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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Hindy Lauer Schachter

The purpose of this paper is to examine March and Olsen’s 1983 study of American Government reorganization attempts between 1904 and 1980 in relation to three debates in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine March and Olsen’s 1983 study of American Government reorganization attempts between 1904 and 1980 in relation to three debates in management history scholarship. Can explorations of the past yield innovative interpretations of the present and future organizational activities? What is the role of multiple perspectives in understanding complex reality? How should management historians react to the differences in power held by various actors in historical scenarios and to the absence of documented evidence of the stances of many traditionally underrepresented groups?

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyzes March and Olsen’s 1983 historical study on federal government reorganizations in relation to twentieth-century political science/public administration scholarship from 1919 to the present showing the unique focus and conclusion of March and Olsen’s work. The paper relates this focus and conclusions to three management questions.

Findings

This analysis shows that March and Olsen’s interpretation of American reorganization has had a significant impact on the work of political scientists studying programs that did not exist in 1983; this impact suggests how historical scholarship can invigorate understanding of current programs. The analysis also gives evidence to support March and Olsen’s focus on the importance of considering multiple perspectives to interpret complex realities. The analysis concludes that despite March’s acknowledging the importance of anti-establishment scholarship, March and Olsen’s 1983 work did not explore the role of power differentials or the voices of the oppressed in government reorganizations.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is that it seeks to relate March and Olsen’s work to a scholarship domain where it has not often been considered. Management historians lament that their work and concerns have often been considered peripheral by the greater management field. By showing how a major management theorist such as March used historical analysis to further understanding of contemporary organizations the paper heightens the visibility and importance of management history work.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Hindy Lauer Schachter

The purpose of this paper is to add information on which voices contributed to the scientific management narrative from Frederick Taylor’s 1915 death to the early 1930s with a…

4442

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to add information on which voices contributed to the scientific management narrative from Frederick Taylor’s 1915 death to the early 1930s with a focus on the role of labor union representatives. The strategy is to analyze the role of labor representatives as participants in Taylor Society meetings and publications. The research contributes to the management history literature by bolstering the picture of the Taylor Society as a liberal, pro-labor organization. The research also shows that the Taylor Society was an early proponent of the idea that assembling diverse groups for dialogue improves organizational problem-solving.

Design/methodology/approach

The research analyzes historical sources including all issues of the Society’s bulletin from 1914 to 1933 and unpublished material from the Morris Cooke papers and the papers in the Frederick Taylor archive at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Findings

Taylor Society leaders took a proactive view of encouraging labor voices to join managers and academics in society meetings. At the beginning, few labor leaders spoke at the society, and often, at least some of their comments were critical of scientific management. By 1925, labor participation increased with William Green, American Federation of Labor (AFL) president appearing several times. In addition, labor leaders became positively inclined toward having scientific management experts working in industrial settings. The labor leaders who participated at Taylor Society meetings in the late 1920s and early 1930s considered scientific management insights as useful for labor and wanted to cooperate with the researchers.

Originality/value

The paper augments a revisionist view of interwar scientific management as progressive and pro-labor, a contested point in the management history literature. The research also shows how the Taylor Society was an early proponent of the importance of diversity, at least in the areas of gender and socioeconomic status, for effective problem-solving.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Hindy Lauer Schachter

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the approach of Frederick Winslow Taylor and an early shop management proponent and Harvard Business School instructor, Henry Hallowell…

1642

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the approach of Frederick Winslow Taylor and an early shop management proponent and Harvard Business School instructor, Henry Hallowell Farquhar, to how management education should connect to business practice. Such analysis has implications both for understanding the philosophical underpinnings of Taylor’s work on shop management and for important dilemmas facing contemporary management curricula.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology involves analyzing published and unpublished historical sources including books, articles, letters, memoranda, syllabi and other items on shop management education from Taylor, Farquhar and other Progressive Era educators.

Findings

The paper provides evidence that Taylor and some early shop management supporters had strong concerns about whether university management programs would help graduates succeed under actual working conditions. The evidence shows that Taylor and Farquhar believed that effective management education required students to have actual plant experience and contact with practicing managers. The interest in educational links to practice related at least in part to whether programs could install proper character in their students. The concern with manager disposition and attitudes related to a contemporary re-evaluation of Taylorism because it shows a humanist tendency to shop management thought that much literature on Taylor neglects.

