Challenging Proposals from European Scholars
Edited by Stephanie Dameron and Thomas Durand
Chapter 2: Proposition for a Comparative History of Education in Law and Management: About the Notion of Jurisprudence
Romain Laufer In 1887, Woodrow Wilson, who later became president of the United States, began what is often considered as the first academic article dealing with the science of administration with the following words: I suppose that no practical science is ever studied where there is no need to know it. The very fact, therefore, that the eminently practical science of administration is finding its way into college courses in this country would prove that this country needs to know more about administration, were such proof of the fact required to make out a case. (p. 197) This quotation contains two propositions relative to the history of management education in the United States which are worth noting. On the one hand it dates the beginning of the academic development of the ‘eminently practical science of administration’ to the end of the nineteenth century. On the other hand it relates this emergence to a need resulting from the state of society at that time. If the curriculum of universities is the place where one can find the signs of the existence of a practical need for some specific kind of academic knowledge, then we must acknowledge that the need for the study of administration has never stopped being felt since Woodrow Wilson wrote these lines. Business schools have developed all over the world, MBAs have been created which attract an ever growing number of students, doctoral programmes have emerged to provide these schools and students with professors, and high-quality academic journals...
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