The effectiveness of an industry in raising its productivity is not only determined by the nature of its technological developments; of great importance also is the efficiency of its labor and managerial personnel. Thus, improving productivity is not only a matter of the quantity and quality of capital; it is also traceable to improvements in design, in planning, and in controlling, which are the functions of management, and to more effective effort, increased speed, or greater skill, which are the functions of labor.
It is mainly in connection with the latter aspect of productivity that the working rules of the building trades unions have been a subject of analysis for many years.2 It has often been alleged that these rules limit output, impose unjustified restrictions on the freedom of management, and generally impose unreasonable costs upon consumers. These charges have attracted increasing attention in the past decade because of the acute need for an extensive and efficient home- building program to meet the vast backlog of demand accumulated during the depression and war years.
It should be recognized that the working rules of the build-____________________