The Principles of Scientific Management


Frederick Winslow Taylor, M.E., Sc.D.



President Roosevelt in his address to the Governors at the White House,
prophetically 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 importance 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

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 readymade, 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 systematically
cooperating to train and to make this competent 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 appreciated 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 compete with a number of
ordinary men who have been properly organized so as efficiently to

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 before.

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 management, 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 presentation to the American
Society of Mechanical Engineers. The illustrations chosen are such as,
it is believed, will especially appeal to engineers and to managers of
industrial and manufacturing establishments, 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 management of
the business of our tradesmen, large and small; of our churches, our
philanthropic institutions our universities, and our governmental



The principal object of management should be to secure the maximum
prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for
each employee.

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 employee means not only higher wages than are usually received
by men of his class, but, of more importance 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 maximum prosperity for the
employer, coupled with maximum prosperity for the employee, 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 employees, 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 fundamental interests of
employees 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 employee, and vice versa;
and that it is possible to give the workman what he most wants--high
wages--and the employer what he wants--a low labor cost--for his

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 workman 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 prosperity 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
illustrations 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.
Under working, that is, deliberately working slowly so as to avoid doing
a full day's work, "soldiering," as it is called in this country,
"hanging 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 constitutes the
greatest evil with which the working-people of both England and America
are now afflicted.

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
employer and employs 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
alleviation 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 taxation, 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 directly and
powerfully affects the wages, the prosperity, 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
therefore would have a more permanent and far-reaching effect upon these
misfortunes than any of the curative 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 immemorial 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 necessary for each workman to soldier, or work slowly, in
order that he may protect his own best interests.

Third. The inefficient rule-of-thumb methods, which are still almost
universal in all trades, and in practicing 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

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 workman, 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 philanthropic feelings who
are helping them, are daily spreading this fallacy and at the same time
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
overworked, 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 under work--greatly under work--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

As engineers and managers, we are more intimately 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 misguided), 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 employees under almost all of the systems of
management 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

The writer therefore quotes herewith from a paper read before The
American Society of Mechanical Engineers, in June, 1903, entitled "Shop
Management," which it is hoped will explain fully this cause for

"This loafing or soldiering proceeds from two causes. First, from the
natural instinct and tendency of men to take it easy, which may be
called natural soldiering. Second, from more intricate second thought
and reasoning caused by their relations with other men, which may be
called systematic soldiering."

"There is no question that the tendency of the average man (in all walks
of life) is toward working at a slow, easy gait, and that it is only
after a good deal of thought and observation on his part or as a result
of example, conscience, or external pressure that he takes a more rapid

"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
tendency of the average."

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

"Under this plan the better men gradually but surely slow down their
gait to that of the poorest and least efficient. When a naturally
energetic man works for a few days beside a lazy one, the logic of the
situation is unanswerable."

"Why should I work hard when that lazy fellow gets the same pay that I
do and does only half as much work?"

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

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

"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 considerable 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 soldiering can prevent it.
Unfortunately for the character of the workman, soldiering involves a
deliberate attempt to mislead and deceive his employer, and thus upright
and straightforward workmen are compelled 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

Third. As to the third cause for slow work, considerable space will
later in this paper be devoted to illustrating the great gain, both to
employers and employees, 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 immediately 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 implements in use, together with accurate, minute, motion and time
study. This involves the gradual substitution of science for rule of
thumb throughout the mechanic arts.

This paper will show that the underlying philosophy of all of the old
systems of management in common use makes it imperative that each
workman 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 responsibility 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 responsibility 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 workman
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 illustrations that, through
this friendly cooperation, namely, through sharing equally in every
day's burden, all of the great obstacles (above described) to obtaining
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 eradicating 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 talking 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 problem 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 employees of one
company after another, including a large range and diversity of
industries, have gradually 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 surrounded, while the companies employing them are
more prosperous than ever before. In these companies 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 cooperation 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
management and the steps to be taken in changing from the ordinary to
the scientific type. But unfortunately most of the readers of these
papers have mistaken the mechanism for the true essence. Scientific
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 themselves.

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
management, no single expedient--within the control of any man or any
set of men can insure continuous prosperity 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 management 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 substitutes 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 convinced, and the sooner they come the better for all the



The writer has found that there are three questions uppermost in the
minds of men when they become interested in scientific management.

