Article

The Engineering Origins Of the Consulting Industry And its Long Shadow

Christopher Wright and Matthias Kipping

in The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199235049
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199235049.013.0002

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

 The Engineering Origins Of the Consulting Industry And its Long Shadow

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This article reviews the engineering origins of management consulting. It considers the role of Frederick W. Taylor — the ‘father’ of scientific management — and his colleagues in distributing a model of management to a wider business audience. Next it studies the relevant roles played by early efficiency consultants, particularly on the firms that were established by Charles E. Bedaux and Harrington Emerson. It also discusses the development of efficiency consulting and the role of firms owned by the likes of George S. May and H.B. Maynard after the Second World War. This article concludes with a discussion of the downfall of their consultancies as (independent) organizations.

Keywords: engineering origins; management consulting; Frederick W. Taylor; scientific management; model of management; efficiency consultants

Article.  9768 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Business History

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