INTRODUCTION Management, according to the business dictionary is the organization and co-ordination of the activities of a business in order to achieve defined objectives. There is no generally accepted definition of management as an activity, although the classic definition is still held to be that of Henri Fayol. As described by Fayol, managing involves forecasting and planning, organising, commanding, coordinating and controlling (Cole, 2004). Management is tasked with coordinating and overseeing other people’s work activities so that efficiency and effectiveness is achieved in the course of activity completion. In this case, organizational effectiveness refers to the degree to which the projected goals of the organisation are achieved.
It also refers to the degree to which an organisations succeeds in what it does. As such, it entails provision of products and services that are valued by customers. On the other hand, organisational efficiency refers to the amount of resources uused by the organisation to achieve its goal. It entails use of minimal resources, i.e. people’s work force, raw materials; money e. t.c. to produce a projected amount of output of a given quality (Daft & Marcic, 2008).
The basic task of management involves both marketing and innovation. According to management guru, Peter Drucker, management involves various interlocking functions. This include but not limited to, planning, organising, creating corporate policy, directing and controlling of organisation’s resources so as the effectively achieve the projected organisation’s policy objectives. This paper will attempt to trace back management practice from its historical foundations, mapping it through the course of time to what it is in the 21st Century. The dynamism in management practice, the concepts that define it today will be illustrated using the Coles Supermarket as a case study. Historical Foundations of Management An organisation can be defines as a simple or sometimes complex system of two or more people engaged in actions that suggest cooperation in order to achieve a common goal.
Usually, organisations are made up of systems that are bounded with social interactions that are structured featuring authority relations, use of incentives, and communication systems. They also have a hierarchical system whether steep or shallow. (Champoux, 2011). While organisational behaviour focuses on the attitudes, behaviour and performance of people in an organization, organisational theory focuses on the design and structure of organisations.
The discipline of organisational theory strives to understand the existing design of an organisation, ways to decides redesign, and alternate forms of organisational design (Champoux, 2011). Modern organisational behaviour has a rich intellectual history, which the basis of the practice of management as we know it today. One of these foundations is Division of labour as outlined by Adam Smith, in his classical book, The Wealth of Nations in 1776. Division of labour is the way an organisation divides its tasks, duties and responsibilities amongst its members.
Smith reasoned that division of labour would lead to more productivity as workers would be more dexterous and skilful in carrying out their work due to the enhancement of task specialization Frederick W. Taylor came up with Scientific Management approach, and wrote tha management should be aimed at securing maximum success for the employer as well as achieving maximum prosperity for each employee. The scientific management approach was based on four main principles: