YOUNGER, J., "FLEXIBILITY IN ORGANIZATION," SAE Technical Paper 200036, 1920, doi:10.4271/200036.
The only direction in which flexibility of an organization can be considered is that of successful progress. Flexibility uncontrolled is liable to lead to retrogression instead of progression. During the war, every available unit of man-power was called into use, and all specialized intelligence was stretched almost to the breaking point. This was particularly true of the intelligence in the automotive industry. Demands were made in connection with the airplane, tanks, agricultural tractor and submarine chasers, as well as the more stabilized automobile and trucks. The most skilful men naturally gravitated to the most difficult work, in the problems surrounding the airplane and the tank, and, while in general there were not nearly enough men, the scarcity of skill was more noticeable in the older branches of the industry. It was there that the necessity for a flexible organization demonstrated itself.The first necessity was a rigid base from which progress could be made. This was found in the accumulated data of the industry and in the experience of automotive engineers. These data became the starting points for a flexible organization in the Motor Transport Corps.Education as a necessity is emphasized, taking account of labor turnover, the advisability of keeping it low, the value of educating an organization, the fallacy of underestimating men because of lack of experience in some particular line, and other matters relating to human inertia. The formation of research bureaus is advocated, the value of this idea having so proved itself during the war that Great Britain, our own important engineering societies and the larger manufacturers are furthering it. The extension of this idea into the problems of employment, industrial relationships and the broad field of sociology is advocated. In conclusion, general remarks are made regarding the present age as one of specialization.