Forgotten Foundations: Alternative Worker-centric Visions of the Good of Management and Enterprise

Stephen Cummings, Christina Lubinski, Ellen O'Connor, Christoph Viebig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Conventional histories present a view whereby the foundations of management as a discipline were revealed by thinkers like Frederick Taylor and Henry Gantt: mechanical engineers well suited to advancing the subject. Relatedly, the good of management – the end that management sought to serve – was defined as an economic efficiency that maximized the financial profit ratio of outputs over inputs. We examine three intellectual networks, centred around Boston, Paris and Leipzig, that developed alternative views of the good of enterprise and management in the early decades of the 20th century. At the cusp of the formation of management as a discipline, these networks created visions of management that viewed organizations as social beings; alternative views of management education; and regarded conservation, social association, and maximizing community and worker well-being as the goods that management should serve. We explore the re-inventive power that recovering these forgotten foundations could promote today.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-third Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsSonia Taneja
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2023: Putting the Worker Front and Center - Boston, United States
Duration: 4 Aug 20238 Aug 2023
Conference number: 83


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings

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