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THE TRAINING OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS - Hollis Godfrey - 1913

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JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY, 1913  - Paper

THE TRAINING OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS 


Men and women are strangely hard to move or lead from their
accustomed way. A sense of the difficulty of such change is
perhaps the first feeling of most men who work in the science of
management. Little by little, as the engineer goes forward, how-
ever, he begins to see that the possession of certain powers enables
him to conquer not only hesitant men and recalcitrant machines,
but baffling problems which involve both men and machines.
And the powers which enable him to do these things are science
and common-sense. Those are the two needs which the industrial
engineer himself ardently desires to gain to a greater and greater
degree. Those are the two needs which I present here as the basis
of the training of men who intend to make the science of manage-
ment their vocation.

I assume that no course in the science of management would
be begun before the end of the Sophomore year in college. The
man who reaches the Junior year of college or technical school
must have had some training in science and mathematics or he
would not be eligible to enter the scientific management course.
He must have acquired some common-sense and scientific attitude
on his way, and the knowledge of science and common-sense so
gained should be sufficient to enable him to recognize that in
electing scientific management he is deliberately electing to follow
a long and arduous road. The problem before us, then, when
we discuss the work of men electing industrial engineering courses,
is not one of supplying common-sense to men who have none, but
rather of taking men with some common-sense and some knowl-
edge of science and raising what they have to the highest possible
power.

How, then, can the industrial engineer become a scientist, attain
the scientific attitude of mind ? More difficult still, how can he
obtain common-sense ?

By welding the scientific work of the classroom with the shop-

494



TEE TRAINING OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS 495

work of the factory; by making the laboratory hours, hours that
are spent with wage-earners striving for their daily wage, instead
of with fellow-students who are studying rather than earning; by
making the classroom hours full of the splendid life, spirit, and
movement of American industry. Laboratory and classroom hours
alike must be filled with reality rather than with pure theory or
with theory quite unrelated to the practical world.

The ignorance of the American undergraduate as regards in-
dustry seems to me appalling. The matter of his courses, the
content of his texts seem to the undergraduate to belong to a
world quite separate from the busy, stirring factory world outside
the academic walls. He must then, first of all, get in touch with
the shop. And I insist that he can do that nowhere save in actual
operating shops among men who are working for their daily wage.
No shop practice in the school will produce a like result. Shop-
sense is one of the most valuable possessions of the industrial
engineer. That sense comes only through actual shop practice.
Once possessed it means that the man has thereafter the freedom
of the shop.

To attain the desirable ends of knowledge of science and posses-
sion of common-sense I propose that any course in the science of
management shall consist of classroom work as outlined below and
of laboratory work carried on in actual operating shops. That
means that manufacturers who are broad-minded enough to be
willing to assist the college, and instructors broad-minded enough
to recognize the limitations of industry must co-operate in giving
the laboratory instruction in shop practice to the students. I
believe both groups of men exist and I feel that through their
combined efforts the student should have an opportunity to spend
the summers of his Sophomore and Junior years in actual shop
practice, while three afternoons a week during the scholastic year
should see him working in the shop.

What underlying thought must be before the men who make
the courses ?

Again to a definite question we can give a definite reply. The
industrial engineer is dealing in all cases with both men and machines.
He must study "man" in his relation to his industrial environ-



496 JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY

ment — not any single class of men, but all the men engaged in
industry. He must study "machines," not alone in their relation
to their product, but also in relation to the human beings who
operate them. It is his task to bring the best that modern science
has to the aid and well-being of man.

It is in the development of his pupil's studies of men that the
wise teacher of scientific management will work most steadfastly
in correlating the allied courses, mentioned later, in psychology
and physiology, in economics and sociology, with the courses in the
science of management, and with the work of living men and whir-
ring machines. What percentage of flat failures occur because men
have only "one side to their head," because they are quite unable
to see the relation of many interweaving threads in a given problem,
it is hard to tell. But I believe it is no small number. The indus-
trial engineer must recognize the presence of many factors in a
problem. He must solve equations of not only two unknown
quantities, but of a dozen unknown quantities, so to speak. And
the correlation of his courses in class with each other and with life
will do much in the way of enabling him to do so.