First. Wherein do the principles of scientific management differ
essentially from those of ordinary management?

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 questions.


Before starting to illustrate the principles of scientific 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 practiced the rudiments of many
different trades, to the present state of great and growing subdivision
of labor, in which each man specializes upon some comparatively 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 intimately
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 management. The management, of course, includes foremen 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. *

[*Footnote: 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 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, 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
"incentive" of this kind that the employer can hope even approximately
to get the "initiative" of his workmen. Under the ordinary type of
management 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 management, however, the particular pay
system which is adopted is merely one of the subordinate elements.

Broadly speaking, then, the best type of management in ordinary use may
be defined as management 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 "initiative
and incentive" in contradistinction to scientific management, or task
management, with which it is to be compared.

The writer hopes that the management of "initiative 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 manager 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 management 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 illustrated in all of the practical examples which will
be given. And the broad principles in which the scientific 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 management
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 gathering
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 immensely
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 accordance 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 workmen,
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 workmen, 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 management and the workmen," requires further
explanation. The philosophy of the management of initiative 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 effectively 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*, etc., and a desk for
the planner to work at.

[*Footnote: For example, the records containing the data used under
scientific management in an ordinary machine-shop fill thousands of

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, invariably 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 responsibility and the work between the
management and the workman."

To summarize: Under the management of "initiative 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

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 written 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

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 overwhelmingly
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 accordance with these principles without the aid of a man better
educated than he is. And the further illustrations 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

We found that this gang were loading on the average about 12 and a half
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,
and 48 long tons per day, instead of 12 and a half 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 iron was loaded on to the cars at the rate
of 47 tons per man per day, in place of 12 and a half 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 12 and a half 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 limitations, 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 Pennsylvania 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?"

"Vell, 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."

"Vell, 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? Vell, 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 perfectly 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 iron?"


"You see that car?"


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

"Vell, 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."

"Vell, 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."

"Vell, 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 tomorrow, from morning 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 management of "initiative and incentive"? say, as

"Now, Schmidt, you are a first-class pig-iron handler and know your
business well. You have been handling at the rate of 12 and a half 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 and a half 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 47 and a half 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 47 and a half 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 illustration 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 college) he was given the position of clerk. Shortly after
this he was given work as a machinist in running 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 workmen,
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 workman 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 instructions 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 bow
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 bitterness which is
gradually developed in such a struggle. In a war of this kind the
workmen have one expedient 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 pressure 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 Superintendent
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 willful breaking of machines.

Second. If the writer had been one of the workmen, 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 railway. 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 interests 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 workmen who were under him was certainly ten times as great as his
own. He therefore obtained the permission 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 undertaken 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 maximum 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
conducting the experiments, and who at the same time noted with a
stop-watch the proper time for all of the motions that were made by the
men. Every element in any way connected with the work which we believed
could have a bearing on the result was carefully studied and recorded.
What we hoped ultimately to determine was what fraction of a horse-power
a man was able to exert, that is, how many foot-pounds of work a man
could do in a day.

After completing this series of experiments, therefore, 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 some what more thorough.

This, however, resulted as the first experiments, in obtaining valuable
information but not in the development of a law. Again, some years
later, a third series of experiments was made, and this time no trouble
was spared in our endeavor to make the work thorough. Every minute
element which could in anyway 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. Barth, 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 understood 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, corresponding to the work of the cart horse, rather than that
of the trotter. Practically all such work consists of a heavy pull or a
push on the man's arms, that is, the man's strength is exerted by either
lifting 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 workman 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 percentage of the day, until finally a load is reached which he
can carry in his hands all day long without being tired out. When 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 condition.

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

Now one of the very first requirements for a man who is fit to handle
pig iron as a regular occupation that he shall be so stupid and so
phlegmatic that he more nearly resembles in his mental make-up the ox
than any other type. The man who is mentally alert and intelligent is
for this very reason entirely unsuited to what would, for him, be the
grinding monotony of work of this character. Therefore the workman who
is best suited to handling pig iron is unable to understand the real
science of doing this class of work. He is so stupid that the word
"percentage" has no meaning to him, and he must consequently be trained
by a man more intelligent 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 carefully
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* per man per
day, and not a man has suggested that an output of over 18 to 25 tons
could be attained by any of the ordinary expedients. It will be remembered
that the Bethlehem men were loading only 12 1/2 tons per man.

