The papers brought together in this collection are essays by men scientifically interested in the phenomena of administration. Most of these writers did their thinking independently, in some cases without any acquaintance with the others, or with their writings. The striking similarity and harmony of the analyses, nomenclature, and hypotheses, frequently set forth as principles, is thus doubly significant.
Few of these papers have been published or publicly circulated in such a way as to make them accessible to practical administrators, scholars, or students. The immediate occasion for this publication is the fact that no copies of the essential papers in this collection could be found in any library in Washington at the time when the President's Committee on Administrative Management required these documents for the use of members of its research staff.
In considering the proper content of this volume and in securing the permission of the authors, or of their executors and heirs, for publication, it was only natural to draw into the enterprise as associate editor L. Urwick. His contributions speak for themselves.
It is the hope of the editors that the availability of these papers will advance the analysis of administration, assist in the development of a standard nomenclature, encourage others to criticize the hypotheses with regard to administration herein set forth and to advance their own concepts fearlessly, and to point the way to areas greatly in need of exploration. If those who are concerned scientifically with the phenomena of getting things done through co-operative human endeavor will proceed along these lines, we may expect in time to construct a valid and accepted theory of administration.
This collection does not include anything from the writings of F. A. Cleveland, Charles A. Beard, and A. E. Buck, whose works are well known, unless it is in my own papers which grow directly from long years of association with them; nor from W. F. Willoughby, Leonard D. White, Marshall Dimock or John Gaus, all of whom have recently published books or essays dealing with administration, in a form easily accessible to all.
We are indebted to the authors, and to their heirs and agents, for permitting this publication of their pioneer works without expectation of royalty or reward, and to Miss Sarah Greer for the excellent translation of Henri Fayol's paper, The Administrative Theory in the State, which has not heretofore appeared in English.
Administrators, scholars and students of the logic of administration who find this collection of value, must render their chief thanks to Miss Greer, who from her vantage point as librarian of the Institute of Public Administration, insisted that this collection was necessary, and who put back of the project that tireless pressure and devotion which is necessary to the accomplishment of any worthwhile purpose.
New York City, June, 1937 . . .