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Lyndall Urwick, Management PioneerA Biography$
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Edward Brech, Andrew Thomson, and John F. Wilson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199541966

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541966.001.0001

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Early Life, the First World War, and Glove‐Making

Early Life, the First World War, and Glove‐Making

(p.4) 1 Early Life, the First World War, and Glove‐Making
Lyndall Urwick, Management Pioneer

Edward Brech

Andrew Thomson (Contributor Webpage)

John F. Wilson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter first examines Urwick's antecedents as a son of two glove‐making families and his middle‐class upbringing with education at public school and Oxford. After a brief period in the family firm after graduation, he was one of the first into the First World War, a traumatic experience which had a major influence on his attitudes to life and management. Indeed, it was in the trenches that he first read about and committed himself to management as a result of a chance encounter with a fellow officer, who also worked with him on challenging organizational initiatives. He also learnt the skills of a staff officer. Having had ‘a good war’ with a military Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), he rejoined the family firm. However, the two branches of the family fell out and the Urwicks were bought out by the Rigdens, leaving Lyndall unemployed in 1921.

Keywords:   military experience, family firm, middle‐class upbringing, organizational skills, introduction to management

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