Introduction: The Past Lives Among Us
Almost every line in a timeline opens up vast areas of the past for study. Whole books have been devoted to events to which a timeline can only spare a few lines. To keep this one restrained to a manageable length, I worked with several selection criteria loosely in mind. I wanted to include:
|YEAR(S)||EVENT OR PUBLICATION|
|5000 BCE||Sumerians develop script and record keeping.|
|4000||Egyptians recognize the need for planning, organizing, and controlling.|
|2700||Egyptians recognize the need for honesty or fair play in management.
They also understand the value of listening: |
"If thou are one to whom petition is made, be calm as thou listenest to what the petitioner has to say. Do not rebuff him before he has swept out his body or before he has said that for which he came...It is not [necessary] that everything about which he has petitioned should come to pass, [but] a good hearing is soothing to the heart" (Wilson 1951: 84, cited in George 1972: 6).
|2600||Egyptians create decentralization in organization.|
|2000||Egyptians recognize the need for written requests. Also they begin using staff advice.|
|c. 1755||HAMMURABI (1792-c. 1750) uses witnesses and writing for control; establishes minimum wage; and recognizes that responsibility cannot be shifted.|
|1600||Egyptians begin to centralize organizations.|
|c. 1290||MOSES (c. 1350-1250) demonstrates exceptional skill at personnel selection, training, and organization. He use managerial principles of delegation and exception--"Every small matter they shall judge but every great matter they shall bring to thee"--very effectively.|
|1100||Chinese recognize the need for organization and planning, directing, and controlling.|
|600||NEBUCHADNEZZAR II (c. 600-562) uses production control and wage incentives.|
|538||CYRUS THE GREAT (590-529) recognizes the need for human relations. Also uses motion studies, layout, and materials handling concepts.|
|500||LAO TZU's (570-?) instructions on leadership and governance in the Tao Teh Ching describe what has become known as self-organizing systems in modern terminology. Chapter XVII presents the idea: The most intelligent leaders bring about results without making those controlled realize that they are being influenced. The less intelligent seek to motivate others by appeals to loyalty, honor, self-interest, and flattery. Those still less intelligent employ fear by making their followers think they will not receive their rewards. The worst try to force others to improve by condemning their conduct. But since, if leaders do not trust their followers then their followers will not trust their leaders, the intelligent leader will be careful not to speak as if he or she doubted or distrusted his or her follower's ability to do the job suitably. When the work is done, and as [the leader] wanted it done, the leader will be happy if the followers say: "This is just the way we wanted it (Bahm 1958: 24).|
|500||Chinese recognize the principle of specialization.|
TZU writes about the need for planning, directing, and organizing in the
Art of War. A succinct interpretation of this work circulates on
the Internet as the "Nike Principles": |
1. Our business is change.
2. We're on offense. All the time.
3. Perfect results count--not a perfect process.
Break the rules; fight the law.
4. This is as much about battle as about business.
5. Assume nothing.
Make sure people keep their promises.
Push yourselves; push others.
Stretch the possible.
6. Live off the land.
7. Your job isn't done until the job is done.
Energy takers vs. energy givers
Dwelling on our weaknesses
Too many things on the platter
9. It won't be pretty.
10. If we do these things right, success is nearly automatic (Nike Principles, 1997, Internet).
|400||SOCRATES (c. 469-399) enunciates belief that managerial skills can be applied universally.|
|400||XENOPHON (?- c. 355) recognizes management as a separate art.|
|350||PLATO (428-354) enumerates the principle of specialization.|
|328||ARISTOTLE (364-322), in his book The Politics, states that men are superior to women, as part of a hierarchy of nature with men at the top. He concludes his discussion with this point, "It is clear, then, that some men are by nature free, and other slaves, and that for these latter slavery is both expedient and right" (Coker 1914: 60).|
|325||ALEXANDER THE GREAT (355-323) makes superb use of staff.|
|322||MENCIUS (c. 372-289) articulates the need for systems and standards.|
|321||KAUTILYA addresses the science and art of statecraft.|
|175||MARCUS PORCIUS CATO (234-149) uses job descriptions.|
|50||MARCUS TERENTIUS VARRO (116-27) uses job specialization.|
|20 A.D.||JESUS CHRIST (4 BCE-30 A.D.) demonstrates skills at team building, human relations, unity of command, and norms (Golden Rule).|
|284||GAIUS AURELIUS DIOCLETIAN (245-313) writes about delegation of authority.|
|900||MUHAMMAD al-FARABI (c. 870-950) lists the traits of a leader.|
|1100||ABU HAMID AL-GHAZALI (1058-1128) lists the traits of a manager.|
|1244||The Brotherhood of Mercy (or Misericordia) begins operation in Italy, thus founding the world's oldest non-profit organization. Members pledge one hour of community service a week for life. It currently (1997) has 6000 members.|
|1274||THOMAS AQUINAS (1227-1274) dies. Aquinas, the greatest of the scholastic thinkers, sought to merge into one system human and divine philosophy. Aquinas asserted that kings ruled through divine right.|
|1395||FRANCISCO Di MARCO practices cost accounting.|
|1410||SORANZO BROTHERS use journal entries and ledgers.|
|1436||Arsenal of Venice uses cost accounting, checks and balances for control, numbering of inventoried parts; interchangeability of parts; use of assembly line techniques; use of personnel management; standardization of parts; inventory control; and cost control.|
|1455||JOHAN GUTENBERG (c. 1400-1468) of Mainz, Germany invents movable type and launches modern mass printing methods.|
|1492||CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS (1451-1506) correctly surmises that the world is round, but underestimates how round it really is.|
|1494||LUCA PACIOLI (1454-1520) of Genoa describes double-entry bookkeeping.|
