The Contributions Of Henry L. Gantt To Early Management Thought
Near the turn of the century, Frederick Taylor began his detailed studies of workplace operations of employees. He applied scientific reasoning to work by showing that labor can be analyzed and improved by focusing on its elementary parts.
Henry L. Gantt was Taylor's associate and he felt that a business was an integral part of a larger community system and the mission, goals and means the enterprise employs to achieve its objectives must be firmly rooted in the needs of society.
He felt that the enterprise, as part of the community, has a social responsibility that it requires it to integrate the interests of society with those of the firm. It was his view that the firm would not succeed over the long term without adhering to this basic concept of service.
It is interesting to note that Gantt argued his position from the point of industrial efficiency being in the long-term interest of business itself. He felt the firm must be an efficient and low cost provider of what society needs and if this principle is not observed, not only will the enterprise not be successful, the civil peace of the society itself will be in jeopardy.
Gantt underscored the necessity of service to the community as a foundation to efficiency and success in his essay, "The Parting of The Ways", which was written at the time of the First World War. In it he said, "It is this conflict of ideals which is the source of the confusion into which the world seems to be diving headlong. The community needs service first, regardless of who gets the profits, because its life depends upon the service it gets. The business man who says profits are more important to him than the service he renders; that the wheels of business shall not turn, whether the community needs the service or not unless he can have his measure of profit, has forgotten that his business had its foundation in service, as far as the community is concerned. We all realize that