Thursday, May 24, 2007

Alfred Chandler

Alfred Chandler passed away last month.

It's funny that I chose Alfred Chandler as my nickname on Second Life. Playfully, I wanted to be the business historian of the Second Life businesses :-)

However, having lived in the age of Internet, I am an worshipper of enterprise. For me, managers are outdated and out of touch, and completely incapable of leading because the environment is fluid and expectations are uncertain. For me, the entrepreneur is the hero.

Chandler had just the opposite view. For him, managers were real heros. They were the value creators. He saw it at the pinnacle of the industrial age. More importantly, he worked it out with Alfred Sloan and GM, which needed all of Sloan's efforts after living on the brink under William Durant's management by the seat of pants.

Chandler is also remembered for his contribution on strategy thinking. He is remembered for his studies of strategy and structure, which is ever more relevant today, when the companies need to reassess their structure and recreate themselves.

He, like Peter Drucker, represented the golden age of manegerialism and big company leadership. Who knows what Second Life will bring about next?

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