Human Being and group forming at work

The human being works in groups and he forms groups to work. And a group, no matter how formed or why, soon focuses on a task. Group relationships influence the task; the task in turn influences personal relationships within group. At the same time the human being remains an individual. Group and individual must therefore be brought into harmony in the organization of work.

This means specifically that work must always be organized in such a manner that whatever strength, initiative, responsibility and competence there is in individuals becomes a source of strength and performance for the entire group. This is the first principle of organization; indeed it is practically a definition of the purpose of organization. That this is not the case on the traditional automobile assembly line itself sufficient evidence that we do not as yet know how to manage worker and work. The worker who is able to put on more fenders does not thereby help his fellow-workers on the line. On the contrary, all he does is to put pressure on the man next to him (who may have to put on bumper guards), throw off this rhythm of work, cause him trouble either by overloading him or by giving him more to do than he has supplies for, and finally cause him to perform less well, to turn less work. This is a violation of ethical law; for there is no worse sin than to turn man’s capacity to grow into a threat to himself and his fellow-men. It is also poor engineering.

A group is defined as two or more individuals, interacting and interdependent, who have come together to achieve particular objectives. Groups can be either formal or informal. By formal groups, those defined by the organization’s structure, with designated work assignments and establishing tasks. In formal groups, the behavior that one should engage in are stipulated by and directed towards organizational goals. The six members making up an airline flight crew are an example of a formal group. In contrast, informal groups are alliances that are neither formally structured nor organizationally determined These groups are natural formation in the work environment that appear in response to the need for social contact. Three employees from different departments who regularly eat lunch together are an example of an informal group.
Finally, man is distinguished from all other resources in that his “development” is not something that is done to him; it is not another or better way of using existing properties. It is growth; and growth is always from within. The work therefore must encourage the growth of the individual and must direct it otherwise it fails to take full advantage of the specific properties of the human resources

This means that’s the job must always challenge the worker. Nothing is more contrary to the nature of the human resource than the common attempt to find the “average work load” for the ‘average worker.’ This whole idea is based on a disproven psychology which equated learning speed with learning ability. It is also based on the belief that the individual worker is the more productive the less control he has, the less he participates and that is a complete misunderstanding of the human resources. Above all, the concept of the average work to be performed is inevitably one which considers average what any but a physically or mentally handicapped person could do. The man who is just barely normal but who has neither aptitude nor liking for the job becomes the measure of all things, his performance the norm. And human work becomes something that requires neither skill; effort, nor thought, presents no challenge, allows differentiation between the highly skilled ad highly motivated and the near-moron.

This whole concept, as the IBM story shows, is poor engineering. It results in constantly lowering performance norms rather than in raising the performance levels of the entire work group. It destroys the productivity of the human resource. The nature of man demands that the performance of the best not of the poorest worker should becomes the goal for all.

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