Space age management

Martin Parker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

4 Citations (Scopus)


A few months before the first Moon landing, James Webb published his book Space Age Management. This article considers a number of ways in which the age of space was also the age of management, and perhaps also the end of the age of industry. I consider the cold war and new deal politics of the Apollo programme, as well as the complex but mundane forms of work organization that were necessary in order that the means could result in such spectacular ends. The article concludes with some speculation about the forms of organization needed to produce sublime effects, and concerning the fact that space adventures required that the unexpected is subject to systemic socio-technical control. Or, to put this another way, that organization produces excess, and excess requires organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-332
Number of pages16
JournalManagement and Organizational History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009


  • Apollo
  • Management
  • Space programme
  • Sublime
  • Work

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