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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1995

William B. Wolf

Presents the thoughts on decision processes of Chester I. Barnard, one of the century’s greatest management theorists. Includes his classic article, “Mind in everyday…

Abstract

Presents the thoughts on decision processes of Chester I. Barnard, one of the century’s greatest management theorists. Includes his classic article, “Mind in everyday affairs”; his unpublished book, “The Significance of Decisive Behaviour in Social Action”; his correspondence with Herbert Simon, and significant comments found in his personal papers.

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Journal of Management History, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1979

EDWARD BOLAND SMITH

Chester Barnard has never been fully appreciated or fully understood. Most of present day theories in administration stem from Barnard's writings. In this article the…

Abstract

Chester Barnard has never been fully appreciated or fully understood. Most of present day theories in administration stem from Barnard's writings. In this article the author attempts to show that although Barnard's theory is complex, the key to understanding it is “the concept of limitation,” itself quite unique. The functional nature of limitation is shown and its relationship to current system analyses.

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Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2010

Susan B. Malcolm and Nell Tabor Hartley

The purpose of the paper is to position Chester I. Barnard as a “management pioneer,” someone who offers an example of management theory through moral persuasion…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to position Chester I. Barnard as a “management pioneer,” someone who offers an example of management theory through moral persuasion, authenticity, and trust in his “acceptance view of authority” and “zone of indifference.” The work of Barnard is supported by philosophical foundations that provide prophetic lessons for present day leaders.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach used to research the topic was inductive reasoning and constructive hermeneutics. Primary resources relied upon Barnard's foundational work in The Functions of the Executive as well as books and journal publications by scholars such as Isocrates, Aristotle, Smith, Kant, Weber, Follett, Gadamer, Bennis, Drucker, Cartwright, Heames, Harvey, Lamond, Wolfe, and Wren.

Findings

The research demonstrates the significance of Chester I. Barnard as a “management pioneer.” Barnard provides wisdom for effectively navigating the twenty‐first century organization under the auspices of the “acceptance view of authority” and “zone of indifference.” These concepts are predicated on Barnard's moral persuasion, authenticity, and trust as foundations for leadership. His work is a testament for bridging the gap between theory and practice and provides a model from which business schools can educate present and future leaders.

Practical implications

The paper examines the underpinnings of Barnard's “acceptance view of authority” and his “zone of indifference” as predicated on morality, authenticity, and trust in creating effective organizational leadership for the twenty‐first century. The work has practical applications in the education of present and future business leaders by academic institutions.

Originality/value

In support of Chester I. Barnard as a “management pioneer,” this paper explores some of the less commonly discussed implicit qualities and philosophical foundations for Barnard's moral persuasion, authenticity, and trust that promote the success of his “acceptance view of authority” and “zone of indifference” in the twenty‐first century. The timeless quality, application, and potential for leadership education, ensure Barnard's position as a “management pioneer.”

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Journal of Management History, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

Kenneth E. Aupperle and Steven M. Dunphy

Chester Barnard and Frank Capra are twin US icons from the late 1930s. Both share thoughts, hopes and expectations regarding civilization and civility, man and humanity…

Abstract

Chester Barnard and Frank Capra are twin US icons from the late 1930s. Both share thoughts, hopes and expectations regarding civilization and civility, man and humanity, rights and righteousness, morals and moral integrity. With Barnard, our intent is to identify his unique contributions regarding ethics and social responsibility. Barnard takes a strong stance on moral leadership and argues that effective leadership requires both “technical” and “responsible” skills. In looking at Frank Capra’s contributions, it is possible through his early work as a film director to see his concern for others and his belief that civilization can overcome its dark side. In It’s a Wonderful Life, Capra provides us with the ultimate citizen and moral leader in the form of George Bailey. In Barnardian terms, Bailey and Capra help all of us to discover that we too can make a positive difference.

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Management Decision, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Satyanarayana Parayitam, Margaret A. White and Jill R. Hough

Much has been written about the works of Chester I. Barnard and Frederick W. Taylor but little attempt has been made by scholars to compare Barnard and Taylor. Barnard is…

Abstract

Much has been written about the works of Chester I. Barnard and Frederick W. Taylor but little attempt has been made by scholars to compare Barnard and Taylor. Barnard is a successor of Taylor and this may be one of the reasons why there has been a reluctance to place them side‐by‐side. The purpose of this paper is to capture the similarities and differences that existed in the thinking of these two individuals who greatly influenced management thinking during the twentieth century.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 40 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2013

Milorad M. Novicevic, Jelena Zikic, Jeanette Martin, John H. Humphreys and Foster Roberts

– The purpose of this article is to develop a moral identity perspective on Barnard's conceptualization of executive responsibility.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to develop a moral identity perspective on Barnard's conceptualization of executive responsibility.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a prospective study design, as an alternative to a transitional grounded approach, to develop a theory-based framework to compare textual patterns in Barnard's writings. By using Barnard's conceptualization of executive responsibility within the identity control theoretical framework, the paper analyzes the challenges of executive moral identification.

