Since then, business has borrowed many well-recognized principles from psychology and pedagogy and adapted them to the same end.
Many important houses have grafted the school upon their organizations and _*teach_ not only raw and untrained employees, but provide instruction calculated to make workmen and clerks masters of their jobs and also to fit them for advancement to higher and more productive planes. Teaching is by example rather than by precept, just as it was in the old apprentice system.
_The newer method uses even more than the older a perfect example of the process and the product for the learner's imitation and makes them the basis of the instruction_.
No man was made to live alone. For an individual, existence entirely independent of
other members of the race is the conception of a dreamer; apart from others one would fail to become _*human_. Modern psychology has abandoned the individualistic and adopted the social point of view. We no longer think of _*imitation_ as a characteristic only of animals, children, and weak-minded folk.
_We have come to see that imitation is the greatest factor in the education of the young and a continuous process with all of us. The part of wisdom, then, is to utilize this power from which we cannot escape, by setting up a perfect copy for imitation_.
The child brought up by a Chinaman imitates the sounds he hears, hence speaks Chinese; brought up in an American home, English is his speech--ungrammatical or correct according to the usage of his companions. If one boy in a group walks on stilts or plays marbles, the others follow his example. If a social leader rides in an automobile, wears a Panama hat, or plays golf, all the members of this circle are restless till they have the same experience. The same
phenomenon is seen in the professions and in business. If one bank decides to erect a building for its own use, other banks in the city begin to consult architects. If one manufacturer or distributor in a given field adopts a new policy in manufacturing or in extending his trade zone, his rivals immediately consider plans of a similar sort. Partly, of course, this act is defensive. In the main, however, imitation and emulation are at the bottom of the move.
For the sake of clearness, in studying acts of imitation we separate them into two classes--_*voluntary_ imitation (also called conscious imitation) and _*instinctive_ imitation (also known as _*suggestive_ imitation).
A peculiar signature may strike my fancy so that consciously and deliberately I may try to imitate it. This is a clear case of voluntary imitation. Threading crowded city streets, I see a man crossing at a particular point and voluntarily follow in his path. In learning a new skating figure I watch an expert attentively and try to repeat his perform-
ance. In writing letters or advertisements or magazine articles, I analyze the work of other men and consciously imitate what seems best. Or I observe a fellow-laborer working faster than I, and forthwith try to catch and hold his pace.
The contagion of yawning, on the other hand, is instinctive imitation. Also when in a crowd during the homeward evening rush, we instinctively quicken our pace though there may be no reason for hurry.
For precisely similar reasons, a ``loafer'' or a careless or inefficient workman will lower the efficiency or slow up the production of the men about him, no matter how earnest or industrious their natural habits. Night work by clerks, also, is taken by some office managers to indicate a slump in industry during the day. To correct this the individuals who are drags on the organization are discovered, and either are revitalized or discharged.
_I have seen more than one machine shop where production could have been materially raised_
_by the simple expedient of weeding out the workmen who were satisfied with a mere living wage earned by piecework, thereby setting a dilatory example to the rest; and replacing them with fresh men ambitious to earn all they could, who would have been imitated by the others_.