Rationalization of Production

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rationalization of Production


the process of improving the means and methods of social production in order to improve production efficiency. The rationalization of production includes an improvement in equipment, production processes, and the organization of labor, production, and management.

The rationalization of production is carried out on the basis of objectively operating laws concerning the development of technology and the productive forces as a whole. It is also influenced by the production relations of one or another socioeconomic formation with the forms of ownership of the means of production inherent to that formation.

The basic concepts and methods of the capitalist rationalization of production were formulated in the early 20th century by the American engineers F. Taylor, G. Emerson, and F. Gil-breth. Capitalist rationalization of production is aimed at obtaining a maximum profit for the entrepreneur, which, combined with an improvement in equipment and methods and organization of production, inevitably leads to further exploitation of the workers, an excessive increase in the intensity of labor, a deterioration of working conditions, and a rise in unemployment. V. I. Lenin revealed the contradictory essence of the capitalist rationalization of production. He stated that the capitalist rationalization of production “is a combination of the refined brutality of bourgeois exploitation and a number of the greatest scientific achievements in the field of analyzing mechanical motions during work, the elimination of superfluous and awkward motions, the elaboration of correct methods of work, the introduction of the best system of accounting and control, etc. The Soviet Republic must at all costs adopt all that is valuable in the achievements of science and technology in this field” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 36, pp. 189–90).

Under socialism, the rationalization of production serves the interests of the workers and brings about a continuous rise in the material and cultural standard of living of the people. The technical and organizational improvement of production is a planned process of improving working conditions and contributes to the development of the creative potentials of the individual himself. The rationalization of production is carried out in the following basic directions, in accordance with the dividing of labor into simple elements.

(1) The improvement of the means of labor and technological processes entails progressive changes in the design of the machines and equipment that are used, in order to raise the technical level, reliability, and durability of the machines and equipment. It also involves intensification of processing operations and improvement in the quality of processing, reductions in energy-output and capital-output ratios and other indicators of expenditures in production; the modernization of equipment; and the technical reequipping of the operating enterprises on the basis of full mechanization and automation of the production processes.

(2) The improvement of the objects of labor involves improvement in the production and consumer qualities of the produced articles, regulation of the production list and assortment, and the ever-wider use of standardization. It entails improving the quality characteristics of the initial raw products and materials for their most complete and comprehensive use, increasing the output of finished product per unit of raw material, increasing the extent of processing in the extraction sectors, and developing finishing operations in the manufacturing industry.

(3) The improvement of labor is related to measures in the area of the scientific organization of labor. The rationalization of the labor process presupposes the creation of the most favorable working conditions and the elimination of heavy physical effort and nervous strain. These goals are served by the introduction of rational routines of work and recreation, a reduction in noise, vibration, dustiness, and other causes of harm to the human organism, and improvement in safety procedures, hygiene, and industrial aesthetics.

The rationalization of production is accomplished by improving employee wages, labor rates, and intrafactory planning, accounting, reporting, and control. These measures should provide for the complete and effective use of working time, a rise in labor productivity, and the strengthening of labor and production discipline. An important aspect of the rationalization of production at enterprises is the proportional development of capacity in basic, auxiliary, and subsidiary production and the organizing of smooth-flowing work by the personnel.

The forms of organizing social labor and managing production on a scale of the entire national economy are improved by bettering the intrasectoral and intersectoral structure, by strengthening the concentration and specialization of production, and by establishing rational cooperative ties between suppliers and consumers. Rational cooperative ties ensure the most expedient division of social labor and the smallest outlays for producing and transporting the product. Also effective are such measures as the rational consolidation and combining of related enterprises, the development of part and production specialization among plants, the organization of specialized production of articles for use in general machine building and for intersectoral use, and the centralization of repairs on the most used types of machines, equipment, and instruments.

