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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Management History, Volume 17, Issue 1
Welcome to this first issue of Volume 17 of Journal of Management History (JMH).
The issue provides a collection of excellent examples of different approaches to writing about and appreciating the history and evolution of management thought (Lamond 2006a, b). It begins with an examination of the relevance of innovation theories in the context of the 150 year history of the US lighting industry, followed by a series of papers that explore the thinking of, and the argued influence of, individuals on management and its practice: Englishman Frank Woollard; Soviet Russian Vasily Chuikov; Austrian Fritz Machlup; American public administrators Frederick Cleveland, Frank Goodnow, and W.F. Willoughby, better known American, Chester Barnard; and Russian migrant to America, Igor Ansoff.
Unger (2011) is interested in the extent to which two management of innovation theories maintain their explanatory power in changing market contexts, from oligopoly to more competitive environments. Focussing on successive technological innovations – incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and light emitting diodes – Unger (2011) utilises company case studies to illustrate how they managed their risks during the transitions brought on by the innovations and the market changes, and to demonstrate the theories can be applied to various and changing market structures.
There is a long tradition of works that seek to interpret major military-historical events for a management audience. Some recent examples in JMH include Ahlstrom and Wang (2009), Chow and Gurd (2010) and Grattan (2006, 2009). We continue the exploration of links and the insights to be gleaned from these events in Brady’s (2011) examination of the contrasting approaches of Soviet General Vasily Chuikov (improvisation, what Brady (2011) characterises as a “judicious mix of planned action and adaptive reaction”) and German Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus (command and control) to explain Chuikov’s victory at the Battle of Stalingrad during the Second World War (1939-1945). Importance for practicing managers to the importance of giving clear direction but without overly constraining the actions of those carrying out the directions.
One aspect of Chuikov’s successful approach that Brady (2011) describes, is the development of “a collective mind” among the Russian troops. In the article which follows, there is a sense of the same kind of development of a “collective mind”, as Connell (2011) explains how, in the 1960s, Austrian economist, Fritz Machlup, was able to utilise scenario analysis in a series of conferences Machlup organized for academics and business leaders to discuss the impact of exchange rate change on the stability of the world financial system at the time. Connell (2011) uses a sociohistorical biographical approach, based on an examination of published works and archival materials. As Connell (2011) points out, this kind of collaborative exploration of alternative futures by senior teams has become increasingly important to strategic planning by governments and corporations in more recent times.
Contemporary conversations about lean management are likely to include observations about Ford Motor Company and Henry Ford, on the one hand, and then the later work of Toyota Motor Corporation and Kiichiro Toyoda, on the other. A less likely inclusion is that of UK company, Morris Motors, and the work of Frank Woollard in the intervening period between Ford and Toyota, during the 1920s. Having previously examined the role of Connecticut businesses in the origins of lean management in America (Emiliani, 2006) and the early history of purchasing and supplier relationship management (Emiliani, 2010), Emiliani (Emiliani and Seymour, 2011) now introduces readers to Woollard, as a pioneer of flow production. In the process, Emiliani and Seymour (2011) fill an important gap in the literature on the history of flow production and of the British motor industry. Drawing on newly discovered journal papers and archives, and Woollard’s (1954) book, Principles of Mass and Flow Production, supplemented by new first-hand testimony from close friends, Emiliani and Seymour (2011) detail Woollard’s accomplishments in flow production and establish his work as an early application of lean principles and practices.
The title of the next article, by Lee (2011), is an allusion to Thomas Bowlder who, in 1818, published a censored version of Shakespeare’s work that he considered to be more appropriate for women and children. Lee (2011) argues that histories of American public administration during the Progressive era (1890-1920) have highlighted the positive contributions of its major founders, while ignoring their less acceptable writings. By way of a close literary examination of lesser known and out-of-print writings of three major public administration figures on President Taft’s Commission on Economy and Efficiency (1910-1913) – Frederick Cleveland, Frank Goodnow, and W. F. Willoughby – Lee (2011) shows that they expressed racistl and anti-democratic views in their published writings, before and after serving on the Commission. Lee’s (2011) aim is to de-sanitise the historical record and provide a more nuanced understanding of their world views.