[*Footnote: Many people have questioned the accuracy of the statement
that first-class workmen can load 47 1/2 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) 47 1/2 long
tons (2240 pounds per ton) per day.

That the price paid for loading this pig iron was 3.9 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:

47 1/2 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
indicated 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 recuperation. 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.]

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 1/2 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 gang. He merely happened to be
a man of the type of the ox,--no rare specimen of humanity, difficult to
find and therefore very highly prized. On the contrary, he was a man so
stupid that he was unfitted to do most kinds of laboring work, even. The
selection of the man, then, does not involve finding some extraordinary
individual, but merely picking out from among very ordinary men the few
who are especially suited to this type of work. Although in this
particular gang only one man in eight was suited to doing the work, we
had not the slightest difficulty in getting all the men who were
needed--some of them from inside of the works and others from the
neighboring country--who were exactly suited to the job.

Under the management of "initiative and incentive" 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

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

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

Although the reader may be convinced that there is a certain science
back of the handling of pig iron, still it is more than likely that he
is still 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 selecting 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 shoveling.

At the works of the Bethlehem Steel Company, for example, as a result of
this law, instead of allowing each shoveler to select and own his own
shovel, it became necessary to provide some 8 to 10 different kinds of
shovels, etc., 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 standardized labor implements of all kinds, such as picks,
crowbars, etc. This made it possible to issue to each workman a shovel
which would hold a load of 21 pounds of whatever class of material they
were to handle: a small shovel for ore, say, or a large one for ashes.
Iron ore is one of the heavy materials which are handled in a works of
this kind, and rice coal, owing to the fact that it is so slippery on
the shovel, is one of the lightest materials. And it was found on
studying the rule-of-thumb plan at the Bethlehem Steel Company, where
each shoveler owned his own shovel, that he would frequently go from
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 tip
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

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 implements 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

Dealing with every workman as a separate individual in this way involved
the building of a labor office for the superintendent and clerks who
were in charge of this section of the work. In this 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 having
too many men in one place and too few in another, and through waiting
between jobs, was entirely eliminated. Under the old system the workmen
were kept day after day in comparatively large gangs, each under a
single foreman, and the gang was apt to remain of pretty nearly the same
size whether there was much or little of the particular kind of work on
hand which this foreman had under his charge, since each gang had to be
kept large enough to handle whatever work in its special line was likely
to come along.

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

All of this requires the kindly cooperation of the management, and
involves a much more elaborate organization and system than the
old-fashioned herding of men in large gangs. 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
organization is not top-heavy. This question will best be answered by a
statement of the results of the third year of working under this plan.

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 lbs $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 employee, coupled with prosperity for the employer,"
the two principal objects of management. It is evident also that this
result has been brought about by the application of the four fundamental
principles of scientific management.

As another illustration of the value of a scientific study of the
motives which influence workmen in their daily work, the loss of
ambition and initiative will be cited, which takes place in workmen when
they are herded into gangs instead of being treated as separate
individuals. A careful analysis had demonstrated the fact that when
workmen are herded together in gangs, each man in the gang becomes far
less efficient than when his personal ambition is stimulated; that when
men work in gangs, their individual efficiency falls almost invariably
down to or below the level of the worst man in the gang; and that they
are all pulled down instead of being elevated by being herded together.
For this reason a general order had been issued in the Bethlehem Steel
Works that not more than four men were to be allowed to work in a labor
gang without a special permit, signed by the General Superintendent of
the works, this special permit to extend for one week only. It was
arranged that as far as possible each laborer should be given a separate
individual task. As there were about 5000 men at work in the
establishment, the General Superintendent had so much to do that there
was but little time left for signing these special permits.

After gang work had been by this means broken up, an unusually fine set
of ore shovelers had been developed, through careful selection and
individual, scientific training. Each of these men was given a separate
car to unload each day, and his wages depended upon his own personal
work. The man who unloaded the largest amount of ore was paid the
highest wages, and an unusual opportunity came for demonstrating the
importance of individualizing each workman. Much of this ore came from
the Lake Superior region, and the same ore was delivered both in
Pittsburgh and in Bethlehem in exactly similar cars. There was a
shortage of ore handlers in Pittsburgh, and hearing of the fine gang of
laborers that had been developed at Bethlehem, one of the Pittsburgh
steel works sent an agent to hire the Bethlehem men. The Pittsburgh men
offered 4 9/10 cents a ton for unloading exactly the same ore, with the
same shovels, from the same cars, that were unloaded in Bethlehem for 3
2/10 cents a ton. After carefully considering this situation, it was
decided that it would be unwise to pay more than 3 2/10 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

