How does Henry Ford fit into this group of pioneers?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If one were to consider Henry Ford as part of the "pioneers of management" group, it would have to be in his use of the assembly line to mass produce the automobile.  At the same time, Ford could be seen as a pioneer of management in how he understood the fundamental democratization of both process and product.  Anyone could work in one of Ford's factories.  Specialization training was not required.  This spilled over into the realm of product, as Ford envisioned his car to be bought by anyone.  Ford's states goal was to produce a car "so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one."  In these aspects, Ford fits can be seen as a pioneer of management.

However, this might be stretching it.  The collection of management pioneers involves people who understood and reconfigured a the fundamental relationship between management and workers.  Pioneers of management sought to change the focus of management and workers.  They wanted to better understand the role of management in its dynamics with workers.  Ford was never this.  If he did postulte on the relationship between management and workers, it was resoundingly negative with his hard line stances taken against unions.  Ford did not seek to articulate new theoretical positions or principles to describe management and worker relationships.  In this, it might be difficult to see him as a pioneer of management.

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