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date: 14 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews the engineering origins of management consulting. It considers the role of Frederick W. Taylor — the ‘father’ of scientific management — and his colleagues in distributing a model of management to a wider business audience. Next it studies the relevant roles played by early efficiency consultants, particularly on the firms that were established by Charles E. Bedaux and Harrington Emerson. It also discusses the development of efficiency consulting and the role of firms owned by the likes of George S. May and H.B. Maynard after the Second World War. This article concludes with a discussion of the downfall of their consultancies as (independent) organizations.

Keywords: engineering origins, management consulting, Frederick W. Taylor, scientific management, model of management, efficiency consultants

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