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A Foundation Expresses Its Interest In Higher Education For Business Management (1959)

Acceleration Of Efforts To Strengthen Business Education

During its program planning in the spring of 1957, the [Ford] Foundation decided to allocate additional funds for a few years to its Program in Economic Development and Administration, in order to accelerate its efforts to strengthen business education in the United States and thus indirectly throughout the free world. The program has accordingly attained new dimensions.

As a first step in this expanded program, further support was provided to strengthen the doctoral programs of certain leading private institutions. In addition to the three which had previously received support—Carnegie [Mellon] Columbia, and Harvard—the University of Chicago was given major assistance for the on-going redevelopment of its doctoral program.

The next step was the launching in 1958 of a multi-phase effort to promote the more extensive application of the relevant concepts and methods of the social sciences, mathematics, and statistics to the study and teaching of business. Under one phase of the program, fellowships were offered for faculty members of business schools to undertake advanced study in one of the underlying social sciences, mathematics, or statistics. Under another phase, fellowships were provided for faculty members in sociology, anthropology, psychology, and political science in order to carry on research efforts that apply the fundamental concepts of their disciplines to problems related to the business enterprise.

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The Need For Increasing Convergence Of Management Theory And Practice (1952)

Production Of Knowledge And Its Effective Use In Practice

Science, including both the broad field of economics and the area of management, is built upon knowledge. As the Study Committee for the Ford Foundation stated in its report, "(There is an) important need…for the further study and analysis of individual behavior and group relations in the economic sphere…Verification is the final step in the production of knowledge…Until this is done…theory remains speculative…The process will often involve field work in areas of action as well as library research." Such research would necessarily embrace the efforts of psychologists, political scientists, sociologists, and business and public administrators, among others, all of which must be coordinated and integrated if we are to develop more meaningful theories of management and/or administration.

There is great need for acquaintance, mutual respect, and understanding not only between the policy-makers and the academicians but between the "theoretical" and "applied" academic personnel between the "more" and "less" scientific personnel in academic circles.

Typical Questions Of Vital Significance For Management

How can we hope to make significant progress on questions of such vital impact to management as the following without the mutual interest and thought of academic personnel and policy-makers?

  1. What is the effect of purpose on organization?
  2. What are the problems of introducing change in organizations?
  3. What are the processes by which decisions are arrived at in differing circumstances in various kinds of organizations?
  4. What are the functions of executives in balancing the attainment of organizational objectives with the personal satisfactions of those who contribute their services to the former?
  5. What is the relation between the cooperation of individuals and groups in an organization and the structure of its formal organization?
  6. What can be done to achieve effective communication in organizations?
  7. What satisfactions do individuals find in working in an organization?

Is achievement of an effective cooperation between policy-makers and academic personnel such as has been described an impossible task? It is not, in the author's opinion, despite the existence of knotty problems, some of them financial. Furthermore, if the contact is started sufficiently early in the careers of both groups, a solid groundwork for fruitful cooperation will exist when the status of "outstanding scholar" and "top management" has been attained.

(Reprinted from the Southern Economic Journal, Thomas Carroll, Vol. 18, No. 4. (Apr., 1952), pp, 552-558)

"There is great need for acquaintance, mutual respect, and understanding not only between the policy-makers and the academicians but between the 'theoretical' and 'applied' academic personnel between the 'more' and 'less' scientific personnel in academic circles."

- Thomas H. Carroll

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