Gardiner C. Means, 1896-1988

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Before entering Harvard at the relatively late age of 28, Gardiner Means had already sufficient experience of business methods to detect the narrowness of his teachers. After a stint in the army, Means had moved on to set up a wool factory near Boston - drawing from his experience in Turkey and at the Lowell Textile School. At Harvard, Means was engaged by Adolf A. Berle for a project which was to become their magnum opus: Modern Corporation and Private Property, (1932), a landmark of the American Institutionalist tradition. In it, they analyzed the emerging "new age" of the bureaucratized corporation: with the growing division between ownership and management, the entrepreneurial spirit which had guided earlier corporate behavior was now replaced by a managerial class with the different incentives. Means introduced the concept of "administered price" in his 1935 report, and proceeded to connect it to inflation.

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