Under present-day industrial conditions in America, "a day's work" is a concept much used by both industrial management and workers in connection with wage incentives. Management of course uses wage incentives to get increased production from the worker. Work groups, however, among other reactions, usually fear that the rate will be cut if they produce too much. Hence they reach an informal agreement among themselves not to produce beyond a certain point. Such a point will be the ceiling or upper limit of a day's work. This level of production varies with the time, the technology, and the industry. Whatever the point is, however, workers feel that their observance of it will protect them from rate cuts and still allow them to make some bonus. But in every work group there is nearly always a very small minority of individuals who refuse to be held back and insist on making as much bonus as they like, or are able to. In current American industrial literature such workers are referred to as "rate-busters." The aim of this paper is to study the social backgrounds of rate-busters and to seek the reasons for their behavior. To defy as they do the expectations of groups in which they make their living and spend nearly a third of their time, is an unusual procedure. Rate-busters are interesting also because they usually are the only workers who respond to wage incentives as management expects.

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