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quaint the students with some of the principles of success in dealing with the human factor in production. Experiments now contemplated or in progress, based upon the study of what executives actually have to do in industry, have made our faculty keenly aware of the value of anything the colleges can do to prepare their students for effectiveness in personal relations.
A similar statement holds regarding the need for familiarity with cost accounting and estimating; credits and banking; labor and capital; for skill in preparing lucid, concise reports; and for many other items of training which are sometimes overlooked or insufficiently emphasized.
While it is not contended that this inductive approach to problems of curriculum construction is the only approach, or that its findings can forthwith be accepted as decisive, it is, however, a valuable aid and sheds a new and unique light on the demands which industry is making of the colleges. The outcome of thoroughgoing research of this type will be invaluable to American industry. Perhaps it is up to industry to find the necessary funds and to invest them in cooperative educational research of this remunerative sort.
The introduction of courses of salesmanship is another example of readiness to meet the demands of business and industry. These courses were based, too, upon comprehensive research in cooperation with business and industrial concerns which maintain selling organizations of national scope. Thirty such concerns established here in 1916 the Bureau of Salesmanship Research, for the purpose of studying the best methods of selecting, developing, and supervising salesmen. A group of Pittsburgh department stores, wishing to have their special problems of personnel selection and training studied in greater detail, established in 1918 the Research Bureau for Retail Training and have maintained it at an annual cost of $32,000. This amount is equal to $2 for each store employee.
Another attempt to coordinate life-insurance instruction with business demand has resulted in a curriculum adopted in six other States. The life-insurance companies besought us to undertake the training of their salesmen. An intensive three-months course of instruction was prepared through the research cooperation of distinguished educators and practical sales executives. The school was opened three years ago. Already it has graduated 500 men.
Through the division of cooperative research this institution is better able to respond to the demands of industry for cooperation in the application of scientific method to the solution of outstanding problems. During the present year this division has been of direct aid to the steel industry, the automobile industry, the soap industry, and the ceramic industry. The research problems submitted have varied all the way from metallurgy and organic chemistry to personnel management and sales organization. These industries have in turn been of help to us, for we believe that the teaching in our classroom is more vital if our instructors have opportunity to be actively in touch with research.
C. R. DOOLEY, director of personnel and training, Standard Oil Co., New York City. Engineering has a commercial side. Anything that is designed must have a market. There is, therefore, the sales aspect in engineering training. There is a great demand for trained men. The telephone interests want 700 men this year. The two large electrical manufacturing concerns want about 600 men. Together they create a demand for about 1,500 engineers, probably one-third of the total available. How are we now going to find students who are best fitted to take training? We need men for research, designing, manufacturing, commercial men, financiers, etc.
There are certain fundamental types of native ability. For example, there is the inventive or constructive type of people, who when they find a lot of loose ends immediately see them combined as a working unit. Another is the research type, interested in taking things apart to find out what is inside. Men who have achieved marked success seem to have had these characteristic qualities even when they were children.
The commercial type may be divided into the commercial individualist and the commercial organization man. The former makes a fine salesman, but often can not keep accounts straight or follow orders. He can not play the rules. Yet that fellow is a wonderful salesman. I would call him an individualist. Many of these men have had this tendency all their lives. On the other hand, commercial organization men do not like to take full responsibility. They work best as committee men or in groups. They will whet their wits on other men's wits, and out of a committee meeting will come the best sales policy.
We must make some effort to find out the native characteristics in men and women while they are still in school and build on that which nature has already provided—not try to make salesmen or engineers out of the rank and file of students indiscriminately.
This meeting to-day has a marked significance. I believe that industry is suggesting ways for helping the schools in this matter.
Most young college men lack a serious motive. They do not know why they are in college. A man sends his son to college, and the boy doesn't know what it is all about. He is perfectly at sea, and the professors seem to be too busy with classes to be bothered with him. Dealing with the individual student takes a lot of individual time. Many employees come to the personnel manager with their problems, big problems to them. We sit down and talk to each one and see
what is the matter with him and whether we can help him and put him on the right track. The school must also focus attention on the individual rather than the group. Its first objective in dealing with individuals is character; the building of a good cooperator, of one who is interested in the team, who will do more than he has to, the fellow who has vision, who is looking ahead. The next objective is a knowledge of fundamentals of the work the young man is to do. As employers we are interested in the man who knows what he wants to do and has been trained to some extent to do it. We want specialization only to the point of being thoroughly grounded in the fundamentals of his work, so that a man can soon apply them to varying conditions with good judgment and accurate performance.
The best way to get these two objectives, namely, character and fundamentals, is to base instruction on two things—a knowledge of man, and of the fundamentals required in the various industries, particularly in the industry that the individual student wants to get into. You are not going to make narrow specialists by training men so that they can get a point of contact with industry at approximately 100 per cent. The very best way to develop breadth of view is to start with a specific situation and go through clean with it. Incidentally that's the very best way to develop character.
