TEAM WORK IN THE EXPERIMENT STATION
Ladles and Gentlemen of tne Agricultura3 Donference:--
When I submitted this topic "-hat the Other Fellow
Should do to Promote Team Work in my Department" I had in ,irLnd
entirely a different line of discussion than'the question has
brought out in the 'indsa of the program co:i,,ttee. It is natur-
aJly to be expected when one uses words that the ether fellow will
interpret those words .i. the direti1ton of the thoughts in his own
mind. iM express ion at that tiie has undoubte.1y been at fault.
It seems to have created in tle minds of the program co;,iaittee the
idea of a discuss!,n of teo.ai jvor a-js a v.hole in the three divisions
of our Agricultural Cort-ro.:..:ce. To iolnt I ":i.3li~ to raise in
submitting this que.ltil-'. 'vm to have a iu.i..br of 31,-eakera st;te
conclaely just vhierein the "oti.'r felljo"' could a3i;nitly lUodify
his w'vork so is to ..:iL:9 the 7`0le ro'e a cooperative police of work.
In other wor.sa, to .ro.iote a s.einraJ tda:iu wuork irw our different
lines of activity.
Team work may be broad or narrow according to the peop e
who are cooperating or w~no are giving their endeavors for accom-
plishing a certain result t. InM y' travels through p.?.rts of Fio-
rida I have found liverymen who called a horse and btuIg a team,
and I suljose they could go before the local courts and prove that
their terminology was correct. The vernacular aqpoy._'- in my
surroundings contended that to have a teama* one must have at
least two horses and might have as many more as is possible to
harness and handle under the guidance of one man.
Team work in colloquial vernacular h s attached to it a
very different meaning. The best Illustration of team work is
found in the foot ball team. It is in this sense that I tnink
we will discuss the matter of team work today. Of course every
mani who discusses the question of team work today has a right to
put his owrn definitionn of what he means by teari work. My paper
today, however, discusscs team work in the senoe that it is used
on t Pe foot baJl grounds. Of course we can use many other terms
that 1tll2 in a way exprVrs the idea !rore or less clearly, bit none
that hDs. ti' forcefl3 an 1 clear meningt to it as the terse term
"t-3;. or]:" as asn" lle on the foot ba)13 Troinds.
Thie antithetia of tem wTork Is inwlvidualistic work.
r;i:;., o.r 13' 1i,3tri,tion fro1 the foot b7339 grounida.. we find that
certa in lndividu3s 'e e extremely fine p3 -Uyrs for on dor another
portion of the field, but are found absolutely useless on the team
for certain qualities in their rmke-up that the Co.och designates
as team work.
DEVELOPMENT OF TEAM WORK
All' of our sports and all of our work have hid to go
through a considerable number of stages of development. Roughly
speaking we may call the first :,r crystallization stage a pioneer
stage in which there is neither team work or individualistic work.
This is true especially of the settlement of our country. The
pioneer moved to the frontier Mnd had to adapt himself to the sur-
roundings individually and alone. He built his i.utq trapped,
hunted, and posstb3y tended a small I patch. By and by his social
instUitt compel ed hbi to find a wife. Then his troubles began.
Naturally he was an individualist and needed to protect only him-
self and his s3'all belougiligs. His behavior toward the Indians
was such as to male hi-i, at-in alone on his own responsible ity.
His behavior tow-ri Na1ture was exactly in the sa~i ;. ne. As soon
as he h id a wife to protect *I.LJ live in halrionuy i, th he 3ost a cer-
tain aiimount of 6is individuality and became responsible for some
one iore thiC'. i.i:1elf. Finally 1.' ha his f :,i1y to provide for
an.d "e re.:j.onasible for. Tae caiies are tnatt such a icai w~.s so
iumh of a3 idiviJa.Ul Ll1t tiat lhis fail3y r-,',.iJ.i.ed .viti. him only
so30 oj as it -';.iL a-.o3utely ieccs;ary. Ti:ryonin-:er generation
probably raoveA far eaoui;7i a.1.; to : t outside of nis influence.
Thie Jite ~itiC to 'Lil thie, ioved as pror)la:y ag. :;i I Ir' ey by
tue dKfgre ofi individualist that ne was. AS the country gradually
settled up, more or less team work was brought aoout either by
compulsion from the savages or by the aavanta-i. of coia;inal work.
