CLARK, Henry Wallace

Type

Person

27th July 1880 to 7th April 1948

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Biographical Text

Wallace Clark was a consulting engineer and disciple of Henry Gantt, who played a major role in disseminating scientific management methods and techniques in Europe. 

Clark was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on 27 July 1880. He was educated in that city, and graduated with a BA from the University of Cincinnati in 1902. He worked at various clerical jobs in Ohio, and also spent a year in the Philippines. From 1908-13 he was private secretary to the president of the Remington Typewriter Company in New York, and from 1913-15 was office manager at Remington. Taking night classes in industrial management brought him into contact with scientific management, especially the work of Henry Lawrence Gantt. From 1915-20 Clark worked for Gantt’s consulting firm, carrying out work at Remington and also the US Shipping Board.  

In 1920 Clark left Gantt to set up his own consulting firm. Unusually, one of his first recruits was a woman, Pearl Franklin. Clark and Franklin married in 1922 and she became a partner in the firm, thus continuing the tradition of husband-and-wife consultant teams established by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth in the USA and Martin and Margaret McKillop in the USA. 

In 1926 Clark was a member of the Kemmerer Finance Mission to Poland. This marked the beginning of a long career as a consultant in Europe. In 1927 Clark returned to Poland to advise the government on the modernisation of industry, and was later honoured with the Cross of Poland. Finding a ready reception for their ideas in Europe, the Clarks moved to Paris, establishing offices there and in London, and later in Warsaw, Athens, Berlin, Prague and Geneva. In 1930 the Clarks advised the Turkish government on the restructuring of government monopolies, and also worked with the International Labor Office in Geneva, and was also American representative on the International Committee of Scientific Management. 

Clark wrote several books on scientific management, the most important being The Gantt Chart in 1922, which sold widely and was translated into twelve languages.  Clark saw scientific management as a means of relieving industry of the burden of inefficiency. Greater efficiency meant less time was required to solve everyday problems, freeing up time and brainpower for innovation and creative thinking. In the words of Lyndall Urwick (1956: 210), ‘Wallace Clark helped to lay the foundations on which the European productivity revolution is based.’ 

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, the Clarks returned to the United States. Clark died in New York on 7 April 1948. Pearl Clark continued to run the business until she retired in 1952. 

Major works 

(with W.N. Polakov and F.W. Trabold) The Gantt Chart: A Working Tool of Management, 1922. 

Shop and Office Forms: Their Design and Use, 1925. 

A Control Chart for the Chief Executive, 1925. 

Production Planning and Control, 1941. 

Bibliography

Kipping, M. and Clark, T., Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. ‘Pearl (Franklin) Clark’, http://www.fppld.org/fplh/pearl-franklin-clark/ Urwick, L.F., The Golden Book of Management, London: Newman Neame, 1956.

Original Source

‘Methods to free creative brains in industry’, September 1930, Balliol College

Citation

“CLARK, Henry Wallace,” The Rowntree Business Lectures and the Interwar British Management Movement, accessed August 5, 2020, http://rowntree.exeter.ac.uk/items/show/598.