industrial management

industrial management

industrial management, term applied to highly organized modern methods of carrying on industrial, especially manufacturing, operations.

The Rise of Factories

Before the Industrial Revolution people worked with hand tools, manufacturing articles in their own homes or in small shops. In the third quarter of the 18th cent. steam power was applied to machinery, and people and machines were brought together under one roof in factories, where the manufacturing process could be supervised. This was the beginning of shop management. In the next hundred years factories grew rapidly in size, in degree of mechanization, and in complexity of operation. The growth, however, was accompanied by much waste and inefficiency. In the United States many engineers, spurred by the increased competition of the post-Civil War era, began to seek ways of improving plant efficiency.

The Development of Industrial Management

Studies of Worker Performance

The first sustained effort in the direction of improved efficiency was made by Frederick Winslow Taylor, an assistant foreman in the Midvale Steel Company, who in the 1880s undertook a series of studies to determine whether workers used unnecessary motions and hence too much time in performing operations at a machine. Each operation required to turn out an article or part was analyzed and studied minutely, and superfluous motions were eliminated. Records were kept of the performance of workers and standards were adopted for each operation. The early studies resulted in a faster pace of work and the introduction of rest periods.

Management of the Machine

Industrial management also involves studying the performance of machines as well as people. Specialists are employed to keep machines in good working condition and to ensure the quality of their production. The flow of materials through the plant is supervised to ensure that neither workers nor machines are idle. Constant inspection is made to keep output up to standard. Charts are used for recording the accomplishment of both workers and machines and for comparing them with established standards. Careful accounts are kept of the cost of each operation. When a new article is to be manufactured it is given a design that will make it suitable for machine production, and each step in its manufacture is planned, including the machines and materials to be used.

Other Aspects of Management

The principles of scientific management have been gradually extended to every department of industry, including office work, financing, and marketing. Soon after 1910 American firms established the first personnel departments, and eventually some of the larger companies took the lead in creating environments conducive to worker efficiency. Safety devices, better sanitation, plant cafeterias, and facilities for rest and recreation were provided, thus adding to the welfare of employees and enhancing morale. Many such improvements were made at the insistence of employee groups, especially labor unions.

Over the years, workers and their unions also sought and often won higher wages and increased benefits, including group health and life insurance and liberal retirement pensions. During the 1980s and 1990s, however, cutbacks and downsizing in many American businesses substantially reduced many of these benefits. Some corporations permit employees to buy stock; others make provision for employee representation on the board of directors or on the shop grievance committee. Many corporations provide special opportunities for training and promotion for workers who desire advancement, and some have made efforts to solve such difficult problems as job security and a guaranteed annual wage.

Modern Trends

Modern technological devices, particularly in the areas of computers, electronics, thermodynamics, and mechanics, have made automatic and semiautomatic machines a reality. The development of such automation is bringing about a second industrial revolution and is causing vast changes in commerce as well as the way work is organized. Such technological changes and the need to improve productivity and quality of products in traditional factory systems also changed industrial management practices. In the 1960s Swedish automobile companies discovered that they could improve productivity with a system of group assembly. In a contrast to older manufacturing techniques where a worker was responsible for assembling only one part of the car, group assembly gave a group of workers the responsibility for assembling an entire car.

The system was also applied in Japan, where managers developed a number of other innovative systems to lower costs and improve the quality of products. One Japanese innovation, known as quality circles, allowed workers to offer management suggestions on how to make production more efficient and to solve problems. Workers were also given the right to stop the assembly line if something went wrong, a sharp departure from U.S. factories. By carefully controlling the manufacturing process, Japanese managers were able to cut waste, improve productivity, and reduce inventory, thus significantly reducing costs and improving quality. By the early 1980s, Japanese companies, which had once been criticized for producing for producing low-quality goods, had established a reputation for efficiently producing high-quality, high-tech products. In the 1980s and early 90s many U.S. companies looked to increase their competitiveness by adapting Japanese methods for improving manufacturing quality.


See study of Taylor by R. Kanigel (1997). Also see G. Friedmann, Industrial Society: The Emergence of the Human Problems of Automation (1955); S. Haber, Efficiency and Uplift: Scientific Management in the Progressive Era, 1890-1920 (1964); J. Barbash, The Elements of Industrial Relations (1984); D. DelMar, Operations and Industrial Management (1985).