|1503||The Spanish crown approves enforced slavery in Spain's American colonies.|
|1513||NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI (1469-1527) in The Prince describes for rulers (leaders) how to collect and use power to achieve their aims.|
|1517||MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546) tacks his 95 Theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany. This act opens a schism, later termed the Reformation, in the Catholic Church. At his appearance before the Diet of Worms in 1521 Luther refused to recant with these words, "I neither can nor will recant anything, since it is neither right nor safe to act against conscience. Here I take my stand. I cannot do otherwise. So help me God."|
|1600s||Importation of Africans for involuntary servitude in England's American colonies begins.|
|1600||GALILEO GALILEI (1546-1642) attempts to both advance science and to correct Church dogma to include the new "truths" he was busy discovering. The Church did not appreciate his efforts.|
|1660||JOHN MILTON (1608-1674) devotes almost twenty years of his literary life to writing political pamphlets. Directly addressing the doctrine of the divine rights of kings, Milton writes, "How can any king in Europe maintain and write himself accountable to none but God, when emperors in their own imperial statutes have written and decreed themselves accountable to law?... "It follows, lastly, that since the King or Magistrate holds his authority of the People, both originally and naturally for their good, in the first place, and not his own, then may the people, as oft as they shall judge it for the best, either choose him or reject him, retain him or depose him, though no tyrant, merely by the liberty and rights of free-born men to be governed as seems to them best" (Coker 1914: 284).|
|1651||THOMAS HOBBES (1588-1679) posits in the Leviathan that the original nature of humanity is selfish, brutish, and in a continual state of war. As people organized into a political order they do so through the social contract. The concept of "social contract" plays an important role in the development of later political thought.|
|1656||JAMES HARRINGTON (1611-1677). presents in Oceana his doctrine that political supremacy follows naturally from superiority in ownership of property. Political stability comes when sovereignty resides in that part of the population which holds the greatest amount of property. To prevent the concentration of political power in the hands of a small class of people, Harrington suggests that law limit the amount of property in land any one person can hold.|
|1670||King George II grants a charter to the "Governor and Company of Adventurers trading into Hudson's Bay," or the Hudson Bay Company, and thus sanctions the first corporation.|
|1690||JOHN LOCKE (1632 -1704) presents in the Essay on Civil Government his views on the social contract and clearly argues that the sphere and powers of government are limited by the terms of the contract. He makes the case for checks on government and for rights which the people keep reserved to themselves. Ironically, as Locke was writing these words, which ultimately influenced the drafting of the Declaration of Independence in the American colonies, he worked as a clerk for a company which traded slaves. Also, people without property (the poor) and women fare poorly in Locke's idea of the social contract (Osborne 1992: 90).|
|1700||ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727) invents calculus and describes many of the physical laws which underpin the enormous burst of creativity and exploitation known as the Industrial Revolution.|
|1742||JOHN WOOLMAN (1720-1772) experiences the moment of conscience which prompts him to begin his single-handed efforts to persuade his fellow Quakers to forsake the owning of slaves. With his actions he founds the abolitionist movement in the U.S. His journals, printed posthumously in 1774, records the moment: "My employer, having a negro woman, sold her, and desired me to write a bill of sale, the man being waiting who bought her. The number of slaves in New Jersey at this time must have been considerable, for even as late as 1800 there were over 12,000 of them. The newly imported Africans were deposited at Perth Amboy. In 1734 there were enough of them to make a formidable though unsuccessful insurrection. The thing was sudden; and though I felt uneasy at the thoughts of writing an instrument of slavery for one of my fellow-creatures, yet I remembered that I was hired by the year, that it was my master who directed me to do it, and that it was an elderly man, a member of our Society, who bought her; so through weakness I gave way, and wrote it; but at the executing of it I was so afflicted in my mind, that I said before my master and the Friend that I believed slave-keeping to be a practice inconsistent with the Christian religion. This, in some degree, abated my uneasiness; yet as often as I reflected seriously upon it I thought I should have been clearer if I had desired to be excused from it, as a thing against my conscience; for such it was. "Some time after this a young man of our Society spoke to me to write a conveyance of a slave to him, he having lately taken a negro into his house. I told him I was not easy to write it; for, though many of our meeting and in other places kept slaves, I still believed the practice was not right, and desired to be excused from the writing. I spoke to him in goodwill; and he told me that keeping slaves was not altogether agreeable to his mind; but that the slave being a gift made to his wife he had accepted her" (Woolman 1996 , Internet).|
|1762||JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU (1712-1778) in the Social Contract expounds the doctrine of the absolute and inalienable sovereignty of the people over all governing agencies, hereditary and elective alike. The ideas and terminology of the "Declaration of the Rights of Man" produced during the French Revolution can be traced to this work.|
|1776||Thomas Jefferson drafts the Declaration of Independence.|
