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Projects, management, and protean times : engineering enterprise in the United States, 1870-1960; Engineering enterprise in the United States, 1870-1960

Pinney, Benjamin W
Fonte: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Publicador: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: 338 p.; 37570178 bytes; 37569936 bytes; application/pdf; application/pdf
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In this dissertation, I trace methods for organizing skilled workers engaged in creative, limited-term projects in the United States between the nineteenth century and the 1950s. Examining eras of system building in technical fields-civil engineering in the nineteenth century, laboratory administration in the 1910s and 1920s, aircraft design in the 1930s, and electronics in the 1950s-I show that recent discourse on the management of innovation and change is a manifestation of a cyclically recurring conversation. This story complicates prevalent views of management theory and practice before World War II by recovering a thread obscured by emphasis on the organization of integrated, divisional companies and operative labor within them. Applying ideas from recent work in organization studies to distill common aspects of the management problems and labor processes individuals have confronted and theorized, I find common patterns: managers of construction firms, engineering departments, and research laboratories have again and again theorized the fast-moving, knowledge-intensive, relational organization, doing so long before these terms were available. Such thinking has been driven both by practical needs and because external pressures have forced explanation of seemingly uncontrolled...