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Evolution of a "Science of Managing" in America


  • Hakold F. Smiddy

    (Management Consultation Services Division, General Electric Company)

  • Lionel Naum

    (Management Consultation Services Division, General Electric Company)


Wherever people have gathered to pursue a common and desired end, there has been an inevitable necessity to organize minds, hands, materials, and the use of time for efficient and contributive work. Man has learned that individual and personal rewards derive largely from an harmonious combination of individual work and teamwork in a soundly organized frame of reference, and thus the core of the history of "Scientific Management" is formed from his search for the techniques of joint but voluntary participation while still preserving individual initiative, creative imagination, and increasingly productive output. Any historical survey, to be of more than passing interest, and to be more than a simple chronology of dates and names, needs to seek out the philosophical drives which both stimulated and limited the progress of such a scientific approach to more rational conception and performance of managerial work, that is, of securing results through the organized efforts of others. While it is important to know when things happened, this knowledge only becomes significant and useable when it is understood why things happened. This paper, therefore, is intended to outline the gradual historical development of the search for the basic principles of a "Science of Managing," and thus of Scientific Management, rather than to be a simple recounting of experiment, methodology, or significant writings in that field.

Suggested Citation

  • Hakold F. Smiddy & Lionel Naum, 1954. "Evolution of a "Science of Managing" in America," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 1(1), pages 1-31, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:1:y:1954:i:1:p:1-31

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