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Journal Article

Rational Systems and Logics of Action: The Factory Situation

Adam Abruzzi
Management Science
Vol. 5, No. 4 (Jul., 1959), pp. 369-386
Published by: INFORMS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2627141
Page Count: 18
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Rational Systems and Logics of Action: The Factory Situation
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Abstract

The field of management science has reached a stage of development where it can profit from the enriched collection of empirical information currently available about factory problems. This information can be useful in the process of constructing a unified theory of management science. It can also be useful by showing to what extent rational models need to be elaborated for an optimum result in applications. The paper shows that rational models intersect in a fundamental way with the value logics of the people affected. The result is that restraints and restrictions arise; these must be taken into account in developing rational techniques for factory activity. Rational techniques, in essence, should supply a framework within which the value logics of the various groups involved can come to equilibrium. A particular technique with this property is the technique of job evaluation. Within the rational base of a job evaluation system, there exist abundant possibilities for the expression of value logics. A particularly revealing example is the existence of the so-called halo effect; this effect can profitably be exploited for making needed local adjustments, always, of course, with the rational base as framework. In summary, the Russian factory system is shown to exhibit similar characteristics. Rational techniques there too are constantly interacting with the value logics of the groups affected. This contradicts the original view that the factory system could be run exclusively by rational means.

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