Since the 1890s, there have arguably been only a few major management breakthroughs with several minor ones. What will be the next big thing in management that can differentiate leading organisations from also-rans lagging behind them? I suggest one possibility at the conclusion of this chapter.
Where do we draw the line between major and minor management breakthroughs of innovative methodologies that can provide an organisation with a competitive edge? I’m not sure, so the following list likely describes a blend:
• Frederick Winslow Taylor’s scientific management. In the 1890s, Taylor, the luminary of industrial engineers, pioneered methods to systematically organise work. His techniques helped make Henry Ford wealthy when Ford’s car company applied these methods to divide labour into specialised skill sets in a sequential production line and set stop-watch measured time standards as target goals to monitor employee production rates. Production rates faster than the standard were good, and slower were bad. During the same period, Alexander Hamilton Church, an English accountant, designed a method of measuring cost accounting variances to measure the favourable and unfavourable cost impact of faster or slower production speeds compared to the expected standard cost.
• Alfred P. Sloan’s customer segmentation. Henry Ford’s pursuit of a low unit cost per a single type of car (ie, the Model ...