feet or yards and then drops it on to the ground or 
upon a pile. This work is so crude and elementary 
in its nature that the writer firmly believes that it 
would be possible to train an intelligent gorilla so as 
to become a more efficient pig-iron handler than any 
man can be. Yet it will be shown that the science 
of handling pig iron is so great and amounts to 
so much that it is impossible for the man who is 
best suited to this type of work to understand the 
principles of this science, or even to work in accord- 


ance with these principles without the aid of a man 
better educated than he is. And the further illustra- 
tions to be given will make it clear that in almost 
all of the mechanic arts the science which underlies 
each workman's act is so great and amounts to so 
much that the workman who is best suited actually 
to do the work is incapable (either through lack of 
education or through insufficient mental capacity) 
of understanding this science. This is announced 
as a general principle, the truth of which will become 
apparent as one illustration after another is given. 
After showing these four elements in the handling 
of pig iron, several illustrations will be given of their 
application to different kinds of work in the field 
of the mechanic arts, at intervals in a rising scale, 
beginning with the simplest and ending with the 
more intricate forms of labor. 

One of the first pieces of work undertaken by 
us, when the writer started to introduce scientific 
management into the Bethlehem Steel Company, 
was to handle pig iron on task work. The opening 
of the Spanish War found some 80,000 tons of pig 
iron placed in small piles in an open field adjoining 
the works. Prices for pig iron had been so low that 
it could not be sold at a profit, and it therefore had 
been stored. With the opening of the Spanish War 
the price of pig iron rose, and this large accumulation 
of iron was sold. This gave us a good opportunity 
to show the workmen, as well as the owners and 
managers of the works, on a fairly large scale the 
advantages of task work over the old-fashioned day 


work and piece work, in doing a very elementary 
class of work. 

The Bethlehem Steel Company had five blast 
furnaces, the product of which had been handled 
by a pig-iron gang for many years. This gang, at 
this time, consisted of about 75 men. They were 
good, average pig-iron handlers, were under an 
excellent foreman who himself had been a pig-iron 
handler, and the work was done, on the whole, 
about as fast and as cheaply as it was anywhere 
else at that time. 

A railroad switch was run out into the field, right 
along the edge of the piles of pig iron. An inclined 
plank was placed against the side of a car, and each 
man picked up from his pile a pig of iron weighing 
about 92 pounds, walked up the inclined plank and 
dropped it on the end of the car. 

We found that this gang were loading on the 
average about 12| long tons per man per day. 
We were surprised to find, after studying the matter, 
that a first-class pig-iron handler ought to handle 
between 47 l and 48 long tons per day, instead of 
12i tons. This task seemed to us so very large 
that we were obliged to go over our work several 
times before we were absolutely sure that we were 
right. Once we were sure, however, that 47 tons 
was a proper day's work for a first-class pig-iron 
handler, the task which faced us as managers under 
the modern scientific plan was clearly before us. 
It was our duty to see that the 80,000 tons of pig 

1 See foot-note at foot of page 60. 


iron was loaded on to the cars at the rate of 47 tons 
per man per day, in place of 12| tons, at which rate 
the work was then being done. And it was further 
our duty to see that this work was done without 
bringing on a strike among the men, without any 
quarrel with the men, and to see that the men were 
happier and better contented when loading at the 
new rate of 47 tons than they were when loading at 
the old rate of 12i tons. 

Our first step was the scientific selection of the 
workman. In dealing with workmen under this 
type of management, it is an inflexible rule to talk 
to and deal with only one man at a time, since each 
workman has his own special abilities and limita- 
tions, and since we are not dealing with men in 
masses, but are trying to develop each individual 
man to his highest state of efficiency and prosperity. 
Our first step was to find the proper workman to 
begin with. We therefore carefully watched and 
studied these 75 men for three or four days, at the 
end of which time we had picked out four men 
who appeared to be physically able to handle 
pig iron at the rate of 47 tons per day. A careful 
study was then made of each of these men. We 
looked up their history as far back as practicable and 
thorough inquiries were made as to the character, 
habits, and the ambition of each of them. Finally 
we selected one from among the four as the most, 
likely man to start with. He was a little Pennsyl- 
vania Dutchman who had been observed to trot back 
home for a mile or so after his work in the evening. 


about as fresh as he was when he came trotting down 
to work in the morning. We found that upon 
wages of $1.15 a day he had succeeded in buying a 
small plot of ground, and that he was engaged in 
putting up the walls of a little house for himself 
in the morning before starting to work and at night 
after leaving. He also had the reputation of being 
exceedingly "close," that is, of placing a very high 
value on a dollar. As one man whom we talked to 
about him said, "A penny looks about the size of a 
cart-wheel to him." This man we will call Schmidt. 

The task before us, then, narrowed itself down to 
getting Schmidt to handle 47 tons of pig iron per 
day and making him glad to do it. This was done 
as follows. Schmidt was called out from among the 
gang of pig-iron handlers and talked to somewhat 
in this way: 

"Schmidt, are you a high-priced man?" 

"Veil, I don't know vat you mean." 

" Oh yes, you do. What I want to know is whether 
you are a high-priced man or not." 

"Veil, I don't know vat you mean." 

"Oh, come now, you answer my questions. What 
I want to find out is whether you are a high-priced 
man or one of these cheap fellows here. What I 
want to find out is whether you want to earn $1.85 
a day or whether you are satisfied with $1.15, just 
the same as all those cheap fellows are getting." 

"Did I vant $1.85 a day? Vas dot a high-priced 
man? Veil, yes, I vas a high-priced man." 

"Oh, you're aggravating me. Of course you want 


$1.85 a day every one wants it! You know per- 
fectly well that that has very little to do with your 
being a high-priced man. For goodness' sake answer 
my questions, and don't waste any more of my time. 
Now come over here. You see that pile of pig 


"You see that car?" 


"Well, if you are a high-priced man, you will 
load that pig iron on that car to-morrow for $1.85. 
Now do wake up and answer my question. Tell 
me whether you are a high-priced man or not. " 

"Veil did I got $1.85 for loading dot pig iron 
on dot car to-morrow?" 

"Yes, of course you do, and you get $1.85 for 
loading a pile like that every day right through the 
year. That is what a high-priced man does, and 
you know it just as well as I do." 

"Veil, dot's all right. I could load dot pig iron 
on the car to-morrow for $1.85, and I get it every day, 
don't I?" 

"Certainly you do certainly you do." 

"Veil, den, I vas a high-priced man." 

"Now, hold on, hold on. You know just as well 
as I do that a high-priced man has to do exactly as 
he's told from morning till night. You have seen 
this man here before, haven't you?" 

"No, I never saw him." 

"Well, if you are a high-priced man, you will do 
exactly as this man tells you to-morrow, from morn- 


ing till night. When he tells you to pick up a pig 
and walk, you pick it up and you walk, and when 
he tells you to sit down and rest, you sit down. 
You do that right straight through the day. And 
what's more, no back talk. Now a high-priced 
man does just what he's told to do, and no back 
talk. Do you understand that? When this man 
tells you to walk, you walk; when he tells you to 
sit down, you sit down, and you don't talk back at 
him. Now you come on to work here to-morrow 
morning and I'll know before night whether you are 
really a high-priced man or not." 

This seems to be rather rough talk. And indeed 
it would be if applied to an educated mechanic, or 
even an intelligent laborer. With a man of the 
mentally sluggish type of Schmidt it is appropriate 
and not unkind, since it is effective in fixing his 
attention on the high wages which he wants and 
away from what, if it were called to his attention, 
he probably would consider impossibly hard work. 

What would Schmidt's answer be if he were talked 
to in a manner which is usual under the manage- 
ment of " initiative and incentive"? say, as follows: 

"Now, Schmidt, you are a first-class pig-iron 
handler and know your business well. You have 
been handling at the rate of 12 J tons per day. I 
have given considerable study to handling pig iron, 
and feel sure that you could do a much larger day's 
work than you have been doing. Now don't you 
think that if you really tried you could handle 47 
tons of pig iron per day, instead of 12| tons? " 


What do you think Schmidt's answer would be 
to this? 

Schmidt started to work, and all day long, and 
at regular intervals, was told by the man who stood 
over him with a watch, "Now pick up a pig and 
walk. Now sit down and rest. Now walk now 
rest," etc. He worked when he was told to work, 
and rested when he was told to rest, and at half- 
past five in the afternoon had his 47i tons loaded 
on the car. And he practically never failed to work 
at this pace and do the task that was set him during 
the three years that the writer was at Bethlehem. 
And throughout this time he averaged a little more 
than $1.85 per day, whereas before he had never 
received over $1.15 per day, which was the ruling 
rate of wages at that time in Bethlehem. That 
is, he received 60 per cent, higher wages than were 
paid to other men who were not working on task 
work. One man after another was picked out and 
trained to handle pig iron at the rate of 471 tons 
per day until all of the pig iron was handled at 
this rate, and the men were receiving 60 per cent, 
more wages than other workmen around them. 

The writer has given above a brief description of 
three of the four elements which constitute the 
essence of scientific management: first, the careful 
selection of the workman, and, second and third, 
the method of first inducing and then training and 
helping the workman to work according to the 
scientific method. Nothing has as yet been said 
about the science of handling pig iron. The writer 


trusts, however, that before leaving this illustra- 
tion the reader will be thoroughly convinced that 
there is a science of handling pig iron, and further 
that this science amounts to so much that the man 
who is suited to handle pig iron cannot possibly 
understand it, nor even work in accordance with the 
laws of this science, without the help of those who 
are over him. 

The writer came into the machine-shop of the 
Midvale Steel Company in 1878, after having served 
an apprenticeship as a pattern-maker and as a 
machinist. This was close to the end of the long 
period of depression following the panic of 1873, 
and business was so poor that it was impossible for 
many mechanics to get work at their trades. For 
this reason he was obliged to start as a day laborer 
instead of working as a mechanic. Fortunately for 
him, soon after he came into the shop the clerk of 
the shop was found stealing. There was no one else 
available, and so, having more education [than the 
other laborers (since he had been prepared for col- 
lege) he was given the position of clerk. Shortly 
after this he was given work as a machinist in run- 
ning one of the lathes, and, as he turned out rather 
more work than other machinists were doing on 
similar lathes, after several months was made gang- 
boss over the lathes. 

Almost all of the work of this shop had been done 
on piece work for several years. As was usual 
then, and in fact as is still usual in most of the shops 
in this country, the shop was really run by the work- 


men, and not by the bosses. The workmen together 
had carefully planned just how fast each job should 
be done, and they had set a pace for each machine 
throughout the shop, which was limited to about 
one-third of a good day's work. Every new work- 
man who came into the shop was told at once by 
the other men exactly how much of each kind of 
work he was to do, and unless he obeyed these in- 
structions he was sure before long to be driven out 
of the place by the men. 

As soon as the writer was made gang-boss, one 
after another of the men came to him and talked 
somewhat as follows: 

"Now, Fred, we're very glad to see that you've 
been made gang-boss. You know the game all right, 
and we're sure that you're not likely to be a piece- 
work hog. You come along with us, and every- 
thing will be all right, but if you try breaking any 
of these rates you can be mighty sure that we'll 
throw you over the fence." 

The writer told them plainly that he was now 
working on the side of the management, and that 
he proposed to do whatever he could to get a fair 
day's work out of the lathes. This immediately 
started a war; in most cases a friendly war, because 
the men who were under him were his personal 
friends, but none the less a war, which as time 
went on grew more and more bitter. The writer 
used every expedient to make them do a fair day's 
work, such as discharging or lowering the wages of 
the more stubborn men who refused to make any 


improvement, and such as lowering the piece-work 
price, hiring green men, and personally teaching them 
how to do the work, with the promise from them that 
when they had learned how, they would then do a 
fair day's work. While the men constantly brought 
such pressure to bear (both inside and outside the 
works) upon all those who started to increase their 
output that they were finally compelled to do about 
as the rest did, or else quit. No one who has not 
had this experience can have an idea of the bitter- 
ness which is gradually developed in such a struggle. 
In a war of this kind the workmen have one expe- 
dient which is usually effective. They use their 
ingenuity to contrive various ways in which the 
machines which they are running are broken or 
damaged apparently by accident, or in the regular 
course of work and this they always lay at the 
door of the foreman, who has forced them to drive 
the machine so hard that it is overstrained and is 
being ruined. And there are few foremen indeed 
who are able to stand up against the combined pres- 
sure of all of the men in the shop. In this case the 
problem was complicated by the fact that the shop 
ran both day and night. 

The writer had two advantages, however, which 
are not possessed by the ordinary foreman, and these 
came, curiously enough, from the fact that he was 
not the son of a working man. 

First, owing to the fact that he happened not to 
be of working parents, the owners of the company 
believed that he had the interest of the works more 


at heart than the other workmen, and they therefore 
had more confidence in his word than they did in 
that of the machinists who were under him. So 
that, when the machinists reported to the Superin- 
tendent that the machines were being smashed up 
because an incompetent foreman was overstraining 
them, the Superintendent accepted the word of the 
writer when he said that these men were deliberately 
breaking their machines as a part of the piece-work 
war which was going on, and he also allowed the 
writer to make the only effective answer to this 
Vandalism on the part of the men, namely: "There 
will be no more accidents to the machines in this 
shop. If any part of a machine is broken the man in 
charge of it must pay at least a part of the cost of 
its repair, and the fines collected in this way will all 
be handed over to the mutual beneficial association 
to help care for sick workmen." This soon stopped 
the wilful breaking of machines. 

Second. If the writer had been one of the work- 
men, and had lived where they lived, they would 
have brought such social pressure to bear upon him 
that it would have been impossible to have stood out 
against them. He would have been called "scab" 
and other foul names every time he appeared on 
the street, his wife would have been abused, and his 
children would have been stoned. Once or twice 
he was begged by some of his friends among the 
workmen not to walk home, about two and a half 
miles along the lonely path by the side of the rail- 
way. He was told that if he continued to do this 


it would be at the risk of his life. In all such 
cases, however, a display of timidity is apt to increase 
rather than diminish the risk, so the writer told 
these men to say to the other men in the shop that 
he proposed to walk home every night right up that 
railway track; that he never had carried and never 
would carry any weapon of any kind, and that they 
could shoot and be d . 

After about three years of this kind of struggling, 
the output of the machines had been materially 
increased, in many cases doubled, and as a result 
the writer had been promoted from one gang-boss- 
ship to another until he became foreman of the 
shop. For any right-minded man, however, this 
success is in no sense a recompense for the bitter 
relations which he is forced to maintain with all of 
those around him. Life which is one continuous 
struggle with other men is hardly worth living. 
His workman friends came to him continually and 
asked him, in a personal, friendly way, whether he 
would advise them, for their own best interest, to 
turn out more work. And, as a truthful man, he 
had to tell them that if he were in their place he 
would fight against turning out any more work, 
just as they were doing, because under the piece- 
work system they would be allowed to earn no more 
wages than they had been earning, and yet they 
would be made to work harder. 

Soon after being made foreman, therefore, he 
decided to make a determined effort to in some way 
change the system of management, so that the inter- 


ests of the workmen and the management should 
become the same, instead of antagonistic. This 
resulted, some three years later, in the starting of 
the type of management which is described in papers 
presented to the American Society of Mechanical 
Engineers entitled "A Piece-Rate System" and 
"Shop Management." 

