Modern management, foretold

Ma and Pa Undershaft discuss the fate of the family business…

LADY BRITOMART. It would be most unnatural and improper of you to leave it to anyone else, Andrew. Do you suppose this wicked and immoral tradition can be kept up for ever? Do you pretend that Stephen could not carry on the foundry just as well as all the other sons of the big business houses?

UNDERSHAFT. Yes: he could learn the office routine without understanding the business, like all the other sons; and the firm would go on by its own momentum until the real Undershaft–probably an Italian or a German–would invent a new method and cut him out.

— Shaw, Major Barbara

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