The European Executive

The European Executive

The European Executive

The European Executive

Excerpt

Throughout the Western world, America is considered the source of superior management techniques. The modern business school is an American invention, and has been widely copied abroad--in form, if not in content. The vast bulk of the international management literature has originated in the United States.

What basis is there for the belief that American management is, on the average, better than that found elsewhere? Why have American methods been going abroad rather than the reverse?

The answer, I think, is clear. American industry is considered to be the international top performer. The evidence behind this belief is that America is the country with the highest standard of living (at least among the big nations) and with the greatest productivity per man. On the face of it, one might expect that the quality of management has had something to do with this.

If, however, we wish to take practical men of affairs at their accustomed word, and subject them to the probe of results achieved, then an alternative examination procedure is possible. How has American industry stood up to the test of postwar growth? Is American management leading the economy to rapid improvement?

Here the picture seems much less convincing. In fact, if we limit ourselves to the Free World, it is Western Europe and Japan which have been the great "comers" of the postwar era--even in the years since the end of Marshall Plan aid and the restoration of prewar production levels.

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