Chapter

The role of professionals in the Chandler paradigm

Louis Galambos

in Management Innovation

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695683
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738265 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695683.003.0005
The role of professionals in the Chandler paradigm

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Since many of the modern professions had a substantial impact on economic development, this chapter examines Alfred D. Chandler’s description and analysis of the business-related aspects of professionalization. According to Chandler, professional managers, scientists, and engineers made crucial contributions to the expansion of large enterprises in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and these firms, Chandler contended, were the most important drivers of economic growth in America and the other developed economies. While this chapter agrees with many aspects of that conclusion, it contends that the social transformation that brought professionals into power in business was more contested, more difficult to organize, and frequently less successful than Chandler indicated. Moreover, that transformation and the development of business capabilities in the twentieth century cannot be understood without looking outside of the firm more than Chandler did. It is necessary to analyze the public and nonprofit institutions that made professional development possible in the United States and elsewhere. It is also necessary to take note of the shifting public evaluations of the professions—those inside as well as outside of the business sector.

Keywords: professionals; business managers; research and development; modern corporations

Chapter.  9648 words. 

Subjects: Innovation

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