|1776||ADAM SMITH (1723 -1790) establishes the discipline of economics by writing An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Many concepts he promotes become almost axiomatic in capitalist societies. Smith believes that when each person looks to his or her private welfare through the self-centered purchasing and selling of commodities and services, a greater social good is served. This "invisible hand" laissez-faire mechanism for balancing personal gain with social good has triggered unending debates about government's role in regulating the economic life of citizens, whether it is establishing a minimum wage or protecting old growth forests. Since labor becomes as much a commodity as coal, there is little incentive for employers to pay any more than they have to. But Smith exhorts employers to pay well, "The liberal reward of labour, therefore, as it is the necessary effect, so it is the natural symptom of increasing national wealth. The scanty maintenance of the labouring poor, on the other hand, is the natural symptom that things are at a stand, and their starving condition that they are going fast backwards... No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable." (Smith 1996 , Internet).|
|1776||JEREMY BENTHAM (1748-1832) presents his principle of utility, which means the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people, as the measure of government and the means for justifying any modifications.|
|1776||THOMAS PAINE (1737-1809) publishes his Common Sense pamphlet which demonstrates the superiority of the republican form of government to that of a monarchy. He also wrote pamphlets in support women's rights and the abolition of slavery, among many other topics.|
|1785||THOMAS JEFFERSON (1743-1826) calls attention to the use of interchangeable parts by a munitions manufacturer in France.|
|1789||U.S. Constitution ratified.|
|1789||The French Revolution.|
|1798||THOMAS MALTHUS (1776 -1834) maintains in his Essay on the Principle of Population "that the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man... Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will shew the immensity of the first power in comparison of the second." (Chapter 1) In other words, at some point, we would have more people alive than the earth could sustain. It was this book which brought economics the epithet of "the dismal science."|
|1799||ROBERT OWEN (1771-1858) purchases with a partner the New Lanark textile mills in Lanarkshire, Scotland. Owen demonstrates an enlightened view of the role of employer by providing for the education, housing, and social needs of his workers and opening the first nursery school in England in 1816. He successfully uses his experiments to get national legislation passed limiting the abuse of child labor. He felt that happiness was the highest human aim and it came to a person when he or she worked to make others happy. He had a strong interest in utopian communities but the two he founded, one in the United States and one in England, failed because of internal disagreements.|
|1799||ELI WHITNEY (1765-1825) uses the scientific method, cost accounting and quality control; develops interchangeable parts concept; and recognizes span of management.|
|1800||JAMES WATT (1736-1819) and MATTHEW BOULTON (1728-1809) found a company in Soho, England which refines or develops: standard operating procedures; specifications; work methods; planning; incentive wages; standard times; standard data; employee Christmas parties; bonuses announced at Christmas time; mutual employee insurance society; and audits. Most of the pioneering work was initiated by the sons of Watt and Boulton.|
|1808||Importation of slaves into the U.S. becomes illegal. Practice continues though until the end of the Civil War.|
|1815||DAVID RICARDO (1772-1823) explains clearly in An Essay on Profits the economist's concept of marginal utility as he discusses how rent operates. Using farming as an example, he shows that the best land will be used first and less suited land will be used last. The last land used (the land of marginal use) yields no profit but only pays for the costs of farming it. He notes that increased profits can arise from only three sources: a decrease in wages, better skill at farming, and new markets.|
|1820||JAMES MILL (1773-1836) analyzes human motion.|
|1832||CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871) shows in On the Economy of Machines and Manufacturers that reducing the tasks of manufacturing to their simplest activities increases the numbers of people who can do them and thus reduces the average wage which needs to be paid. This is one of the earliest examples of operations research and it lays the theoretical groundwork for Taylorism and Henry Ford's assembly lines. Babbage also made the theoretical case for the design of computers.|
|1832||SAMUEL COLT (1814-1862) opened his first firearms factory in Paterson, New Jersey. Colt is usually credited with perfecting the use of interchangeable parts. In 1851 he became the first American manufacturer to open a branch abroad.|
|1835||ALEXIS de TOCQUEVILLE (1805-1859) affirms in Democracy in America "his commitment to human freedoms and help[s] establish the European view of the United States as a land of unlimited opportunity, equality, and political wisdom" (New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia).|
|1835||Carpenters in Boston strike for the 10-hour day.|
|1835||Children employed in silk mills in Paterson, NJ strike for the 11-hour day/6 day workweek.|
|1836||Fifteen thousand textile factory girls go on strike (they called it a "turn out") in Lowell, Massachusetts to protest poor pay and overcrowded living conditions. The strike fails, as mill owners easily replace them with poor immigrants willing to tolerate the wages and living conditions.|