It remains briefly to sketch the content of the direct courses
on this subject and to state their desired end. To do this I use
again the question form.

When should the work begin, and how much of the student's
time should it occupy ?

Direct work in scientific management should begin either at the
end of two years or of four years in college. The direct and allied
special classroom courses should occupy one full year of collegiate
training, divided between two years' work, making a half-year's
work in scientific management during both the Junior and Senior
years. The shopwork should occupy two summer vacations and
three afternoons a week during each of the two years.

What courses should be offered ?

A dominant course in the science of management running
through two years, allied with courses in economics, sociology,
psychology, physiology, hygiene and sanitation, theory and practice
of accounting. All these should be in addition to the student's
more direct work in science, mathematics, English, and foreign



THE TRAINING OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS 497

languages, which occupy the time of three out of the four collegiate
years — if the courses are made undergraduate ones.

What should be the content of the scientific management courses
given during the four half-years that comprise the Junior and
Senior years of most colleges and technical schools ?

The first half-year should be devoted to a general view of four
picked industries — in order that the student may see industry
more or less as a whole — and to the study of the principles of
scientific management. The laboratory work for this course
should consist of the broad outlined study of four plants from the
time of the receipt of the first inquiry from the prospective customer
to the final entry of the payment for the bill and the calculation of
the cost. The classroom work for this course should be devoted
to a thorough grounding in the basic principles of organization,
and to study of the principles of scientific management.

It is most essential that the student should obtain at the very
start a clear realization of the difference between system and science.
It is most essential also that he should come to understand that,
while certain problems solved for one industry may be solved for
all industry, such general solutions cannot be presumed upon.
He should know that every new business will contain new problems,
which must be solved by the use of all the knowledge of the past
plus all the imaginative genius he can hope to possess. That is
to say, the student must learn that a mechanism used successfully
in one place cannot be bodily transported to another with hope of
instant success. By the end of the first half-year each individual
taking the course should have come to realize that he is studying
the principles of a science which are applicable to every case, not
memorizing a set of rules or inheriting a stock of recipes. The
study of four actual operating plants will aid him greatly in this
realization.

The second half-year should be devoted in the classroom to a
detailed study of the planning-room and the processes involved in
getting work into the shop, of stores, routing, specifications, etc. —
planning in general, in a word. The laboratory work should consist
of actual planning-room experience in the shop.

It is entirely true that there is a question as to whether planning-



498 JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY

room experience should follow or precede shop training. It may,
therefore, be a question whether planning should be put in this
course. It is my own belief that the student will master his shop
theory better the third half-year from the fact that he has discovered
the basic reasons of the work in the planning-room. It should be
noted, moreover, in this connection that I have assumed that the
student has had a summer's experience in actual shop practice as
a prerequisite of the course, and that he has had a half year of
general preliminary study.

The third half-year should be devoted to a detailed study of
work in the shop (especially of the teaching work of the functional
foreman), of inspection, and of task work. All of this except the
study of task work should be done in actual plants. The task
work should be done on fellow-students in the shops of the school.
No untrained man should ever be put on actual task-setting.

The third half-year offers a great opportunity to impress upon
the student the importance of the teaching function of his work.
The whole theory of functional foremanship is a theory of educa-
tion and a great part of the time of an industrial engineer must be
spent in teaching the men with whom he is working. Adequate
powers of expression are by no means common among our recent
graduates. The teacher of scientific management can never forget
that the work of his pupils must show in the life-work of the men
with whom they are dealing. The bridge-builder leaves a physical
monument largely untouched by the later thought of men. The
industrial builder must educate in such a way that his work will go
progressively forward in the minds of men. That is true education,
and education is true only when it obtains adequate expression.

The fourth half-year should be devoted to studies in bringing
all the best that science offers to the aid of industry — to work in
costs, to work in the determining of policies by studies of sales,
purchasing, and the like, and to the co-ordination of the work of
the three half-years already outlined.

The course of the fourth half-year should be broad enough to
give the student some concept that great movements of trade exist
and that they are factors which he must meet and use. The world
is fairly well provided with men who can look after a few details.



