Dynamic Factors in Industrial Productivity

Dynamic Factors in Industrial Productivity

Dynamic Factors in Industrial Productivity

Dynamic Factors in Industrial Productivity

Excerpt

This book is an exploration of two parallel processes in business- managed industrial firms: the mechanization of production and the rise of administrative overhead. Taken together, these processes have a controlling effect on the productivity of industry's man- hours. I hope that their parallel treatment in this book will serve to underscore the similarities in the decision-making mechanisms which are involved in each case.

I have attempted to set forth not only the results of inquiry, but also the methods of investigation. This is done to facilitate the verifiability of the findings and to demonstrate that the types of problems dealt with here are amenable to inquiry.

I am most grateful to each or my colleagues who read the manuscript for their constructive suggestions. In particular, the interpretation of findings and the organization of the book were enhanced by astute criticism from Prof. Lawrence B. Cohen.

Special thanks are due to Mr. P. W. S. Andrews and Miss E. Brunner of Nuffield College who, from the outset, have been especially generous in encouraging these investigations and in contributing expert critical comment.

During the four years of this work I had the good fortune of receiving unstinting co-operation from many people in the United States and in England, in universities, in industry, and in government. In particular, I wish to acknowledge the aid and co-operation of the technical engineers, administrators, and union members who freely made available to me information on details of their work and their job problems. I was ably assisted by Mr. Spencer B. Smith in the execution of several important aspects of the work. Mr. Alejandro Torres and Mr. August Sapega assisted me during the early part of the study.

The field work of this investigation and many of the subsequent operations were aided by a grant from the Columbia University Council for Research in the Social Sciences.

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