|1848||KARL MARX (1818-1883) and FRIEDRICH ENGELS (1820-1895) write The Communist Manifesto. This work is a turning point in the history of economic thought. To Marx and Engels, workers, being the majority economically, needed to act like one politically. They said, "The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority." (Section 1) When Marx and Engels wrote, "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles," (Section 1) they knocked over the magician's box and exposed the "invisible hand" of Adam Smith. Workers and political radicals around the world found this manifesto a call to economic political organizing. Marx and Engels clearly show how capitalism reduces a person's humanity: "In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed--a class of laborers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital. These laborers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market" (Section 1, Internet).|
|1856||DANIEL C. McCALLUM (1815-1878) uses organizational charts to show management structure. Applies systematic management to railways.|
|1871||WILLIAM S. JEVONS (1835-1882) conducts motion studies of spade use and the effect on workers' fatigue of using different tools.|
|1881||JOSEPH WHARTON establishes college courses in business management.|
|1882||FREDERICK WINSLOW TAYLOR (1856-1915) makes his first time and motion studies. His view of management dominates managerial thinking in the United States until Mayo and the Hawthorne studies introduced an alternative point of view.|
|1886||HENRY R. TOWNE (1844-1924) advocates for the development of a science of management with its own journals, literature, and associations. Proposes that companies share with workers portions of the gains workers contribute to company profits (gains-sharing). A speech delivered by Towne in 1886 may have inspired Frederick W. Taylor to devote his life's work to scientific management (George 1972: 84).|
|1886||HAYMARKET SQUARE MASSACRE. The Knights of Labor recruit thousands of new members when it sets itself the goal of securing the universal adoption of the 8-hour day. Police attack 3,000 people assembled in Haymarket Square in Chicago after a bomb explodes killing 7 police officers and injuring 67 other people. Eight anarchists are arrested, and though no evidence can link them to the bomb, four are executed.|
DURKHEIM (1858-1917) develops his theory of anomie, or normlessness, later
expounded by Robert Merton in the 1950s. "Anomie...is based on the
assumption that there are culturally approved goals in each society and
culturally approved ways of meeting those goals (means)."
Culturally Approved Means Goals Conformist + + Innovator - + Ritualist + - Retreatist - - Rebellionist ± ± (Theories for Exploring Social Problems 1997, Internet).
|1892||First Sociology Department started at the University of Chicago.|
|1897||VILFREDO PARETO (1848-1923) publishes Course in Political Economy. Pareto observes that the bulk of demand for a product or service comes from about twenty percent of the customers. This concept has made a tremendous impact on approaches to improving quality: for example, one concept states that eighty percent of the gain in quality can be found in improving the top twenty percent of the identified areas for improvement.|
|1899||THORSTEIN VEBLEN (1857 -1929) writes in his Theory of the Leisure Class about "conspicuous consumption" to describe the spending of wealth with the sole purpose of displaying one's wealth.|
|1900||SIGMUND FREUD (1856-1939) presents a comprehensive overview in The Interpretation of Dreams of the new field of psychoanalysis which he pioneered with Josef Breuer in the 1890s. He felt that The Interpretation of Dreams was his greatest book.|
|1900||FRANK B. GILBRETH (1868-1924) and his wife LILLIAN GILBRETH (1878-1972) pioneer many modern management ideas including: process charts, flow diagrams, merit-rating systems, and written instructions to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. They use motion pictures to micro-analyze motion and wire models of motion to provide closer study.|
|1901||HENRY L. GANTT (1861-1919), a contemporary and protégé of Frederick W. Taylor, had greater sympathy for the underprivileged than his famous mentor. His task-and-bonus wage system set the pay rate for a job based on standard shop conditions and a first-rate performance. A worker who finished his tasks for the day would receive a bonus, but otherwise would not be penalized. Gantt saw production as much as double in companies which adopted this pay scheme. This success encouraged Gantt to devote attention to employee morale, foreshadowing the lessons of the Hawthorne experiments a generation later. Gantt also promoted the idea that management had a responsibility to train their workers to keep their skills current and to improve their work habits. The Gantt Chart he devised for portraying activities and the amount of time needed to perform them revolutionized production control in his day and still is widely used.|
|1906||MAX WEBER (1864-1920) publishes The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. "Weber stood Karl Marx on his head by arguing that it was not underlying economic forces that created cultural products like religion and ideology but rather culture that produced certain forms of economic behavior" (Fukuyama 1995: 43-44).|
|1903||HENRY FORD (1863-1947): forms the Ford Motor Company which starts producing the Model T in 1908. Ford will sell "in any color, as long as it's black." The plant he began building in 1910 in Highland Park, Michigan used the assembly line to mass produce cars, each exactly like the other. The assembly line was the inspiration of one of Ford's engineers who got the idea from watching the operations of a slaughterhouse. Essentially, an assembly line is a slaughterhouse run in reverse.|
|1911||FREDERICK WINSLOW TAYLOR (1856-1915) outlines in Principles of Scientific
Management his 4 points for management: |
(1) Management must gather the "great mass of traditional knowledge" usually found in the heads of workers and reduce it to rules and laws;
(2) Management must scientifically select workers and then attend to his or her progressive development;
(3) Management must bring together the science from the first principle and the trained worker; and
(4) The work of the establishment must be redivided and "all of the work which was formerly done by the workmen alone is divided into two large sections, and one of those sections is handed over to management" (Shafritz and Whitbeck 1978: 14-16).