At the present stage in the development of a socialist economy, the basic content of which is determined by the scientific and technological revolution, new and more advanced forms and methods of rationalizing production are emerging. The practical realization of scientific and technical achievements is being accelerated, socialist forms of the bond between science and production are developing, and a policy of improving national economy management is consistently being implemented. Production and scientific industrial associations and large industrial complexes are being created, and industry and construction are being converted to a two- and three-tiered system of management. Work is also being done to create and introduce automated control systems for technological processes, enterprises, and entire sectors of the national economy. An ever greater role is being played by the participation of the workers in production management, by the nationwide scope of socialist emulation, by the ubiquitous spread of labor initiatives and campaigns, and by advanced production experience. At enterprises about 2 million recommendations and proposals to improve production are accepted annually just through the channels of the permanent production conferences, and most of these proposals and recommendations are carried out.

Inventions and rationalization proposals in the national economy have an enormous economic effect; in 1973, for example, they contributed to a savings of some 4 billion rubles. The Communist Party and the Soviet government attach great significance to the rationalization of production, as can be seen in particular from the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of Aug. 20, 1973, On the Further Development of Inventions in the Nation, Making Better Use of Discoveries, Inventions, and Rationalization Proposals in the National Economy, and Increasing Their Role in Accelerating Scientific and Technological Progress.

The rationalization of production in all the socialist countries that are members of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) is proceeding at a rapid pace. In the German Democratic Republic, for example, inventions and rationalization proposals are responsible for about 50 percent of the total savings resulting from scientific and technical achievements; in absolute terms, the economic effect of rationalization and inventions in 1972 was 3.2 billion marks. In the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic a program has been developed for the comprehensive socialist rationalization of production and is now being carried out. The rationalization of production is inseparably linked to the process of socialist economic integration and is based on the possibility of socialist international division of labor, international production specialization and cooperation, and the broadening and deepening of scientific and technological collaboration.


Lenin, V. I. “‘Nauchnaia’ sistema vyzhimaniia pota.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 23.
Lenin, V. I. “Sistema Teilora—poraboshchenie cheloveka mashinoi.” Ibid, vol. 24.
Lenin, V. I. “Ocherednye zadachi Sovetskoi vlasti.” Ibid., vol. 36.
Materialy XXIV s”ezda KPSS. Moscow, 1971.
Kommunisticheskaia partiia Sovetskogo Soiuza ν rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s”ezdov, konferentsii i plenumov TsK, vol. 3, 8th ed. Moscow, 1970. Pages 362–414.
Ibid., vol. 4. Moscow, 1970. Pages 12–74, 405–72.
Ibid., vol. 5. Moscow, 1971. Pages 127–73, 333–97.
Ibid., vol. 8. Moscow, 1972. Pages 172–325, 523–52.
Ibid., vol. 9. Moscow, 1972. Pages 168–85.
Ibid., vol. 10. Moscow, 1972. Pages 198–215.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The increase in gross profit was chiefly because of growth in sales volume and rationalization of production cost efforts.
Al-Muhaisin said: "We are discussing a new business strategy based mainly on efficiently utilizing excess capacity, which contributes to good results, most notably the rationalization of production and operation costs."
Static methods, as next field of allocation methods, belong to the basic tool used in virtually all phases of rationalization of production. These methods allow quantifying the phenomena and processes, thus creating conditions for their improvement.
"But the greater emphasis on economies of scale and rationalization of production processes are continuing to weaken prices.
There is expected to be continued rationalization of production lines throughout North America as paper and paperboard companies continued to try to balance supply and demand.
Shinotsuka differs in assessing the recent price falls from BOJ Governor Masaru Hayami, who maintains the trend is good because it has resulted from structural reforms such as rationalization of production and distribution.
He considers a large number of examples and shows that consolidation did not occur to promote efficiency or rationalization of production. Instead, consolidation occurred to protect high levels of capital investment by combining firms to control production.
This led to increased production, lower prices, and rationalization of production. Technical innovations included the three-roller mill (introduced from Brazil), the Jamaica Train (a superior furnace design), and the use of bagasse as fuel.