Author

Huston

Date of Award

1-1958

Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew C. Luff

Second Advisor

Dr. Frank Fatzinger

Third Advisor

Dr. George G. Mallinson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Introduction

The rapid growth of American industry during the first half of the Twentieth Century has brought managements face to face with the necessity to delegate responsibility and commensurate authority to the various echelons of the supervisory and managerial personnel. The owner-manager era is a thing of the past. Gone with it is the intimate relationship that once existed between the owner of the business and those who worked for him. In its place has arisen the corporation, a statutory entity that cloaked ownership with impersonality.

Coincidental with the change of character of ownership and, indeed, one of the major causes of it, was the development of a high degree of complexity in technology, finance, merchandising and in the handling of people. Specialists were required for the various phases of the business. Emphasis was placed upon the technical or professional skills of those who made up the management team without much concern for their ability to supervise or lead others.

Two major aspects stand out among the innovations of the past 15 years in the field of personnel administration: executive development and human relations programs. The first was born out of the recognition that the management chain is only as strong as its weakest link and therefore each segment of the supervisory and managerial force must be or become as competent as possible. Concern was expressed not only in terms of competency with respect to present duties and responsibilities but was accentuated by the contemplated need to fill higher echelon vacancies as they occur. Human relations programs were fathered by the recognition that people perform better when they want to perform better, hence, the search for the key to worker motivation. Since the industrial psychologists have barely scratched the surface in ferreting out the "hows" of motivation in the industrial arena, there are no reliable standards upon which to arrive at a supervisor's human relations quotient.

It is the advent of executive development and human relations programs that led to the creation and refinement of formal systems of appraisal or evaluation of management personnel. "Formal rating plans of one kind or another have been used by American companies for several decades to grade and classify their employees." Such rating systems applied to hourly production employees and/or salaried personnel and frequently the same program was used for the lower levels of supervision as was used for clerical workers. It is only in recent years that managements have begun to seek pragmatic bases for evaluating supervisory and managerial personnel.

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Business Commons

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