This research paper discusses the business accomplishments and labor relations of Andrew Carnegie and compares them with a later day industrialist Lee Iacocca (1924- ).
The Industrial Innovations of Carnegie and Iacocca
Carnegie's business career was characterized by his uncanny ability to absorb from others concepts of modern management and apply them to every industry in which he was involved. In the process, he built not only an immense personal fortune but created highly efficient enterprises, including the world's largest and most competitive steel company, the Carnegie Steel Works, which he sold to the combine which organized U.S. Steel for a princely sum. Carnegie arrived in America in 1848, the eldest son of penniless Scottish immigrants. Starting from the bottom at age 11, he worked his way up, first in the telegraph business and then at the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR). Because of its rapid growth, the size and sprawl of its operations and its capital intensity, PRR was one of the first companies to install modern business techniques and management systems which Carnegie absorbed, perfected and used to organize and operate the companies he later founded in the oil, bridge construction, pullman car and steel industries. According to Livesay, "he thus played a crucial role in formulating the systems of industrial management that controlled and coordinated the spectacular economic growth of the late nineteenth century America" (Livesay 5).
According to Dobson, "Carnegie constantly searched for improved processes and new techniques to reduce his product costs" (150). Basic to the PRR system which he adapted to manufacturing were detailed systems of cost accounting and stringent financial controls. He plowed back into new plant and equipment retained earnings and made prudent use of financial leverage. Livesay says that "authority and responsibility were defined and assigned in a way that performance could be indiv...