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Creating New Knowledge in ManagementAppropriating the Field's Lost Foundations$
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Ellen O'Connor

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804770750

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804770750.001.0001

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The Private Argument between Chester Barnard and Herbert Simon about the Boundaries of Management Science

The Private Argument between Chester Barnard and Herbert Simon about the Boundaries of Management Science

Chapter:
(p.152) Chapter 7 The Private Argument between Chester Barnard and Herbert Simon about the Boundaries of Management Science
Source:
Creating New Knowledge in Management
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804770750.003.0007

This chapter examines Chester Barnard's epistemology for a management science and his argument with Herbert Simon, founder of organization science. Simon separated research from experience, thus establishing the boundaries between management science and practice. Instead of drawing from cases to develop the new science's governing principles, however, he based his work mainly on one text and his experience with it: Barnard's The Functions of the Executive. According to Barnard's epistemology of applied social science, each new science demarcates a new field that is different from ordinary action. Although Simon operated within these parameters, Barnard developed a science that explained parameter-setting per se. Barnard corresponded extensively with Simon, who revised his classic work, Administrative Behavior (1947). Barnard supported Simon's research because he thought that Simon rationalized away the hard problems at the heart of an applied social science. Barnard, however, never published his own foundational document that he began drafting in 1940.

Keywords:   Chester Barnard, Herbert Simon, epistemology, management science, organization science, The Functions of the Executive, applied social science, Administrative Behavior

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