The work of work science is the focus of this chapter. After a brief sketch of the field of work science, scientific techniques and experimental methods adopted by agrarian work scientists are described. The chapter continues by examining how agrarian work scientists and agricultural economists established standards for studying labor value scientifically: how long the work day should last, who represented the standard worker, what constituted normal output, and what procedures should be used to commensurate the variety of goods and services in manorial servants’ yearly contract into a single measure. Due to recurring problems with inflation and unstable currency, work scientists designed their own alternatives, such as an index of crop yields/labor inputs. Work scientists also expounded on the psychology of workers—explaining variations according to age, gender, ethnicity and class—so that managers would learn how to motivate the work force effectively. The chapter concludes with discussions among agricultural economists about money as the ideal instrument to boost labor productivity, and the careful ways this powerful tool had to be deployed.
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