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The Visible Hand

The Visible Hand

The Managerial Revolution in American Business

Alfred D. Chandler, Jr.

ISBN 9780674940529

Publication date: 01/01/1993

The role of large-scale business enterprise—big business and its managers—during the formative years of modern capitalism (from the 1850s until the 1920s) is delineated in this pathmarking book. Alfred Chandler, Jr., the distinguished business historian, sets forth the reasons for the dominance of big business in American transportation, communications, and the central sectors of production and distribution.

The managerial revolution, presented here with force and conviction, is the story of how the visible hand of management replaced what Adam Smith called the “invisible hand” of market forces. Chandler shows that the fundamental shift toward managers running large enterprises exerted a far greater influence in determining size and concentration in American industry than other factors so often cited as critical: the quality of entrepreneurship, the availability of capital, or public policy.

Praise

  • The Visible Hand is a revolutionary work. Business history in the past was largely about entrepreneurs—either as ‘robber barons’ or ‘industrial statesmen.’ Chandler shifts the spotlight from the promoters to the managers… The Visible Hand is a superb book—a triumph of creative synthesis.

    —New Republic

Author

  • Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., was Isidor Straus Professor of Business History at Harvard Business School.

Book Details

  • 624 pages
  • 6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Belknap Press

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