The Capitalist Philosophers

The Capitalist Philosophers

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Gabor, Andrea 2002
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IN THIS SUMMARY

Throughout the 20th century, shapers of modern management theory and practice have searched for "one best way" to improve productivity. As a result, companies have jumped from one management fad to the next, running the gamut from scientific engineering to humanistic management. In order to "create a ‘cool’ historical lens through which to analyze these ‘hot’ new ideas with which managers are bombarded almost daily," Gabor traces the development of both the scientific and the humanistic traditions of management. Her detailed examination shows how breakthroughs in sociology, psychology, and economics have mixed and mingled to shape the theory and practice of American management and to influence the way the American corporation is perceived today. In this sweeping commentary, Gabor profiles:• Frederick Winslow Taylor-the first to recognize that the scientific method was key to the success of industrialization• Mary Parker Follett-one of the earliest and strongest advocates of collaboration and cross-functional problem solving• Chester Barnard-management’s "philosopher king," who believed that management’s authority rests in its ability to persuade rather than to control• Fritz Roethlisberger and Elton Mayo- who, representative of FDR-era democracy, challenged the parochialism and sense of entitlement that characterized America’s elite• Robert S. McNamara-the Whiz Kid ,who became one of the leading architects and champions of management by sophisticated quantitative measures and financial controls• Abraham Maslow and Douglas McGregor-the apostle of human potential and self-actualization, and the leading proponent of human relations management• W. Edwards Deming-the creator of the quality movement• Herbert A. Simon-whose devotion to the rigors of mathematics served to obscure the brilliance of his insights into organizational decision making• Peter F. Drucker-one of the foremost analysts of the American corporation and the most popular management philosopher of the century