Management

Soldiering

Taylor observed that some workers were more talented than others, and that even smart ones were often unmotivated. He observed that most workers who are forced to perform repetitive tasks tend to work at the slowest rate that goes unpunished. This slow rate of work has been observed in many industries in many countries and has been called by various terms (some being slang confined to certain regions and eras), including "soldiering", (reflecting the way conscripts may approach following orders), "dogging it", "goldbricking", "hanging it out", and "ca canae". Managers may call it by those names or "loafing" or "malingering"; workers may call it "getting through the day" or "preventing management from abusing us". Taylor used the term "soldiering" and observed that, when paid the same amount, workers will tend to do the amount of work that the slowest among them does. This reflects the idea that workers have a vested interest in their own well-being, and do not benefit from working above the defined rate of work when it will not increase their remuneration. He therefore proposed that the work practice that had been developed in most work environments was crafted, intentionally or unintentionally, to be very inefficient in its execution. He posited that time and motion studies combined with rational analysis and synthesis could uncover one best method for performing any particular task, and that prevailing methods were seldom equal to these best methods. Crucially, Taylor himself prominently acknowledged (although many white-collar imitators of his ideas would forget) that if each employee's compensation was linked to their output, their productivity would go up. Thus his compensation plans usually included piece rates. He rejected the notion, which was universal in his day and still prevalent even now, of the secret magic of the craftsmanЧthat the trades, including manufacturing were black arts that could not be analyzed and could only be performed by craft production methods.[citation needed] In the course of his empirical studies, Taylor examined various kinds of manual labor. For example, most bulk materials handling was manual at the time; material handling equipment as we know it today was mostly not developed yet. He looked at shoveling in the unloading of railroad cars full of ore; lifting and carrying in the moving of iron pigs at steel mills; the manual inspection of bearing balls; and others. He discovered many concepts that were not widely accepted at the time. For example, by observing workers, he decided that labor should include rest breaks so that the worker has time to recover from fatigue, either physical (as in shoveling or lifting) or mental (as in the ball inspection case). Workers were taught to take more rests during work, and as a result production "paradoxically" increased.[citation needed] A machinist at the Tabor Company, a firm where Frederick Taylor's consultancy was applied to practice, about 1905 Unless people manage themselves, somebody has to take care of administration, and thus there is a division of work between workers and administrators.[citation needed] One of the tasks of administration is to select the right person for the right job: the labor should include rest breaks so that the worker has time to recover from fatigue. Now one of the very first requirements for a man who is fit to handle pig iron as a regular occupation is that he shall be so stupid and so phlegmatic that he more nearly resembles in his mental make-up the ox than any other type. The man who is mentally alert and intelligent is for this very reason entirely unsuited to what would, for him, be the grinding monotony of work of this character. Therefore the workman who is best suited to handling pig iron is unable to understand the real science of doing this class of work.