The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business

Topics: Management, Business, Business school Pages: 5 (1886 words) Published: September 30, 2013

Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. – Management – Pulitzer Prize for The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (1977)

Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. (September 15, 1918 – May 9, 2007) made a number of publications especially in the later part of his life as the Professor of Harvard University (Carol, 20). However, it is his publication entitles The Visible Hand: the Managerial Revolution in American Business (1977) which is more of interest. His work in The Visible Hand: the Managerial Revolution in American Business (1977) had earned him the Management Pulitzer Prize. One would wish to say that he did not come with a framework for management so it is not worth (Chandler 257). But his work is the essence of history; to know the past and thus plan for the future. His work must trigger a thinking of a scholar interested with management and thus influence them to come up with relevant theories. Management has remained to be a major aspect of today business enterprises not only in America which was his scope but also in the whole world. That is why this book would be touched by many in the field especially in understanding the history of business management. One is able to see the shift from the earlier formative way of carrying businesses to the large scale enterprises comprising of multi- units. Most important is the change from dependence on the automatic market mechanism was assumed customers would purchase the products because they need them but that involves competition and thus efforts to attract customers (Chandler 259). Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. discussion of ‘visible market’ must have been due to the literature that he had interacted with, that of Adam Smith ‘invisible market’ takes the lead (Chandler, 458). He sought to inform the theory of invisible hand that things were no longer the same. He had realized a changing circumstance in the world of business (Bucheli, Mahoney & Vaaler, 860). It would be dangerous for a business enterprise to continue relying on the traditional market mechanism. He outlined the various steps that occurred in the change bringing fully set managerial operations of a business. Its work is to co-ordinate the complex aspects of the business ranging from acquiring, distribution and finances. Chandler deserves to be celebrated. Some of the enterprises that motivated the ideas of Chandler include McCormick Harvester and Singer Sewing Machines. He observed sophisticated ways or operations including coordination from a central point to lower levels in a hierarchy. These involved collection of raw materials, transport and distribution and the exchanges of money (Chandler, 450). This is what brought the need for a managerial body which was independent from the ownership. The whole change of business administration was a result of the rise of large scale businesses which produced goods in large quantities. This was enabled by the use of electricity and others forms of large scale energy by producers. His publication The Visible Hand: the Managerial Revolution in American Business (1977) was in a way alarming. It called for businesses to put things in place in order for them to avoid being taken away and decline. In his view the process of co- ordination was of high value something that has been witnessed today up to today. Most interesting is how this thinker saw managerial organization bringing a full Revolution in the economic sector in America. The Visible Hand stands to be a history of the managerial revolution in American business as it is in the title. Chandler is criticized that he did not describe the actual activities of the management in the new enterprises (Chandler, 451). Nevertheless, it is possible to pin point his various concepts and thoughts which made the management become the visible hand. This is unlike the invisible hand in the traditional enterprises businesses which were not aware of the need to increase competition. Therefore, it made him to do a comparison...

Cited: Bucheli, M., Mahoney, J. T.1 &Vaaler, P. M. Chandler 's Living History: The Visible Hand of Vertical Integration in Nineteenth Century America Viewed Under a Twenty-First Century Transaction Costs Economics Lens. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 47, 5, July 2010, pp. 859-883.
Carol, M., Alfred du Pont Chandler, Jr. Edmund 's Community Courier, March 2, 2010. Vol. I. 1pp 15- 117.
Chandler, A. D., Jr., Shaping the Industrial Century. Harvard University Press, 2005, 256- 47.
Chandler, A D. The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in America Business. Harvard University Press, 1977, 456- 560.
Fligstein, N. Alfred Chandler and the Sociology of Organizations. California; University of California 2007, pp 1- 45.
Matthews, D. The Visible hand? The economics of Alfred Chandler. Georgia, Coastal Georgia Community College; 2012; 12- 32.
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