Taylor also pioneered the field of management consulting.
|1911||CARL GUSTAV JUNG (1875-1961) is elected the first president of the International Psychoanalytic Association. This came near the end of his association with Sigmund Freud. Jung felt that Freud's overemphasis on sexuality presented a reductionistic view of human behavior and motivation. He preferred to view motivation as a general creative life energy which might be expressed in any number of ways. His investigations of dreams led him to propose that humanity shares a collective unconscious of various symbols, patterns, and stories.|
|1912||Massachusetts adopts the first minimum wage act for women and minors.|
|1914-18||World War I|
|1916||HENRI FAYOL (1841-1925) presents in Industrial
and General Administration his 14 principles of management and the 5
functions all managers perform. The 14 principles include: |
1. Division of work (specialization belongs to the natural order).
2. Authority and responsibility (responsibility is a corollary of authority).
3. Discipline (discipline is what leaders make it).
4. Unity of command (people cannot bear dual command).
5. Unity of direction (one head and one plan for a group of activities having the same objectives).
6. Subordination of individual interest to the general interest.
7. Remuneration (fair, rewarding of effort, reasonable).
8. Centralization (centralization belongs to the natural order).
9. Scalar chain (line of authority with peer-level communication encouraged).
10. Order (a place for everyone, everyone in their place).
11. Equity (results from a combination of kindliness and justice).
12. Stability of tenure of personnel (prosperous firms are stable).
13. Initiative (great source of strength for business).
14. Esprit de corps (union is strength) (Fayol 1949: 19-20, cited in George 1972: 113).
The managerial function was the most important of Fayol's six industrial activities and included planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. The others functions were: technical, commercial, financial, security, and accounting. This work is the first complete theory of management. Fayol proposed that the principles of management were universal and should be taught in schools and universities. He presented his thinking in this work to serve as a model and curriculum for the educational program he espoused. His work was ignored in the U.S. until it was republished in 1949.
|1918||MARY PARKER FOLLETT (1868-1933) in The New State and Creative Experience, bridged the gap between Taylor's scientific management and the group or system's approach to managerial problems. Taking her lead from the principles of Gestalt psychology, Follett proposes that the individual and the group--the singular and the collective--cannot be separated from one another because whichever is foreground simply places the other as background. The ability to think in terms of both in a circular fashion would help any group. Like Machiavelli, Follett discussed power directly, but unlike the author of The Prince, she felt true power meant power with, not power over. Her thinking shows a keen appreciation of Hegelian dialectical processes in human society, but instead of ideas clashing through their embodiment in people which make manifest the conflict, Follett saw that people cooperating in co-managing a set of common or shared activities could almost always find agreement which successfully integrated their perspectives around a better third alternative. Integration meant that neither party had to lessen, that is, compromise, their interests. Her writings foreshadow by half a century works such as Getting to Yes, and the recent upsurge in alternative dispute resolution procedures in legal and community settings.|
|1920||Women secure the right to vote.|
|1923||LINCOLN ELECTRIC (founded in 1895 by John C. Lincoln) becomes one of the first companies in the nation to provide workers paid vacations. The first Lincoln employee stock ownership plan, one of the first in the country, is initiated in 1925. An employee suggestion program is implemented in 1929. Lincoln employees receive their first annual Incentive Bonus in 1934. While the average Lincoln worker's pay more than doubles during the decade of the Great Depression, electrodes which sold for $0.16/lb in 1929 sell for less than $0.05/lb by 1942. Before the end of the 1950s, Lincoln offers employees guaranteed employment. This policy receives its severest test in the 1980s when Lincoln's business drops 40%. Lincoln survives the test--not a single Lincoln employee is laid off during this decline. Today, Lincoln has sales of $1.109 billion and a net income of $2.99 per share.|
|1927-47||Hawthorne studies conducted at the Western Electric plant in Cicero, IL.|
|1930||RONALD FISHER (1890-1962) develops new statistical methods which he uses in the Gentical Theory of Natural Selection to show how the work of geneticist Gregor Mendel supports Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Fisher is commonly referred to as the founder of modern statistics and his ideas are used extensively in quality improvement programs.|
|1933||ELTON MAYO (1880-1949) writes The Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization. Mayo, a lead researcher in the Hawthorne studies, is often identified as the "father of human relations." Mayo's analysis of the Hawthorne effects led to recognition of the importance of the social motivation of workers. (Boone and Bowen, 1980: 55.)|
|1935||SENATOR ROBERT WAGNER (1877-1953) succeeds in getting Congress to pass the National Labor Relations Act which recognizes workers right to form independent labor organizations and enter into collective bargaining agreements with their employers.|
|1939||CHESTER I. BARNARD (1886-1961) publishes The Function of the Executive. Barnard's work describes the challenges of managing a large corporation from the top. He shows a keen awareness of the sources of leadership authority as a type of social gift offered to leaders by those who are led.|
|1939-45||World War II.|
