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Time and motion study

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Industrial & Organisational : Introduction : Personnel : Organizational psychology : Occupations: Work environment: Index : Outline

A time and motion study (or time-motion study) is a business efficiency technique devised by Frederick Winslow Taylor. It is a major part of scientific management (Taylorism).

The technique was refined by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth (best known through the biographical film and book Cheaper by the Dozen).

A time and motion study would be used to reduce the number of motions in performing a task in order to increase productivity. The best known experiment involved bricklaying. Through carefully scrutinising a bricklayer's job, Frank Gilberth reduced the number of motions in laying a brick from 18 to about 5. Hence the bricklayer both increased productivity and decreased fatigue.

The Gilbreths developed what they called therbligs (an anagram of "Gilbreth"), a classification scheme comprising 17 basic hand motions.

References Edit

  • Management (3rd Edition), Robbins, S.P., Bergman, R., Stagg, L, & Coulter, M. (2003) . Sydney, Australia: Prentice Hall

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