As the pioneer conditions gave way to rural settlme.eit, more and
more individuality hal to be surrendered and more and more the
work taken up in a coziunal way, that is, team work t;aen u, .
Some communities had individuals living in then ~fho by their
natural enrdocirment were aWle to promote the general welfa-re and
dominate the situation to .such an extent as to leave the leader
a direct individualist. However, sooner or later the team work
and the commnuna3 idea prevailed. This gave rise to what might
'be called localized team work. Of course in some communities
a number of individuals arose who were strong individualists.
The coirjmuiity unier triose conditions failed, to prosper .?nd in
some cases became entirely extinct as a community. Frovi the team
wor;. of the community hi.s spread the g~ener.~ idea of teiAa work
not only for the State but for t'r, Nation as a whole. It is
called by al3 sorts of nrries. Conservatism belti: one type;
State Control is another ; Mobilizatton is uaother; EfflcienQy, also
in a measure, nd ITmany other ter:us 'that lh-ve co .e into .-enx.ral
usav-e recently. .
I have. riven this ?enera3 biut very brirf outline of the
deve3oprcnt of the co',,rqnlty. Whien the co',:'nity hid advanced
sufficiently to get out of the individualistic ideal all sorts
of public institutions sprang up. The first rio3titution that arose
in answer to the demand for team work wss the State University.
These were quickly followed by Agricultural Colleges, Normal
Schools, ~-n- various other Colleges supported by taxation. I
au. now of course spes ing of the graat interior of the United States
and the West Coast. The Atlantic seaboard had grafted on it so
much of European ideals, whether French, English or German, as to
inhibit that area from from an expression of their development.
These different institutions had to go through their
individualistic periods, and during tnese periods the State Uni-
versity fought the AgriculturJa College or t.h Nori n. School
as the case might be, and the Normal School fought other insti-
tutions, and the same with the Agricultura3 Colleges. This
period is not Lent~lry passed, as was clearly evidenced by the
meeting at Washington in NovemLer. Those state institutions
that were separate from the Agricultural Colleges fought to the
finish to keep the Agricultural Colleges fro set'uring the Fed-
eral appropriation for tne Engineering Experiment Stations.
In a good nany .;states, however, the different public
institutions fouuu it decidedly destructive to t.,.eir best inter-
ests to keep up this individualistic warfare.* So that w ie no the
condition in several states ';;ire the State diversityy, the Arricul-
tural College the normal college and other colloPes .joined hl.As;
each: one deter:.in:d what was Rne4ed for its suT.-,ort, and all of
them joined in an assault on the Legis3ature. This was the .:on-
dition that maintained in FlorcAa in 3905. The various State-
supported institutions (numbering seven) tacitly or practlcanly
combined to make their united assault on the Legislature. It
appears that the Legislature in self defense rather than because
of superhuman vision, co.,bined all of these institutions 'under one
Board and provided for the establishment of four units.
The genera) history of the ExperlnentStations is not
very different frorL the history of the coo2ective institutions.
On the estabNlslumernt of the Experiment Stations oriue 500 to
3000 !::en Iroii, different waqks of life were assembled in little
groups rargirnc froi.. 7 to 20. The sudden demand for scientific
workers that could reasoniab3y be expected to give a service com-
melsnurate ,-ith the noney paid for it, was beyond t'r..- supply,
Natural )y hundreds of emi-ployees "rere assembled who had absolutely
no tea.l: interest in tre institution. Very Irequently these men
were asserribled because they were individualistic and for th..t
reason haJ stood out more or less prominently either in the State
or tl.e Nation. Under the conditions of tne staff as it existed
at the beginLJiig of the Experiment Stations, the fellow who ':3a
the beat advertiser naturally got the biggestt share of the funds.
Frequently two, wid sometimes even Lore men on a staff were strong
competitors for recognition for favor and for funds. As ri.ht be
expected, war within the ranks aro.-;e niii at times the governing
boards became disgusted with the entire mi and disc-ar-ged. them
wholesale, director and all, and a new st)rt was made.. Sowietimes
the ev7l was recognized and proper steps taken to correct it.
