The purpose of this lecture is to demonstrate that
knowledge of management past history can help you
better understand current management theory and practice. Thus, in order
to understand the theories and
practices used today, it’s important for management students to look at
the evolution of management
thought and practices. The practice of management has always reflected
historical times and societal
Many current management concepts and practices
can be traced to early management theories. The practice
of management has always reflected the times and social conditions, so
many organizations are responding
to technology breakthroughs and developing Web-based operations.
new business models reflect
today’s reality: information can be shared and exchanged instantaneously
anywhere on the planet. The
purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate that knowledge of management
history can help understand
today’s management theory and practice.
2. MANAGEMENT’S CONNECTION TO OTHER FIELDS OF STUDY
Management courses have a rich heritage from
humanities and social science courses.
—the study of societies, which helps us learn
about humans, their activities, and
differences in fundamental values, attitudes, and behavior between
people in different countries and
within different organizations.
—concerned with the allocation, distribution
of scare resources, and understanding the
changing economy, as well as the role of competition and free markets in
a global context.
—examines the nature of things, particularly
values and ethics.
D. Political Science
—studies the behavior of individuals and
groups within a political environment,
including structuring of conflict, allocating power in an economic
system, and manipulating power
for individual self-interest.
—science that seeks to measure, explain, and
sometimes change the behavior of
humans and other animals.
—the study of people in relation to their
fellow human beings.
3. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF MANAGEMENT
There are many examples from past history that
illustrates how management has been practiced for
thousands of years.
A. The Egyptian pyramids and the Great Wall of China are good examples
of projects of tremendous
scope and magnitude that employed tens of thousands of people. How was
it possible for these
projects to be completed? The answer is
B. Other examples of early management
practices can be seen through assembly lines, accounting
systems, and personnel functions as just a few of the processes and
activities in organizations at
that time that are also common to today’s organizations.
C. Adam Smith, author of the classical economics doctrine,
The Wealth of Nations,
about the economic advantages that
division of labor
(the breakdown of jobs into narrow,
repetitive tasks) would bring to organizations and society.
can be thought of as possibly the most
influence on management. The introduction of machine powers, combined
with the division of
labor, made large, efficient factories possible. Planning, organizing,
leading, and controlling became
i. the birth of Early management ideas
A. The Evolution of Management Theories
Trying to achieve goals through the judicious
use of people and resources, getting the others to work toward these
goals, and keeping
track of whether or not we are accomplishing what we set out to do has
been around for
centuries. Expressed in other terms we could say that management is a
very old concept.
Generally, though, we think of “modern management” and the specific
planning, organizing, leading, and controlling being the functions of
management as having
begun at the end of the 1800s. Most of the contributors we recognize
today have been
twentieth century people.
B. Pre-classical Contributors
These contributors presented their ideas
before the late
1. Robert Owen
(1771-1858) was a British factory owner who
for the working and living conditions of workers, many of them young
Many of his contemporaries thought he was a radical for such ideas.
2. Charles Babbage
(1792-1871) is considered to be the “father of
computing.” He foresaw the need for work specialization involving mental
His management ideas also anticipated the concept of profit sharing to
3. Henry E. Towne
(1844-1924) called for the establishment of a
management and the development of management principles that could be
across management situations.
4. An assessment of the
indicates that their efforts were
fragmentary. By and large they applied their efforts towards developing
techniques or solutions. They laid the groundwork for major management
which came later.