RESEARCH PAPERS: Progress in Management Papers

Education and Training for the Profession of Management 1960–1970

[+] Author and Article Information
L. F. Urwick

Urwick, Orr, and Partners, Ltd., Longueville, N.S.W., Australia

J. Eng. Ind 93(2), 356-362 (May 01, 1971) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3427925 History: Received June 29, 1970; Online July 15, 2010


Upon the definition of the term “progress” depends the conclusions that can be reached in regard to the title of this paper. If used in the objective sense, i.e., “goings on”, there were an immense volume of goings on in the decade of 1960–1970—more millions of words written and spoken on the subject of management than in any previous decade in human history. Involved are the two processes of education and training. The former is determined by academic persons, the latter is undertaken by employers, many of whom have little contact with the “theory” to which their recruits have been submitted—this is an historical accident. The result and danger is that the thinking of the two sets of institutions will be out of phase with each other. What is needed is cooperation between the two institutions. Retired executives and consultants who have a genuine taste for and ability in teaching should not be barred from the university campus by the PhD requirement of preparing a thesis merely to qualify for an academic trade union ticket. The developing use of the computer during 1960–1970 has made a great contribution to the management process of more rational decision-making. However, we need to be wary of extravagant claims as to the effect of the computer on human groups, for the most complex part of the manager’s task is securing spontaneous co-operation of people without whose work whatever is decided cannot be done. There appears to be some evidence at the moment that the computer’s influence on people, on the climate of management, may well be reactionary rather than progressive. The most hopeful development in management thinking during 1960–1970 has been the growing recognition of the fact that while competition compels nations and businesses to try to keep ahead of each other in applying technical innovations, the changes thus brought about on ways of living impose great strains on social cohesion.

Copyright © 1971 by ASME
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