In preparation for this system the writer realized 
that the greatest obstacle to harmonious cooperation 
between the workmen and the management lay in 
the ignorance of the management as to what really 
constitutes a proper day's work for a workman. He 
fully realized that, although he was foreman of the 
shop, the combined knowledge and skill of the work- 
men who were under him was certainly ten times as 
great as his own. He therefore obtained the per- 
mission of Mr. William Sellers, who was at that time 
the President of the Midvale Steel Company, to 
spend some money in a careful, scientific study of 
the time required to do various kinds of work. 

Mr. Sellers allowed this more as a reward for 
having, to a certain extent, "made good" as foreman 
of the shop in getting more work out of the men, 
than for any other reason. He stated, however, 
that he did not believe that any scientific study of 
this sort would give results of much value. 

Among several investigations which were under- 
taken at this time, one was an attempt to find some 
rule, or law, which would enable a foreman to know 
in advance how much of any kind of heavy laboring 
work a man who was well suited to his job ought 


to do in a day; that is, to study the tiring effect 
of heavy labor upon a first-class man. Our first 
step was to employ a young college graduate to 
look up all that had been written on the subject 
in English, German, and French. Two classes of 
experiments had been made: one by physiologists 
who were studying the endurance of the human 
animal, and the other by engineers who wished to 
determine what fraction of a horse-power a man- 
power was. These experiments had been made 
largely upon men who were lifting loads by means of 
turning the crank of a winch from which weights 
were suspended, and others who were engaged in 
walking, running, and lifting weights in various 
ways. However, the records of these investigations 
were so meager that no law of any value could be 
deduced from them. We therefore started a series 
of experiments of our own. 

Two first-class laborers were selected, men who 
had proved themselves to be physically powerful 
and who were also good steady workers. These men 
were paid double wages during the experiments, and 
were told that they must work to the best of their 
ability at all times, and that we should make certain 
tests with them from time to time to find whether 
they were "soldiering" or not, and that the moment 
either one of them started to try to deceive us 
he would be discharged. They worked to the best 
of their ability throughout the time that they were 
being observed. 

Now it must be clearly understood that in these 


experiments we were not trying to find the maxi- 
mum work that a man could do on a short spurt or 
for a few days, but that our endeavor was to learn 
what really constituted a full day's work for a first- 
class man; the best day's work that a man could 
properly do, year in and year out, and still thrive 
under. These men were given all kinds of tasks, 
which were carried out each day under the close 
observation of the young college man who was con- 
ducting the experiments, and who at the same time 
noted with a stop-watch the proper time for all of 
the motions that were made by the men. Every 
element in any way connected with the work which 
we believed could have a bearing on the result was 
carefully studied and recorded. What we hoped 
ultimately to determine was what fraction of a 
horse-power a man was able to exert, that is, how 
many foot-pounds of work a man could do in a day. 
After completing this series of experiments, there- 
fore, each man's work for each day was translated 
into foot-pounds of energy, and to our surprise we 
found that there was no constant or uniform relation 
between the foot-pounds of energy which the man 
exerted during a day and the tiring effect of his work. 
On some kinds of work the man would be tired out 
when doing perhaps not more than one-eighth of a 
horse-power, while in others he would be tired to no 
greater extent by doing half a horse-power of work. 
We failed, therefore, to find any law which was an 
accurate guide to the maximum day's work for a 
first-class workman. 


A large amount of very valuable data had been 
obtained, which enabled us to know, for many 
kinds of labor, what was a proper day's work. It 
did not seem wise, however, at this time to spend 
any more money in trying to find the exact law 
which we were after. Some years later, when more 
money was available for this purpose, a second series 
of experiments was made, similar to the first, but 
somewhat more thorough. This, however, resulted 
as the first experiments, in obtaining valuable infor- 
mation but not in the development of a law. Again, 
some years later, a third series of experiments was 
made, and this time no trouble was spared in our 
endeavor to make the work thorough. Every minute 
element which could in any way affect the problem 
was carefully noted and studied, and two college men 
devoted about three months to the experiments. 
After this data was again translated into foot-pounds 
of energy exerted for each man each day, it became 
perfectly clear that there is no direct relation between 
the horse-power which a man exerts (that is, his 
foot-pounds of energy per day) and the tiring effect 
of the work on the man. The writer, however, was 
quite as firmly convinced as ever that some definite, 
clear-cut law existed as to what constitutes a full 
day's work for a first-class laborer, and our data 
had been so carefully collected and recorded that 
he felt sure that the necessary information was 
included somewhere in the records. The problem 
of developing this law from the accumulated facts 
was therefore handed over to Mr. Carl G. Earth, 


who is a better mathematician than any of the rest 
of us, and we decided to investigate the problem 
in a new way, by graphically representing each 
element of the work through plotting curves, which 
should give us, as it were, a bird's-eye view of every 
element. In a comparatively short time Mr. Barth 
had discovered the law governing the tiring effect of 
heavy labor on a first-class man. And it is so simple 
in its nature that it is truly remarkable that it 
should not have been discovered and clearly under- 
stood years before. The law which was developed 
is as follows: 

The law is confined to that class of work in which 
the limit of a man's capacity is reached because he 
is tired out. It is the law of heavy laboring, cor- 
responding to the work of the cart horse, rather than 
that of the trotter. Practically all such work con- 
sists of a heavy pull or a push on the man's arms, 
that is, the man's strength is exerted by either lift- 
ing or pushing something which he grasps in his 
hands. And the law is that for each given pull 
or push on the man's arms it is possible for the work- 
man to be under load for only a definite percentage 
of the day. For example, when pig iron is being 
handled (each pig weighing 92 pounds), a first- 
class workman can only be under load 43 per cent, 
of the day. He must be entirely free from load 
during 57 per cent, of the day. And as the load 
becomes lighter, the percentage of the day under 
which the man can remain under load increases. 
So that, if the workman is handling a half-pig, 


weighing 46 pounds, he can then be under load 
58 per cent, of the day, and only has to rest during 
42 per cent. As the weight grows lighter the man can 
remain under load during a larger and larger per- 
centage of the day, until finally a load is reached 
which he can carry in his hands all day long without 
being tired out. When that point has been arrived 
at this law ceases to be useful as a guide to a 
laborer's endurance, and some other law must be 
found which indicates the man's capacity for work. 

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

To return now to our pig-iron handlers at the 


Bethlehem Steel Company. If Schmidt had been 
allowed to attack the pile of 47 tons of pig iron 
without the guidance or direction of a man who 
understood the art, or science, of handling pig iron, 
in his desire to earn his high wages he would probably 
have tired himself out by 11 or 12 o'clock in the day. 
He would have kept so steadily at work that his 
muscles would not have had the proper periods of 
rest absolutely needed for recuperation, and he 
would have been completely exhausted early in 
the day. By having a man, however, who under- 
stood this law, stand over him and direct his work, 
day after day, until he acquired the habit of resting 
at proper intervals, he was able to work at an even 
gait all day long without unduly tiring himself. 

Now one of the very first requirements for a man 
who is fit to handle pig iron as a regular occupation 
is that he shall be so stupid and so phlegmatic that 
he more nearly resembles in his mental make-up 
the ox than any other type. The man who is 
mentally alert and intelligent is for this very reason 
entirely unsuited to what would, for him, be the 
grinding monotony of work of this character. There- 
fore the workman who is best suited to handling 
pig iron is unable to understand the real science 
of doing this class of work. He is so stupid that the 
word " percentage" has no meaning to him, and he 
must consequently be trained by a man more intel- 
ligent than himself into the habit of working in 
accordance with the laws of this science before he 
can be successful. 


The writer trusts that it is now clear that even 
in the case of the most elementary form of labor 
that is known, there is a science, and that when the 
man best suited to this class of work has been care- 
fully selected, when the science of doing the work 
has been developed, and when the carefully selected 
man has been trained to work in accordance with 
this science, the results obtained must of necessity 
be overwhelmingly greater than those which are 
possible under the plan of " initiative and incentive." 

Let us, however, again turn to the case of these 
pig-iron handlers, and see whether, under the ordinary 
type of management, it would not have been possible 
to obtain practically the same results. 

The writer has put the problem before many 
good managers, and asked them whether, under 
premium work, piece work, or any of the ordinary 
plans of management, they would be likely even to 
approximate 47 tons l per man per day, and not a 

1 Many people have questioned the accuracy of the statement that 
first-class workmen can load 47i tons of pig iron from the ground on to a 
car in a day. For those who are skeptical, therefore, the following data 
relating to this work are given: 

First. That our experiments indicated the existence of the following 
law: that a first-class laborer, suited to such work as handling pig iron, 
could be under load only 42 per cent, of the day and must be free from 
load 58 per cent, of the day. 

Second. That a man in loading pig iron from piles placed on the ground 
in an open field on to a car which stood on a track adjoining these piles, 
ought to handle (and that they did handle regularly) 47J long tons 
(2240 pounds per ton) per day. 

That the price paid for loading this pig iron was 3& cents per ton, and 
that the men working at it averaged $1.85 per day, whereas, in the past, 
they had been paid only $1.15 per day. 

In addition to these facts, the following are given: 


man has suggested that an output of over 18 to 
25 tons could be attained by any of the ordinary 
expedients. It will be remembered that the Bethle- 
hem men were loading only 12i tons per man. 

To go into the matter in more detail, however: 
As to the scientific selection of the men, it is a fact 
that in this gang of 75 pig-iron handlers only about 
one man in eight was physically capable of handling 
47| tons per day. With the very best of intentions, 
the other seven out of eight men were physically 
unable to work at this pace. Now the one man in 
eight who was able to do this work was in no sense 
superior to the other men who were working on the 

47 long tons equal 106,400 pounds of pig iron per day. 

At 92 pounds per pig, equals 1156 pigs per day. 

42 per cent, of a day under load equals 600 minutes; multiplied by 
0.42 equals 252 minutes under load. 

252 minutes divided by 1156 pigs equals 0.22 minutes per pig under 

A pig-iron handler walks on the level at the rate of one foot in 0.006 
minutes. The average distance of the piles of pig iron from the car was 
36 feet. It is a fact, however, that many of the pig-iron handlers ran 
with their pig as soon as they reached the inclined plank. Many of them 
also would run down the plank after loading the car. So that when the 
actual loading went on, many of them moved at a faster rate than is indi- 
cated by the above figures. Practically the men were made to take a rest, 
generally by sitting down, after loading ten to twenty pigs. This rest was 
in addition to the time which it took them to walk back from the car 
to the pile. It is likely that many of those who are skeptical about the 
possibility of loading this amount of pig iron do not realize that while 
these men were walking back they were entirely free from load, and that 
therefore their muscles had, during that time, the opportunity for recupera- 
tion. It will be noted that with an average distance of 36 feet of the pig 
iron from the car, these men walked about eight miles under load each 
day and eight miles free from load. 

If any one who is interested in these figures will multiply them and 
divide them, one into the other, in various ways, he will find that all of 
the facts stated check up exactly. 


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

Under the management of " initiative and incen- 
tive" the attitude of the management is that of 
" putting the work up to the workmen." What 
likelihood would there be, then, under the old type 
of management, of these men properly selecting 
themselves for pig-iron handling? Would they be 
likely to get rid of seven men out of eight from their 
own gang and retain only the eighth man? No! 
And no expedient could be devised which would 
make these men properly select themselves. Even 
if they fully realized the necessity of doing so in order 
to obtain high wages (and they are not sufficiently 
intelligent properly to grasp this necessity), the fact 
that their friends or their brothers who were working 
right alongside of them would temporarily be thrown 
out of a job because they were not suited to this 


kind of work would entirely prevent them from 
properly selecting themselves, that is, from removing 
the seven out of eight men on the gang who were 
unsuited to pig-iron handling. 

As to the possibility, under the old type of manage- 
ment, of inducing these pig-iron handlers (after 
they had been properly selected) to work in accord- 
ance with the science of doing heavy laboring, namely, 
having proper scientifically determined periods of 
rest in close sequence to periods of work. As has 
been indicated before, the essential idea of the 
ordinary types of management is that each workman 
has become more skilled in his own trade than it 
is possible for any one in the management to be, and 
that, therefore, the details of how the work shall 
best be done must be left to him. The idea, then, 
of taking one man after another and training him 
under a competent teacher into new working habits 
until he continually and habitually works in accord- 
ance with scientific laws, which have been developed 
by some one else, is directly antagonistic to the old 
idea that each workman can best regulate his own 
way of doing the work. And besides this, the man 
suited to handling pig iron is too stupid properly to 
train himself. Thus it will be seen that with the 
ordinary types of management the development of 
scientific knowledge to replace rule of thumb, the 
scientific selection of the men, and inducing the men 
to work in accordance with these scientific principles 
are entirely out of the question. And this because 
the philosophy of the old management puts the entire 


responsibility upon the workmen, while the philoso- 
phy of the new places a great part of it upon the 

With most readers great sympathy will be aroused 
because seven out of eight of these pig-iron handlers 
were thrown out of a job. This sympathy is entirely 
wasted, because almost all of them were immedi- 
ately given other jobs with the Bethlehem Steel 
Company. And indeed it should be understood 
that the removal of these men from pig-iron handling, 
for which they were unfit, was really a kindness to 
themselves, because it was the first step toward 
finding them work for which they were peculiarly 
fitted, and at which, after receiving proper training, 
they could permanently and legitimately earn higher 

Although the reader may be convinced that there 
is a certain science back of the handling of pig iron, 
still it is more than likely that he is still skeptical 
as to the existence of a science for doing other 
kinds of laboring. One of the important objects of 
this paper is to convince its readers that every single 
act of every workman can be reduced to a science. 
With the hope of fully convincing the reader of this 
fact, therefore, the writer proposes to give several 
more simple illustrations from among the thousands 
which are at hand. 

For example, the average man would question 
whether there is much of any science in the work 
of shoveling. Yet there is but little doubt, if any 
intelligent reader of this paper were deliberately to 


set out to find what may be called the foundation 
of the science of shoveling, that with perhaps 15 
to 20 hours of thought and analysis he would be 
almost sure to have arrived at the essence of this 
science. On the other hand, so completely are the 
rule-of-thumb ideas still dominant that the writer 
has never -met a single shovel contractor to whom 
it had ever even occurred that there was such a thing 
as the science of shoveling. This science is so 
elementary as to be almost self-evident. 

For a first-class shoveler there is a given shovel 
load at which he will do his biggest day's work. 
What is this shovel load? Will a first-class man do 
more work per day with a shovel load of 5 pounds, 
10 pounds, 15 pounds, 20, 25, 30, or 40 pounds? 
Now this is a question which can be answered only 
through carefully made experiments. By first select- 
ing two or three first-class shovelers, and paying 
them extra wages for doing trustworthy work, and 
then gradually varying the shovel load and having 
all the conditions accompanying the work carefully 
observed for several weeks by men who were used 
to experimenting, it was found that a first-class man 
would do his biggest day's work with a shovel load 
of about 21 pounds. For instance, that this man 
would shovel a larger tonnage per day with a 21- 
pound load than with a 24-pound load or than with 
an 18-pound load on his shovel. It is, of course, 
evident that no shoveler can always take a load of 
exactly 21 pounds on his shovel, but nevertheless, 
although his load may vary 3 or 4 pounds one way 


or the other, either below or above the 21 pounds, 
he will do his biggest day's work when his average 
for the day is about 21 pounds. 

