Rockefeller Archive Center

Rockefeller Archive Center Research Reports are created by recipients of research travel stipends and by many others who have conducted research at the RAC. The reports demonstrate the breadth of the RAC's archival holdings, particularly in the study of philanthropy and its effects. Read more about the history of philanthropy at Also, see the RAC Bibliography of Scholarship, a comprehensive online database of publications citing RAC archival collections.
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The US and the International Professionalization of the Top-Manager, 1945-1980s

January 1, 2017

In the scholarly literature on the subject, the history of business education in the twentieth century has primarily been told as a story about the development of universities and business schools as degree-granting institutions. According to this narrative, business education at the university level came under strong pressure starting in the 1950s to become more academic and to transform itself from a practical to a scientific approach, in line with most other academic disciplines. A transformation did indeed take place in the United States as well as in many European countries. The Ford Foundation played a major role in pushing this change forward by initiating academic studies that legitimized the transformation, as well as by funding several projects in order to strengthen disciplines like mathematics, statistics, and organizational behavior in many of the best American business schools.

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