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The social shaping of the early business schools in The Netherlands Professions and the power of abstraction

The social shaping of the early business schools in The Netherlands Professions and the power of... Purpose – This paper aims to provide an alternative explanation for the rise of modern management schools at the turn of the twentieth century. It is to be argued that these schools were not just responses of the higher education system to the demand of industrializing companies for a new class of professional managers, like Chandler suggests. Design/methodology/approach – The historical‐actor approach is applied to explain the rise of academic management schools, prior to the Second World War. Data were collected from the archives of different management schools and professional organizations of the engineers and accountants. Findings – To legitimize their position in the higher education system, abstraction appeared to be the dominant strategy of the professions. By abstraction they could distinguish themselves from the lay public and other professional groups in the domain of management. At the moment the new professions had a foot in the higher education system the engineers and the accountants contested for the new management domain. Abstraction appeared also the successful strategy of the accountants to distinguish themselves from the engineers and to establish a sound base for the development of the Dutch variant of business economics. Research limitations/implications – The paper presents a full account of the Dutch situation but the findings cannot be generalized to other countries. More comparative research is needed. The rise of management schools is mostly explained as an educational response to an economic demand. Practical implications – The history of the Dutch business schools may provide researchers and administrators of universities insight into the dynamics of disciplines and into setting up professional schools. Originality/value – This research is based on original documents from the archives of schools and professional organizations. The main contribution of the paper is that it shows how emancipatory and social status motives mediated between the demand and supply side. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management History Emerald Publishing

The social shaping of the early business schools in The Netherlands Professions and the power of abstraction

Journal of Management History , Volume 16 (2): 21 – Apr 13, 2010

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1751-1348
DOI
10.1108/17511341011030084
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to provide an alternative explanation for the rise of modern management schools at the turn of the twentieth century. It is to be argued that these schools were not just responses of the higher education system to the demand of industrializing companies for a new class of professional managers, like Chandler suggests. Design/methodology/approach – The historical‐actor approach is applied to explain the rise of academic management schools, prior to the Second World War. Data were collected from the archives of different management schools and professional organizations of the engineers and accountants. Findings – To legitimize their position in the higher education system, abstraction appeared to be the dominant strategy of the professions. By abstraction they could distinguish themselves from the lay public and other professional groups in the domain of management. At the moment the new professions had a foot in the higher education system the engineers and the accountants contested for the new management domain. Abstraction appeared also the successful strategy of the accountants to distinguish themselves from the engineers and to establish a sound base for the development of the Dutch variant of business economics. Research limitations/implications – The paper presents a full account of the Dutch situation but the findings cannot be generalized to other countries. More comparative research is needed. The rise of management schools is mostly explained as an educational response to an economic demand. Practical implications – The history of the Dutch business schools may provide researchers and administrators of universities insight into the dynamics of disciplines and into setting up professional schools. Originality/value – This research is based on original documents from the archives of schools and professional organizations. The main contribution of the paper is that it shows how emancipatory and social status motives mediated between the demand and supply side.

Journal

Journal of Management HistoryEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 13, 2010

Keywords: Business schools; Management history; Professional education; Higher education; The Netherlands

References