The writer does not wish it to be understood that 
this is the whole of the art or science of shoveling. 
There are many other elements, which together 
go to make up this science. But he wishes to 
indicate the important effect which this one piece 
of scientific knowledge has upon the work of 

At the works of the Bethlehem Steel Company, 
for example, as a result of this law, instead of allow- 
ing each shoveler to select and own his own shovel, 
it became necessary to provide some 8 to 10 different 
kinds of shovels, etc., each one appropriate to 
handling a given type of material; not only so as to 
enable the men to handle an average load of 21 
pounds, but also to adapt the shovel to several 
other requirements which become perfectly evident 
when this work is studied as a science. A large 
shovel tool room was built, in which were stored 
not only shovels but carefully designed and standard- 
ized labor implements of all kinds, such as picks, 
crowbars, etc. This made it possible to issue to 
each workman a shovel which would hold a load 
of 21 pounds of whatever class of material they were 
to handle: a small shovel for ore, say, or a large one 
for ashes. Iron ore is one of the heavy materials 
which are handled in a works of this kind, and rice 
coal, owing to the fact that it is so slippery on the 
shovel, is one of the lightest materials. And it was 


found on studying the rule-of-thumb plan at the 
Bethlehem Steel Company, where each shoveler 
owned his own shovel, that he would frequently 
go from shoveling ore, with a load of about 30 pounds 
per shovel, to handling rice coal, with a load on 
the same shovel of less than 4 pounds. In the one 
case, he was so overloaded that it was impossible for 
him to do a full day's work, and in the other case he 
was so ridiculously underloaded that it was manifestly 
impossible to even approximate a day's work. 

Briefly to illustrate some of the other elements 
which go to make up the science of shoveling, 
thousands of stop-watch observations were made to 
study just how quickly a laborer, provided in each 
case with the proper type of shovel, can push his 
shovel into the pile of materials and then draw it 
out properly loaded. These observations were made 
first when pushing the shovel into the body of the 
pile. Next when shoveling on a dirt bottom, that 
is, at the outside edge of the pile, and next with a 
wooden bottom, and finally with an iron bottom. 
Again a similar accurate time study was made of 
the time required to swing the shovel backward and 
then throw the load for a given horizontal distance, 
accompanied by a given height. This time study 
was made for various combinations of distance and 
height. With data of this sort before him, coupled 
with the law of endurance described in the case of 
the pig-iron handlers, it is evident that the man who 
is directing shovelers can first teach them the exact 
methods which should be employed to use their 


strength to the very best advantage, and can then 
assign them daily tasks which are so just that 
the workman can each day be sure of earning the 
large bonus which is paid whenever he successfully 
performs this task. 

There were about 600 shovelers and laborers of 
this general class in the yard of the Bethlehem Steel 
Company at this time. These men were scattered 
in their work over a yard which was, roughly, about 
two miles long and half a mile wide. In order that 
each workman should be given his proper implement 
and his proper instructions for doing each new job, 
it was necessary to establish a detailed system for 
directing men in their work, in place of the old plan 
of handling them in large groups, or gangs, under a 
few yard foremen. As each workman came into 
the works in the morning, he took out of his own 
special pigeonhole, with his number on the outside, 
two pieces of paper, one of which stated just what 
intplements he was to get from the tool room and 
where he was to start to work, and the second of 
which gave the history of his previous day's work; 
that is, a statement of the work which he had done, 
how much he had earned the day before, etc. Many 
of these men were foreigners and unable to read and 
write, but they all knew at a glance the essence of 
this report, because yellow paper showed the man 
that he had failed to do his full task the day before, 
and informed him that he had not earned as much 
as $1.85 a day, and that none but high-priced men 
would be allowed to stay permanently with this 


gang. The hope was further expressed that he would 
earn his full wages on the following day. So that 
whenever the men received white slips they knew 
that everything was all right, and whenever they 
received yellow slips they realized that they must do 
better or they would be shifted to some other class 
of work. 

Dealing with every workman as a separate indi- 
vidual in this way involved the building of a labor 
office for the superintendent and clerks who were 
in charge of this section of the work. In this office 
every laborer's work was planned out well in advance, 
and the workmen were all moved from place to 
place by the clerks with elaborate diagrams or maps 
of the yard before them, very much as chessmen are 
moved on a chess-board, a telephone and messenger 
system having been installed for this purpose. In 
this way a large amount of the time lost through hav- 
ing too many men in one place and too few in an- 
other, and through waiting between jobs, was entirely 
eliminated. Under the old system the workmen were 
kept day after day in comparatively large gangs, 
each under a single foreman, and the gang was apt 
to remain of pretty nearly the same size whether 
there was much or little of the particular kind of 
work on hand which this foreman had under his 
charge, since each gang had to be kept large enough 
to handle whatever work in its special line was likely 
to come along. 

When one ceases to deal with men in large gangs 
or groups, and proceeds to study each workman as 


an individual, if the workman fails to do his task, 
some competent teacher should be sent to show him 
exactly how his work can best be done, to guide, 
help, and encourage him, and, at the same time, to 
study his possibilities as a workman. So that, under 
the plan which individualizes each workman, instead 
of brutally discharging the man or lowering his 
wages for failing to make good at once, he is given 
the time and the help required to make him pro- 
ficient at his present job, or he is shifted to another 
class of work for which he is either mentally or 
physically better suited. 

All of this requires the kindly cooperation of the 
management, and involves a much more elaborate 
organization and system than the old-fashioned 
herding of men in large gangs. This organization 
consisted, in this case, of one set of men, who were 
engaged in the development of the science of laboring 
through time study, such as has been described 
above; another set of men, mostly skilled laborers 
themselves, who were teachers, and who helped and 
guided the men in their work; another set of tool- 
room men who provided them with the proper 
implements and kept them in perfect order, and 
another set of clerks who planned the work well in 
advance, moved the men with the least loss of time 
from one place to another, and properly recorded 
each man's earnings, etc. And this furnishes an 
elementary illustration of what has been referred 
to as cooperation between the management and the 


The question which naturally presents itself is 
whether an elaborate organization of this sort can 
be made to pay for itself; whether such an organiza- 
tion is not top-heavy. This question will best be 
answered by a statement of the results of the third 
year of working under this plan. 

Old Plan New Plan 

Task Work 
The number of yard laborers 

was reduced from between 400 & 600 down to about 140 

Average number of tons per 

man per day 16 59 

Average earnings per man 

per day $1.15 $1.88 

Average cost of handling a 

ton of 2240 Ibs $0.072 $0.033 

And in computing the low cost of $0.033 per ton, the 
office and tool-room expenses, and the wages of all 
labor superintendents, foremen, clerks, time-study 
men, etc., are included. 

During this year the total saving of the new plan 
over the old amounted to $36,417.69, and during 
the six months following, when all of the work of 
the yard was on task work, the saving was at the 
rate of between $75,000 and $80,000 per year. 

Perhaps the most important of all the results 
attained was the effect on the workmen themselves. 
A careful inquiry into the condition of these men 
developed the fact that out of the 140 workmen only 
two were said to be drinking men. This does not, 
of course, imply that many of them did not take an 
occasional drink. The fact is that a steady drinker 


would find it almost impossible to keep up with the 
pace which was set, so that they were practically 
all sober. Many, if not most of them, were saving 
money, and they all lived better than they had 
before. These men constituted the finest body of 
picked laborers that the writer has ever seen together, 
and they looked upon the men who were over them, 
their bosses and their teachers, as their very best 
friends; not as nigger drivers, forcing them to work 
extra hard for ordinary wages, but as friends who 
were teaching them and helping them to earn much 
higher wages than they had ever earned before. 
It would have been absolutely impossible for any one 
to have stirred up strife between these men and their 
employers. And this presents a very simple though 
effective illustration of what is meant by the words 
"prosperity for the employ^, coupled with prosperity 
for the employer," the two principal objects of man- 
agement. It is evident also that this result has 
been brought about by the application of the four 
fundamental principles of scientific management. 

As another illustration of the value of a scientific 
study of the motives which influence workmen in their 
daily work, the loss of ambition and initiative will 
be cited, which takes place in workmen when they 
are herded into gangs instead of being treated as 
separate individuals. A careful analysis had dem- 
onstrated the fact that when workmen are herded 
together in gangs, each man in the gang becomes 
far less efficient than when his personal ambition 
is stimulated; that when men work in gangs, their 


individual efficiency falls almost invariably down to 
or below the level of the worst man in the gang; 
and that they are all pulled down instead of being 
elevated by being herded together. For this reason 
a general order had been issued in the Bethlehem 
Steel Works that not more than four men were to 
be allowed to work in a labor gang without a special 
permit, signed by the General Superintendent of the 
works, this special permit to extend for one week 
only. It was arranged that as far as possible each 
laborer should be given a separate individual task. 
As there were about 5000 men at work in the estab- 
lishment, the General Superintendent had so much 
to do that there was but little time left for signing 
these special permits. 

After gang work had been by this means broken 
up, an unusually fine set of ore shovelers had been 
developed, through careful selection and individual, 
scientific training. Each of these men was given a 
separate car to unload each day, and his wages 
depended upon his own personal work. The man 
who unloaded the largest amount of ore was paid 
the highest wages, and an unusual opportunity came 
for demonstrating the importance of individualizing 
each workman. Much of this ore came from the 
Lake Superior region, and the same ore was delivered 
both in Pittsburg and in Bethlehem in exactly similar 
cars. There was a shortage of ore handlers in 
Pittsburg, and hearing of the fine gang of laborers 
that had been developed at Bethlehem, one of the 
Pittsburg steel works sent an agent to hire the 


Bethlehem men. The Pittsburg men offered 4 T V 
cents a ton for unloading exactly the same ore, with 
the same shovels, from the same cars, that were 
unloaded in Bethlehem for 3A cents a ton. After 
carefully considering this situation, it was decided 
that it would be unwise to pay more than SA cents 
per ton for unloading the Bethlehem cars, because, 
at this rate, the Bethlehem laborers were earning a 
little over $1.85 per man per day, and this price 
was 60 per cent, more than the ruling rate of wages 
around Bethlehem. 

A long series of experiments, coupled with close 
observation, had demonstrated the fact that when 
workmen of this caliber are given a carefully measured 
task, which calls for a big day's work on their part, 
and that when in return for this extra effort they are 
paid wages up to 60 per cent, beyond the wages 
usually paid, that this increase in wages tends to 
make them not only more thrifty but better men in 
every way; that they live rather better, begin to 
save money, become more sober, and work more 
steadily. When, on the ether hand, they receive 
much more than a 60 per cent, increase in wages, 
many of them will work irregularly and tend to 
become more or less shiftless, extravagant, and dissi- 
pated. Our experiments showed, in other words, 
that it does not do for most men to get rich too fast. 

After deciding, for this reason, not to raise the 
wages of our ore handlers, these men were brought 
into the office one at a time, and talked to somewhat 
as follows: 


"Now, Patrick, you have proved to us that you 
are a high-priced man. You have been earning every 
day a little more than $1.85, and you are just the 
sort of man that we want to have in our ore-shovel- 
ing gang. A man has come here from Pittsburg, 
who is offering 4 T V cents per ton for handling ore 
while we can pay only 3A cents per ton. I think, 
therefore, that you had better apply to this man for 
a job. Of course, you know we are very sorry to 
have you leave us, but you have proved yourself 
a high-priced man, and we are very glad to see 
you get this chance of earning more money. Just 
remember, however, that at any time in the future, 
when you get out of a job, you can always come right 
back to us. There will always be a job for a high- 
priced man like you in our gang here." 

Almost all of the ore handlers took this advice, 
and went to Pittsburg, but in about six weeks most 
of them were again back in Bethlehem unloading 
ore at the old rate of 3 T 2 7r cents a ton. The writer 
had the following talk with one of these men after 
he had returned: 

"Patrick, what are you doing back here? I 
thought we had gotten rid of you." 

"Well, sir, I'll tell you how it was. When we 
got out there Jimmy and I were put on to a car 
with eight other men. We started to shovel the 
ore out just the same as we do here. After about 
half an hour I saw a little devil alongside of me 
doing pretty near nothing, so I said to him, 'Why 
don't you go to work? Unless we get the ore out 


of this car we won't get any money on pay-day.' 

He turned to me and said, 'Who in are you?' 

'Well/ I said, 'that's none of your business'; and 
the little devil stood up to me and said, 'You'll 
be minding your own business, or I'll throw you off 
this car!' 'Well, I could have spit on him and 
drowned him, but the rest of the men put down their 
shovels and looked as if they were going to back 
him up; so I went round to Jimmy and said (so 
that the whole gang could hear it), 'Now, Jimmy, 
you and I will throw a shovelful whenever this little 
devil throws one, and not another shovelful.' So 
we watched him, and only shoveled when he shoveled 
When pay-day came around, though, we had less 
money than we got here at Bethlehem. After that 
Jimmy and I went in to the boss, and asked him 
for a car to ourselves, the same as we got at Bethle- 
hem, but he told us to mind our own business. And 
when another pay-day came around we had less 
money than we got here at Bethlehem, so Jimmy 
and I got the gang together and brought them all 
back here to work again." 

When working each man for himself, these men 
were able to earn higher wages at 3 T 2 ir cents a ton 
than they could earn when they were paid 4A cents 
a ton on gang work; and this again shows the great 
gain which results from working according to even 
the most elementary of scientific principles. But 
it also shows that in the application of the most 
elementary principles it is necessary for the manage- 
ment to do their share of the work in cooperating 


with the workmen. The Pittsburg managers knew 
just how the results had been attained at Bethlehem, 
but they were unwilling to go to the small trouble 
and expense required to plan ahead and assign a 
separate car to each shoveler, and then keep an 
individual record of each man's work, and pay him 
just what he had earned. 

Bricklaying is one of the oldest of our trades. 
For hundreds of years there has been little or no 
improvement made in the implements and materials 
used in this trade, nor in fact in the method of 
laying bricks. In spite of the millions of men who 
have practised this trade, no great improvement has 
been evolved for many generations. Here, then, 
at least, one would expect to find but little gain 
possible through scientific analysis and study. Mr. 
Frank B, Gilbreth, a member of our Society, who had 
himself studied bricklaying in his youth, became 
interested in the principles of scientific management, 
and decided to apply them to the art of bricklay- 
ing. He made an intensely interesting analysis and 
study of each movement of the bricklayer, and one 
after another eliminated all unnecessary movements 
and substituted fast for slow motions. He experi- 
mented with every minute element which in any 
way affects the speed and the tiring of the brick- 

He developed the exact position which each of 
the feet of the bricklayer should occupy with rela- 
tion to the wall, the mortar box, and the pile of 
bricks, and so made it unnecessary for him to take 


a step or two toward the pile of bricks and back 
again each time a brick is laid. 

He studied the best height for the mortar box 
and brick pile, and then designed a scaffold, with a 
table on it, upon which all of the materials are placed, 
so as to keep the bricks, the mortar, the man, and 
the wall in their proper relative positions. These 
scaffolds are adjusted, as the wall grows in height, 
for all of the bricklayers by a laborer especially 
detailed for this purpose, and by this means the 
bricklayer is saved the exertion of stooping down to 
the level of his feet for each brick and each trowel- 
ful of mortar and then straightening up again. 
Think of the waste of effort that has gone on through 
all these years, with each bricklayer lowering his 
body, weighing, say, 150 pounds, down two feet 
and raising it up again every time a brick (weigh- 
ing about 5 pounds) is laid in the wall! And this 
each bricklayer did about one thousand times a day. 

