Engineering Rules

1 07 2019

JoAnne Yates, MIT Sloan professor and big name in the field of Business History has published an important new (and co-authored) book “Engineering Rules,” which is about the efforts of voluntary bodies over the last century and a half to set global engineering standards. Today we take the existence of such standards (e.g., USB keys) for granted and we tend not to realise how important they are to global business. The book, which she co-authored with the political scientist Craig Murphy, explores how this came about. Yates is the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management at MIT. She is the author of Control through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management and Structuring the Information Age: Life Insurance and Technology in the Twentieth Century.

The MIT Sloan Review has published a nice description of her book, which I have now ordered. The book will interest business historians such as myself, not to mention scholars of international political economy and academics who use Elinor Ostrom’s ideas to think about the relationship between emergent order and planned orders.


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