Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History

The Quest for Efficiency and the Rise of Industrial Psychology in Australia, 1916-29

Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History (1998), 74, (1), 122–136.

Abstract

This article looks at how industrial psychology in Australia originated in the efficiency movement of the early twentieth century. While the connection between the quest for efficiency and the discipline of industrial psychology has been established by historians of psychology in the United States and in Britain, little has been done in examining this link in the Australian context. The study examines how applying psychology to industry in Australia was perceived as being part of the process of what Max Weber called the rationalisation of labour. Also investigated is whether there is evidence for Weber’s thesis, that the demand for efficiency from labour, which was part of this process of rationalisation, emerged out of the asceticism of Protestantism.

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Author details

Blackburn, Kevin

Table of Contents

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