The role played by Frederick Taylor in the rise of the academic management fields

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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 Design/methodology/approach: A methodology is used involving analysis of published and unpublished historical sources including Taylor's own work, writings from his contemporaries, and writings from key figures in first generation university public- and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 Originality/value: The analysis uses a wide variety of published and unpublished sources.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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-448
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Management History
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • History and Philosophy of Science


  • Public administration
  • Scientific management
  • Taylorism


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