The Humanistic Movement in the Workplace

In 1851, the English social critic John Ruskin wrote that “in order for people to be happy in their work, these three things must be needed: they must be fit for it, they must not do too much of it, and they must have a sense of success in it.” William Toleman called for industrial betterment programs in 1898 and later expanded on his ideas in a book published in 1909 titled Social Engineering (Briskin, 1996). His concept included medical care, profit sharing, and reading rooms for employees, among other benefits. Although he was focusing on the self-interest of owners to retain a more efficient workforce, he emphasized that workers were not machines and would be less effective if not supported. Most ...

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