Increasing Efficiency in Business

by

WD Scott

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INCREASING HUMAN EFFICIENCY IN BUSINESS

A CONTRIBUTION TO THE PSYCHOLOGY OF BUSINESS

BY

WALTER DILL SCOTT

AUTHOR OF ``THE THEORY OF ADVERTISING,'' ``THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ADVERTISING,'' ``THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PUBLIC SPEAKING,'' ``INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS''

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE
I. THE POSSIBILITY OF INCREASING HUMAN EFFICIENCY......1
II. IMITATION AS A MEANS OF INCREASING HUMAN EFFICIENCY......................................26
III. COMPETITION AS A MEANS OF INCREASING HUMAN EFFICIENCY......................................48
IV. LOYALTY AS A MEANS OF INCREASING HUMAN EFFICIENCY......................................75
V. CONCENTRATION AS A MEANS OF INCREASING HUMAN EFFICIENCY...............................104
VI. WAGES AS A MEANS OF INCREASING HUMAN EFFICIENCY.....................................132
VII. PLEASURE AS A MEANS OF INCREASING HUMAN EFFICIENCY.....................................165
VIII. THE LOVE OF THE GAME AND EFFICIENCY...........186
IX. RELAXATION AS A MEANS OF INCREASING HUMAN EFFICIENCY.....................................204
X. THE RATE OF IMPROVEMENT IN EFFICIENCY............223
XI. PRACTICE PLUS THEORY............................254
XII. MAKING EXPERIENCE AN ASSET: JUDGMENT FORMATION......................................276
XIII. CAPITALIZING EXPERIENCE: HABIT FORMATION......303

INCREASING HUMAN EFFICIENCY IN BUSINESS

CHAPTER I

THE POSSIBILITY OF INCREASING HUMAN EFFICIENCY

THE modern business man is the true heir of the old magicians. Every thing he touches seems to increase ten or a hundredfold in value and usefulness. All the old methods, old tools, old instruments have yielded to his transforming spell or else been discarded for new and more effective substitutes. In a thousand industries the profits of to-day are wrung from the wastes or unconsidered trifles of yesterday.

The only factor which has withstood this wizard touch is man himself. Development of the instruments of production and distribution has been so great it can hardly be

measured: the things themselves have been so changed that few features of their primitive models have been retained.

Our railroad trains, steamships, and printing presses preserve a likeness more apparent than actual. Our telephones, electric lights, gas engines, and steam turbines, our lofty office buildings and huge factories crowded with wonderful automatic machinery are creations of the generation of business men and scientists still in control of them.

_By comparison the increase in human efficiency during this same period (except where the worker is the slave of the machine, compelled to keep pace with it or lose his place) has been insignificant_.

Reasons for this disproportion are not lacking. The study of the physical antedates the study of the mental always. In the history of the individual as well as of nations, knowledge of the psychical has dragged far behind mastery of tangible objects. We come in contact with our physical environment and adjust ourselves to it long before we begin to

study the _*acts_ by which we have been able to control objects around us.

It was inevitable, therefore, that attention should have been concentrated upon the material and mechanical side of production and distribution. Results there were so tangible, so easily figured. For example, if the speed of a drill or the strokes of a punch press were multiplied, the increase would be easily recognized. The whole country, too, was absorbed in invention, in the development of tools to accomplish what had always required hand labor. The effort was not so much to increase the efficiency of the individual worker-- though many wise and far-sighted employers essayed studies and experiments with varying success--as to displace the human factor altogether.

As the functions and limitations of machinery have become clearer in recent years, business men have generally recognized the importance of the human factor in making and marketing products.

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