INTRODUCTION AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
The most important contribution of Polish scientific management movement was the achievement in the field of organization and management in industrial enterprises and their problems during the industrialization of the country. Poland’s socio-economic situation during the early management movement was not favorable to the development of scientific management. Little progress was made in the field in the years of the Polish Partition by the great powers in the eighteenth century. At the time Karol Adamiecki (1866-1933) was conducting his research and study of management, Poland did not exist as a nation.
Poland regained her independence after the First World War. The country’s economic structure was ruined by the war and the industry was technically unproductive and backward. Post-war inflation, followed by the economic depression did not present and environment in which experimentation in industrial production was looked upon with great favor. In spite the depression years of the twenties and thirties, the Poles reunited a whole nation which was enslaved for one hundred twenty five years and rebuilt its industry and economy. Even under these unfavorable conditions, Poland can boast of a considerable achievement in the development of scientific management, which were in fact the beginnings of the world trend in this field.
The progress and development of management science in Poland was mainly credited to Karol Admiecki. His research on labor in the rolling mills and his Theory of Harmonization was almost developed simultaneously with that of Frederick Taylor (1856-1915) in the United States. Adamiecki, not being acquainted or aware of Taylor’s work in management, applied a similar method of empirical analysis of investigating and solving labor and organizational problems of production. Adamiecki became a motivating factor in providing leadership in the Polish industry as well as in the field of education. He took over the coordination of all activity in the field of management science and integrated it into an effective social institution under the auspices of Adamiecki’s Institute of Scientific Management, which he directed. From 1925 until his death, Adamiecki provided the leadership in Poland to stimulate his associates to continue their work in industry using his techniques to improve efficiency and reduce waste. Because of his initiative and scholarly work, Adamiecki provided Poland with a basis of attaining an important status in the field of scientific organization and management. For his efforts Adamiecki was awarded Poland’s Order of Polonia Restituta. Internationally he was awarded a Gold Medal, Plaque d’Or as recognition for his contribution to management science by the International Congress of Scientific Management.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ADAMIECKI’S WORK
The development of Scientific Management thought in the United States and the West based upon the principles advocated by Frederick W. Taylor is well known. However, the work and contributions to this science in other countries have to some degree been ignored, except perhaps those of Henri Fayol of France. The purpose of this research project is to examine the contribution made to Scientific Management in Eastern Europe by a Polish engineer, Karol Adamiecki, and to set forth the theories so as to make them available to American management theorists and students.
The rise of Scientific Management in Eastern Europe has been credited largely to Professor Adamiecki. An engineer by profession, Adamiecki concerned himself with the problems of organization, production and planning as a technical director of a steel mill. By the year 1894, he increased the production of his steel mill by 100% utilizing a systematic method of production named by him. The Harmonogram, similar to a Gantt chart or today’s PERT, became the basis for production control in Adamiecki’s rolling mills. Adamiecki’s theory of management based on Harmonization of Labor became the basis for Scientific Management in Poland and Eastern Europe.
In 1903 Karol Adamiecki published his findings and presented a paper on his theory to the Society of Russian engineers. From that time and until his death in 1933, Adamiecki became the leading authority on management in Poland. During his professorship at the Warsaw Polytechnic, he wrote numerous articles on his method of management and on the work of F.W. Taylor, Adamiecki became the first professor of management in the history of Polish higher education.
As a result of Adamiecki’s work he became well known in Poland and Eastern Europe where his theory and practical applications were accepted and implemented on a national level. Adamiecki founded the School of Economics and Organization of Production at the University of Warsaw. An initial review of Adamiecki’s system resembles PERT.
Adamiecki’s theory of Harmonization of Labor gained national approval and acceptance by private and public institutions. Adamiecki’s successful management technique was adopted on a national level. The Institute of Management Science at the University of Warsaw was established to teach his theory to students in engineering and management as well as upgrading of engineers who were employed at that time. Adamiecki developed and implemented a complete curriculum at the Institute and instruction was conducted until the outbreak of the Second World War. The Institute resumed its functions in the late 1950’s.
In summary Adamiecki was:
1. A more articulate scientific investigator and writer.
2. An originator of not only a philosophy of management, but also a set of laws governing scientific management.
3. Presented his findings before Taylor.
4. Spent most of his life teaching his scientific method.
5. Was concerned about the total impact of scientific management on the nation, industry and labor as well as efficiency of production.
6. Was a university-trained engineer with professorial rank.
7. Developed his management theory and implemented it under most adverse political and economic conditions in Poland and in Russia.
8. Outside of Eastern Europe and to a small number of experts, he is unknown.
Copyright by Dr. Zdzislaw P. Wesolowski
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