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Title: Educational Promises and Efficiency Ideals: The Development of Management Education in Ontario, 1900 - 1960
Authors: Cuneo, C.J.
Pupo, Julie Norene
Keywords: Sociology;Sociology
Issue Date: Sep-1984
Abstract: <p>This study examines the concurrent development of business administration education and management theory and practice in Ontario. Management practice was developed in response to a particular set of needs perceived by those searching to establish stability and efficiency at the historically most explosive and highly vulnerable sphere of contention--the workplace. Behavioural science and management techniques are studied as social processes ultimately reflecting the dynamics and parameters of the social order. The main thesis of this study is that management practice and the training of management practitioners at the business schools worked to reinforce the belief that labour and other social problems are solvable within the parameters of the present social system. This belief was strengthened by the positivism of the engineers, behavioural scientists, and sociologists studying techniques of the managerial discipline. As part of the university curriculum, management theory was eventually afforded the respectability of any academic discipline. As a science, management strengthened the business curriculum and justified the purpose of business education in the academic environment. This work studies the curricula of four business departments at the Universities of Toronto, McMaster, Queen's, and Western Ontario over a sixty year period from 1900 to 1960. In particular the work examines published course descriptions and the content of a sample of textbooks in order to trace the introduction of management theories into the curricula of the schools of business administration. Scientific management and its introduction into the curriculum, the alteration of scientific management using the "softer" human relations technique, and the introduction of the theory of organizations to justify the authority structure, hierarchical relations, and the necessity of strong leadership are specifically examined. The work also considers the role played by key participants in the Canadian management movement and the involvement of Canadian businessmen and industrialists in the development of business and management curriculum. In general, a number of questions are posed regarding the emergence of management practice and the contribution of management practice and the business curriculum to the maintenance of stability, harmony, and efficiency within the social order.</p>
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