Purpose – The paper seeks to examine the manifestation of management paradigms in personnel magazines of Finnish metal and forest industry corporations from the 1930s to recent years. Design/methodology/approach – The research data consist of articles of personnel magazines on management. The articles were analyzed by quantitative and qualitative content analysis. Findings – The findings indicate that normative paradigms, such as industrial betterment, human relations school, and cultural theories, have been discussed in personnel magazines more than rational paradigms, although earlier studies suggest that in general rational management paradigms have been more influential in Finland. The frequent use of normative paradigms can be seen as a tool in enforcing the role of personnel journals in generating a sense of belonging and togetherness among employees. Normative paradigms are also discussed more frequently in the articles that are written from the viewpoint of the worker than those written from the viewpoint of the manager or company. Originality/value – The study offers empirical evidence on the adoption of management paradigms in different lines of industries. It also shows that personnel magazines provide a rich and interesting source of data that could be used more frequently than has traditionally been the case.
Journal of Management History – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 13, 2010
Keywords: Management history; Management theory; Management styles; Finland; Trade literature; Manufacturing industries
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