Ansoff’s (1965) Corporate Strategy remains a classic of the management literature but, as the article by Moussetis (2011) suggests, much of Ansoff’s work, especially his later empirical research, has gone largely unnoticed. Moussetis (2011) revisits Ansoff’s work and attempts to show how it relates to the various schools of thought in strategic management, especially as regards the ways in which the method by which organizations assess their environment, their strategic behaviour and their internal capabilities. Indeed, Moussetis (2011) argues that the recent global financial crisis reinforces the need for companies to pay heed to Ansoff’s basic position, that companies must create custom strategies to fit their environment, culture and capabilities.
Novicevic and his colleagues (Novicevic et al., 2011) present the third in a series of articles concerning the work of Chester Barnard on which Novicevic has collaborated and published in JMH (Novicevic et al., 2008, 2006). In doing so, Novicevic et al. (2011) seek to integrate Barnard’s work on managing people with contemporary human resource management (HRM) and industrial relations (IR) theorizing. They do not simply accept the assumptions of contemporary HR/IR theorizing (at least as represented by Kaufman (2004) and Lewin (2001)), that conflict in the employment relationship is widespread and enduring, that the employer has the power advantage, that interventions by unions and government are required to deal with employer-employee conflict, and that, on occasion, conflict is healthy. Rather they argue that Barnard’s insights regarding management sincerity and honesty as key to developing an individual employee’s will to collaborate, and the value of collective cooperation as superior to collective bargaining, provide a more sustainable basis for people management.
I trust you will enjoy these valuable contributions to the store of management knowledge and its evolution.
Ahlstrom, D. and Wang, L.C. (2009), “Groupthink and France’s defeat in the 1940 campaign”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 159–77
Ansoff, I. (1965), Corporate Strategy, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY
Brady, M. (2011), “Improvisation versus rigid command & control at Stalingrad”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 27–49
Chow, C.H.H. and Gurd, B. (2010), “Leadership essentials from Sun Zi’s Art of War and the Bhagavad Gita”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 396–414
Connell, C. (2011), “Reforming the world monetary system – how Fritz Machlup built consensus among business leaders and academics using scenario analysis”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 50–65
Emiliani, M.E. (2006), “Origins of lean management in America: the role of Connecticut businesses”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 167–84
Emiliani, M.E. (2010), “Historical lessons in purchasing and supplier relationship management”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 116–36
Emiliani, M.E. and Seymour, P.J. (2011), “Frank George Woollard: forgotten pioneer of flow production”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 66–87
Grattan, R. (2006), “Robert McNamara’s ‘11 lessons’ in the context of theories of strategic management”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 425–38
Grattan, R. (2009), “The entente in World War I: a case study in strategy formulation in an alliance”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 147–58
Kaufman, B. (2004), Theoretical Perspectives on Work and the Employment Relationship, Industrial Relations Research Association, Champaign-Urbana, IL
Lamond, D.A. (2006a), “Management and its history: the worthy endeavour of the scribe”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 5–11
Lamond, D.A. (2006b), “Matters for judgement: some thoughts on method in management history”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 237–43
Lee, M. (2011), “History of US public administration in the progressive era: efficient government by and for whom?”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 88–101
Lewin, D. (2001), “IR and HR perspectives on workplace conflict: what can each learn from the other?”, Human Resource Management Review, Vol. 11, pp. 453–85
Moussetis, R. (2011), “Ansoff revisited: how Ansoff interfaces with both the planning and learning schools of thought in strategy”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 17 No. 1 pp. 126–38
Novicevic, M.M., Bynum, L.A., Hayek, M. and Fang, T. (2011), “Integrating Barnard’s and contemporary views of industrial relations and HRM”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 17 No. 2
Novicevic, M.M., Ghosh, K., Clement, D.M. and Robinson, R.K. (2008), “A ‘missing scroll’ of the functions of the executive: Barnard on status systems in organizations”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 373–85
Novicevic, M.M., Sloan, H., Duke, A., Holmes, E. and Breland, J. (2006), “Customer relationship management: Barnard’s foundations”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 306–18
Unger, D. (2011), “Modern innovation management theory and the evolving the US lighting industry”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 9–26
Woollard, F.G. (1954), Principles of Mass and Flow Production, Iliffe & Sons, London