Alfred Chandler's Managerial Revolution

William Lazonick

in The Oxford Handbook of Management Theorists

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199585762
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Alfred Chandler's Managerial Revolution

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This article discusses Alfred Chandler’s intellectual journey, in which he dedicated himself to understanding the role of management in developing and utilizing productive resources. During the first part of that journey, from the 1950s through the 1980s, Chandler viewed the role of management almost entirely in terms of the utilization of productive resources, as evidenced in Strategy and Structure and The Visible Hand. During the 1980s, as Chandler wrote Scale and Scope, his attention shifted from the utilization to the development of productive resources. He delved into organization and competition in the consumer electronics, computers, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals industries. An understanding of the dynamics of industrial capitalism requires, as Chandler ultimately showed, a theoretical analysis of the role of management in ensuring both the development and utilization of productive resources. This dual focus is important for business strategy, organizational structure, and industrial finance.

Keywords: Alfred Chandler; developing productive resources; industrial capitalism; industrial finance; Strategy and Structure; utilizing productive resources; Visible Hand

Article.  11328 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Business History

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