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Title: Output pattern in repetitive tasks, with special reference to compensating relaxation allowances
Author: Dudley, N. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 3352
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 1955
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The primary purpose of this research was to contribute to the establishment of a scientific basis for the allocation of "compensating relaxation" allowances in time study practice. Preliminary studies of variations in the output of industrial workers engaged on repetitive unpaced manual tasks had indicated the existence of a pattern of activities. and it was considered that a new investigation of this pattern might provide data relating to C.R. requirements, provided that this was carried out in sufficient detail over lengthy and continuous working periods. Variations in the time taken to perform typical factory operations were, therefore, recorded during normal working periods of a complete shift, together with detailed observations of the nature, duration and distribution of non-productive time. A comparative analysis of the data thus recorded confirmed the use of the term "pattern" in describing output variations over the working shift, since these are fourd to display a number of characteristics which are common to the wide range of tasks studied. These common characteristics, many of which have not previously been recognised by research workers, as contributing to the overall output pattern,may be summarized as follows:- (1) Operation and constituent element times are substantially constant, within close limits, throughout the working day, with no statistically significant trend discernable. (2) The range of element times throughout the working day is no greater than that which could be expected to arise from random variations. There is no statistically significant trend. (3) The Variations which occur in the pattern of motion element times are attributable to voluntary changes in the operator's working pace. (4) Personal delays, under the worker's control, where these occur, tend to be grouped towards the beginning and end of each work period. (5) A slightly greater percentage of time (but not necessarily more time) is lost by reason of personal delays during the afternoon than during the morning work period. (6) Ancillary work and operational delays, where these occu~ tend to be grouped towards the beginning and end of each work period. (7) Non-standard or-foreign"operation elements result from the interruption of the repetitive work pattern by personal and operational delays. The cumulative effect of these characteristics is revealed in the "saddle back" output curve. This curve, however, does not reflect changes in the operator's pace of working, as has hitherto been supposed, but merely records the proportion of time spent productively. It is also clear that only a small part of present C.R. allowances is required for "compensating relaxation" or "personal needs". The balance must be regarded as a contingency allowance for ancillary work and operational delays, otherwise uncatered for. In some firms, part of the C.R. allowance now made is a concealed "policy allowance" provided to bring earnings up to some predetermined level.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available