1. File Maintenance: Prior to the 1960’s was period of file maintenance – emphasis on screening applicants, training or orienting employees, data collection and storage, and social organizer

  2. Government Accountability: 1960’s to 1980’s was period of governmental accountability. Laws , court rulings, and accountability proliferated. Dealt with equal employment opportunities, environmental protection, employee health and safety, urban renewal and development, and community relations.

  3. Organizational Accountability: Mid-1980’s to present is a period of gaining and sustaining a competitive advantage. Emphasis on social consciousness, controlling costs, enhancing competitiveness, adding value to organizational products, and balancing use and conservation of natural resources

  4. Strategic Partner in late 1980’s to Present: Development and implementation of mission, vision and goals for the organization. Human resources participates in the assessment of internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats effecting the organization.

In the 70’s and 80’s the coverage of all major EEO laws and regulations was extended to the public Sector. In 1985, the US Supreme Court brought all functions of local government under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act established employment right for citizens with physical and mental disabilities.


Frederick Taylor-father of scientific management believed that all tasks should be analyzed and that management had the responsibility to determine how each task can be performed in the “one best way” for each worker. Scientific management emphasized the planning and simplification of tasks. His system of industrial management has influenced the development of virtually every country enjoying the benefits of modern industry.

Frank and Lillian Gilbreath-pioneered time and motion studies

Henry Gantt-developed the Gantt Chart which is used for scheduling based on time rather than quantity, volume or weight. The third well-known pioneer in the early days of scientific management was Henry Gantt. Gantt worked for Frederick Taylor and is to be remembered for his humanizing influence on management, emphasizing the conditions that have favorable psychological effects on the worker.

The Production Assembly Line

From the doctrines of Taylor and the Gilbreths, there followed rapid developments in machinery and technology and with the improvement of materials came the moving assembly line. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the internal combustion engine was invented, leading to the development of the motor car. There was a move towards streamlining production, and the first assembly line method of manufacture can probably be attributed to the mail order factory of Sears and Roebuck of America.

More famous was Henry Ford. His car factory in the United States is the best example of the change to modern assembly-line techniques. Before the ‘line’ was set up each car chassis was assembled by one man, taking a time of about twelve and a half hours. Eight months later with standardization and division of labor the total labor time had been reduced to just ninety-three minutes per car. (It is interesting to note that the idea of assembly line came to him when he was watching a moving conveyor of carcasses in a Chicago slaughterhouse. A similar creative innovation to Gutenberg’s conception of the printing press.