As a result of further study, after the bricks are 
unloaded from the cars, and before bringing them to 
the bricklayer, they are carefully sorted by a laborer, 
and placed with their best edge up on a simple 
wooden frame, constructed so as to enable him 
to take hold of each brick in the quickest time 
and in the most advantageous position. In this 
way the bricklayer avoids either having to turn 
the brick over or end for end to examine it before 
laying it, and he saves, also, the time taken in decid- 
ing which is the best edge and end to place on the 
outside of the wall. In most cases, also, he saves 


the time taken in disentangling the brick from a 
disorderly pile on the scaffold. This "pack" of 
bricks (as Mr. Gilbreth calls his loaded wooden 
frames) is placed by the helper in its proper position 
on the adjustable scaffold close to the mortar box. 

We have all been used to seeing bricklayers tap 
each brick after it is placed on its bed of mortar sev- 
eral times with the end of the handle of the trowel 
so as to secure the right thickness for the joint. 
Mr. Gilbreth found that by tempering the mor- 
tar just right, the bricks could be readily bedded 
to the proper depth by a downward pressure of the 
hand with which they are laid. He insisted that 
his mortar mixers should give special attention to 
tempering the mortar, and so save the time con- 
sumed in tapping the brick. 

Through all of this minute study of the motions 
to be made by the bricklayer in laying bricks under 
standard conditions, Mr. Gilbreth has reduced his 
movements from eighteen motions per brick to five, 
and even in one case to as low as two motions 
per brick. He has given all of the details of this 
analysis to the profession in the chapter headed 
"Motion Study," of his book entitled "Bricklaying 
System," published by Myron C. Clerk Publishing 
Company, New York and Chicago; E. F. N. Spon, 
of London. 

An analysis of the expedients used by Mr. Gilbreth 
in reducing the motions of his bricklayers from 
eighteen to five shows that this improvement has been 
made in three different ways: 


First. He has entirely dispensed with certain move- 
ments which the bricklayers in the past believed were 
necessary ; but which a careful study and trial on 
his part have shown to be useless. 

Second. He has introduced simple apparatus, such 
as his adjustable scaffold and his packets for hold- 
ing the bricks, by means of which, with a very 
small amount of cooperation from a cheap laborer, 
he entirely eliminates a lot of tiresome and time- 
consuming motions which are necessary for the brick- 
layer who lacks the scaffold and the packet. 

Third. He teaches his bricklayers to make simple 
motions with both hands at the same time, where 
before they completed a motion with the right hand 
and followed it later with one from the left hand. 

For example, Mr. Gilbreth teaches his brick- 
layer to pick up a brick in the left hand at the same 
instant that he takes a trowelful of mortar with 
the right hand. This work with two hands at the 
same time is, of course, made possible by substitut- 
ing a deep mortar box for the old mortar board 
(on which the mortar spread out so thin that a 
step or two had to be taken to reach it) and then 
placing the mortar box and the brick pile close 
together, and at the proper height on his new 

These three kinds of improvements are typical 
of the ways in which needless motions can be entirely 
eliminated and quicker types of movements substi- 
tuted for slow movements when scientific motion 
study, as Mr. Gilbreth calls his analysis, time study, 


as the writer has called similar work, are applied in 
any trade. 

Most practical men would (knowing the opposi- 
tion of almost all tradesmen to making any change in 
their methods and habits), however, be skeptical as 
to the possibility of actually achieving any large 
results from a study of this sort. Mr. Gilbreth 
reports that a few months ago, in a large brick build- 
ing which he erected, he demonstrated on a com- 
mercial scale the great gain which is possible from 
practically applying his scientific study. With union 
bricklayers, in laying a factory wall, twelve inches 
thick, with two kinds of brick, faced and ruled joints 
on both sides of the wall, he averaged, after his 
selected workmen had become skilful in his new 
methods, 350 bricks per man per hour; whereas the 
average speed of doing this work with the old 
methods was, in that section of the country, 120 
bricks per man per hour. His bricklayers were 
taught his new method of bricklaying by their fore- 
man. Those who failed to profit by their teaching 
were dropped, and each man, as he became profi- 
cient under the new method, received a substantial 
(not a small) increase in his wages. With a view to 
individualizing his workmen and stimulating each 
man to do his best, Mr. Gilbreth also developed an 
ingenious method for measuring and recording the 
number of bricks laid by each man, and for telling 
each workman at frequent intervals how many bricks 
he had succeeded in laying. 

It is only when this work is compared with the 


conditions which prevail under the tyranny of some 
of our misguided bricklayers' unions that the great 
waste of human effort which is going on will be 
realized. In one foreign city the bricklayers' union 
have restricted their men to 275 bricks per day 
on work of this character when working for the 
city, and 375 per day when working for private 
owners. The members of this union are probably 
sincere in their belief that this restriction of output 
is a benefit to their trade. It should be plain to 
all men, however, that this deliberate loafing is 
almost criminal, in that it inevitably results in 
making every workman's family pay higher rent 
for their housing, and also in the end drives work 
and trade away from their city, instead of bringing 
it to it. 

Why is it, in a trade which has been continually 
practised since before the Christian era, and with 
implements practically the same as they now are, 
that this simplification of the bricklayer's move- 
ments, this great gain, has not been made before? 

It is highly likely that many times during all of 
these years individual bricklayers have recognized 
the possibility of eliminating each of these unneces- 
sary motions. But even if, in the past, he did invent 
each one of Mr. Gilbreth's improvements, no brick- 
layer could alone increase his speed through their 
adoption because it will be remembered that in all 
cases several bricklayers work together in a row and 
that the walls all around a building must grow at the 
same rate of speed. No one bricklayer, then, can 


work much faster than the one next to him. Nor 
has any one workman the authority to make other 
men cooperate with him to do faster work. It is 
only through enforced standardization of methods, 
enforced adoption of the best implements and work- 
ing conditions, and enforced cooperation that this 
faster work can be assured. And the duty of enforc- 
ing the adoption of standards and of enforcing this 
cooperation rests with the management alone. The 
management must supply continually one or more 
teachers to show each new man the new and simpler 
motions, and the slower men must be constantly 
watched and helped until they have risen to their 
proper speed. All of those who, after proper teach- 
ing, either will not or cannot work in accordance 
with the new methods and at the higher speed must 
be discharged by the management. The management 
must also recognize the broad fact that workmen 
will not submit to this more rigid standardization 
and will not work extra hard, unless they receive 
extra pay for doing it. 

All of this involves an individual study of and 
treatment for each man, while in the past they have 
been handled in large groups. 

The management must also see that those who 
prepare the bricks and the mortar and adjust the 
scaffold, etc., for the bricklayers, cooperate with 
them by doing their work just right and always on 
time; and they must also inform each bricklayer at 
frequent intervals as to the progress he is making, 
so that he may not unintentionally fall off in his 


pace. Thus it will be seen that it is the assump- 
tion by the management of new duties and new 
kinds of work never done by employers in the past 
that makes this great improvement possible, and 
that, without this new help from the management, 
the workman even with full knowledge of the new 
methods and with the best of intentions could not 
attain these startling results. 

Mr. Gilbreth's method of bricklaying furnishes a 
simple illustration of true and effective cooperation. 
Not the type of cooperation in which a mass of 
workmen on one side together cooperate with the 
management; but that in which several men in the 
management (each one in his own particular way) 
help each workman individually, on the one hand, 
by studying his needs and his shortcomings and 
teaching him better and quicker methods, and, on 
the other hand, by seeing that all other workmen 
with whom he comes in contact help and cooperate 
with him by doing their part of the work right and 

The writer has gone thus fully into Mr. Gilbreth's 
method in order that it may be perfectly clear that 
this increase in output and that this harmony could 
not have been attained under the management of 
"initiative and incentive" (that is, by putting the 
problem up to the workman and leaving him to 
solve it alone) which has been the philosophy of the 
past. And that his success has been due to the use 
of the four elements which constitute the essence of 
scientific management, 


First. The development (by the management, not 
the workman) of the science of bricklaying, with 
rigid rules for each motion of every man, and the 
perfection and standardization of all implements and 
working conditions. 

Second. The careful selection and subsequent 
training of the bricklayers into first-class men, and 
the elimination of all men who refuse to or are 
unable to adopt the best methods. 

Third. Bringing the first-class bricklayer and the 
science of bricklaying together, through the con- 
stant help and watchfulness of the management, 
and through paying each man a large daily bonus 
for working fast and doing what he is told to do. 

Fourth. An almost equal division of the work and 
responsibility between the workman and the manage- 
ment. All day long the management work almost 
side by side with the men, helping, encouraging, 
and smoothing the way for them, while in the past 
they stood one side, gave the men but little help, 
and threw on to them almost the entire responsi- 
bility as to methods, implements, speed, and har- 
monious cooperation. 

Of these four elements, the first (the development 
of the science of bricklaying) is the most interesting 
and spectacular. Each of the three others is, how- 
ever, quite as necessary for success. 

It must not be forgotten that back of all this, 
and directing it, there must be the optimistic, 
determined, and hard-working leader who can wait 
patiently as well as work. 


In most cases (particularly when the work to be 
done is intricate in its nature) the " development 
of the science " is the most important of the four 
great elements of the new management. There are 
instances, however, in which the " scientific selection 
of the workman" counts for more than anything else. 

A case of this type is well illustrated in the very 
simple though unusual work of inspecting bicycle 

When the bicycle craze was at its height some 
years ago several million small balls made of hardened 
steel were used annually in bicycle bearings. And 
among the twenty or more operations used in mak- 
ing steel balls, perhaps the most important was that 
of inspecting them after final polishing so as to 
remove all fire-cracked or otherwise imperfect balls 
before boxing. 

The writer was given the task of systematizing 
the largest bicycle ball factory in this country. 
This company had been running for from eight to 
ten years on ordinary day work before he undertook 
its reorganization, so that the one hundred and 
twenty or more girls who were inspecting the balls 
were "old hands" and skilled at their jobs. 

It is impossible even in the most elementary work 
to change rapidly from the old independence of 
individual day work to scientific cooperation. 

In most cases, however, there exist certain imper- 
fections in working conditions which can at once be 
improved with benefit to all concerned. 

In this instance it was found that the inspectors 


(girls) were working ten and one-half hours per day 
(with a Saturday half holiday.) 

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

A most casual study made it evident that a very 
considerable part of the ten and one-half hours 
during which the girls were supposed to work was 
really spent in idleness because the working period 
was too long. 

It is a matter of ordinary common sense to plan 
working hours so that the workers can really "work 
while they work" and "play while they play," and 
not mix the two. 

Before the arrival of Mr. Sanford E. Thompson, 
who undertook a scientific study of the whole pro- 
cess, we decided, therefore, to shorten the working 

The old foreman who had been over the inspecting 


room for years was instructed to interview one after 
another of the better inspectors and the more in- 
fluential girls and persuade them that they could 
do just as much work in ten hours each day as they 
had been doing in ten and one-half hours. Each girl 
was told that the proposition was to shorten the day's 
work to ten hours and pay them the same day's pay 
they were receiving for the ten and one-half hours. 

In about two weeks the foreman reported that all 
of the girls he had talked to agreed that they could 
do their present work just as well in ten hours as 
in ten and one-half and that they approved of the 

The writer had not been especially noted for his 
tact so he decided that it would be wise for him to 
display a little more of this quality by having the 
girls vote on the new proposition. This decision 
was hardly justified, however, for when the vote was 
taken the girls were unanimous that 10i hours was 
good enough for them and they wanted no innova- 
tion of any kind. 

This settled the matter for the time being. A 
few months later tact was thrown to the winds and 
the working hours were arbitrarily shortened in suc- 
cessive steps to 10 hours, 9i, 9, and 8i (the pay per 
day remaining the same); and with each shortening 
of the working day the output increased instead of 

The change from the old to the scientific method 
in this department was made under the direction 
of Mr. Sanford E. Thompson, perhaps the most 


experienced man in motion and time study in this 
country, under the general superintendence of Mr. 
H. L. Gautt. 

In the Physiological departments of our univer- 
sities experiments are regularly conducted to deter- 
mine what is known as the " personal coefficient" 
of the man tested. This is done by suddenly bring- 
ing some object, the letter A or B for instance, within 
the range of vision of the subject, who, the instant 
he recognizes the letter has to do some definite 
thing, such as to press a particular electric button. 
The time which elapses from the instant the letter 
comes in view until the subject presses the button 
is accurately recorded by a delicate scientific instru- 

This test shows conclusively that there is a great 
difference in the " personal coefficient" of different 
men. Some individuals are born with unusually 
quick powers of perception accompanied by quick 
responsive action. With some the message is almost 
instantly transmitted from the eye to the brain, and 
the brain equally quickly responds by sending the 
proper message to the hand. 

Men of this type are said to have a low " personal 
coefficient," while those of slow perception and slow 
action have a high "personal coefficient." 

Mr. Thompson soon recognized that the quality 
most needed for bicycle ball inspectors was a low 
"personal coefficient." Of course the ordinary quali- 
ties of endurance and industry were also called for. 

For the ultimate good of the girls as well as the 


company, however, it became necessary to exclude 
all girls who lacked a low " personal coefficient." 
And unfortunately this involved laying off many of 
the most intelligent, hardest working, and most 
trustworthy girls merely because they did not 
possess the quality of quick perception followed by 
quick action. 

While the gradual selection of girls was going on 
other changes were also being made. 

One of the dangers to be guarded against, when the 
pay of the man or woman is made in any way to 
depend on the quantity of the work done, is that in 
the effort to increase the quantity the quality is apt 
to deteriorate. 

It is necessary in almost all cases, therefore, to 
take definite steps to insure against any falling off 
in quality before moving in any way towards an 
increase in quantity. 

In the work of these particular girls quality was 
the very essence. They were engaged in picking 
out all defective balls. 

The first step, therefore, was to make it impossible 
for them to slight their work without being found out. 
This was accomplished through what is known as 
over-inspection. Each one of four of the most trust- 
worthy girls was given each day a lot of balls to 
inspect which had been examined the day before by 
one of the regular inspectors; the number identify- 
ing the lot to be over-inspected having been changed 
by the foreman so that none of the over-inspectors 
knew whose work they were examining. In addition 


to this one of the lots inspected by the four over- 
inspectors was examined on the following day by 
the chief inspector, selected on account of her 
especial accuracy and integrity. 

An effective expedient was adopted for checking 
the honesty and accuracy of the over-inspection. 
Every two or three days a lot of balls was especially 
prepared by the foreman, who counted out a definite 
number of perfect balls, and added a recorded num- 
ber of defective balls of each kind. Neither the 
inspectors nor the over-inspectors had any means 
of distinguishing this prepared lot from the regular 
commercial lots. And in this way all temptation 
to slight their work or make false returns was re- 

After insuring in this way against deterioration 
in quality, effective means were at once adopted to 
increase the output. Improved day work was sub- 
stituted for the old slipshod method. An accurate 
daily record was kept both as to the quantity and 
quality of the work done in order to guard against 
any personal prejudice on the part of the foreman 
and to insure absolute impartiality and justice for 
each inspector. In a comparatively short time this 
record enabled the foreman to stir the ambition of 
all the inspectors by increasing the wages of those 
who turned out a large quantity and good quality, 
while at the same time lowering the pay of those 
who did indifferent work and discharging others who 
proved to be incorrigibly slow or careless. A careful 
examination was then made of the way in which each 


girl spent her time and an accurate time study was 
undertaken, through the use of a stop-watch and 
record blanks, to determine how fast each kind of 
inspection should be done, and to establish the 
exact conditions under which each girl could do her 
quickest and best work, while at the same time 
guarding against giving her a task so severe that there 
was danger from over fatigue or exhaustion. This 
investigation showed that the girls spent a con- 
siderable part of their time either in partial idle- 
ness, talking and half working, or in actually doing 

Even when the hours of labor had been shortened 
from 10^ to 8i hours, a close observation of the girls 
showed that after about an hour and one-half of con- 
secutive work they began to get nervous. They evi- 
dently needed a rest. It is wise to stop short of the 
point at which overstrain begins, so we arranged for 
them to have a ten minutes period for recreation at 
the end of each hour and one quarter. During these 
recess periods (two of ten minutes each in the morning 
and two in the afternoon) they were obliged to stop 
work and were encouraged to leave their seats and 
get a complete change of occupation by walking 
around and talking, etc. 