|c. 1946||WILFRED BION (1906-1976) helps to found the Tavistock Institute in London with Eric Trist and others. Bion, a keen observer of group processes, left a rich and complex body of work. "Based on his clinical work, he suggested that groups have difficulty attending to their overt purpose due to three (not unrelated) sources of conflict: 1) ambivalence within individual group members between desires for autonomy vs. dependence; 2) differences between the needs of the group for the group's sake, and the needs of its individual members. The third source of conflict merits a more detailed description: "Groups that keep a reality orientation to their task, and pursue that task rationally, Bion refers to as "work groups." Powerful emotional drives frequently interfere with the functioning of such work groups. These chaotic, disintegrative forces can, observed Bion, be understood in a given case as springing from a single underlying unconscious assumption shared by the members of a group. Each such case is known as a Basic Assumption Group, [of which there are three: the dependency group, the fight-flight group and the pairing group]. Basic-assumption activity occurs spontaneously and instinctively, but Bion maintained that only one basic assumption can be in operation at any given time, however brief or extended." (Schramm 1996, Internet).|
|1947||Congress passes the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 (Taft-Hartley Act) over President Truman's veto. This act shifted the federal role away from aiding the formations of unions towards a neutral middle ground.|
|1947||First National Training Laboratories "T Group" sessions held in Bethel, Maine. "T" stands for training. T Groups become temporary learning communities where the learning requirements of members shape the group's interactions. In T Groups participants: (1) gain increased awareness of--and sensitivity to--their own and other people's emotional expressions and reactions; (2) receive immediate feedback on their behavior and learn the consequences to themselves and others of what they do and say; (3) clarify their values and learn where their values and behaviors do not match; (4) build their own theories based on their own insights in order to bring values, goals, intentions and actions into alignment; (5) become more effective in transactions with their environments; (6) develop supports for their continued learning in their back-home environments; and (7) learn how they learn.|
|1947||Human Relations begins publication under the joint editorial sponsorship of the Research Center for Group Dynamics in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the U.S. and the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London, England.|
|1947||KURT LEWIN (1890-1947) dies just before Human Relations begins publication. In his obituary, Rensis Likert predicted accurately that Lewin's "approach to the phenomena involved in group behavior will set a pattern for many years to come" Human Relations 1(1): 132. This is a very short list of Lewin's contributions to the field: Developed the action research methodology. Coined the phrase "group dynamics" with Ron Lippitt. Designed a method called force-field analysis for displaying the balances of forces which keeps a system in dynamic homeostasis. Proposed a four stage group process cycle: forming, storming, norming, and performing. Helped to found of the National Training Laboratories. Invented flip charts in 1946.|
|1947||Brooklyn Dodger General Manager BRANCH RICKEY (1881-1965) recruits JACKIE ROBINSON (1919-1972) to integrate Major League Baseball. Rickey combines a deep understanding of non-violence with a profound understanding of social and organizational change to hire and support Robinson while helping the institution of baseball accept the change.|
|1948||ABRAHAM H. MASLOW (1908-1970) publishes A Theory of Human Motivation. Maslow presents in this work his theory of a hierarchy of needs. Maslow published his study of self-actualizing people in 1962 in Toward a Psychology of Being.|
|1948||GEORGE ORWELL (1903-1950) depicts a future of total state control of the media and suppression of political dissent which is justified by a continuous state of low-grade warfare the large nation-states of the planet collude in maintaining. He names his novel 1984 by reversing the 4 and 8 in 1948.|
|1948||NORBERT WIENER (1894-1964) coins the term cybernetics to describe the multidisciplinary approach to dealing with communication and control in living organisms and machines. "Cybernetics includes the theory of information and its measurement; the concept of communication as a statistical problem in which messages not sent play an equal part with messages sent; the theory of statistical prediction of sequences of events distributed in time; the theory of the relation between message and noise and their separation by wave filters; the theory of apparatus for control, and its design and applications to servomechanisms, electrical computers, and the automated factory" (Wiener 1993: 8:364).|
|1949||ERIC TRIST (1909- ) studies a blend of team collaboration and industrial organization at coal mines in South Yorkshire, England. His discoveries initiate interest in socio-technical systems, high performance teams, and self-directed teams.|
|1950||W. EDWARDS DEMING (1900-1993), after being spurned by companies in the United States, begins his work in Japan which revolutionizes the concept of "quality" in that country. (See also 1986).|
|1954||Brown v. Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court decision desegregates public schools.|
|1955||Rosa Parks refuses to leave her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. This sparks a year-long boycott, brings Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to national prominence as a leader, and launches the Civil Rights Movement.|
|1960||DOUGLAS McGREGOR (1906-1964) popularizes contrasting theories of human motivation he calls Theory X and Theory Y in The Human Side of Enterprise. Theory X: "Work is inherently distasteful to most people; most people are not ambitious, have little desire for responsibility, and prefer to be directed; most people have little capacity for creativity in solving organizational problems; motivation occurs only at the physiological and security levels; most people must be closely controlled and often coerced to achieve organizational objectives." Theory Y: "Work is as natural as play if the conditions are favorable; self-control is often indispensable in achieving organizational goals; the capacity for creativity is spread throughout organizations, motivation occurs at affiliation, esteem, and self-actualization levels, not just security, physiological levels; people can be self-directed and creative at work if properly motivated" (Wertheim 1997, Internet).|
