Abstract: Image and Identity in British Management: From Salaried to Professional Management, 1945-2000

John Wilson


Over the course of the last fifty years, British business has undergone a dramatic metamorphosis, moving from the personal or proprietorial stages to fully fledged managerial capitalism. After surveying the main reasons behind these changes, the principal aim of this paper will be to assess the extent to which this has influenced the image and identity of Britain's professional managers. The research on which this paper is based arises out of a forthcoming book, jointly written with Andrew Thomson, that traces the long-term development of British management. This will lead us into an examination of some fundamental questions relating to the changing nature of management in Britain over the course of the twentieth century.