Mission To develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice.
Established 1914
Official name Alfred P. Sloan School of Management
University Massachusetts Institute of Technology
School type Private
Endowment $657 million
Dean David Schmittlein
Location Cambridge, MA, USA
Enrollment 976 graduate, 263 undergraduate

The MIT Sloan School of Management is one of the five schools of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. It is one of the world's leading business schools, conducting research and teaching in finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, strategic management, economics, organizational behavior, industrial relations, operations management, supply chain management, information technology, and many other fields.

MIT Sloan offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, as well as non-degree executive education programs. Its largest program is the MBA program, which matriculates students every year from more than 60 countries, offers the widest range of electives, and according to US News and BusinessWeek, is ranked #1 in more disciplines than any other business school in the United States.


MIT Sloan began in 1914 as the engineering administration curriculum (or "Course XV" in the MIT parlance) in the MIT Department of Economics and Statistics. The scope and depth of this educational focus have grown steadily in response to advances in the theory and practice of management to today's broad-based management school. A program offering a master's degree in management was established in 1925. The world's first university-based executive education program - the Sloan Fellows - was created in 1931 under the sponsorship of Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., himself an 1895 MIT graduate, who was chairman of General Motors and has since been credited with creating the modern corporation. A Sloan Foundation grant established the MIT School of Industrial Management in 1952 with the charge of educating the "ideal manager", and the school was renamed in Sloan's honor as the Alfred P. Sloan School of Management.

In the 1960s, the school played a leading role in founding the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. In 1990, the MIT Entrepreneurship Center was founded at MIT Sloan, one of the few business school entrepreneurship centers in the world focused on high tech. It sponsors both the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition as well as the popular and unique Entrepreneurship Lab and Global Entrepreneurship Lab courses, which sponsor MBA students to work on-site with start-ups throughout the world. The school has grown to the point where management has become the second largest undergraduate major at MIT, and in 2005, an undergraduate minor in management was opened to 100 students each year. The Sloan Undergraduate Management Association is the official representing student group for Sloan's undergraduate management program.


The main professional degree awarded at MIT Sloan, prior to 1995, was the SM in Management – an advanced professional degree combining the course requirements of the more widely-known MBA degree with a formal Master of Science dissertation. The completion of a dissertation was previously an Institute-wide requirement for all master's students. An exception was made for MIT Sloan students starting in 1995, and the school began awarding the MBA degree entirely on the basis of coursework. While some members of the MIT community felt that removing the dissertation requirement would reduce the educational merit of the degree , it was accepted since this was the practice at all other major business schools. MIT Sloan continues to offer the SM degree for students who choose to complete master's dissertations, but the vast majority of students now receive an MBA degree and do not write a dissertation. In practice, MIT Sloan's SM and MBA have always been viewed as equivalent in industry, although the SM is preferred as preparation for doctoral work.

In 2006, MIT Sloan launched a new program for entrepreneurs within the MBA degree called the Entrepreneurship & Innovation (E&I) Program. The E&I program centers on starting and evolving emerging technology enterprises. The program seeks to formalize MIT's long-standing and leading entrepreneurship offerings. The 50-60 (per class) E&I students benefit from a specialized weekly seminar for entrepreneurs. In addition, a one-week trip to Silicon Valley is coordinated in conjunction with the MIT Sloan MediaTech club.

Of the approximately 2,600 applications received last year for the MBA and Leaders for Manufacturing programs, about 500 were admitted and 372 matriculated


Since 1960, MIT Sloan has offered a research-oriented Ph.D. program devoted to educating management scholars. The Ph.D. program is organized into three broad areas – Management Science, Behavioral and Policy Sciences, and Economics, Finance, and Accounting – each of which has further areas of specialization. It takes an average of five years to complete the program, and a typical schedule includes at least two years of coursework leading up to the general exam, and about three years of research leading up to the dissertation. Ph.D. students are also active in faculty-sponsored research and teaching. The program typically enrolls about 80 students, and many graduates take faculty positions at the world's most prestigious business schools.

Of the 564 applicants from 54 countries for the 2006-2007 academic year, 25 were admitted (about 4%) and 16 matriculated.

