Manufacturing Rationality: The Engineering Foundations of the Managerial Revolution

By Yehouda Shenhav | Go to book overview

4
Contested Rationality: Disturbances, Controversies, and Opposition to Management Systems

A system solution transformed the relation between the parties from one of qualified antagonism to more complete cooperation.

( Williamson 1975: 99)

There has always been opposition to system, and a feeling that much of it is red-tape.

( House Magazine, Scovill Manufacturing Company, quoted in Yates 1989: 195)

They had every man in the place running around with a pencil over his ear, and we didn't get the work done.

(A foreman describing the work of the systematizers, American Machinist, 29 April 1915: 750)

The organizing concepts around which managerial rationality was engineered were systematization and standardization. The underlying assumption was that the machine-like manufacturing firm would generate predictability, stability, consistency, and certainty. Unpredictable human behavior -- defined in organizational language as uncertainty and inefficiency -- would be controlled and tamed through machine-like organizational arrangements. This assumption was based on a cognitive and cultural equation containing two binary poles: on the one hand the desired end of rationality and certainty, on the other, that of uncertainty and irrationality. Conflicts, emotions, politics, 'otherness', and additional non-organizational. traits fall under the rubric of irrationality, likely to evoke unpredictability.

Mainstream organization theory subscribes to this cultural equation and views capitalists/managers, as well as industrial technology, as the major forces of the rationalization of industry ( Landes 1969). The advancement of organizational rationality is taken for granted to be the result of capitalists' and managers' economic motives, a means of conducting efficient operations to achieve profitable ends. It posits an evolutionary, almost universal, path of development with unavoidable logic.

-102-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Manufacturing Rationality: The Engineering Foundations of the Managerial Revolution
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 247

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.