Sir George Simpson : 19th century fur trade governor and precursor of systematic management

Spraakman, Gary and Margret, Julie 2005, Sir George Simpson : 19th century fur trade governor and precursor of systematic management, Management decision, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 278-292, doi: 10.1108/00251740510581975.

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Title Sir George Simpson : 19th century fur trade governor and precursor of systematic management
Author(s) Spraakman, Gary
Margret, Julie
Journal name Management decision
Volume number 43
Issue number 2
Start page 278
End page 292
Publisher Emerald
Place of publication Bingley, England
Publication date 2005
ISSN 0025-1747
Keyword(s) management history
chief executives
Summary Purpose – Sir George Simpson, the Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) from 1821 to his death in 1860, was the subject of numerous biographical works that described various facets of the man including his managerial abilities, literary prowess, physical stamina, abundant energy, extensive art collection and ethnological specimens. Two related aspects of his outstanding management style have been overlooked: the genesis of his management style and where it can be placed in the evolution of management practices during the 19th century.

Design/methodology/approach – Primary data from the Hudson's Bay Company archives plus secondary sources.

Findings – Simpson's management abilities came from his grammar school education and his apprenticeship to a counting house. More importantly, it can be attributed to his association with his mentor Andrew Wedderburn, his dedication to the HBC, and his high level of physical and intellectual energy. His information intensive management style was also a significant precursor to systematic management, which occurred later in the 19th century.

Research limitations/implications – Future research should examine other examples of the evolution of management during the 19th century, particularly the transition from sub-unit accountability to systematic management.

Originality/value – The paper emphasizes the importance of managers in making management systems work.
Language eng
DOI 10.1108/00251740510581975
Field of Research 150105 Management Accounting
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, Emerald Group Publishing Ltd
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
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