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Management history as told by popular culture the screen image of the efficiency expert by Mordecai Lee (Management Decision, Vol. 40 Iss: 9)


Mordecai Lee, (2002) University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Winconsin, USA "Management history as told by popular culture: the screen image of the efficiency expert", Management Decision, Vol. 40 Iss: 9, pp.881 - 894

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.