In one respect no doubt some people will say that 
these girls were brutally treated. They were seated 
so far apart that they could not conveniently talk 
while at work. 

Shortening their hours of labor, however, and 
providing so far as we knew the most favorable 


working conditions made it possible for them to 
really work steadily instead of pretending to do so. 

And it is only after this stage in the reorganization 
is reached, when the girls have been properly selected 
and on the one hand such precautions have been 
taken as to guard against the possibility of over- 
driving them, while, on the other hand, the tempta- 
tion to slight their work has been removed and the 
most favorable working conditions have been estab- 
lished, that the final step should be taken which 
insures them what they most want, namely, high 
wages, and the employers what they most want, 
namely, the maximum output and best quality of 
work, which means a low labor cost. 

This step is to give each girl each day a carefully 
measured task which demands a full day's work from 
a competent operative, and also to give her a large pre- 
mium or bonus whenever she accomplishes this task. 

This was done in this case through establishing 
what is known as differential rate piece work. 1 
Under this system the pay of each girl was increased 
in proportion to the quantity of her output and also 
still more in proportion to the accuracy of her work. 

As will be shown later, the differential rate (the 
lots inspected by the over-inspectors forming the 
basis for the differential) resulted in a large gain in 
the quantity of work done and at the same time in 
a marked improvement in the quality. 

Before they finally worked to the best advantage 

1 See paper read before the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 
by Fred. W. Taylor, Vol. XVI, p. 856, entitled " Piece Rate System." 


it was found to be necessary to measure the output 
of each girl as often as once every hour, and to send 
a teacher to each individual who was found to be 
falling behind to find what was wrong, to straighten 
her out, and to encourage and help her to catch up. 

There is a general principle back of this which 
should be appreciated by all of those who are espe- 
cially interested in the management of men. 

A reward, if it is to be effective in stimulating 
men to do their best work, must come soon after 
the work has been done. But few men are able to 
look forward for more than a week or perhaps at 
most a month, and work hard for a reward which 
they a're to receive at the end of this time. 

The average workman must be able to measure 
what he has accomplished and clearly see his reward 
at the end of each day if he is to do his best. And 
more elementary characters, such as the young girls 
inspecting bicycle balls, or childrerij for instance, 
should have proper encouragement either in the 
shape of personal attention from those over them 
or an actual reward in sight as often as once an hour. 

This is one of the principal reasons why coopera- 
tion or " profit-sharing " either through selling stock 
to the employes or through dividends on wages 
received at the end of the year, etc., have been at 
the best only mildly effective in stimulating men to 
work hard. The nice time which they are sure to 
have to-day if they take things easily and go slowly 
proves more attractive than steady hard work with 
a possible reward to be shared with others six months 


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

Other and formidable difficulties in the path of 
cooperative schemes are, the equitable division of 
the profits, and the fact that, while workmen are 
always ready to share the profits, they are neither 
able nor willing to share the losses. Further than 
this, in many cases, it is neither right nor just that 
they should share either the profits or the losses, 
since these may be due in great part to causes 
entirely beyond their influence or control, and to 
which they do not contribute. 

To come back to the girls inspecting bicycle balls, 
however, the final outcome of all the changes was 
that thirty-five girls did the work formerly done by 
one hundred and twenty. And that the accuracy of 
the work at the higher speed was two-thirds greater than 
at the former slow speed. 

The good that came to the girls was, 

First. That they averaged from 80 to 100 per cent, 
higher wages than they formerly received. 

Second. Their hours of labor were shortened from 
to 8i per day, with a Saturday half holiday. And 


they were given four recreation periods properly 
distributed through the day, which made overwork- 
ing impossible for a healthy girl. 

Third. Each girl was made to feel that she was 
the object of especial care and interest on the part 
of the management, and that if anything went wrong 
with her she could always have a helper and teacher 
in the management to lean upon. 

Fourth. All young women should be given two 
consecutive days of rest (with pay) each month, to 
be taken whenever they may choose. It is my 
impression that these girls were given this privilege, 
although I am not quite certain on this point. 

The benefits which came to the company from 
these changes were: 

First. A substantial improvement in the quality 
of the product. 

Second. A material reduction in the cost of 
inspection, in spite of the extra expense involved 
in clerk work, teachers, time study, over-inspectors, 
and in paying higher wages. 

Third. That the most friendly relations existed 
between the management and the employes, which 
rendered labor troubles of any kind or a strike 

These good results were brought about by many 
changes which substituted favorable for unfavor- 
able working conditions. It should be appreciated, 
however, that the one element which did more than 
all of the others was, the careful selection of girls 
with quick perception to replace those whose per- 


ceptions were slow (the substitution of girls with 
a low personal coefficient for those whose personal 
coefficient was high) the scientific selection of the 

The illustrations have thus far been purposely 
confined to the more elementary types of work, so 
that a very strong doubt must still remain as to 
whether this kind of cooperation is desirable in the 
case of more intelligent mechanics, that is, in the 
case of men who are more capable of generalization, 
and who would therefore be more likely, of their 
own volition, to choose the more scientific and better 
methods. The following illustrations will be given 
for the purpose of demonstrating the fact that in 
the higher classes of work the scientific laws which 
are developed are so intricate that the high-priced 
mechanic needs (even more than the cheap laborer) 
the cooperation of men better educated than him- 
self in finding the laws, and then in selecting, develop- 
ing, and training him to work in accordance with 
these laws. These illustrations should make per- 
fectly clear our original proposition that in practi- 
cally all of the mechanic arts the science which 
underlies each workman's act is so great and amounts 
to so much that the workman who is best suited 
to actually doing the work is incapable, either through 
lack of education or through insufficient mental 
capacity, of understanding this science. 

A doubt, for instance, will remain hi the minds 
perhaps of most readers (in the case of an establish- 
ment which manufactures the same machine, year 


in and year out, in large quantities, and in which, 
therefore, each mechanic repeats the same limited 
series of operations over and over again), whether 
the ingenuity of each workman and the help which 
he from time to time receives from his foreman 
will not develop such superior methods and such a 
personal dexterity that no scientific study which 
could be made would result in a material increase 
in efficiency. 

A number of years ago a company employing about 
three hundred men, which had been manufacturing 
the same machine for ten to fifteen years, sent for 
us to report as to whether any gain could be made 
through the introduction of scientific management. 
Their shops had been run for many years under a 
good superintendent and with excellent foremen 
and workmen, on piece work. The whole establish- 
ment was, without doubt, in better physical condi- 
tion than the average machine-shop in this country. 
The superintendent was distinctly displeased when 
told that through the adoption of task management 
the output, with the same number of men and 
machines, could be more than doubled. He said 
that he believed that any such statement was mere 
boasting, absolutely false, and instead of inspiring 
him with confidence, he was disgusted that any one 
should make such an impudent claim. He, how- 
ever, readily assented to the proposition that he 
should select any one of the machines whose output 
he considered as representing the average of the 
shop, and that we should then demonstrate on this 


machine that through scientific methods its ouptut 
could be more than doubled. 

The machine selected by him fairly represented 
the work of the shop. It had been run for ten or 
twelve years past by a first-class mechanic who was 
more than equal in his ability to the average work- 
men in the establishment. In a shop of this sort, 
in which similar machines are made over and over 
again, the work is necessarily greatly subdivided, 
so that no one man works upon more than a com- 
paratively small number of parts during the year. 
A careful record was therefore made, in the presence 
of both parties, of the time actually taken in finish- 
ing each of the parts which this man worked upon. 
The total time required by him to finish each piece, 
as well as the exact speeds and feeds which he took, 
were noted, and a record was kept of the time which 
he took in setting the work in the machine and remov- 
ing it. After obtaining in this way a statement of 
what represented a fair average of the work done in 
the shop, we applied to this one machine the principles 
of scientific management. 

By means of four quite elaborate slide-rules, which 
have been especially made for the purpose of deter- 
mining the all-round capacity of metal-cutting ma- 
chines, a careful analysis was made of every element 
of this machine in its relation to the work in hand. 
Its pulling power at its various speeds, its feeding 
capacity, and its proper speeds were determined by 
means of the slide-rules, and changes were then 
made in the countershaft and driving pulleys so as 


to run it at its proper speed. Tools, made of high- 
speed steel, and of the proper shapes, were properly 
dressed, treated, and ground. (It should be under- 
stood, however, that in this case the high-speed 
steel which had heretofore been in general use in the 
shop was also used in our demonstration.) A large 
special slide-rule was then made, by means of which 
the exact speeds and feeds were indicated at which 
each kind of work could be done in the shortest 
possible time in this particular lathe. After pre- 
paring in this way so that the workman should 
work according to the new method, one after another, 
pieces of work were finished in the lathe, correspond- 
ing to the work which had been done in our pre- 
liminary trials, and the gain in time made through 
running the machine according to scientific principles 
ranged from two and one-half times the speed in the 
slowest instance to nine times the speed in the 

The change from rule-of-thumb management to 
scientific management involves, however, not only 
a study of what is the proper speed for doing the 
work and a remodeling of the tools and the imple- 
ments in the shop, but also a complete change in 
the mental attitude of all the men in the shop 
toward their work and toward their employers. 
The physical improvements in the machines neces- 
sary to insure large gains, and the motion study 
followed by minute study with a stop-watch of the 
time in which each workman should do his work, 
can be made comparatively quickly. But the 


change in the mental attitude and in the habits 
of the three hundred or more workmen can be 
brought about only slowly and through a long 
series of object-lessons, which finally demonstrates 
to each man the great advantage which he will 
gain by heartily cooperating in his every-day work 
with the men in the management. Within three 
years, however, in this shop, the output had been 
more than doubled per man and per machine. 
The men had been carefully selected and in almost 
all cases promoted from a lower to a higher order 
of work, and so instructed by their teachers (the 
functional foremen) that they were able to earn 
higher wages than ever before. The average increase 
in the daily earnings of each man was about 35 
per cent., while, at the same time, the sum total of 
the wages paid for doing a given amount of work 
was lower than before. This increase in the speed 
of doing the work, of course, involved a substitution 
of the quickest hand methods for the old independent 
rule-of-thumb methods, and an elaborate analysis 
of the hand work done by each man. (By hand 
work is meant such work as depends upon the 
manual dexterity and speed of a workman, and 
which is independent of the work done by the 
machine.) The time saved by scientific hand work 
was in many cases greater even than that saved in 

It seems important to fully explain the reason 
why, with the aid of a slide-rule, and after having 
studied the art of cutting metals, it was possible 


for the scientifically equipped man, who had never 
before seen these particular jobs, and who had never 
worked on this machine, to do work from two and 
one-half to nine times as fast as it had been done 
before by a good mechanic who had spent his whole 
time for some ten to twelve years in doing this 
very work upon this particular machine. In a word, 
this was possible because the art of cutting metals 
involves a true science of no small magnitude, a 
science, in fact, so intricate that it is impossible for 
any machinist who is suited to running a lathe year 
in and year out either to understand it or to work 
according to its laws without the help of men who 
have made this their specialty. Men who are un- 
familiar with machine-shop work are prone to look 
upon the manufacture of each piece as a special 
problem, independent of any other kind of machine- 
work. They are apt to think, for instance, that the 
problems connected with making the parts of an 
engine require the especial study, one may say almost 
the life study, of a set of engine-making mechanics, 
and that these problems are entirely different from 
those which would be met with in machining lathe 
or planer parts. In fact, however, a study of those 
elements which are peculiar either to engine parts 
or to lathe parts is trifling, compared with the great 
study of the art, or science, of cutting metals, upon 
a knowledge of which rests the ability to do really 
fast machine-work of all kinds. 

The real problem is how to remove chips fast from 
a casting or a forging, and how to make the piece 


smooth and true in the shortest time, and it matters 
but little whether the piece being worked upon is 
part, say, of a marine engine, a printing-press, or an 
automobile. For this reason, the man with the slide- 
rule, familiar with the science of cutting metals, who 
had never before seen this particular work, was able 
completely to distance the skilled mechanic who had 
made the parts of this machine his specialty for years. 
It is true that whenever intelligent and educated 
men find that the responsibility for making progress 
in any of the mechanic arts rests with them, instead 
of upon the workmen who are actually laboring at 
the trade, that they almost invariably start on the 
road which leads to the development of a science 
where, in the past, has existed mere traditional or 
rule-of-thumb knowledge. When men, whose educa- 
tion has given them the habit of generalizing and 
everywhere looking for laws, find themselves con- 
fronted with a multitude of problems, such as exist 
in every trade and which have a general similarity 
one to another, it is inevitable that they should 
try to gather these problems into certain logical 
groups, and then search for some general laws or 
rules to guide them in their solution. As has been 
pointed out, however, the underlying principles of 
the management of " initiative and incentive," that 
is, the underlying philosophy of this management, 
necessarily leaves the solution of all of these problems 
in the hands of each individual workman, while 
the philosophy of scientific management places their 
solution in the hands of the management. The 


workman's whole time is each day taken in actually 
doing the work with his hands, so that, even if he 
had the necessary education and habits of generaliz- 
ing in his thought, he lacks the time and the oppor- 
tunity for developing these laws, because the study 
of even a simple law involving say time study re- 
quires the cooperation of two men, the one doing the 
work while the other times him with a stop-watch. 
And even if the workman were to develop laws 
where before existed only rule-of -thumb knowledge, 
his personal interest would lead him almost inevita- 
bly to keep his discoveries secret, so that he could, by 
means of this special knowledge, personally do more 
work than other men and so obtain higher wages. 

Under scientific management, on the other hand, 
it becomes the duty and also the pleasure of those 
who are engaged in the management not only to 
develop laws to replace rule of thumb, but also to 
teach impartially all of the workmen who are under 
them the quickest ways of working. The useful 
results obtained from these laws are always so great 
that any company can well afford to pay for the 
time and the experiments needed to develop them. 1 
Thus under scientific management exact scientific 
knowledge and methods are everywhere, sooner or 
later, sure to replace rule of thumb, whereas under 
the old type of management working in accordance 
with scientific laws is an impossibility. 

The development of the art or science of cutting 
metals is an apt illustration of this fact. In the fall 
of 1880, about the time that the writer started to 


make the experiments above referred to, to determine 
what constitutes a proper day's work for a laborer, 
he also obtained the permission of Mr. William 
Sellers, the President of the Midvale Steel Com- 
pany, to make a series of experiments to determine 
what angles and shapes of tools were the best for 
cutting steel, and also to try to determine the proper 
cutting speed for steel. At the time that these 
experiments were started it was his belief that they 
would not last longer than six months, and, in fact, 
if it had been known that a longer period than this 
would be required, the permission to spend a con- 
siderable sum of money in making them would not 
have been forthcoming. 