THE TRAINING OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS 499

It is very poorly provided with men who can care for great construc-
tive work. One of the greatest industrial leaders of our time said
to me the other day: "The greater the affairs of a corporation, the
smaller the number of men who can deal with them. It seems to
be a true inverse proportion. There are ten men who can think
in a hundred thousand dollars, to one who can think in a million,
and ten who can think in a million to one who can think in ten
millions."

I should hardly expect any course to give an undergraduate a
great grasp of comprehensive plans. There is, however, no reason
why we should hitch our wagon to the lowest of the stars when we
can find higher ones within our reach.

In the foregoing resume of a course in the science of manage-
ment I have made no reference to many subjects I should have
been glad to consider, to reports and theses, to methods and
policies. Considerations of brevity forbade. I must turn again to
my catechism and end with three brief questions and three brief
answers.

What should the allied courses teach ?

The relation of man to industry and to his general environment.

What should the college courses in English teach ?

The power of expression.

What should the work in scientific management teach ?

That scientific management is a change of mental attitude
(mental attitude, now, as always, the most powerful force among
men) which makes employer and employee pull together instead of
apart, which brings all that is best in science to the aid of every
man in industry, and which, by its substitution of exact knowledge
for the chaos of guess work and ignorance, makes progressively for
justice and for the coming of the "new industrial day."

Hollis Godfrey

West Medford, Mass.





A SYMPOSIUM ON SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT AND EFFICIENCY IN COLLEGE


ADMINISTRATION

COMPRISING AMONG OTHERS

THE PAPERS PRESENTED AT THE EFFICIENCY SESSION

OF THE TWENTIETH ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE

SOCIETY FOR THE PROMOTION OF ENGINEERING

EDUCATION, HELD AT BOSTON, MASS.,

JUNE 26-29, 1912


OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY ITHACA, N. Y.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.


INTRODUCTION. " Frank. B. Gilbreth


EDUCATIONAL DEMANDS OF MODERN PROGRESS. " Harrington Emerson. 



PRACTICE VERSUS THEORY IN THE SCIENCE OP MANAGEMENT. " F. A. Parklmrst


32 32 37

EDUCATION AND EFFICIENT LIVING. " Meyer Bloomfield

THE ENGINEER AS A MANAGER. " H. L. Gantt


THE MEN WHO SUCCEED IN SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT. " H. K. Hathaway

THE PLACE OF THE COLLEGE IN COLLECTING AND CONSERVING THE DATA OF SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT. " Wilfred Lewis

AN AUXILIARY TO COLLEGES IN THE TRAINING OF SCIENTIFIC MANAGERS." E. T. Kent

TEACHING SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT IN ENGINEERING SCHOOLS." R. B. Wolf

THE TEACHING OF SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT IN ENGINEERING SCHOOLS." Hollis Godfrey 


TEACHING THE PRINCIPLES OF SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT. " 

Walter Rautenstrauch

82 TEACHING SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT IN THE TECHNICAL SCHOOLS.

H. F. J. Porter 94

A BROADENED VIEW OF EFFICIENCY IN ENGINEERING INSTRUCTION.

L. J. Johnson 108

ABSENCES FROM CLASSES ONE MEASURE OF INEFFICIENCY."
F. P.McKibben

112 118

THE PROBLEM OF EFFICIENCY IN TEACHING. " W. A. Hillebrand ....


THE ADMINISTRATION OF COLLEGE SHOP LABORATORIES. " W. F. M. Goss

129 133 139 145

SETTING TASKS FOR COLLEGE MEN. " S. E. Thompson

DEPARTMENTAL ORGANIZATION AND EFFICIENCY. " Hugo Diemer

ACADEMIC EFFICIENCY." William Kent

OPERATING ENGINEERING SCHOOLS UNDER SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT. " H. Wade Hibbard

161 182

EFFICIENCY IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION. " G. H. Shepard

THE APPLICATION OF SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT TO THE OPERATION

OF COLLEGES. " S. E. Whitaker

205 217

SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT IN THE COLLEGES. " E. F. Palmer iii





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