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- Chandler argued that modern large-scale firms arose to take advantage of the national markets and productive techniques available after the rail network was in place. He found that they prospered because they had higher productivity, lower costs, and higher profits. The firms created the "managerial class" in America because they needed to coordinate the increasingly complex and interdependent system. According to Steven Usselman, this ability to achieve efficiency through coordination, and not some anti-competitive monopolistic greed by robber barons, explained the high levels of concentration in modern American industry.
- The title is a play on Adam Smith's famous notion of the invisible hand. Chandler described the emergence the managerial layer of the firms, who could extend its domain of action by sheer desire to exploit the new found efficiency to domains of action for which it had not be designed for nor instructed to.
- 1975/March/J [^]
- Chandler, Alfred (1977). The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1977. [^] [c 1]
- Noble, David (1977). America By Design: Science, Technology, and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism, New York: Knopf, 1977. ISBN 978-0-394-49983-3 [^]
- Annis, David B. (1978). "A Contextualist Theory of Epistemic Justification," American Philosophical Quarterly, 15(3): 213–219. [^]
- Argyris, Chris and Schön, Donald (1978). Organizational Learning: A Theory of Action Perspective. New York: Addison-Wesley, 1978. ISBN 0-201-00174-8 [^]
- From around this time on, the American academics began to take seriously contextualism and its presuppositions and entailments such as invisibility, implicity, ambiguity, uncertainty, subjectivity, interpretivism, metaphor, etc. As far as they are negativist and revolutionary, Chandler's argument for "the visible hand" sounds positivist and reactionary.