A 66-inch diameter vertical boring-mill was the 
first machine used in making these experiments, 
and large locomotive tires, made out of hard 
steel of uniform quality, were day after day cut 
up into chips in gradually learning how to make, 
shape, and use the cutting tools so that they would 
do faster work. At the end of six months sufficient 
practical information had been obtained to far more 
than repay the cost of materials and wages which 
had been expended in experimenting. And yet the 
comparatively small number of experiments which 
had been made served principally to make it clear 
that the actual knowledge attained was but a small 
fraction of that which still remained to be developed, 
and which was badly needed by us, in our daily at- 
tempt to direct and help the machinists in their tasks. 

Experiments in this field were carried on, with 


occasional interruption, through a period of about 
26 years, in the course of which ten different experi- 
mental machines were especially fitted up to do 
this work. Between 30,000 and 50,000 experi- 
ments were carefully recorded, and many other 
experiments were made, of which no record was 
kept. In studying these laws more than 800,000 
pounds of steel and iron was cut up into chips with 
the experimental tools, and it is estimated that from 
$150,000 to $200,000 was spent in the investigation. 

Work of this character is intensely interesting to 
any one who has any love for scientific research. 
For the purpose of this paper, however, it should be 
fully appreciated that the motive power which kept 
these experiments going through many years, and 
which supplied the money and the opportunity for 
their accomplishment, was not an abstract search 
after scientific knowledge, but was the very practical 
fact that we lacked the exact information which was 
needed every day, in order to help our machinists to do 
their work in the best way and in the quickest time. 

All of these experiments were made to enable us 
to answer correctly the two questions which face 
every machinist each time that he does a piece of 
work in a metal-cutting machine, such as a lathe, 
planer, drill press, or milling machine. These two 
questions are: 

In order to do the work in the quickest time, 

At what cutting speed shall I run my machine? and 

What feed shaU I use? 

They sound so simple that they would appear 


to call for merely the trained judgment of any good 
mechanic. In fact, however, after working 26 years, 
it has been found that the answer in every case 
involves the solution of an intricate mathematical 
problem, in which the effect of twelve independent 
variables must be determined. 

Each of the twelve following variables has an 
important effect upon the answer. The figures 
which are given with each of the variables represent 
the effect of this element upon the cutting speed. 
For example, after the first variable (A) we quote, 
"The proportion is as 1 in the case of semi-hardened 
steel or chilled iron to 100 in the case of a very soft, 
low-carbon steel/' The meaning of this quotation 
is that soft steel can be cut 100 times as fast as the 
hard steel or chilled iron. The ratios which are 
given, then, after each of these elements, indicate 
the wide range of judgment which practically every 
machinist has been called upon to exercise in the 
past in determining the best speed at which to run 
the machine and the best feed to use. 

(A) The quality of the metal which is to be cut; 
i.e., its hardness or other qualities which affect the 
cutting speed. The proportion is as 1 in the case 
of semi-hardened steel or chilled iron to 100 in the 
case of very soft, low-carbon steel. 

(B) The chemical composition of the steel from 
which the tool is made, and the heat treatment of 
the tool. The proportion is as 1 in tools made from 
tempered carbon steel to 7 in the best high-speed tools. 


(C) The thickness of the shaving, or, the thick- 
ness of the spiral strip or band of metal which is to 
be removed by the tool. The proportion is as 1 with 
thickness of shaving ^ of an inch to 3| with thick- 
ness of shaving T V of an inch. 

(D) The shape or contour of the cutting edge of 
the tool. The proportion is as 1 in a thread tool 
to 6 in a broad-nosed cutting tool. 

(E) Whether a copious stream of water or other 
cooling medium is used on the tool. The proportion 
is as 1 for tool running dry to 1.41 for tool cooled 
by a copious stream of water. 

(F) The depth of the cut. The proportion is as 
1 with i-inch depth of cut to 1.36 with 1-inch depth 
of cut. 

(G) The duration of the cut, i.e., the time which 
a tool must last under pressure of the shaving without 
being reground. The proportion is as 1 when tool 
is to be ground every H hours to 1.20 when tool 
is to be ground every 20 minutes. 

(H) The lip and clearance angles of the tool. 
The proportion is as 1 with lip angle of 68 degrees 
to 1.023 with lip angle of 61 degrees. 

(J) The elasticity of the work and of the tool on 
account of producing chatter. The proportion is 
as 1 with tool chattering to 1.15 with tool running 

(K) The diameter of the casting or forging which 
is being cut. 

(L) The pressure of the chip or shaving upon the 
cutting surface of the tool. 


(M) The pulling power and the speed and feed 
changes of the machine. 

It may seem preposterous to many people that 
it should have required a period of 26 years to 
investigate the effect of these twelve variables upon 
the cutting speed of metals. To those, however, 
who have had personal experience as experimenters, 
it will be appreciated that the great difficulty of 
the problem lies in the fact that it contains so many 
variable elements. And in fact the great length of 
time consumed in making each single experiment 
was caused by the difficulty of holding eleven 
variables constant and uniform throughout the 
experiment, while the effect of the twelfth variable 
was being investigated. Holding the eleven variables 
constant was far more difficult than the investiga- 
tion of the twelfth element. 

As, one after another, the effect upon the cutting 
speed of each of these variables was investigated, in 
order that practical use could be made of this knowl- 
edge, it was necessary to find a mathematical formula 
which expressed in concise form the laws which had 
been obtained. As examples of the twelve formulae 
which were developed, the three following are given: 

P = 45,000 


0.2373 + 2A n 
F 0.665[-^-~' 18 ' 


After these laws had been investigated and the 
various formulae which mathematically expressed 
them had been determined, there still remained the 
difficult task of how to solve one of these compli- 
cated mathematical problems quickly enough to 
make this knowledge available for every-day use. 
If a good mathematician who had these formulae 
before him were to attempt to get the proper answer 
(i.e., to get the correct cutting speed and feed by 
working in the ordinary way) it would take him 
from two to six hours, say, to solve a single prob- 
lem; far longer to solve the mathematical problem 
than would be taken in most cases by the workmen 
in doing the whole job in his machine. Thus a task 
of considerable magnitude which faced us was that 
of finding a quick solution of this problem, and as we 
made progress in its solution, the whole problem was 
from time to time presented by the writer to one after 
another of the noted mathematicians in this country. 
They were offered any reasonable fee for a rapid, 
practical method to be used in its solution. Some 
of these men merely glanced at it; others, for the 
sake of being courteous, kept it before them for 
some two or three weeks. They all gave us practi- 
cally the same answer: that in many cases it was 
possible to solve mathematical problems which con- 
tained four variables, and in some cases problems 
with five or six variables, but that it was manifestly 
impossible to solve a problem containing twelve vari- 
ables in any other way than by the slow process of 
"trial and error." 


A quick solution was, however, so much of a 
necessity in our every-day work of running machine- 
shops, that in spite of the small encouragement 
received from the mathematicians, we continued at 
irregular periods, through a term of fifteen years, 
to give a large amount of time searching for a simple 
solution. Four or five men at various periods gave 
practically their whole time to this work, and finally, 
while we were at the Bethlehem Steel Company, 
the slide-rule was developed which is illustrated on 
Folder No. 11 of the paper "On the Art of Cutting 
Metals," and is described in detail in the paper 
presented by Mr. Carl G. Barth to the American 
Society of Mechanical Engineers, entitled "Slide- 
rules for the Machine-shop, as a part of the Taylor 
System of Management" (Vol. XXV of The Transac- 
tions of the American Society of Mechanical Engi- 
neers). By means of this slide-rule, one of these 
intricate problems can be solved in less than a half 
minute by any good mechanic, whether he under- 
stands anything about mathematics or not, thus 
making available for every-day, practical use the 
years of experimenting on the art of cutting metals. 

This is a good illustration of the fact that some 
way can always be found of making practical, every- 
day use of complicated scientific data, which appears 
to be beyond the experience and the range of the 
technical training of ordinary practical men. These 
slide-rules have been for years in constant daily 
use by machinists having no knowledge of mathe- 


A glance at the intricate mathematical formulae 
(see page 109) which represent the laws of cutting 
metals should clearly show the reason why it is 
impossible for any machinist, without the aid of 
these laws, and who depends upon his personal ex- 
perience, correctly to guess at the answer to the two 

What speed shall I use? 

What feed shaU I use? 

even though he may repeat the same piece of work 
many times. 

To return to the case of the machinist who had 
been working for ten to twelve years in machining 
the same pieces over and over again, there was 
but a remote chance in any of the various kinds of 
work which this man did that he should hit upon 
the one best method of doing each piece of work out 
of the hundreds of possible methods which lay before 
him. In considering this typical case, it must also 
be remembered that the metal-cutting machines 
throughout our machine-shops have practically all 
been speeded by their makers by guesswork, and 
without the knowledge obtained through a study of 
the art of cutting metals. In the machine-shops sys- 
tematized by us we have found that there is not one 
machine in a hundred which is speeded by its makers 
at anywhere near the correct cutting speed. So that, 
in order to compete with the science of cutting metals, 
the machinist, before he could use proper speeds, 
would first have to put new pulleys on the counter- 
shaft of his machine, and also make in most cases 


changes in the shapes and treatment of his tools, 
etc. Many of these changes are matters entirely 
beyond his control, even if he knows what ought to 
be done. 

If the reason is clear to the reader why the rule- 
of-thumb knowledge obtained by the machinist who 
is engaged on repeat work cannot possibly compete 
with the true science of cutting metals, it should 
be even more apparent why the high-class mechanic, 
who is called upon to do a great variety of work 
from day to day, is even less able to compete with 
this science. The high-class mechanic who does a 
different kind of work each day, in order to do each 
job in the quickest time, would need, in addition to 
a thorough knowledge of the art of cutting metals, 
a vast knowledge and experience in the quickest way 
of doing each kind of hand work. And the reader, 
by calling to mind the gain which was made by 
Mr. Gilbreth through his motion and time study 
hi laying bricks, will appreciate the great possi- 
bilities for quicker methods of doing all kinds of 
hand work which lie before every tradesman after 
he has the help which comes from a scientific motion 
and time study of his work. 

For nearly thirty years past, time-study men 
connected with the management of machine-shops 
have been devoting their whole time to a scientific 
motion study, followed by accurate time study, with 
a stop-watch, of all of the elements connected with 
the machinist's work. When, therefore, the teachers, 
who form one section of the management, and who 


are cooperating with the working men, are in pos- 
session both of the science of cutting metals and of 
the equally elaborate motion-study and time-study 
science connected with this work, it is not difficult 
to appreciate why even the highest class mechanic 
is unable to do his best work without constant daily 
assistance from his teachers. And if this fact has 
been made clear to the reader, one of the important 
objects in writing this paper will have been realized. 

It is hoped that the illustrations which have been 
given make it apparent why scientific management 
must inevitably in all cases produce overwhelmingly 
greater results, both for the company and its 
employes, than can be obtained with the manage- 
ment of " initiative and incentive/' And it should 
also be clear that these results have been attained, 
not through a marked superiority in the mechanism 
of one type of management over the mechanism 
of another, but rather through the substitution of 
one set of underlying principles for a totally different 
set of principles, by the substitution of one 
philosophy for another philosophy in industrial 

To repeat then throughout all of these illustrations, 
it will be seen that the useful results have hinged 
mainly upon (1) the substitution of a science for the 
individual judgment of the workman; (2) the scien- 
tific selection and development of the workman, after 
each man has been studied, taught, and trained, and 
one may say experimented with, instead of allowing 
the workmen to select themselves and develop in a 


haphazard way; and (3) the intimate cooperation 
of the management with the workmen, so that they 
together do the work in accordance with the scientific 
laws which have been developed, instead of leaving 
the solution of each problem in the hands of the 
individual workman. In applying these new prin- 
ciples, in place of the old individual effort of each 
workman, both sides share almost equally in the 
daily performance of each task, the management 
doing that part of the work for which they are best 
fitted, and the workmen the balance. 

It is for the illustration of this philosophy that 
this paper has been written, but some of the ele- 
ments involved in its general principles should be 
further discussed. 

The development of a science sounds like a 
formidable undertaking, and in fact anything like 
a thorough study of a science such as that of cutting 
metals necessarily involves many years of work. 
The science of cutting metals, however, represents 
in its complication, and in the time required to 
develop it, almost an extreme case in the mechanic 
arts. Yet even in this very intricate science, within 
a few months after starting, enough knowledge had 
been obtained to much more than pay for the work 
of experimenting. This holds true in the case of 
practically all scientific development in the mechanic 
arts. The first laws developed for cutting metals 
were crude, and contained only a partial knowledge 
of the truth, yet this imperfect knowledge was vastly 


better than the utter lack of exact information or the 
very imperfect rule of thumb which existed before, 
and it enabled the workmen, with the help of the 
management, to do far quicker and better work. 

For example, a very short time was needed to 
discover one or two types of tools which, though 
imperfect as compared with the shapes developed 
years afterward, were superior to all other shapes 
and kinds in common use. These tools were adopted 
as standard and made possible an immediate increase 
in the speed of every machinist who used them. 
These types were superseded in a comparatively 
short time by still other tools which remained 
standard until they in their turn made way for later 
improvements. 1 

The science which exists in most of the mechanic 
arts is, however, far simpler than the science of 
cutting metals. In almost all cases, in fact, the 
laws or rules which are developed are so simple that 
the average man would hardly dignify them with 

1 Time and again the experimenter in the mechanic arts will find him- 
self face to face with the problem as to whether he had better make imme- 
diate practical use of the knowledge which he has attained, or wait until 
some positive finality in his conclusions has been reached. He recognizes 
clearly the fact that he has already made some definite progress, but sees 
the possibility (even the probability) of still further improvement. Each 
particular case must of course be independently considered, but the general 
conclusion we have reached is that in most instances it is wise to put one's 
conclusions as soon as possible to the rigid test of practical use. The one 
indispensable condition for such a test, however, is that the experimenter 
shall have full opportunity, coupled with sufficient authority, to insure a 
thorough and impartial trial. And this, owing to the almost universal 
prejudice in favor of the old, and to the suspicion of the new, is difficult 
to get. 


the name of a science. In most trades, the science 
is developed through a comparatively simple analysis 
and time study of the movements required by the 
workmen to do some small part of his work, and this 
study is usually made by a man equipped merely 
with a stop-watch and a properly ruled notebook. 
Hundreds of these "time-study men" are now 
engaged in developing elementary scientific knowl- 
edge where before existed only rule of thumb. Even 
the motion study of Mr. Gilbreth in bricklaying 
(described on pages 77 to 84) involves a much 
more elaborate investigation than that which oc- 
curs in most cases. The general steps to be taken 
in developing a simple law of this class are as 

First. Find, say, 10 or 15 different men (preferably 
in as many separate establishments and different 
parts of the country) who are especially skilful in 
doing the particular work to be analyzed. 

Second. Study the exact series of elementary 
operations or motions which each of these men 
uses in doing the work which is being investigated, 
as well as the implements each man uses. 

Third. Study with a stop-watch the time required 
to make each of these elementary movements and 
then select the quickest way of doing each element 
of the work. 

Fourth. Eliminate all false movements, slow move- 
ments, and useless movements. 

