There is a long history behind the evolution of management thought. Management is considered as the significant feature of economic life of mankind throughout ages. Management thought is regarded as an evolutionary concept. It has developed along with it and in line with social, cultural, economic and scientific institutions. Management thought has its origin in ancient times. It is developed along with other socio economic development. The contributors to management theory include management philosophers, management practitioners, and scholars. Modern management is based on the strong foundation laid down by the management thinkers from the past events.
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What Does Management Thought Means?
Management thought refers to the theory that guides management of people in the organization. Initially management theories were developed out of the practical experience of the managers in the industrial organization. Later on, managers borrowed ideas from several other fields of study like science, sociology, anthropology, etc.
The Concept of 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
Neo-classical theory ( or behavior 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 labor, and goods’ production for the individuals and businesses. Entrepreneurs then had access to production factors like land, labor, and capital. The final step was only to make some effort to combine 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 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 the 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, labor 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 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 Neoclassical 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 were 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.