|1961||President John Kennedy approves the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles supported by the U.S. military.|
|1962||THOMAS S. KUHN (1922-1996) writes about paradigm changes in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. This builds on his 1957 book, Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought. These works generated an on-going debate about how groups make sense of their "realities" and the role of one's world-view in the understanding of data and experience which matches or mismatches one's expectations.|
|1963||President Kennedy (1917-1963) assassinated.|
|1964||Organization Development Network begins operation.|
|1964||1964 Civil Rights Act.|
|1964||Gulf of Tonkin resolution passes Congress. With it, President Johnson (1908-1973) justifies successive escalations of US involvement in the Vietnam War.|
|1964||ROBERT BLAKE and JANE MOUTON believe they offer in the Managerial Grid "strategic new insights into a proven system for increasing organization productivity and individual effectiveness." Their grid essentially places on the x-axis McGregor's Theory X (concern for production), and on the Y-axis his Theory Y (concern for people).|
|1965||Malcolm X (1925-1965) assassinated.|
|1968||Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. (1929-1968) assassinated.|
|1968||Robert Kennedy (1925-1968) assassinated.|
|1969||J. WILLIAM PFEIFFER and JOHN E. JONES begin a series of books of human relations exercises (Structured Experiences for Human Relations Training) culled from the work of other trainers in the field.|
|1969||RICHARD WALTON articulates a new role for consultants as intermediaries in intra-organizational personal disputes. This work, Interpersonal Peacemaking: Confrontations and Third Party Consultations is one of the early works discussing the specifics conflict resolution in organizational settings.|
|1972||GREGORY BATESON (1904-1980) puts into Steps to an Ecology of Mind many of the ideas he had been communicating to colleagues who gathered to work with him at the Palo Alto Mental Research Institute in California. Bateson's ideas about learning (single-loop and double-loop learning), communication (double-bind theory), change (first-order and second-order change), context, and metaphor, inspired his associates to develop novel approaches to psychotherapy, family therapy, consulting, and education.|
|1972||IRVING L. JANIS coins a new word to describe how certain conditions in a group may lead to disastrous decisions. His book, Victims of Groupthink: A Psychological Study of Foreign-Policy Decisions and Fiascoes followed up on some research his daughter uncovered about the Kennedy administration's handling of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles in 1961.|
|1972||SAUL ALINSKY (1909-1972) dies. Alinsky developed the practice of community organizing as a distinct field apart from union organizing and standard political organizing. Alinsky felt that "Once you accept your own death, all of a sudden you're free to live. You no longer care about your reputation. You no longer care except so far as your life can be used tactically to promote a cause you believe in." In 1967 he led the first corporate (Kodak) stockholder protest based on social and political issues rather than bottom-line economic ones. After a lifetime spent working with people and communities, Alinsky had distilled three principles for his work: (1) To hell with charity. the only thing you get is what you're strong enough to get, so you had better organize." (2) You prove to people they can do something, show them how to have a way of life where they can make their own decisions--and then get out. They don't need a father who stands over them. (3) Either you believe in the people or you don't. I do ("Saul Alinsky," Current Biographies 1968, 29:15-16).|
|1976||GORDON PASK (1928-1996) in Conversation Theory: Applications in Education and Epistemology applies insights from cybernetics to education with broader implications for other fields heavily dependent on interpersonal communication.|
|1978||MORGAN McCALL and MICHAEL LOMBARDO edit a slim volume of papers on Leadership: Where Else Can We Go? delivered at a conference at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina. Peter Vaill's paper, "Toward a Behavioral Description of High Performance Systems," anticipates and encourages the experimentation with high performance teams to come.|
|1981||WILLIAM OUCHI intentionally builds on the Theory X and Theory Y ideas of McGregor to make his case for a new theory in Theory Z: How American Business can Meet the Japanese Challenge. Theory Z promotes trust, subtlety, and intimacy as critical for American business managers to learn from the Japanese and interpret in culturally appropriate ways into their philosophies of management.|
|1982||TERRENCE E. DEAL and ALLEN A. KENNEDY introduce culture as an important factor to consider in organizations in Corporate Culture: The Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life. They list five elements: business environment, values, heroes and heroines, rites and rituals, and the informal cultural network.|
|1983||ROSABETH MOSS KANTER presents her findings that innovation can flourish, even in older institutions in The Change Masters: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the American Corporation. She makes a strong case for participative management approaches which harness the use of new ideas occurring from within the corporation itself.|
|1986||MICHAEL LERNER takes a new tack on the issue of power markedly different than the power over ideas of Machiavelli and the power with ideas of Follett. In Surplus Powerlessness Lerner shows how most people contribute to their own powerlessness, which makes them more powerless than they need to be, and infects their personal relationships, their work world, and corrodes their willingness to pursue large-scale visions of political, social, and economic change. Lerner proposes a "politics of compassion" which supports our ability to accept our limitations at the same time we continually strive to overcome them.|
|1986||W. EDWARDS DEMING (1900-1993)
writes Out of Chaos and promotes his famous list--Transformation
Through Application of the Fourteen Points--for managers in the United States
now eager to hear his advice (see also 1950). The Fourteen Points include:
1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and to provide jobs.
