Management faces the first test of its competence and its hardest task in the imminent industrial revolution which we call ‘Automation’.
A lot of rather lurid ‘science fiction’ is being written today about Automation. The ‘push-button factory’ is the least fantastic of them (though it, too, is largely nonsense). The coming of the new technology has revived all the slogans of the ‘planners’ of the thirties. It is producing a new crop of penny-dreadfuls purporting to give us a glimpse of that nightmare, the technocrat’s paradise, in which no human decisions, no human responsibility, no human management is needed, and in which the push button run by its own ‘electronic brain’ produces and distributes abundant wealth.