Owen D. Young: A New Type of Industrial Leader

Owen D. Young: A New Type of Industrial Leader

Owen D. Young: A New Type of Industrial Leader

Owen D. Young: A New Type of Industrial Leader

Excerpt

The swiftly changing structure of American industrial life has been a continuing interest to me for thirty-five years. Many articles and several books have recorded what I have watched or discovered in that wide scene of rapid transformations.

I have been held to my self-elected post of observation above all by an abiding curiosity about the architects and builders of big business, the men who lead us in industry. Where did and do they come from; how have they made their way into business; and once there, what have been and are their purposes, their methods, their sensitiveness or obtuseness to human relations, to public opinion?

The dominating type of industrial leader at the end of the last century, when I became a conscious observer, was highly individualistic. He held that business was a private affair and should be protected from public gaze and public regulation. Gradually the methods which this outlook bred gave way under the pressure of developing economic, social and moral forces. It is pretty generally agreed to-day that there no longer is such a thing as a purely private business; a business large or small exists for and by the public.

Great industries are coming to take on the character of public institutions; their leaders are trustees . . .

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