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Evolution of Management Essay

From the Biblical times we find monarchies of the time use some form of management to lord over the great kingdoms such as the Egyptians who used hierarchy management to build the pyramids, Moses leading the Israelites through the desert to the promised land and King David when he was in charge of the kingdom of Israel. In Ancient civilizations, the Roman Empire made use of devolved government to manage the vast empires resources. This was done through governors’ who were in charge of certain areas as we see in the bible during the birth of Jesus Christ.

We can find artifacts that in old cities such as Jerusalem where we find aqueducts that give us an idea of how they managed the water resources. Modernization of the world led to cities and towns that brought about the need to manage the resources in order to provide services to the people living within them. We also find management in the church and military before the industrial revolution.

The Roman Catholic Church is one example that has had an impact on management as we see in the catholic hierarchy led by the pope and includes cardinals, patriarchs, and bishops. The Military has greatly influenced management through power vested in positions in the chain of command. Management continued to evolve and we find individuals in history who have made contributions to the art of management as we know it; Luka Pacioli was an Italian mathematician considered the father of accounting.

He invented the double entry accounting system. Adam Smith was a political economist whose concepts on economics at the beginning of the industrial revolution contributed greatly to management today. Robert Owens, Charles Babbage, Henry Vernum Poor and Henry Robinson Towne are other individuals who were influential to management in this era. With the onset of the industrial revolution, new ways of management came into play as new generations looked to increase productivity of organizations.

Classical Era

Scientific Management Scientific management was pioneered by Frederick W. Taylor a mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. He saw the need to have management design jobs properly and provide incentives to motivate workers to achieve higher productivity. His ideology was to find the best practice, decompose the task into its constituent elements and get rid of things that do not add value. Taylor’s scientific management gave way to specialization and is considered the basis to many other management systems that came after. Taylor was supported in this new way of management by Henry Gantt who is accredited with the Gantt chart that is widely used for project management. Frank and Lillian Gilbreth were also early advocates of the scientific management system. Through the motion study, Frank sought to make the processes more efficient by reducing the motions while Lillian’s interest was on the human aspect of work. The human aspect of the scientific management principles seek to understand the workers personality and needs.

Administrative Management

Henri Fayol, was a French engineer and manager of the mines developed the administrative theory of management. He viewed management as an activity common to all human undertakings. He is credited to giving us the first comprehensive functions of management;

1.Planning 2.Organizing 3.Command/Direct 4.Coordinate 5.Control He urged that management was an all encompassing activity that should be taught in schools, colleges and universities. This approach proposed that management is a skill which can be acquired if its principles are understood and rejected the idea that “managers are born, not made”.

Bureaucratic Management

A German Sociologist, Max Weber’s approach to management was by focusing on the organizational structure. His views divided organizations into hierarchies with clear lines of authority and control, divided labor such that authority and responsibility are clearly defined and legitimized, organizational officials are appointed and not elected, organization members are selected on the basis of their technical qualification obtained through formal education and training. Organizations are to treat all employees and customers equally and not be influenced by differences. Weber’s principles on organizing can create stable, organized and systematic organizations but make it difficult for the organization to adapt to changing environments and new challenges.

Neo-Classical Era

Operations Management (Research) Operations management, also known as quantitative management, gives a quantitative basis for decision making. It is characterised by the search for the optimal answer to a problem by using quantitative models. It specially deals with the development of mathematical models to aid in decision making and problem solving. This theory holds that managing is a logical and rationale process, so it can be expressed in terms of mathematical models.


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