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The Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization

Nature volume 134, page 201 (11 August 1934) | Download Citation



PROF. ELTON MAYO approaches the human prob lems of to-day through a study of ‘fatigue’. He shows that although it was once considered “a simple and special study”, it is now known to embrace so wide a sphere as to make simple defini tion hopeless. He traces the development of industrial psychology along these lines in Great Britain, and pays tribute to the important and penetrating work of British investigators. Several interesting experiments and investiga tions in an American factory are described in detail, and the gradually increasing round of problems leads to consideration of sociological problems and a conception of the ‘new adminis trator’. Prof. Mayo concludes that the primary need of the industrial world is to develop a technique that will enable people to live in easy social relationships with each other. At the same time, every individual should have the right to feel that he is of economic value to the com munity. The whole of this most important aspect of human nature we have recklessly disregarded in our “triumphant industrial progress”.

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