The Politics of Management Thought: a Case Study of Harvard Business School and Human Relations School

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Summary of ‘The Politics of Management Thought: A Case Study of the Harvard Business School and the Human Relations School’
HBR and HRS achieved an early success under leadership of Mayo and Donham, where HRS positioned HBS as solution to pressing social, economic and political issues. Historical context in article is about contemporary events to business leaders reacted. Alongside postwar, physical and philosophical reconstruction and labor concessions came. After few days armistice was signed, presidents announced end of labor concessions. Dewey et al advocated application of civic democracy principles to workplace, called idealists, where idealists advocate role of labor and realist advocate greater control by administrators. These debates played role in construction of HBS and HRS. Wallace Donham, was appointed as dean of HBS in 1919. At that time HBS was suffering from severe financial problems and was under attack from academicians and businessmen. The scholars criticized academic men valuing their work just to earn money to counter this problem he hired faculty from well-known disciplines such as history and philosophy. Businessmen criticized business schools, giving nothing but useless knowledge. Donham successfully brought HBS out of financial crises building relationships with CEO’s of big corporations. In 1926, Donham purposed hiring of Elton Mayo, who enjoyed a strong support in corporate circle. Beardsley Ruml, Director of LSRM felt that Mayo’s can fill the space left in the area of industrial psychiatry. Thus addressing psychopathic factor involved in industrial discontent at that time and bringing stability in industrial relation to overcome dissatisfaction and strikes. Donham being very eagerly expectant of HRS wanted to project its role as a “Savior. Whereas, Mayo focused the Executives, concerned about the workers irrational and agitation-prone mind. In Hawthorne studies Mayo was criticized for having a mindset afflicted with class...
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