Think HR Think CHRM
Monday - 9 Dec 2019 on LinkedIn
Username : Password: Forgot Password?
Gilbreth’s Motion Study

Motion study is the determination of the best way of doing a job based on the careful scrutiny of the work performed within the organisation eliminating unnecessary and inefficient processes. Frank Gilbreth with his engineering background backed by the knowledge of psychology of his wife, Lillian Gilbreth did path-breaking work in the field motion study.

Frank Gilbreth, on noticing that no two men in the brick laying business had the same way of doing the job and kept a close scrutiny on the process followed by them. His close observation resulted in eliminating unnecessary processes saving the time drastically. The motion study fanned out from brick laying to the manufacturing industry. Frank Gilbreth expanded his motion study by Therblig analysis which divided the job into smaller parts consisting of 17 basic motions which were studied by using a process chart, micromotion study which watched the motions involved using the slow picture camera and a stop watch to analyse the elements of the job in micro seconds, and through the principles of motion economy which scrutinised the movements that come naturally or otherwise to the workforce.

The motion study gained popularity over the years as it laid down the foundation for standardisation in the processes. Motion study, besides eliminating the unnecessary motions, and replacing the inefficient movement of work, laid out the best way of doing the job more effectively. Identification of the best way made standardisation of the process possible. Standardisation plays a major role in today’s business world with the entities of Pizza Hut, Mcdonald’s etc ensure the same quality in products and services anywhere in the world through the strict adherence of the standardisation procedures.

Lillian Gilbreth’s knowledge in psychology succeeded in gaining the support of the workers and the trade unions in adopting the standardisation procedure in the organisation. Standardisation paved the way for better techniques for evaluating the employee performance, thus leading the way for better employee appraisal systems, promotional programs, and other employee motivational programs. Greater motivation improved efficiency in the work which in turn increased the productivity resulting in better employer-employee relationships.

Motion study on identifying the best way of doing the job helped in recognising the key skills for doing the job effectively. Training and other developmental programs were initiated to enhance the knowledge and skills of the workforce.

It also placed the processes in such a way that the related processes were laid in succession. With the related jobs arranged and the number of movements minimised, the employee stress was brought down to a great extent resulting in increased productivity and employee satisfaction. The micro motion study helped in having fixed positions for the tools based on the natural movements of the workforce, reducing the time required for a job. This was made possible by the cameras positioned to watch over the processes involved in a job.

The motion study though failed to have the desired impact during the life time of Frank Gilbreth, succeeded on the effort put in by Lillian Gilbreth after his death. Today the motion study plays an immense role in the modern business processes.

Comments Listing
Posted: 26/07/2011 06:23:25


Posted: 23/06/2011 02:25:35


All the fields are compulsory.
Your Name
Related Articles
OD Interventions - Case S
Related Discussion
Six Sigma - Case Study
Case Study : Variable Pay
Why Study of Motivators I
Case Study - Convincing M
Case Study - Growth of AM
  Culture, Mission, Values, Ethics
  Compensation & Benefits
  Job Profile
  Opportunity for Career Development