2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
3. Cease dependency on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total costs.
5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
6. Institute training on the job.
7. Institute leadership. The aim of leadership should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Leadership of management is in need of overhaul, as well as leadership of production workers.
8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.
9. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.
10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the workforce.
11. (a) Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership. (b). Eliminate management by objectives. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute leadership.
12. (a) Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his [her] right to pride in workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality. (b) Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride in workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objectives.
13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self improvement.
14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody's business (Deming 1989, cited in Scholtes 1991: overleaf).
|1987||HARRISON OWEN (1935-) self-publishes Spirit: Transformation and Development in Organizations. This work dares to discuss spirit, myth, covenants, and ritual in the workplace and anticipates the reexamination of spirit in the workplace which will become a major theme in the organization development field by the mid-nineties. Owen's Open Space Technology (Open Space Technology: A User's Guide, 1992) is a conference design which allows an unlimited number of people to self-manage and self-organize their time at meetings and conferences.|
|1987||JAMES GLEICK (1954-) publishes Chaos: The Making of a New Science. This book presents the development of chaos theory in a popular format.|
|1990||PETER M. SENGE(1948-) writes The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. With this book Senge propels the term "learning organization" into the lexicon of management and consulting. The five disciplines include systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision, and team learning.|
|1992||MARGARET WHEATLEY writes Leadership and the New Science: Learning About Organization from an Orderly Universe. She uses chaos theory, quantum physics, and biology as similes to present a flexible, self-organizing model for how to manage human systems facing unstable external environments (change) over extended periods of time.|
|1992||The National Labor Relations Board reaffirms in the Electromation, Inc. and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters case that employers cannot dominate committees supposedly representing workers' interests in discussions about working conditions.|
|1992||ARNOLD MINDELL (1940-) shows in The Leader as Martial Artist: Techniques and Strategies for Resolving Conflict and Creating Community the vital importance of preparation, awareness, and humility in helping humans find the new order latent in apparent chaos. To allow the new order to emerge takes a willingness to follow, and stay with the moving ground, while dampening the urge to press for rapid solutions.|
|1992||DEBORAH KOLB and JEAN BARTUNEK's collection of papers on Hidden Conflicts in Organizations discuss the under-researched intuitive, emotional, and conflictual elements in bureaucratic organizations which co-exist with the better understood rational and structural ones.|
|1992||MARVIN WEISBORD emphasizes that people often agree on more things than they disagree on, and this can form the basis for common action in the areas of agreement. He trumpets Future Search Conferences (FSC) as the ideal way to help large and diverse groups find their areas for common action in Discovering Common Ground: How Future Search Conferences Bring People Together to Achieve Breakthrough Innovations, Empowerment, Shared Vision, and Collaborative Action, a collection of articles describing how FSC is being employed around the world to work on community and business issues.|
|1994||MARK BARENBERG believes that a way can be found to move from adversarial to cooperative workplace relations. His article, "Democracy and Dominion in the Law of Workplace Cooperation: From Bureaucratic to Flexible Production," outlines several steps which will support this transition. He believes strongly that workers need to actively choose among workplace governance options for how their interests will be represented (which might include no representation, a company union, or a trade union). To deal with the problem of asymmetric power which exists between management and a single worker, he proposes neutral deliberative centers under the sponsorship of the federal government where workers have full access to people promoting various governance options, and can enjoy their First Amendment rights to speak, listen, discuss, and otherwise participate without fear of repercussions from their employers (Columbia Law Review 94(3, April): 753-983).|
|1997||The Deming Institute joins with the city of Tacoma, Washington to demonstrate whether approaches which improve quality in the private sector might be transferred to public concerns.|
|1999||And the beat goes on...|
|1995||AARON FEUERSTEIN (1920- ) CEO of Malden Mills watches helplessly as four out of five of his factory buildings burn to the ground. The fifth is only saved by the heroic actions of thirty-six of his employees. Malden Mills makes the popular Polartec Fleece synthetic fabric. Declaring that night that he could not turn his 3000 employees out into the street, he promises to keep them on payroll for ninety days and rebuild the factories. He later states he acted this way as an ethical commitment to treat employees and communities the "way we expect them to treat us."|