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Journal cover: Management Decision

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747
Incorporates: Journal of Management History (Archive)

Online from: 1967

Subject Area: Management Science/Management Studies

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Management history as told by popular culture: the screen image of the efficiency expert

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Title:Management history as told by popular culture: the screen image of the efficiency expert
Author(s):Mordecai Lee, (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Winconsin, USA)
Citation:Mordecai Lee, (2002) "Management history as told by popular culture: the screen image of the efficiency expert", Management Decision, Vol. 40 Iss: 9, pp.881 - 894
Keywords:Efficiency, Films, History, Management, Televisiion
Article type:Conceptual Paper
DOI:10.1108/00251740210441081 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:This exploration of management history focuses on mass entertainment media to determine the history of the efficiency expert in popular culture. It reviews the history of the image of the efficiency expert in film and on American-produced television programs. The review shows that this profession is a universal and pervasive one, permanently embedded in our culture and catholic in background, occupation and workplace. It is generally a man’s job. The most significant historical trend is a sharp change from the efficiency expert as an amusing and relatively harmless character to a malevolent one who is to be feared. Although television has only existed for about half as long as motion pictures, the depiction of the efficiency expert on TV is similar to his movie image. This widely recognized profession needs no introduction to the viewer. He is a negative figure, often laughed at but never admired.

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