Academics and student life

The MIT Sloan culture is similar to, but also distinct from, overall MIT culture, and is influenced most strongly by its MBA program. Most classes are taught in the Tang Center, although the school's live trading room is located in the basement of the original Alfred P. Sloan building. Courses are taught using both the case method as well as through lectures and team projects. The academic level of coursework is considered extremely rigorous by business school standards, with a greater emphasis on analytical reasoning and quantitative analysis than most top programs.

Academic rigor has a strong influence on the school's culture. The first semester, also known as the core, is the hardest of all semesters by design. Students are required to take the following courses: Economic Analysis for Business Decisions, Financial Accounting, DMD (Data, Models and Decisions), Organizational Processes, and Communication for Managers. In addition, they must choose to take either Finance Theory or Introduction to Marketing. In 2005, the students and faculty expressed solidarity against the core by wearing t-shirts that said "think outside the core." In 2006, the students placed their name-cards upside-down during the weeks where the workload was particularly demanding.

A staple of MIT Sloan life is the weekly C-Function, which stands alternately for "cultural function" or "consumption function". The school sponsors food and drink for all members of the MIT Sloan graduate community to enjoy entertainment organized by a specific campus cultural groups as well as parties with non-cultural themes. These functions are held on most Thursdays, often in the Walker Memorial building near the school. MIT Sloan students and alumni are informally nicknamed Sloanies.

MIT Sloan benefits from its proximity to the world's best engineering and science programs as well as from integration with MIT's world-renowned Economics and Finance programs, all of which are often ranked #1 in world rankings. Many of the world's most influential thought-leaders in finance and economics (including Black, Scholes, Merton, Samuelson, Myers and many more) and many of the most famous theories applied in business and on Wall Street (including Black-Scholes, System Dynamics, Operations Research, Quantitative Strategies, and many others) had their origins at MIT.

Students from both MIT and Harvard University frequently pursue simultaneous graduate degrees at the other respective institution, and many MIT Sloan students simultaneously complete degrees from Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government in particular. In addition, MIT Sloan offers its students the ability to freely cross-register for courses at Harvard Business School, one of the few pairs of leading business schools to have such an agreement.

Programs and centers

MIT Sloan is home to a number of research centers, including the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, the Financial Engineering Lab, the MIT Center for Digital Business, the System Dynamics Group, the Operations Management Group, and the Center for Innovation in Product Development It also publishes the peer-reviewed management journal MIT Sloan Management Review.

Unlike many business schools, MIT Sloan does not offer an Executive MBA program or a part-time MBA program. It does offer a number of other specialized degree programs, including:

  • Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM) program is a dual-degree partnership program run by both MIT Sloan and the MIT School of Engineering that caters to students who are interested in manufacturing and operations careers. LFM students earn both an MBA (or SM in Management) from MIT Sloan as well as an SM in any participating engineering department at MIT, all within a 24 month timeframe. Currently, every engineering department except the Nuclear Engineering department participates in the LFM program.
  • MIT Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership is a management program that caters to students with significant managerial experience. Depending on the curricula they choose, students can earn either an MBA, an SM in Management, or a Master's degree in the Management of Technology (MOT) in either 1 or 2 years of full-time study. Over the years, as MIT Sloan Fellows wanted more entrepreneurship courses, and MOT students sought general management courses, the traditional MIT Sloan Fellows program was merged with the innovation-focused Management of Technology (MOT) program in 2004 to create its newly named larger program, the MIT Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership.
  • System Design and Management program is a joint program run by both MIT Sloan and the Engineering Systems Division of MIT, in which students are awarded a joint SM degree in Engineering and Management. Note that this is a single degree as opposed to the dual-degree that can be obtained through LFM. The SDM program can be completed either on a 13-month full-time basis, or through a 24-month part-time distance learning option.
  • Biomedical Enterprise Program or BEP is a joint partnership program run by MIT Sloan and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Students can either complete the BEP program in conjunction with the regular MIT Sloan program or the MIT Sloan Fellows program and earn an SM degree in Health Sciences and Technology in addition to an MBA or SM in Management Science. The BEP also offers those who already hold a graduate degree in management the option of earning a 1-year SM degree in Health Sciences and Technology.

Prominent faculty


Notable current and former faculty

Notable alumni

See also


See also

External links

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