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 other 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 dissipated.
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-shoveling gang. A man
has come here from Pittsburgh, ho is offering 4 9/10 cents per ton for
handling ore while we can pay only 3 9/10 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 Pittsburgh,
but in about six weeks most of them were again back in Bethlehem
unloading ore at the old rate of 3 2/10 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

"'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

"'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
shovel full whenever this little devil throws one, and not another
shovel full.' 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 Bethlehem, but he told us to
mind our own business. And when another pay-day came around we had less
money than we got here at Bethlehem, so Jimmy and I got the gang
together and brought them all back here to work again."

When working each man for himself, these men were able to earn higher
wages at 3 2/10 cents a ton than they could earn when they were paid 4
9/10 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 management to do their
share of the work in cooperating with the workmen. The Pittsburgh
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

Bricklaying is one of the oldest of our trades.

For hundreds of years there has been little or no improvement made in
the implements and materials used in this trade, nor in fact in the
method of laying bricks. In spite of the millions of men who have
practiced this trade, no great improvement has been evolved for many
generations. Here, then, at least one would expect to find but little
gain possible through scientific analysis and study. 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 bricklaying. He made
an intensely interesting analysis and study of each movement of the
bricklayer, and one after another eliminated all unnecessary movements
and substituted fast for slow motions. He experimented with every minute
element which in any way affects the speed and the tiring of the

He developed the exact position which each of the feet of the bricklayer
should occupy with relation to the wall, the mortar box, and the pile of
bricks, and so made it unnecessary for him to take a step or two toward
the pile of bricks and back again each time a brick is laid.

He studied the best height for the mortar box and brick pile, and then
designed a scaffold, with a table on it, upon which all of the materials
are placed, so as to keep the bricks, the mortar, the man, and the wall
in their proper relative positions. These scaffolds are adjusted, as the
wall grows in height, for all of the bricklayers by a laborer especially
detailed for this purpose, and by this means the bricklayer is saved the
exertion of stooping down to the level of his feet for each brick and
each trowel full 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 (weighing about 5 pounds) is
laid in the wall! And this each bricklayer did about one thousand times
a day.

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

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

Through all of this minute study of the motions to be made by the
bricklayer in laying bricks under standard conditions, Mr. Gilbreth has
reduced his movements from eighteen motions per brick to five, and even
in one case to as low as two motions per brick. 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

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 movements which the
bricklayers in the past believed were necessary, but which a careful
study and trial on his part have shown to be useless.

Second. He has introduced simple apparatus, such as his adjustable
scaffold and his packets for holding the bricks, by means of which, with
a very small amount of cooperation from a cheap laborer, he entirely
eliminates a lot of tiresome and time-consuming motions which are
necessary for the 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 trowel full of mortar
with the right hand. This work with two hands at the same time is, of
course, made possible by substituting a deep mortar box for the old
mortar board (on which the mortar spread out so thin that a step or two
had to be taken to reach it) and then placing the mortar box and the
brick pile close together, and at the proper height on his new scaffold.

These three kinds of improvements are typical of the ways in which
needless motions can be entirely eliminated and quicker types of
movements substituted for slow movements when scientific motion study,
as Mr. Gilbreth calls his analysis, time study, as the writer has called
similar work, are, applied in any trade.

Most practical men would (knowing the opposition of almost all tradesmen
to making any change in their methods and habits), however, be 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 building which he erected, he demonstrated on a commercial
scale the great gain which is possible from practically applying his
scientific study. With union bricklayers, in laying a factory wall,
twelve inches thick, with two kinds of brick, faced and ruled joints on
both sides of the wall, he averaged, after his selected workmen had
become skilful in his new methods, 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 foreman. Those who
failed to profit by their teaching were dropped, and each man, as he
became proficient under the new method, received a substantial (not a
small) increase in his wages. With a view to individualizing his workmen
and stimulating each man to do his best, Mr. Gilbreth also developed an
ingenious method for measuring and recording the number of bricks laid
by each man, and for telling each workman at frequent intervals how many
bricks he had succeeded in laying.

