Analyses the Bureau of Municipal Research′s (BMR) role in the 1912 New York City School Inquiry to show the democratic orientation of key people trying to transfer scientific management to government. Because much modern public administration literature portrays scientific management as authoritarian, some people assume its proponents wanted to shut the populace out of public‐sector decision making by transfering power from elected officials to experts. The School Inquiry case shows how important reformers committed to scientific management sought to maximize the control that elected officials had over a key administrative function. The BMR stressed this democratic point of view until threats from its principal financial backer forced it to downplay its voice on educational issues and its innovative concept of efficient citizenship.
Journal of Management History (Archive) – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 1995
Keywords: Administration; Government; Public sector; Scientific management