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Old October 27th, 2013 #3
ericthered
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ericthered
Default Slave accounting

Quote:
Rosenthal, a Harvard-Newcomen Fellow in business history at Harvard Business School, found that southern plantation owners kept complex and meticulous records, measuring the productivity of their slaves and carefully monitoring their profits—often using even more sophisticated methods than manufacturers in the North. Several of the slave owners' practices, such as incentivizing workers (in this case, to get them to pick more cotton) and depreciating their worth through the years, are widely used in business management today.
It all sounds believable until she gets to the part about incentives;

Quote:
This led owners to experiment with ways of increasing the pace of labor, Rosenthal explains, such as holding contests with small cash prizes for those who picked the most cotton, and then requiring the winners to pick that much cotton from there on out. Slave narratives describe how others used the data to calculate punishment, meting out whippings according to how many pounds each picker fell short.
Reminiscent of the whoppers told about another historical event. Does not fit the facts, but look at the source...

http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/7182.html?...7566527490#%21
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