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 practiced since before
the Christian era, and with implements practically the same as they now
are, that this simplification of the bricklayer's movements, 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
unnecessary motions. But even if, in the past, he did invent each one of
Mr. Gilbreth's improvements, no bricklayer 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 working conditions, and
enforced cooperation that this faster work can be assured. And the duty
of enforcing the adoption of standards and of enforcing-this cooperation
rests with the management alone. The management must supply continually
one or more teachers to show each new man the new and simpler motions,
and the slower men must be constantly watched and helped until they have
risen to their proper speed. All of those who, after proper teaching,
either will not or cannot work in accordance with the new methods and at
the higher speed must be discharged by the management. The management
must also recognize the broad fact that workmen will not submit to this
more rigid standardization and will not work extra hard, unless they
receive extra pay for doing it.

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

The management must also see that those who prepare the bricks and the
mortar and adjust the scaffold, etc., 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 assumption by the
management of new duties and new kinds of work never done by employers
in the past that makes this great improvement possible, and that,
without this new help from the management, the workman even with full
knowledge of the new methods and with the best of intentions could not
attain these startling results.

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 fast.

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

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 constant help and watchfulness of the
management, and through paying each man a large daily bonus for working
fast and doing what he is told to do.

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

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

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

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 balls.

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

The writer was given the task of systematizing the largest bicycle ball
factory in this country. 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 bands" 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 imperfections in working
conditions which can at once be improved with benefit to all concerned.

In this instance it was found that the inspectors (girls) were working
ten and one-half hours per day (with a Saturday half holiday.)

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

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

The old foreman who had been over the inspecting room for years was
instructed to interview one after another of the better inspectors and
the more influential girls and persuade them that they could do just as
much work in ten hours each day as they had been doing in ten and
one-half hours. 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 change.

The writer had not been especially noted for his tact so he decided that
it would be wise for him to display a little more of this quality by
having the girls vote on the new proposition. This decision was hardly
justified, however, for when the vote was taken the girls were unanimous
that 10 1/2 hours was good enough for them and they wanted no innovation
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
successive steps to 10 hours, 9 1/2, 9, and 8 1/2 (the pay per day
remaining the same); and with each shortening of the working day the
output increased instead of diminishing.

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. Gantt.

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

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

Mr. Thompson soon recognized that the quality most needed for bicycle
ball inspectors was a low personal coefficient. Of course the ordinary
qualities 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

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
identifying the lot to be over-inspected having been changed by the
foreman so that none of the over-inspectors knew whose work they were
examining. In addition to this one of the lots inspected by the four
over-inspectors was examined on the following day by the chief
inspector, selected on account of her especial accuracy and integrity.

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

After insuring in this way against deterioration in quality, effective
means were at once adopted to increase the output. Improved day work was
substituted for the old slipshod method. An accurate daily record was
kept both as to the quantity and quality of the work done in order to
guard against any personal prejudice on the part of the foreman and to
insure absolute impartiality and justice for each inspector. In a
comparatively short time this record enabled the foreman to stir the
ambition of all the inspectors by increasing the wages of those who
turned out a large quantity and 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 considerable part of their time either in partial
idleness, talking and half working, or in actually doing nothing.

Even when the hours of labor had been shortened from 10 1/2 to 8 1/2
hours a close observation of the girls showed that after about an hour
and one-half of consecutive work they began to get nervous. They
evidently needed a rest. It is wise to stop short of the point at which
overstrain begins, so we arranged for them to have a ten minutes period
for recreation at the end of each hour and one quarter. During these
recess periods (two of ten minutes each in the morning and two in the
afternoon) they were obliged to stop work and were encouraged to leave
their seats and get a complete change of occupation by walking around
and talking, etc.

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

Shortening their hours of labor, however, and providing so far as we
knew the most favorable working conditions made it possible for them to
really work steadily instead of pretending to do so.

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

This 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 premium or bonus whenever she accomplishes this task.

This was done in this case through establishing what is known as
differential rate piece work. *begin footnote* See paper read before the
American Society of Mechanical Engineers, by Fred. W. Taylor, Vol. XVI,
p. 856, entitled "Piece Rate System." *end footnote* 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 it was found to be
necessary to measure the output of each girl as often as once every
hour, and to send a teacher to each individual who was found to be
falling behind to find what was wrong, to straighten her out, and to
encourage and help her to catch up.

