The institutional shaping of management: in the tracks of English individualism

Mutch, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-8054-6649, 2006. The institutional shaping of management: in the tracks of English individualism. Management and Organization History, 1 (3), pp. 251-271.

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Abstract

Globalisation raises important questions about the shaping of economic action by cultural factors. This article explores the formation of what is seen by some as a prime influence on the formation of British management: individualism. Drawing on a range of historical sources, it argues for a comparative approach. In this case, the primary comparison drawn is between England and Scotland. The contention is that there is a systemic approach to authority in Scotland that can be contrasted to a personal approach in England. An examination of the careers of a number of Scottish pioneers of management suggests the roots of this systemic approach in practices of church governance. Ultimately this systemic approach was to take a secondary role to the personal approach engendered by institutions like the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, but it found more success in the different institutional context of the USA. The complexities of dealing with historical evidence are stressed, as is the value of taking a comparative approach. In this case this indicates a need to take religious practice as seriously as religious belief as a source of transferable practice. The article suggests that management should not be seen as a simple response to economic imperatives, but as shaped by the social and cultural context from which it emerges.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Management and Organization History
Creators: Mutch, A.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 2006
Volume: 1
Number: 3
Rights: Copyright 2006 by Sage Publications. All rights reserved. No portion of the contents may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:46
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:10
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2530

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