Fifth. After doing away with all unnecessary 
movements, collect into one series the quickest 


and best movements as well as the best imple- 

This one new method, involving that series of 
motions which can be made quickest and best, is 
then substituted in place of the ten or fifteen infe- 
rior series which were formerly in use. This best 
method becomes standard, and remains standard, 
to be taught first to the teachers (or functional 
foremen) and by them to every workman in the 
establishment until it is superseded by a quicker 
and better series of movements. In this simple 
way one element after another of the science is 

In the same way each type of implement used in 
a trade is studied. Under the philosophy of the 
management of " initiative and incentive" each work- 
man is called upon to use his own best judgment, 
so as to do the work in the quickest time, and from 
this results in all cases a large variety in the shapes 
and types of implements which are used for any 
specific purpose. Scientific management requires, 
first, a careful investigation of each of the many 
modifications of the same implement, developed 
under rule of thumb; and second, after a time study 
has been made of the speed attainable with each 
of these implements, that the good points of several 
of them shall be united in a single standard imple- 
ment, which will enable the workman to work faster 
and with greater ease than he could before. This 
one implement, then, is adopted as standard in 
place of the many different kinds before in use, 


and it remains standard for all workmen to use 
until superseded by an implement which has been 
shown, through motion and time study, to be still 

With this explanation it will be seen that the 
development of a science to replace rule of thumb 
is in most cases by no means a formidable under- 
taking, and that it can be accomplished by ordinary, 
every-day men without any elaborate scientific train- 
ing; but that, on the other hand, the successful use 
of even the simplest improvement of this kind calls 
for records, system, and cooperation where in the 
past existed only individual effort. 

There is another type of scientific investigation 
which has been referred to several times in this 
paper, and which should receive special attention, 
namely, the accurate study of the motives which 
influence men. At first it may appear that this is 
a matter for individual observation and judgment, 
and is not a proper subject for exact scientific experi- 
ments. It is true that the laws which result from 
experiments of this class, owing to the fact that the 
very complex organism the human being is being 
experimented with, are subject to a larger number 
of exceptions than is the case with laws relating 
to material things. And yet laws of this kind, 
which apply to a large majority of men, unquestion- 
ably exist, and when clearly defined are of great 
value as a guide in dealing with men. In develop- 
ing these laws, accurate, carefully planned and 
executed experiments, extending through a term of 


years, have been made, similar in a general way to 
the experiments upon various other elements which 
have been referred to in this paper. 

Perhaps the most important law belonging to 
this class, in its relation to scientific management, 
is the effect which the task idea has upon the 
efficiency of the workman. This, in fact, has 
become such an important element of the mechanism 
of scientific management, that by a great number of 
people scientific management has come to be known 
as "task management." 

There is absolutely nothing new in the task idea. 
Each one of us will remember that in his own case 
this idea was applied with good results in his school- 
boy days. No efficient teacher would think of giving 
a class of students an indefinite lesson to learn. Each 
day a definite, clear-cut task is set by the teacher 
before each scholar, stating that he must learn just 
so much of the subject; and it is only by this means 
that proper, systematic progress can be made by 
the students. The average boy would go very 
slowly if, instead of being given a task, he were told 
to do as much as he could. All of us are grown-up 
children, and it is equally true that the average 
workman will work with the greatest satisfaction, 
both to himself and to his employer, when he is 
given each day a definite task which he is to perform 
in a given time, and which constitutes a proper 
day's work for a good workman. This furnishes 
the workman with a clear-cut standard, by which he 
can throughout the day measure his own progress, 


and the accomplishment of which affords him the 
greatest satisfaction. 

The writer has described in other papers a series 
of experiments made upon workmen, which have 
resulted in demonstrating the fact that it is impos- 
sible, through any long period of time, to get work- 
men to work much harder than the average men 
around them, unless they are assured a large and 
a permanent increase in their pay. This series of 
experiments, however, also proved that plenty of 
workmen can be found who are willing to work 
at their best speed, provided they are given this 
liberal increase in wages. The workman must, 
however, be fully assured that this increase beyond 
the average is to be permanent. Our experiments 
have shown that the exact percentage of increase 
required to make a workman work at his highest 
speed depends upon the kind of work which the 
man is doing. 

It is absolutely necessary, then, when workmen 
are daily given a task which calls for a high rate 
of speed on their part, that they should also be 
insured the necessary high rate of pay whenever 
they are successful. This involves not only fixing 
for each man his daily task, but also paying him a 
large bonus, or premium, each time that he succeeds 
in doing his task in the given time. It is difficult 
to appreciate in full measure the help which the 
proper use of these two elements is to the workman 
in elevating him to the highest standard of efficiency 
and speed in his trade, and then keeping him there, 


unless one has seen first the old plan and afterward 
the new tried upon the same man. And in fact 
until one has seen similar accurate experiments 
made upon various grades of workmen engaged in 
doing widely different types of work. The remark- 
able and almost uniformly good results from the cor- 
rect application of the task and the bonus must be 
seen to be appreciated. 

These two elements, the task and the bonus 
(which, as has been pointed out in previous papers, 
can be applied in several ways), constitute two of 
the most important elements of the mechanism of 
scientific management. They are especially impor- 
tant from the fact that they are, as it were, a climax, 
demanding before they can be used almost all of 
the other elements of the mechanism; such as a 
planning department, accurate time study, standard- 
ization of methods and implements, a routing system, 
the training of functipnal foremen or teachers, and 
in many cases instruction cards, slide-rules, etc. 
(Referred to later in rather more detail on page 129.) 

The necessity for systematically teaching work- 
men how to work to the best advantage has been 
several times referred to. It seems desirable, there- 
fore, to explain in rather more detail how this teach- 
ing is done. In the case of a machine-shop which 
is managed under the modern system, detailed 
written instructions as to the best way of doing 
each piece of work are prepared in advance, by men 
in the planning department. These instructions 
represent the combined work of several men in 


the planning room, each of whom has his own 
specialty, or function. One of them, for instance, is 
a specialist on the proper speeds and cutting tools 
to be used. He uses the slide-rules which have been 
above described as an aid, to guide him in obtaining 
proper speeds, etc. Another man analyzes the best 
and quickest motions to be made by the workman in 
setting the work up in the machine and removing it, 
etc. Still a third, through the time-study records 
which have been accumulated, makes out a time- 
table giving the proper speed for doing each element 
of the work. The directions of all of these men, 
however, are written on a single instruction card, or 

These men of necessity spend most of their time in 
the planning department, because they must be close 
to the records and data which they continually use 
in their work, and because this work requires the 
use of a desk and freedom from interruption. Human 
nature is such, however, that many of the workmen, 
if left to themselves, would pay but little attention 
to their written instructions. It is necessary, there- 
fore, to provide teachers (called functional fore- 
men) to see that the workmen both understand 
and carry out these written instructions. 

Under functional management, the old-fashioned 
single foreman is superseded by eight different men, 
each one of whom has his own special duties, and 
these men, acting as the agents for the planning 
department (see paragraph 234 to 245 of the paper en- 
titled "-Shop Management"); are the expert teachers, 


who are at all times in the shop, helping and 
directing the workmen. Being each one chosen for 
his knowledge and personal skill in his specialty, 
they are able not only to tell the workman what he 
should do, but in case of necessity they do the work 
themselves in the presence of the workman, so as 
to show him not only the best but also the quickest 

One of these teachers (called the inspector) sees 
to it that he understands the drawings and instruc- 
tions for doing the work. He teaches him how to 
do work of the right quality; how to make it fine 
and exact where it should be fine, and rough and 
quick where accuracy is not required, the one 
being just as important for success as the other. 
The second teacher (the gang boss) shows him how 
to set up the job in his machine, and teaches him to 
make all of his personal motions in the quickest and 
best way. The third (the speed boss) sees that the 
machine is run at the best speed and that the proper 
tool is used in the particular way which will enable 
the machine to finish its product in the shortest 
possible time. In addition to the assistance given 
by these teachers, the workman receives orders and 
help from four other men; from the "repair boss" 
as to the adjustment, cleanliness, and general 
care of his machine, belting, etc.; from the "time 
clerk," as to everything relating to his pay and to 
proper written reports and returns; from the "route 
clerk," as to the order in which he does his work and 
as to the movement of the work from one part of 


the shop to another; and, in case a workman gets 
into any trouble with any of his various bosses, the 
" disciplinarian" interviews him. 

It must be understood, of course, that all work- 
men engaged on the same kind of work do not require 
the same amount of individual teaching and atten- 
tion from the functional foremen. The men who are 
new at a given operation naturally require far more 
teaching and watching than those who have been a 
long time at the same kind of jobs. 

Now, when through all of this teaching and this 
minute instruction the work is apparently made so 
smooth and easy for the workman, the first impres- 
sion is that this all tends to make him a mere autom- 
aton, a wooden man. As the workmen frequently 
say when they first come under this system, "Why, 
I am not allowed to think or move without some 
one interfering or doing it for me!" The same criti- 
cism and objection, however, can be raised against 
all other modern subdivision of labor. It does not 
follow, for example, that the modern surgeon is any 
more narrow or wooden a man than the early settler 
of this country. The frontiersman, however, had to 
be not only a surgeon, but also an architect, house- 
builder, lumberman, farmer, soldier, and doctor, and 
he had to settle his law cases with a gun. You would 
hardly say that the life of the modern surgeon is 
any more narrowing, or that he is more of a wooden 
man than the frontiersman. The many problems 
to be met and solved by the surgeon are just 
as intricate and difficult and as developing and 


broadening in their way as were those of the fron- 

And it should be remembered that the training 
of the surgeon has been almost identical in type 
with the teaching and training which is given to 
the workman under scientific management. The 
surgeon, all through his early years, is under the 
closest supervision of more experienced men, who 
show him in the minutest way how each element 
of his work is best done. They provide him with 
the finest implements, each one of which has been 
the subject of special study and development, and 
then insist upon his using each of these implements 
in the very best way. All of this teaching, however, 
in no way narrows him. On the contrary he is 
quickly given the very best knowledge of his pre- 
decessors; and, provided (as he is, right from the 
start) with standard implements and methods which 
represent the best knowledge of the world up to 
date, he is able to use his own originality and inge- 
nuity to make real additions to the world's knowl- 
edge, instead of reinventing things which are old. 
In a similar way the workman who is cooperating 
with his many teachers under scientific management 
has an opportunity to develop which is at least as 
good as and generally better than that which he had 
when the whole problem was "up to him" and he 
did his work entirely unaided. 

If it were true that the workman would develop 
into a larger and finer man without all of this teach- 
ing, and without the help of the laws which have 


been formulated for doing his particular job, then 
it would follow that the young man who now comes 
to college to have the help of a teacher in mathe- 
matics, physics, chemistry, Latin, Greek, etc., would 
do better to study these things unaided and by 
himself. The only difference in the two cases is 
that students come to their teachers, while from the 
nature of the work done by the mechanic under 
scientific management, the teachers must go to him. 
What really happens is that, with the aid of the 
science which is invariably developed, and through 
the instructions from his teachers, each workman 
of a given intellectual capacity is enabled to do a 
much higher, more interesting, and finally more 
developing and more profitable kind of work than 
he was before able to do. The laborer who before 
was unable to do anything beyond, perhaps, shoveling 
and wheeling dirt from place to place, or carrying 
the work from one part of the shop to another, is 
in many cases taught to do the more elementary 
machinist's work, accompanied by the agreeable sur- 
roundings and the interesting variety and higher 
wages which go with the machinist's trade. The 
cheap machinist or helper, who before was able to 
run perhaps merely a drill press, is taught to do the 
more intricate and higher priced lathe and planer 
work, while tfye highly skilled and more intelligent 
machinists become functional foremen and teachers. 
And so on, right up the line. 

It may seem that with scientific management 
there is not the same incentive for the workman to 


use his ingenuity in devising new and better methods 
of doing the work, as well as in improving his imple- 
ments, that there is with the old type of manage- 
ment. It is true that with scientific management 
the workman is not allowed to use whatever imple- 
ments and methods he sees fit hi the daily practise 
of his work. Every encouragement, however, should 
be given him to suggest improvements, both in 
methods and in implements. And whenever a work- 
man proposes an improvement, it should be the 
policy of the management to make a careful analysis 
of the new method, and if necessary conduct a series 
of experiments to determine accurately the relative 
merit of the new suggestion and of the old standard. 
And whenever the new method is found to be 
markedly superior to the old, it should be adopted 
as the standard for the whole establishment. The 
workman should be given the full credit for the 
improvement, and should be paid a cash premium 
as a reward for his ingenuity. In this way the true 
initiative of the workmen is better attained under 
scientific management than under the old individual 

The history of the development of scientific 
management up to date, however, calls for a word 
of warning. The mechanism of management must 
not be mistaken for its essence, or underlying 
philosophy. Precisely the same mechanism will in 
one case produce disastrous results and in another 
the most beneficent. The same mechanism which 
will produce the finest results when made to serve 


the underlying principles of scientific management, 
will lead to failure and disaster if accompanied by 
the wrong spirit in those who are using it. Hun- 
dreds of people have already mistaken the mechan- 
ism of this system for its essence. Messrs. Gantt, 
Barth, and the writer have presented papers to the 
American Society of Mechanical Engineers on the 
subject of scientific management. In these papers 
the mechanism which is used has been described at 
some length. As elements of this mechanism may 
be cited: 

Time study, with the implements and methods 
for properly making it. 

Functional or divided foremanship and its 
superiority to the old-fashioned single foreman. 

The standardization of all tools and implements 
used in the trades, and also of the acts or move- 
ments of workmen for each class of work. 

The desirability of a planning room or depart- 

The "exception principle" in management. 

The use of slide-rules and similar time-saving 

Instruction cards for the workman. 

The task idea in management, accompanied by 
a large bonus for the successful performance of the 

The "differential rate." 

Mnemonic systems for classifying manufactured 
products as well as implements used hi manu- 


A routing system. 

Modern cost system, etc., etc. 

These are, however, merely the elements or details 
of the mechanism of management. Scientific man- 
agement, in its essence, consists of a certain philoso- 
phy, which results, as before stated, in a combination 
of the four great underlying principles of manage- 
ment : l 

When, however, the elements of this mechanism, 
such as time study, functional foremanship, etc., 
are used without being accompanied by the true 
philosophy of management, the results are in many 
cases disastrous. And, unfortunately, even when 
men who are thoroughly hi sympathy with the 
principles of scientific management undertake to 
change too rapidly from the old type to the new, 
without heeding the warnings of those who have 
had years of experience in making this change, 
they frequently meet with serious troubles, and 
sometimes with strikes, followed by failure. 