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

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

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

This is one of the principal reasons why cooperation or "profit-sharing"
either through selling stock to the employees 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
cooperation has yet been devised in which each individual is allowed
free scope for his personal ambition. Personal ambition always has been
and will remain a more powerful incentive to exertion than a desire for
the general welfare. The few misplaced drones, who do the loafing and
share equally in the profits, with the rest, under cooperation are sure
to drag the better men down toward their level.

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

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

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 10 1/2 to 8 1/2 per day,
with a Saturday half holiday. And they were given four recreation
periods properly distributed through the day, which made overworking
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 employees, which rendered labor troubles of any kind or a strike

These good results were brought about by many changes which substituted
favorable for unfavorable working conditions. It should be appreciated,
however, that the one element which did more than all of the others was,
the careful selection of girls with quick perception to replace those
whose perceptions were slow--(the substitution of girls with a low
personal coefficient for those whose personal coefficient was high)--the
scientific selection of the workers.

The illustrations have thus far been purposely confined to the more
elementary types of work, so that a very strong doubt must still remain
as to whether this kind of cooperation is desirable in the case of more
intelligent mechanics, that is, in the case of men who are more capable
of generalization, and who would therefore be more likely, of their own
volition, to choose the more scientific and better methods. The
following illustrations will be given for the purpose of demonstrating
the fact that in the higher classes of work the scientific laws which
are developed are so intricate that the high-priced mechanic needs (even
more than the cheap laborer) the cooperation of men better educated than
himself in finding the laws, and then in selecting, developing, and
training him to work in accordance with these laws. These illustrations
should make perfectly clear our original proposition that in practically
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

A doubt, for instance, will remain in the minds perhaps of most readers
(in the case of an establishment which manufactures the same machine,
year in and year out, in large quantities, and in which, therefore, each
mechanic repeats the same limited series of operations over and over
again), whether the ingenuity of each workman and the help which he from
time to time receives from his foreman will not develop such superior
methods and such a personal dexterity that no scientific study which
could be made would result in a material increase in efficiency.

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

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

By means of four quite elaborate slide-rules, which have been especially
made for the purpose of determining the all-round capacity of
metal-cutting machines, a careful analysis was made of every element of
this machine in its relation to the work in hand. Its Pulling power at
its various speeds, its feeding capacity, and its proper speeds were
determined by means of the slide-rules, and changes were then made in
the countershaft and driving pulleys so as to run it at its proper
speed. Tools, made of high-speed steel, and of the proper shapes, were
properly dressed, treated, and ground. (It should be understood,
however, that in this case the high-speed steel which had heretofore
been in general use in the shop was also used in our demonstration.) A
large special slide-rule was then made, by means of which the exact
speeds and feeds were indicated at which each kind of work could be done
in the shortest possible time in this particular lathe. After preparing
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,
corresponding to the work which had been done in our preliminary 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 highest.

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 implements 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 necessary 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 machine-work.

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 education has
given them the habit of generalizing and everywhere looking for laws,
find themselves confronted 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 generalizing in his
thought, he lacks the time and the opportunity for developing these
laws, because the study of even a simple law involving say time study
requires 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 inevitably 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

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. 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 Company, 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 considerable 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 attempt 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
experimental machines were especially fitted up to do this work. Between
30,000 and 50,000 experiments 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

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 miring 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 shall 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 I 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 thickness 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 3/16 of an inch to 3 1/2
with thickness of shaving 1/64 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 1/2 inch depth
of cut to 1.36 with 1/8 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 1 1/2 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 smoothly.

(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

(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 investigation
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 knowledge, 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 D 14/15 F 3/4

V = 90/T 1/8

V = 11.9/ (F 0.665(48/3 D) 0.2373 + (2.4 / (18 + 24D))

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 complicated mathematical
problems quickly enough to make this knowledge available for every-day
use. If a good mathematician who had these formula before Mm 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 problem; 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
practically the same answer: that in many cases it was possible to,
solve mathematical problems which contained four variables, and in some
cases problems with five or six variables, but that it was manifestly
impossible to solve a problem containing twelve variables 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 Transactions of the American Society of
Mechanical Engineers). By means of this slide-rule, one of these
intricate problems can be solved in less than a half minute by any good
mechanics whether he understands 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, everyday 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 mathematics.

A glance at the intricate mathematical formula (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 experience, correctly to guess at the
answer to the two questions,

What speed shall I use?

