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 Design/methodology/approach: The methodology involves analyzing published and unpublished historical sources including books, articles, letters, memoranda, syllabi and other items on shop management education from Taylor, Farquhar and other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 Originality/value: The analysis uses a wide variety of published and unpublished sources.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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Business, Management and Accounting
- History and Philosophy of Science
- Management education
- Scientific management
- Teaching methods