Purpose – The purpose of this paper is twofold: to report the number of articles in the business academic literature that have been written about the pioneers depicted in a 1977 Daniel Wren and Robert Hay study; and to report the findings from a replication and extension of that study. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employed a systematic literature review combined with an empirical replication and extension of the 1977 study. Findings – The literature review revealed that 101 articles referenced only a few of the 1977 identified pioneers. In fact 47 of the articles were about three of the pioneers – keeping them firmly in the academic institutional memory, while others have fallen into insignificance. The results of the new study identified seven new names for the list of top ten, while three remained steadfast. Frederick Taylor was number one on both lists. Interestingly, no woman made the top ten. Research limitations/implications – The replication and extension is a strength and limitation in which the authors were able to meticulously follow Wren and Hays' methodology, yet prevented the inclusion of possible viable new sources. Practical implications – This piece calls for the continuation to rediscover history as a backdrop for research. Originality/value – The paper reminds us of the value of preserving business academic institutional memory.
Journal of Management History – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 28, 2010
Keywords: Management history; Management research; Business history