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Management Analysts and Consultants

History

A number of people in business began experimenting with accepted management practices after the Industrial Revolution. For example, in the 1700s, Josiah Wedgwood applied new labor- and work-saving methods to his pottery business and was the first to formulate the concept of mass-producing articles of uniform quality. He believed the manufacturing process could be organized into a system that would use, and not abuse, the people harnessed to it. He organized the interrelationships between people, material, and events in his factory and took the time to reflect upon them. In short, he did in the 18th century what management analysts and consultants do today.

Frederick W. Taylor was the creator of the “efficiency cult” in American business. Taylor invented the world-famous “differential piecework” plan, in which a productive worker could significantly increase his or her take-home pay by stepping up the pace of work. Taylor’s well-publicized study of the Midvale Steel plant in Pennsylvania was the first time-and-motion study. It broke down elements of each part of each job and timed each element, and it was therefore able to quantify maximum efficiency. Taylor earned many assignments and inspired others to establish firms that dealt with management and accounting problems.

Arthur D. Little is considered by many to be the first management consulting firm. It was founded by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor of the same name in 1886 (and incorporated in 1909).

Today, management analysts and consultants are thriving. As technological advances lead to the possibility of dramatic loss or gain in the business world, many executives feel more secure relying on all the specialized expertise they can find.

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