Edward Brech, Andrew Thomson and John F. Wilson

in Lyndall Urwick, Management Pioneer

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199541966
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191715433 | DOI:

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This chapter covers Urwick's roles and activities during the Second World War, when he took leave of absence from Urwick Orr to enter public service. It is, however, largely a story of frustration. Initially, Urwick undertook the reorganization of a Territorial Army Division, but although its commander recommended that the results should be spread elsewhere, the War Office declined to make any such changes. Urwick then joined the Treasury, only to find that his recognized status in the management world counted for little in the Civil Service. He carried out a number of projects, most with limited acceptance of their recommendations. Frustrated, Urwick overstepped the protocols and was forced to resign in 1942. He found a further role in the War Office dealing with the use of petroleum, but nevertheless asked to be released in December 1944 in order to pursue his educational interests.

Keywords: public sector management; civil service; internal consultancy; Treasury; management education

Chapter.  5768 words. 

Subjects: Business History

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