Evolution of Management Thought

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Evolution of Management and Evolution of Management Science

Every entrepreneur’s capability depends on his/her managerial skills, thus it is essential to consider the business management skills as entrepreneurship’s roots. Managing any business has several stages, including the management of various entities. Moving ahead, we will understand the management concepts and evolution of management thought.

Evolution of the management thought is a process that began in the earlier days of humans. It began when the man found the need to live in the groups. Then, mighty men soon organized the masses and distributed them among the groups. The sharing and distribution process completed according to the strength, intelligence, and mental capabilities of the masses. Thus, with the beginning of civilization, the effective practice of management also began.

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Evolution of Management Thought

To understand the entire concept of evolution of the management thought, the topic is divided into 4 major stages, which are as follows:

  • Pre-scientific management period

  • Classical theory

  • Neo-classical theory ( or behaviour approach)

  • Bureaucratic Model of Max Weber 


Pre-Scientific Management Period

As the industrial revolution occurred in the 18th century, there was a huge impact on management. The scenario changed the method of raising capitals, organizing labour, and goods’ production for the individuals and businesses. Entrepreneurs then had access to production factors like land, labour, and capital. The final step was only to make some effort for combining these factors to achieve the target successfully.

But, after the industrial revolution, the newer dimension taken by management is because of the involvement of certain notable personalities who introduced some effective ideas and approaches for giving management an acceptable and precise direction. Here is a brief on some of the personalities and their theories:


Professor Charles Babbage of United Kingdom (1729 to 1871)

Prof. Babbage was a renowned Mathematics professor at Cambridge University. He discovered that manufacturers rely on guessing and suggesting and advised them for utilizing science and mathematics to be more productive and accurate.


Robert Owens of United Kingdom (1771 to 1858)

Sir Robert is often regarded as personnel management’s father as his approach focuses on employee welfare. He also introduced the cooperation and trade unions. He mainly believed that employee welfare might determine the performance to a larger extent. Sir Robert also encouraged the workers’ training, children’s education, ensuring canteens in the workplaces, shorter working durations, and others. 


The Classical Theory

Robert Owens, Charles Babbage, and other prominent personalities are regarded as management’s pioneers. However, their contribution to the evolution of management is lower. Further, by the last decade of 19th century, the science of management began, and with it, some professionals like H. L. Grant, F. W. Taylor, Emerson, and others entered for the establishment of scientific management.

Further, during the classical period, management thought focused on standardization, job content, labour division, and scientific approaches for the organization. It also related closely to the industrial revolution and the rise of large-scale enterprises. 


The Neo-Classical Theory

This duration of the evolution of the management thought is a better version of classical theory. It is a modified version of classical theory with several improvements. The classical theory focused mainly on the areas of job including physical resources and their management, but neo-classical theory focuses on employee relationships in the work ecosystem. 


The Bureaucratic Model

Max Weber, a German sociologist, proposed the bureaucratic model. This includes a system of labour division, rules, authority hierarchy, and employees’ placement based on their technical capabilities. 


Evolution of Management Theories

Organizations shaped effectively and the writings of some prominent writers consisted of the management and governance of various kingdoms. These descriptions formed the literature that helped develop the management theories. Several heads of religions, political affairs, and military also gave the management models. For example, the books like Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” and Chanakya’s Arthashastra used some managerial purposes and the governance of the kingdom concerning the policy formulations respectively. 


The Evolution of Management Science

Management evolution started with civilization, and the evolution of management science is the entire concept involving several theories behind it. Whatever we presently have gets refined and improved as management thoughts and theories. This helps people in improving the knowledge of the process and utilizes the management principles for enhancing the overall organization.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Explain the role of Henry Fayol in the evolution of management theories.

Henry Fayol is considered as the father of modern management. He wrote the theory based on his experience as a manager. His principles tune with contemporary thinking in the theory. He stated that all the activities of any industrial enterprise can be grouped into six categories, which are as follows:

  1. Technical (production)

  2. Commercial (exchange, buying, and selling)

  3. Financial (optimum use of capital and search for)

  4. Security (protection of persons and property)

  5. Accounting (including statistics)

  6. Managerial.

He also developed the principles of management for all types of organizations, which are:

  1. Responsibility and authority are related

  2. Unity of command

  3. Unity of direction

  4. Scalar chain of command

  5. Work division

  6. Discipline

  7. Subordination of individual to general interest

  8. Remuneration

  9. Centralization

  10. Order

  11. Equity

  12. Stability of personnel’s tenure

  13. Initiative

  14. Esprit de Corps

2. What are the tools of scientific management?

The tools involved in scientific management are as follows:

  1. Separation of doing and planning – Planning aspects must be separate from the actual working action. Supervisor must focus on planning and workers on the operation of a task.

  2. Functional Foremanship – The earlier mentioned separation resulted into development of a supervision system that could adequately do planning and supervision together.

  3. Job analysis – This is there to find out the best way of completing the tasks.

  4. Standardization – It must be maintained with tools and instruments, work period, working conditions, production cost, etc.

  5. Scientific selection and workers’ training – Workers must be selected on scientific basis considering their background.

  6. Financial incentives – This can motivate the workers to put in maximum efforts.