There has been much recent scholarship on the nature of neoliberalism. What follows develops these connections by examining early neoliberal and management thought. The article explores the foundations of neoliberal and management theory to argue they share fundamental features – namely active intervention, prioritising competition and the necessity of elite leadership. The purpose of all three is to reshape subjectivity and social relations. This exploration argues both projects share similar origins and that the objective of neoliberalism, wherein subjectivity and social relations are changed along competitive lines, lies at the heart of the management programme.