The process of education would be greatly helped if industry would lay down even a general statement of job analyses in its various branches and subdivisions. This would be a guide to the student in determining his course and to the professor in advising the student. With a job analysis on one hand and a clear view of the background of the student on the other hand, a sound beginning in that student's education can be made. When such a young man graduates and comes to us we can use him. He will do simple tasks correctly; will make a point of contact and begin to grow. To prepare a young man to follow a specific line of engineering by grounding him in the fundamental principles involved, and by giving these a twist in accordance with his native ability, will make him immediately employable and will give the best background and the best impetus for development both technically and personally.
One of our department heads in the selling organization is very insistent that the young men of his department should run the typewriter and take shorthand notes; and he is right. They learn in this way what the manager is thinking about, and also the policies of the business, as well as the peculiarities of a business department which is not standardized. The young men of your schools should learn to run the typewriter. We send a young man down to Central America as assistant to the manager of the office. He may have a dozen men to look after, but he has also the clerical work to do. In his college work he has learned a great deal about capital and labor problems, etc. However, on the job he has to send in weekly reports which must be neatly typed and tabulated. The trouble is that he can not run a typewriter. We lose sight of the fundamentals—such as to be able to express oneself clearly and to do the routine work in a logical way.
The big problem in education is to find some way of giving individual attention in class work. Otherwise you turn out machinemade products “all wrapped up and delivered and never touched by human hands.” That's the way a good many men come to industry.
The commercial manager, an engineer of one of the big corporations in New York, who has to do with the financing and promoting of subsidiary companies, has made this comment:
In guiding young men who have an interest in commercial work, you will find men who have all the qualifications except one or two. One may not have the keen financing instinct but may be all right in his technical qualities. Another may get along well with people in buying and selling, but may not know just how to handle the financing so as to make the company prosper. Now if such people can be persuaded to associate themselves with other people who have the qualities they lack, thus supplementing each other, much would be gained. The commercial game is very complex, and men by association can accomplish results that they as individuals could not accomplish. It is important to teach young men this.
A man can not play the game of life all the way by himself. We work together as a team in commercial work. Bridges are designed to-day according to fundamental principles and built by organized cooperation for the service of the entire community. We are rapidly seeing the wisdom of applying the same principles and following the same ideals in the field of commerce. In this field a full measure of success can come only to the man of sterling character who has a clear vision of what he can do, is thoroughly prepared in the basic fundamentals of his work, and has caught the divine spark of inspiration from some teacher who is really interested in human beings. Such a man grows continually, both professionally and culturally, for he understand and loves his fellow men.
F. B. JEWETT, vice president, Western Electric Co., New York City. Some of the present tendencies in technical education do not promise well for the future. An appreciation of this point of view, which I hold as a result of past experiences, calls for a picture of the background from which the point of view arises. First there is graduation from an engineering school, with subsequent study for the doctorate in physics, chemistry, and mathematics beyond the needs
of the average engineer. Then after a little experience in teaching comes the building up of a research department in one of the larger industries. This leads finally, as chief engineer, to engineering problems of a technical character; and has led more recently, as executive director, to problems relating to the entire engineering and manufacturing policy. In addition, as director of a company, there are problems relating to financial and business management.
This electrical industry is a highly technical one, founded like many of the other large industries of our country on the fundamental sciences of physics, chemistry, and mathematics. The directors of these industries will, in the future, be drawn more and more from men who have had a thorough grounding in the fundamental sciences on which these industries are based. ,
The past experiences to which reference has been made were with an association having various types of executives—the executive who was not familiar with technical matters and frankly acknowledged it; one who knew the fundamental scientific principles, the facts and laws with which he was dealing; and the hybrid, with a smattering of this, that, and the other thing. Of the three types I prefer either of the first two as a director of a business rather than the third type which knows a little of science, a little of business, but nothing much of either.
The aim of a college, a university, or a technical school, beyond the main aim of educating good citizens, should be to develop men and women who are as thoroughly trained in some one thing as time will permit. The products of the school should have, further, the ability to express simply, clearly, and forcefully the things which they know. In other words, from the viewpoint of technical industries it should be the aim of our engineering schools to turn out men who can be the future guides of these technical industries, men who know the principles of the fundamental sciences, who know the method of combining these principles with dollars and cents, and who know the English language in a way which will enable them to express clearly their fundamental knowledge in such a manner as to enable others to profit by it.
Many of the subjects suggested for colleges and technical schools, and in some instances attempted, involve ideas which in their very nature can be learned only by living. One of the great requirements for the successful executive, that of ability to deal with human beings, is a matter outside the scope of formal education. It is an art or ability which can be acquired only by actual experience over a long period of life during which one rises from minor executive to higher positions. It has been my observation that from any level at which you start you will find constant promotion of technically