Efficiency and uplift: scientific management in the progressive era 1890-1920
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However, mechanical efficiency may have added coloring to personal efficiency; the machine does, but does not feel. The concept of mechanical efficiency developed out of the application of the laws of thermodynamics to the technology of the steam engine in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and soon it became a central concept of engineering. The machine whose efficiency the engineer calculated, however, was often owned by a business enterprise interested in profit.
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Commercial efficiency, the output-input ratio of dollars, was a third meaning common to the progressive era, and a meaning which engineers who were concerned with the delicate adjustment of material means to ends could not ignore. Finally, efficiency not only signified a personal quality, a relationship between materials, and a relationship between investment and revenue, but, most important, it signified a relationship between men.
And it is this meaning that has particular importance for the understanding of the progressive era Efficiency as morality, the most widespread and easily acceptable form, was quickest to evaporate. Efficiency as a series of profit-making stunts was soon discredited.
Efficiency as a technique of industrial management and as a form of social control found a small but steadfast following and had more lasting effects. Appreciating Energy. Appreciating Time. Prev Next. The University is a unique living organism and a complex system.
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Its wellbeing depends on how well each element does its work. And as in any system, at the University the coordinated work of all the employees defines the organization efficiency. To succeed means to work as a team and be proud that you are a part of one of the best technical universities in the country. Without any exception, all the employees — professors, associate professors, lecturers, researchers, students, administrative and support staff — make our university better every day by contributing to the common goal, supporting its further growth and development.