In those primitive days a great many things occurred tnat would at
the present time seen ridicu-ous in the extreme. I have personal
knowledge of a case that illustrates the smee of anind that at one
time existed. A friend of mine accosted a member of the staff
with the inquiry as to whether the director knew where the
staff member was going, aa he replied that it was none of the
director's business heree the staff member was going or what his
business was. Imagine ono of the players on a foot ban3 squad
assuming the attitude that it was notoiny's business but his own
what he was going to do with the ball. This of course is an
extreme case of i.dividua3 Ism, the farthest possible removal
from tea o work. It was/a case of egoism on the part" of the
If our .Agricultural Conferences at the Viorlda Univer-
sity are to count for anything we must g-ott a- ro, firom gl ttering
generalities a 'id get down to studylnj te good point as wel3 as
the bad points in our *;ork. Naturally it is mucin ,Lre pleasant
and may indeed be quite as helpful, to point out 33 t.ne 0,0uJ
qualities anid leave un1iaid axiything acout our failures. Let
us again revert to the simil.e of the foot L-,.13 teni.. How Liuch
would the teav,. accoji3plish if the coach confined himse3f to bragging
about the good points of the individuals. Niatural3y he does not
go up to the player and tell him he is-a head bout does state
the first principles of tears work. He tries to nave te player
correct his errors without actually telling him that he is using
his gray matter in the wrong way. The plays are so wel3 mapped
out that each player must know instinctively whatt move to make
next. Fortunately for a foot ball team the plays can be re-
hearsed a sufficient number of times to make the movee:.ents almost
automatic. In our Experiment Staff it rarely occurs that the same
play is repeated. A new play is on the board very d y. The
formation coottinues from yearto year and very few changes in per-
sone3 occur. Spb&idid time for that is afforded. The time
and freedom for work Is nowhere equalled in the M.ite.d. States.
In spite of all of t!~ese opportunities we have from tiije to time
shining 13lustrations of individuals who in their aenera behavior
uid tneir attitude toward others show clearly that they have no
sympathy or patience w.ithi te u work. In fact they are so fully
absorbed in the rersouici side. o. wh-.at you might cal3 the individ-
ualistic side of their work hUat the whole team la merely an annoy-
ance and an interference. Apparently they have n oe t .ore interest
in the teaxi as a whole than the aver-ae laborer has in the pro-
gress of the particular line of stiwer lhe is laying Jow:- tiiversity
Avenue. They a parently have no new thought of a constructive
nature or if ever such a thought occurs it is never al)owel to
see daylight. .-uch workers uaia33y do a reiasoabee amount of
individualistic work, but are not Mich heard of in the institu-
tion itself, and do not work in we3l i1A the field : or]'.
The extreme individuallat ;xa be a considerable amount
of an egoist, but this is not a necessary quality. He is as a
rule very ruch afraid of having to surrender sojie of his rights,
or is constantly afraid of his problems being invaded by soi.eone
The work of the Experiment Station in Florida, more than
almost ay'wiiere else .vl th as sji~all an institution as we have.
has tender~ to develop the tea~n work idei. The teneiicy of our
individual problems (Projects we cal3 them) has been toward In-
dividualism. Consequently we have two factors constantly working
against each other. To overco:.ic the tendency toward individual-
lIsm and promote -1s rmch team work as possible numerous expedients
have be rn adopted. I thinX for the most part thesu have sprung
up spont-aieou3slyand without this point epecialS y in mind. The
Entomo.ogical CJ'uo is ai illustration. The dlfficu3ty of carry-
ing out asiy cooperative or coordi'-,ated work in _i iust b in a
mea.sure .ilarirJd to individualism am.
J L U, SIONS
(1 ) Te-a n wor: in the iForlda Experiment Station had probably
reached its lo~eat ebb about the time of the pa;.s.ve
of the B&ck;an Bill ti-at is about '1905.
(2) The developimeit of Cooperative Xie-ionstration vorl in the State
is an index that the State as a whole is ready for team
work -- cfoentt a action.
(3) That the members of the Experim,,ent Station staff V1i are so
constituted as to adjust themselves in accordance with
the present general sentiment, are the more likely to
(4) Team work, whether known by that name or by some other is cer-
tain to be more insisted upon in the future than at present.