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The Progressive Roots of Management Science

Conventional wisdom about the principles underlying management science — maximizing economic efficiency and financial returns — have downplayed higher goals than making money. But this isn’t the complete picture of where the discipline originated. New research highlights the work of Louis Brandeis, a lawyer who became a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Brandeis was the world’s best-known management consultant in the 1910s, encouraging companies toward what we might today call “sustainable work.”

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