What feed shall 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 systematized 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 countershaft 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 in laying bricks, will
appreciate the great possibilities 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 possession 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 employees,
than can be obtained with the management 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 management.

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 scientific
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 principles, 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 elements 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

[Footnote: Time and again the experimenter in the mechanic arts will
find himself face to face with the problem as to whether he had better
make immediate 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 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 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 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 knowledge 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
occurs in most cases. The general steps to be taken in developing a
simple law of this class are as follows:

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 movements, and useless

Fifth. After doing away with all unnecessary movements, collect into one
series the quickest and best movements as well as the best implements.

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
inferior 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 developed.

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
implement, 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 better.

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 training; 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 experiments. 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, unquestionably exist, and when clearly defined are of
great value as a guide in dealing with men. In developing 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
impossible, 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

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 remarkable and almost uniformly good results from the
correct application of the task and the bonus must be seen to be

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 important 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, standardization of methods and implements, a
routing system, the training of functional 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 workmen how to work to the
best advantage has been several times referred to. It seems desirable,
therefore, to explain in rather more detail how this teaching is done.
In the case of a machine-shop which is managed under the modern system,
detailed written instructions are 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 timetable
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 sheet.

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,
therefore, to provide teachers (called functional foremen) 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 entitled "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 methods.

One of these teachers (called the inspector) sees to it that he
understands the drawings and instructions 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 workmen engaged on the same
kind of work do not require the same amount of individual teaching and
attention 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
impression is that this all tends to make him a mere automaton, 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 criticism 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

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. AR of this
teaching, however, in no way narrows him. On the contrary he is quickly
given the very best knowledge of his predecessors; 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 ingenuity to make real additions to the world's
knowledge, 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 teaching, 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 mathematics, 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
surroundings 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 the 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
implements, that there is with the old type of management. It is true
that with scientific management the workman is not allowed to use
whatever implements and methods he sees fit in the daily practice of his
work. Every encouragement, however, should be given him to suggest
improvements, both in methods and in implements. And whenever a workman
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 plan.

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. Hundreds of people have
already mistaken the mechanism 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 movements of workmen for each class of work.

The desirability of a planning room or department.

The "exception principle" in management.

The use of slide-rules and similar timesaving implements.

Instruction cards for the workman.

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

The "differential rate."

Mnemonic systems for classifying manufactured products as well as
implements used in manufacturing.

A routing system.

Modern cost system, etc., etc.

These are, however, merely the elements or details of the mechanism of
management. Scientific management, in its essence, consists of a certain
philosophy, which results, as before stated, in a combination of the
four great underlying principles of management:

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

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 in 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 standardization of all
implements connected with the work, 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 presentation 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 years.

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
establishment and practically all of the workmen who are working under
the old system become desirous to share in the benefits which they see
have been received by those working under the new plan.

Inasmuch as the writer has personally retired from the business of
introducing this system of management (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 elaborate 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 trying 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
experience which is required to change without danger of strikes, or
without interference with the success of the business, from the
management of "initiative and incentive" to scientific management,
attempted rapidly to increase the output in quite an elaborate
establishment, employing between three thousand and four thousand men.
Those who undertook 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 establishment 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 these 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. Unfortunately 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 somewhat harder work, but also far greater prosperity.
The result of all this disregard of fundamental principles 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 establishment
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 management while leaving out its essence, and also
of trying to shorten a necessarily long operation in entire disregard of
past experience. It should be emphasized 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 undertaking 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 company fully
understand and believe in the fundamental 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 interested 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 statement is made that the
competent pig-iron handler, for instance, who has been so trained that
he piles 3 6/10 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 considered. 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 employee. 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 increasing the output, and
thereby the prosperity of the civilized world, has been the introduction
of machinery 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
increased, and in many cases, though unfortunately not universally, the
employees have obtained materially 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 management.)

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 6/10 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
superintendent, 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 employers and employees. 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

And the means which the writer firmly believes will be adopted to bring
about, first, efficiency both in employer and employs 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 employee.

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, however, involve a certain combination of elements which
have not existed in the past, namely, old knowledge so collected,
analyzed, grouped, and classified 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
responsibilities. 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 management, 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 without 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
preserves 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."

The examples given above of the increase in output 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

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 present 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 introduction 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
percentage 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 soldiering
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 contact 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?