The name of Ernest Dale may not mean much to many people, but he is truly considered one of the most revolutionary authors in administration and management of the 20th century, having written several books. in which he dealt with these two important areas.
In his works you can find aspects related to the structure of companies, their theoretical and practical concepts and how companies should be structured to get the most out of each of its parts. On top of that, he was a consultant to companies like IBM, helping to improve his organizational structure by applying the same concepts he had raised.
Below we will see a little more about his life and especially his vision of companies, through this Ernest Dale biography In summary.
Brief biography of Ernest Dale
Ernest Dale was born in Hamburg, Germany on February 4, 1917. We know very little about his childhood. What we do know from his youth is that, although he was born in Germany, he decided to continue his university education at the prestigious Yale University in the United States. From an early age he showed a deep interest in the global economy and the economic fluctuations that occurred throughout his life.
This interest is not surprising, because in his childhood and adolescence he lived through the most economically turbulent periods of his century. He was born right at the end of WWI, lived in the time of Crack of 29, witnessed WWII, the rise and fall of Germany, its dissolution into two states to economic regimes. divided between the capitalist bloc and the communist bloc. Of course, he has witnessed how the economic dynamics have radically changed.
However, his interest in the professional was much more focused on how businesses could be run and how to manage them. In fact, after graduating in 1950, he began taking business administration courses at Columbia University, in addition to teaching some courses in Pennsylvania.
During his teaching years he set out his ideas on paper, writing two important books, “The Great Organizers” (1960) and “Management: Theory and Practice” (1965)., Which have been used as fundamental tools in the administration and management courses of many universities.
But in addition to working as a teacher, Ernest Dale had the opportunity to work fully in business. After graduating from Yale, he worked as a consultant for renowned companies including DuPont Corporation, IBM and Unilever. He has also served on the boards of directors of other companies, such as Olivetti, Upjohn and Renault. He is considered the father of empirical theory of administration and one of its main representatives.
As for his personal life, we can only say that he got married once and had a child. It is also interesting that he had contact with Martin Luther King, whom he met in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, in 1968. He worked on text development and as a consultant until his death on August 16, 1996 in Manhattan, New York., Aged 79 due to a brain aneurysm.
Contributions to administrative sciences
As we have mentioned, Ernest Dale has been an important representative for the world of management and administration. In reality, he is considered the father of the empirical theory of administration. He asserted that management policies and the quality of leadership were the foundations for the good individual performance of all the workers that make up an organization.
Dale had a deep understanding of how businesses work and how they should be structured to get the most out of them. If the maximum capacity of each employee was put to good use, the business could end up being very functional and successful, an idea he articulated in several of his works. Among these works, we can highlight the following:
Planning and development of the organizational structure of a company (1952)
This book, along with “Administration: Theory and Practice”, is considered one of Dale’s most important. In this Ernest Dale praised the application of systematic methods in business models that had been used in the mid-twentieth century.
He believed that a good business plan should be subordinate to meticulously crafted plans, which should be sent in an organized fashion to employees so that they were clearly aware of what to do and to avoid confusion which, of course, they would. drastically reduce production or even ruin the organization.
In this book, Dale has combined the concepts of his systematic thinking with the practical application of the same in a business. He was looking for a balance between real theory and practice when organizing and running a business, paying particular attention to the human aspect. Likewise, it must be said that this book was particularly focused on manufacturing companies (assembly line)Although it also deals with issues that can be extrapolated to companies that offer services or that are in charge of sales.
By way of limitation, this book does not break down from the above mainly the methods of business activities. It also does not specify the policies to be applied within the organization or the development of the procedures and controls necessary for personnel management. It’s not that I didn’t take them into account, what happens is that Dale viewed these topics as so broad that a thorough explanation would be needed, even writing a book for each.
Administration: theory and practice (1960)
This other Ernest Dale book deals with the most human part of an organization, which is without a doubt each of its workers. He assured that an organization cannot be governed simply by the rationality of its methodsBecause behind these methods, there are still human beings who manipulate them and they are not cold machines to which we can give them cords indefinitely; it should be noted that make mistakes due to fatigue. The principles of human nature cannot be ignored.
In this text, he divides the company into administrative units. held that any business, regardless of size, can be broken down into smaller units. Each of these units should be seen as its own business and should have a manager, who controls the basic functions of the unit and knows and manages its staff. Each unit knows what is right and what is wrong, and can have the resources to fix it without the need for further organizational steps.
This type of administration, with controls in each of the units, helps the higher authorities of the company to be aware of the proper functioning of each unit so that, in the event of a problem that can only be resolved at the organizational level, decides and applies the appropriate changes to bring the activity back to its correct channel.
Likewise, delegating certain responsibilities to the managers of each unit should improve human performance, as these managers would have direct contact with the workers, know their strengths and weaknesses and also know firsthand what problems may have arisen in each unit, in particular. having a more personalized vision. How to solve the problem.
- Dale, E. (1960) The Great Organizers. McGraw-Hill.
- Dale, E. (1960) Management: Theory and Practice. McGraw-Hill.
- Dale, E. (1952) Planning and development of the organizational structure of the company. American Management Association.