Findings

The paper develops a theory-based, yet practical, typology of moral identification of responsible executive leaders.

Research limitations/implications

Although this proposed typology appears rather parsimonious, it is recognized that issues of moral behavior are certainly complex, and therefore should be addressed in a requisite manner in future model developments.

Originality/value

The paper posits that Barnard's conceptualization provides a useful channel to address the critical domain at the intersection of responsible executive leadership, identity, and ethics relative to the issues of CSR, diversity management, gender equity, and community involvement. The paper considers the typology of moral identification to be an operative conduit for subsequent empirical research and practical guidance for executive leadership development.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1968

J.G. WILLIAMS

Chester Barnard's insistence that authority rests on the consent of the subordinate is difficult to reconcile with the opposing reality that superiors do have the last…

Abstract

Chester Barnard's insistence that authority rests on the consent of the subordinate is difficult to reconcile with the opposing reality that superiors do have the last word. Resolution of this dilemma is unlikely to bo found by prolonging discussions of the legitimation of authority, which may have reached a point of diminishing returns. Co‐existence of coercion and consent may be more satisfactorily explained in terms of Simon's concept of the subordinate's zone of acceptance of authority and the resulting distinction between two different sets of decisional premises, one at the boundary of this zone and the other inside the zone. An addition to Simon's theory of the concept and analysis of compliance proposed by Etzioni gives further insight into the interdependency of superior and subordinate in the authority situation.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Deryk Stec

This paper aims to examine how residues of ancient images have influenced one’s perspectives on management. Increased attention has been given to the absence of bodies…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how residues of ancient images have influenced one’s perspectives on management. Increased attention has been given to the absence of bodies within discussions of organisations; however, far less attention has been given to the interplay between organisations and images of one’s body.

Design/methodology/approach

By comparing the perceived benefits of studying sport (e.g. passion, embodiment and action) with the tensions that existed between athletic performances and an ancient image of the body, this paper draws attention to residuals that exist within discussions of organisations.

Findings

In a context where an image of the body encouraged moderation, the appropriate levels of heat, and the development of an immaterial and eternal soul, athletic performances, which were physical, extreme, focused on the body and generated excessive heat, were often problematic. These problems are then examined within the literature discussing current issues in management.

Research limitations/implications

Sport has the potential to facilitate one’s understanding of issues that management, consistent with ancient images of the body, has traditionally neglected (i.e. extremes, passion) and the possibilities of using embodied cognition to enhance our understandings of performance, teams and leading are discussed.

Social implications

As scientists become increasingly concerned about the long-term consequences of the reduced opportunities for cultural programs (sport, art, music, etc.), revisiting one’s assumptions is increasingly important, especially as athletics and philosophy once shared the same physical space.

Originality/value

By describing how residues from historical images of the body have influenced the thinking about organizing, this paper highlights the connection between the social and the biological and demonstrates how vestiges from the past influence contemporary discussions.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

R. Ray Gehani

Chester Barnard’s 1938 book The Functions of the Executive is re‐examined in the context of the emerging knowledge‐based dynamic theory of the firm. The key constructs and…

Abstract

Chester Barnard’s 1938 book The Functions of the Executive is re‐examined in the context of the emerging knowledge‐based dynamic theory of the firm. The key constructs and the underlying principles for Barnard’s functions of the “executive” and organization as a cooperative open‐system are reassessed for the evolving knowledge‐driven firm competing in the twenty‐first century global economy. Surprisingly, after more than six decades, Barnard’s cooperative “executive,” well‐versed in the logical‐rational and the non‐logical‐intuitive decision‐making processes, still seems quite competent to effectively lead the knowledge‐driven e‐business enterprise evolving in the twenty‐first century. The Barnardian “executive,” however, must evolve by acquiring and integrating the newly available knowledge‐related technologies and other adaptive competencies to help develop new drivers of global competitiveness.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 40 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Steven M. Dunphy and James Hoopes

This paper asks whether or not Chester Barnard was a member of an intellectual or managerial “élite”. While it is clear that Barnard provides great insight regarding…

Abstract

This paper asks whether or not Chester Barnard was a member of an intellectual or managerial “élite”. While it is clear that Barnard provides great insight regarding leadership and social responsibility, it is also apparent that his views regarding, for example, race relations were, at least by our contemporary standards, unenlightened and may have conformed more with the “élite” of that time. With the stronger democratic sensibilities of our time, represented by affirmative action, etc., Barnard has to be read historically and understood in the light of his own time in order to get out of him what is still useful today. The paper does not propose to resolve the issue of whether or not he was an e´litist. The conclusion is reached, however, that the continuation of the debate regarding Barnard’s membership of an intellectual or managerial e´lite may have implications for the ongoing reading of Barnard’s work by the management students of today.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 40 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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