The Workers Interest in Costing

The Workers Interest in Costing

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Excerpt from The Workers Interest in Costing: A Factor of Industrial a Paper Ready Before a Conference of the Industrial Reconstruction Council, on Tuesday, 28th January, 1919

Hitherto the possibility that the workers could or should have any interest in factory costs has not received any consideration, which, after all, is not surprising in view of the fact that the value of efficient factory records has been little understood and less appreciated by manufacturers in this country.

Although generally accepted as merely a method of determining the production cost of an article or process in order to fix the selling price, true factory costing actually demands an analysis of the whole of the manufacturing operations; the collection of statistics of production, progress, and idle time; the segregation of productive and non-productive expenditure; the focus in summary form of the manufacturing efficiency of the entire works organisation.

The benefits to be derived from the cost system depend on the extent to which the information obtained is used by the management in the control and administration of the business.

The Whitley Report marks a new era in the science of British industrial organisation. As the days of slavery gave place to the feudal system, in turn followed by an order under which the employer was master and his employees merely servants to do his bidding, so now it is realised that the workers have, and should have, a greater interest in their work than the amount of the wages they arc entitled to draw from week to week in return for their labour.

The lesson of the Whitley Report is that to obtain the best productive results the workers must be taken into the confidence of the management, efficiency and progress being attained by joint co-operation.

The object of such co-operation is, on the part of the employer, to further the interests of his business; on the part of the worker to obtain better conditions of work and higher remuneration for his services: on the part of both to promote the industrial efficiency of the nation.

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