The writer, in his paper on "Shop Management," 
has called especial attention to the risks which 
managers run in attempting to change rapidly from 
the old to the new management. In many cases, 
however, this warning has not been heeded. The 
physical changes which are needed, the actual 
time study which has to be made, the standardiza- 
tion of all implements connected with the work, 

1 First. The development of a true science. Second. The scientific 
selection of the workman. Third. His scientific education and develop- 
ment. Fourth. Intimate friendly cooperation between the management 
and the men. 


the necessity for individually studying each machine 
and placing it in perfect order, all take time, but 
the faster these elements of the work are studied 
and improved, the better for the undertaking. On 
the other hand, the really great problem involved 
in a change from the management of " initiative 
and incentive " to scientific management consists in 
a complete revolution in the mental attitude and 
the habits of all of those engaged in the management, 
as well of the workmen. And this change can be 
brought about only gradually and through the presen- 
tation of many object-lessons to the workman, which, 
together with the teaching which he receives, 
thoroughly convince him of the superiority of the 
new over the old way of doing the work. This 
change in the mental attitude of the workman 
imperatively demands time. It is impossible to 
hurry it beyond a certain speed. The writer has 
over and over again warned those who contemplated 
making this change that it was a matter, even in a 
simple establishment, of from two to three years, 
and that in some cases it requires from four to five 

The first few changes which affect the workmen 
should be made exceedingly slowly, and only one 
workman at a time should be dealt with at the 
start. Until this single man has been thoroughly 
convinced that a great gain has come to him from 
the new method, no further change should be made. 
Then one man after another should be tactfully 
changed over. After passing the point at which 


from one-fourth to one-third of the men in the employ 
of the company have been changed from the old to 
the new, very rapid progress can be made, because 
at about this time there is, generally, a complete 
revolution in the public opinion of the whole estab- 
lishment and practically all of the workmen who 
are working under the old system become desir- 
ous to share hi the benefits which they see have 
been received by those working under the new 

Inasmuch as the writer has personally retired from 
the business of introducing this system of manage- 
ment (that is, from all work done in return for any 
money compensation), he does not hesitate again to 
emphasize the fact that those companies are indeed 
fortunate who can secure the services of experts 
who have had the necessary practical experience in 
introducing scientific management, and who have 
made a special study of its principles. It is not 
enough that a man should have been a manager 
in an establishment which is run under the new 
principles. The man who undertakes to direct the 
steps to be taken in changing from the old to the 
new (particularly in any establishment doing elab- 
orate work) must have had personal experience in 
overcoming the especial difficulties which are always 
met with, and which are peculiar to this period of 
transition. It is for this reason that the writer 
expects to devote the rest of his life chiefly to try- 
ing to help those who wish to take up this work as 
their profession, and to advising the managers and 


owners of companies in general as to the steps which 
they should take in making this change. 

As a warning to those who contemplate adopting 
scientific management, the following instance is 
given. Several men who lacked the extended experi- 
ence which is required to change without danger 
of strikes, or without interference with the success 
of the business, from the management of " initia- 
tive and incentive" to scientific management, at- 
tempted rapidly to increase the output in quite an 
elaborate establishment, employing between three 
thousand and four thousand men. Those who un- 
dertook to make this change were men of unusual 
ability, and were at the same time enthusiasts and 
I think had the interests of the workmen truly at 
heart. They were, however, warned by the writer, 
before starting, that they must go exceedingly slowly, 
and that the work of making the change in this estab- 
lishment could not be done in less than from three to 
five years. This warning they entirely disregarded. 
They evidently believed that by using much of the 
mechanism of scientific management, in combination 
with the principles of the management of "initiative 
and incentive," instead of with the principles of 
scientific management, that they could do, in a 
year or two, what had been proved in the past to 
require at least double this time. The knowledge 
obtained from accurate time study, for example, is 
a powerful implement, and can be used, in one case 
to promote harmony between the workmen and the 
management, by gradually educating, training, and 


leading the workmen into new and better methods 
of doing the work, or, in the other case, it may be 
used more or less as a club to drive the workmen 
into doing a larger day's work for approximately 
the same pay that they received in the past. Unfor- 
tunately the men who had charge of this work did 
not take the time and the trouble required to train 
functional foremen, or teachers, who were fitted 
gradually to lead and educate the workmen. They 
attempted, through the old-style foreman, armed with 
his new weapon (accurate time study), to drive the 
workmen, against their wishes, and without much 
increase in pay, to work much harder, instead of 
gradually teaching and leading them toward new 
methods, and convincing them through object- 
lessons that task management means for them some- 
what harder work, but also far greater prosperity. 
The result of all this disregard of fundamental prin- 
ciples was a series of strikes, followed by the down- 
fall of the men who attempted to make the change, 
and by a return to conditions throughout the estab- 
lishment far worse than those which existed before 
the effort was made. 

This instance is cited as an object-lesson of the 
futility of using the mechanism of the new manage- 
ment while leaving out its essence, and also of trying 
to shorten a necessarily long operation in entire 
disregard of past experience. It should be empha- 
sized that the men who undertook this work were 
both able and earnest, and that failure was not due 
to lack of ability on their part, but to their under- 


taking to do the impossible. These particular men 
will not again make a similar mistake, and it is 
hoped that their experience may act as a warning 
to others. 

In this connection, however, it is proper to again 
state that during the thirty years that we have been 
engaged in introducing scientific management there 
has not been a single strike from those who were 
working in accordance with its principles, even 
during the critical period when the change was 
being made from the old to the new. If proper 
methods are used by men who have had experience 
in this work, there is absolutely no danger from 
strikes or other troubles. 

The writer would again insist that in no case 
should the managers of an establishment, the work 
of which is elaborate, undertake to change from the 
old to the new type unless the directors of the com- 
pany fully understand and believe in the funda- 
mental principles of scientific management and unless 
they appreciate all that is involved in making this 
change, particularly the time required, and unless 
they want scientific management greatly. 

Doubtless some of those who are especially in- 
terested in working men will complain because under 
scientific management the workman, when he is 
shown how to do twice as much work as he formerly 
did, is not paid twice his former wages, while others 
who are more interested in the dividends than the 
workmen will complain that under this system the 
men receive much higher wages than they did before. 


It does seem grossly unjust when the bare state- 
ment is made that the competent pig-iron handler, 
for instance, who has been so trained that he piles 
3A times as much iron as the incompetent man 
formerly did, should receive an increase of only 
60 per cent, in wages. 

It is not fair, however, to form any final judgment 
until all of the elements in the case have been con- 
sidered. At the first glance we see only two parties 
to the transaction, the workmen and their employers. 
We overlook the third great party, the whole people, 
the consumers, who buy the product of the first 
two and who ultimately pay both the wages of the 
workmen and the profits of the employers. 

The rights of the people are therefore greater than 
those of either employer or employe. And this 
third great party should be given its proper share of 
any gain. In fact, a glance at industrial history 
shows that in the end the whole people receive the 
greater part of the benefit coming from industrial 
improvements. In the past hundred years, for 
example, the greatest factor tending toward increas- 
ing the output, and thereby the prosperity of the 
civilized world, has been the introduction of machin- 
ery to replace hand labor. And without doubt the 
greatest gain through this change has come to the 
whole people the consumer. 

Through short periods, especially in the case of 
patented apparatus, the dividends of those who have 
introduced new machinery have been greatly in- 
creased, and in many cases, though unfortunately 


not universally, the employes have obtained materi- 
ally higher wages, shorter hours, and better working 
conditions. But in the end the major part of the 
gain has gone to the whole people. 

And this result will follow the introduction of 
scientific management just as surely as it has the 
introduction of machinery. 

To return to the case of the pig-iron handler. We 
must assume, then, that the larger part of the gain 
which has come from his great increase in output 
will in the end go to the people in the form of cheaper 
pig-iron. And before deciding upon how the balance 
is to be divided between the workmen and the 
employer, as to what is just and fair compensation 
for the man who does the piling and what should be 
left for the company as profit, we must look at the 
matter from all sides. 

First. As we have before stated, the pig-iron 
handler is not an extraordinary man difficult to find, 
he is merely a man more or less of the type of the ox, 
heavy both mentally and physically. 

Second. The work which this man does tires him 
no more than any healthy normal laborer is tired 
by a proper day's work. (If this man is overtired 
by his work, then the task has been wrongly set and 
this is as far as possible from the object of scientific 

Third. It was not due to this man's initiative 
or originality that he did his big day's work, but to 
the knowledge of the science of pig-iron handling 
developed and taught him by some one else. 


Fourth. It is just and fair that men of the same 
general grade (when their all-round capacities are 
considered) should be paid about the same wages 
when they are all working to the best of their abilities. 
(It would be grossly unjust to other laborers, for 
instance, to pay this man 3 T V as high wages as other 
men of his general grade receive for an honest full 
day's work.) 

Fifth. As is explained (page 74), the 60 per cent, 
increase in pay which he received was not the result 
of an arbitrary judgment of a foreman or superin- 
tendent, it was the result of a long series of careful 
experiments impartially made to determine what 
compensation is really for the man's true and best 
interest when all things are considered. 

Thus we see that the pig-iron handler with his 
60 per cent, increase in wages is not an object for 
pity but rather a subject for congratulation. 

After all, however, facts are in many cases more 
convincing than opinions or theories, and it is a 
significant fact that those workmen who have come 
under this system during the past thirty years have 
invariably been satisfied with the increase in pay 
which they have received, while their employers have 
been equally pleased with their increase in dividends. 

The writer is one of those who believes that more 
and more will the third party (the whole people), as 
it becomes acquainted with the true facts, insist 
that justice shall be done to all three parties. It 
will demand the largest efficiency from both em- 
ployers and employes. It will no longer tolerate 


the type of employer who has his eye on dividends 
alone, who refuses to do his full share of the work 
and who merely cracks his whip over the heads of 
his workmen and attempts to drive them into harder 
work for low pay. No more will it tolerate tyranny 
on the part of labor which demands one increase 
after another in pay and shorter hours while at the 
same time it becomes less instead of more efficient. 

And the means which the writer firmly believes 
will be adopted to bring about, first, efficiency both 
in employer and employe and then an equitable 
division of the profits of their joint efforts will be 
scientific management, which has for its sole aim 
the attainment of justice for all three parties through 
impartial scientific investigation of all the elements 
of the problem. For a time both sides will rebel 
against this advance. The workers will resent any 
interference with their old rule-of-thumb methods, 
and the management will resent being asked to take 
on new duties and burdens; but in the end the people 
through enlightened public opinion will force the 
new order of things upon both employer and em- 

It will doubtless be claimed that in all that has 
been said no new fact has been brought to light 
that was not known to some one in the past. Very 
likely this is true. Scientific management does not 
necessarily involve any great invention, nor the 
discovery of new or startling facts. It does, how- 
ever, involve a certain combination of elements 
which have not existed in the past, namely, old 


knowledge so collected, analyzed, grouped, and classi- 
fied into laws and rules that it constitutes a science; 
accompanied by a complete change in the mental 
attitude of the working men as well as of those on 
the side of the management, toward each other, 
and toward their respective duties and responsi- 
bilities. Also, a new division of the duties between 
the two sides and intimate, friendly cooperation 
to an extent that is impossible under the philosophy 
of the old management. And even all of this in 
many cases could not exist without the help of 
mechanisms which have been gradually developed. 

It is no single element, but rather this whole 
combination, that constitutes scientific manage- 
ment, which may be summarized as: 

Science, not rule of thumb. 

Harmony, not discord. 

Cooperation, not individualism. 

Maximum output, in place of restricted output. 

The development of each man to his greatest 
efficiency and prosperity. 

The writer wishes to again state that: "The time 
is fast going by for the great personal or individual 
achievement of any one man standing alone and with- 
out the help of those around him. And the time is 
coming when all great things will be done by that 
type of cooperation in which each man performs the 
function for which he is best suited, each man pre- 
serves his own individuality and is supreme in his 
particular function, and each man at the same time 
loses none of his originality and proper personal 


initiative, and yet is controlled by and must work 
harmoniously with many other men. 7 ' 

The examples given above of the increase in out- 
put realized under the new management fairly 
represent the gain which is possible. They do not 
represent extraordinary or exceptional cases, and 
have been selected from among thousands of similar 
illustrations which might have been given. 

Let us now examine the good which would follow 
the general adoption of these principles. 

The larger profit would come to the whole world 
in general. 

The greatest material gain which those of the pres- 
ent generation have over past generations has come 
from the fact that the average man in this generation, 
with a given expenditure of effort, is producing two 
times, three times, even four times as much of those 
things that are of use to man as it was possible for 
the average man in the past to produce. This 
increase in the productivity of human effort is, of 
course, due to many causes, besides the increase in 
the personal dexterity of the man. It is due to 
the discovery of steam and electricity, to the intro- 
duction of machinery, to inventions, great and small, 
and to the progress in science and education. But 
from whatever cause this increase in productivity 
has come, it is to the greater productivity of each 
individual that the whole country owes its greater 

Those who are afraid that a large increase in the 
productivity of each workman will throw other men 


out of work, should realize that the one element more 
than any other which differentiates civilized from 
uncivilized countries prosperous from poverty- 
stricken peoples is that the average man in the 
one is five or six times as productive as the other. 
It is also a fact that the chief cause for the large per- 
centage of the unemployed in England (perhaps the 
most virile nation in the world), is that the workmen 
of England, more than in any other civilized country, 
are deliberately restricting their output because they 
are possessed by the fallacy that it is against their 
best interest for each man to work as hard as he can. 
The general adoption of scientific management 
would readily in the future double the productivity 
of the average man engaged in industrial work. 
Think of what this means to the whole country. 
Think of the increase, both in the necessities and 
luxuries of life, which becomes available for the whole 
country, of the possibility of shortening the hours 
of labor when this is desirable, and of the increased 
opportunities for education, culture, and recreation 
which this implies. But while the whole world 
would profit by this increase in production, the 
manufacturer and the workman will be far more 
interested in the especial local gain that comes 
to them and to the people immediately around them. 
Scientific management will mean, for the employers 
and the workmen who adopt it and particularly 
for those who adopt it first the elimination of 
almost all causes for dispute and disagreement 
between them. What constitutes a fair day's work 


will be a question for scientific investigation, instead 
of a subject to be bargained and haggled over. 
Soldiering will cease because the object for soldier- 
ing will no longer exist. The great increase in wages 
which accompanies this type of management will 
largely eliminate the wage question as a source of 
dispute. But more than all other causes, the close, 
intimate cooperation, the constant personal con- 
tact between the two sides, will tend to diminish 
friction and discontent. It is difficult for two 
people whose interests are the same, and who work 
side by side in accomplishing the same object, all 
day long, to keep up a quarrel. 

The low cost of production which accompanies a 
doubling of the output will enable the companies 
who adopt this management, particularly those 
who adopt it first, to compete far better than they 
were able to before, and this will so enlarge their 
markets that their men will have almost constant 
work even in dull times, and that they will earn 
larger profits at all times. 

This means increase in prosperity and diminution 
in poverty, not only for their men but for the whole 
community immediately around them. 

As one of the elements incident to this great gain 
in output, each workman has been systematically 
trained to his highest state of efficiency, and has 
been taught to do a higher class of work than he 
was able to do under the old types of management; 
and at the same time he has acquired a friendly 
mental attitude toward his employers and his whole 


working conditions, whereas before a considerable 
part of his time was spent in criticism, suspicious 
watchfulness, and sometimes in open warfare. This 
direct gain to all of those working under the system 
is without doubt the most important single element 
in the whole problem. 

Is not the realization of results such as these of 
far more importance than the solution of most of 
the problems which are now agitating both the 
English and American peoples? And is it not the 
duty of those who are acquainted with these facts, 
to exert themselves to make the whole community 
realize this importance? 

The author is constantly in receipt of letters asking for a list 
of the companies who are working under scientific management. It 
would be highly improper to furnish any one with a list of this kind. Many 
of those companies who have introduced scientific management would seri- 
ously object to answering the letters which would be showered upon them 
if such a list were given out. On the other hand, there are certain com- 
panies who are willing to take the trouble to answer such letters. 

To all of those who are sufficiently interested in scientific manage- 
ment, the writer would most heartily extend an invitation to come to his 
house when they are in the neighborhood of Philadelphia. He will be 
glad to show them the details of scientific management as it is practised 
in several establishments in Philadelphia. Inasmuch as the greater part 
of the writer's time is given up to forwarding the cause of scientific manage- 
ment, he regards visits of this sort as a privilege, rather than as an intrusion.