Originality/value

The analysis uses a wide variety of published and unpublished sources. It discusses early use of shop management insights in engineering and business programs which are generally analyzed in separate literatures. The discussion focuses attention on the need for contemporary management programs to expand opportunities for practitioner participation in educational development.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 April 2022

Hindy Lauer Schachter

This paper aims to add information on how women's voices enriched American social entrepreneurship in the Progressive era. While most discussions of women as social entrepreneurs…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to add information on how women's voices enriched American social entrepreneurship in the Progressive era. While most discussions of women as social entrepreneurs have centered on white middle class women, this article profiles two female agents for change and innovation who came out of the white working class and Boston's Black elite, respectively. These additions provide an analysis of female participation that takes account of issues of intersectionality and positionality, important concepts in contemporary critical theory.

Design/methodology/approach

This article extends our understanding of women's role as social entrepreneurs in the early twentieth century by offering biographies of Rose Schneiderman and Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin based on extensive examination of sources from Progressive era documents to contemporary scholarly analyses. Inclusion of Progressive era sources enables the narrative to suggest how these social entrepreneurs were viewed in their own day.

Findings

Biographies of Rose Schneiderman and Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin indicate the broad range of women who developed new organizations to serve traditionally marginalized populations in the Progressive era. The article shows the types of obstacles each woman faced; it enumerates strategies they used to further their aims as well as recording some of the times they could not surmount class- or race-based obstacles placed in their paths.

Originality/value

At a time when issues of intersectionality and positionality have become more prominent in management discourse, this article expands the class and race backgrounds of women specifically proposed as icons of social entrepreneurship. It represents an early attempt to link these concepts with the study of entrepreneurship.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

Chris Nyland and Hindy Lauer Schachter

435

Abstract

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 6 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

Article
Publication date: 28 September 2010

Hindy Lauer Schachter

The purpose of this paper is to analyze how Frederick Taylor's achievement as the originator of a science of work provided a theoretical foundation for first generation academic…

11156

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze how Frederick Taylor's achievement as the originator of a science of work provided a theoretical foundation for first generation academic management programs in the Progressive era. The paper aims to show the implications of this match for Taylor's continuing high position in the history of management thought.

Design/methodology/approach

A methodology is used involving analysis of published and unpublished historical sources including Taylor's own work, writings from his contemporaries, and writings from key figures in first generation university public‐ and business‐management programs.

Findings

The paper gives evidence of the impact of Taylor's work on management education in the Progressive era and the implications of this impact for Taylor's reputation and the management programs themselves.

Originality/value

The analysis uses a wide variety of published and unpublished sources. It compares educational developments in the public and business management fields which are generally analyzed in separate literatures.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

Hindy Lauer Schachter

Analyzes the role of women in the New York Bureau of Municipal Research (BMR) in the early years of the twentieth century. It shows that early practitioners of urban‐oriented…

1247

Abstract

Analyzes the role of women in the New York Bureau of Municipal Research (BMR) in the early years of the twentieth century. It shows that early practitioners of urban‐oriented scientific management had close ties to the reform/social‐work community.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 6 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 September 2019

Anders Örtenblad

156

Abstract

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Article
Publication date: 1 December 1997

Laurent Dobuzinskis

Begins with a brief overview of how public administration emerged as the positivist theory and technocratic practice of the modern administrative state. The question then becomes…

5117

Abstract

Begins with a brief overview of how public administration emerged as the positivist theory and technocratic practice of the modern administrative state. The question then becomes: To what extent has public administration been affected by the societal shift toward postmodernism? The author argues that public administration has moved some distance away from its positivist origins; however, the transformation of public administration is still incomplete. The author concludes that public administration should pay more attention to the recent developments of post‐positivist methods of analysis rather than attempting to adopt all the tenets of postmodernism. Large bureaucratic organizations remain typically modern, but they should not be either conceptualized or managed as small machines.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

Keywords

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