Americans who visit factories in other countries are often impressed by the novel management approaches and ask, "Can they work here?" They are surprised to learn that much of what we see in foreign factories was originally developed in the U.S. and transplanted to other countries over thirty years ago during American manufacturing's Golden Age. This article describes the marriage of artisan values and scientific thinking that occurred in this country during the first half of this century, and how that marriage affected the way our predecessors managed material flows, technological development, and human resources. Then it traces the breakdown of that marriage and the "modern" approach to industrial management that gradually discarded those older values and managerial philosophy. The question raised by this historical review is "Why did the U.S. abandon an approach to industrial management that made its industrial capabilities the envy of the world, and that is now coming back to haunt us?"
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