The paper 'A Significant Role in the Development of Different Structures and Styles of Management' is a great example o fa management case study. In today’ s business environment, the history of management continues to be taught in many business schools around the world. Many scholars and management students treat the history of management. In this vein, most of the works carried out by ancient management scholars such as Charles Taylor, Max Weber, and Mary Pollet seems dubious as the current approach to issues of management tries to justify the modern management thinking.
However, an attempt to encourage students to critically reflect on such historical representations not only fosters the unmeasured benefits attributed to rich historical awareness but also helps students and managers to develop robust and more creative management skills. Presently, the biggest challenge facing the discipline of the management is to understand how management practices have developed over time and the factors that contributed to such development. In this vein, this paper will examine a number of classical management theories including; scientific management theories that tried to match people and duties to enhance efficiency.
Secondly, administrative management theories, which sought to show management principles that, could guarantee efficient systems of management and organization. The other class of theories is known as the behavioral management theories that came to light after the Second World War. These theories focused on the human aspect of the workplace and emphasized the need for managers to understand the worker's behaviors and how such behaviors influenced performance. The term management refers to the coordination and organization of business activities with the aim of achieving the desired goals.
During the nineteenth century, management as a discipline developed to become a key element of economic, social, and political development. From the historical point of view, studying the history of management has proved critical in the development of management discipline (Bedeian, 2004). Basically, there have been three phases through which management discipline has fundamentally transformed. They include; the autocratic approach, management change following re-formation, and finally the advent of new work practices that have significantly transformed the industrial revolution. Further, it is evident that other key historical events have also played a significant role in the development of different structures and styles of management. Notably, modern management started to evolve after the industrial revolution which took place towards the end of the nineteenth century.
At this particular time, managers across the globe increasingly searched for more effective ways to satisfy their customers’ needs. According to Crainer (2003), management scholars and prominent Harvard business historians held a round table discussion, where they agreed that understanding the history of management is essential in organizational management. The participants resolved that history is essential as it helps managers and students of management to evaluate the organization’ s current position after comparing both present and past information.
In addition, managers are able to determine if the current management trends are part of a continuous trend or new developments not related to ancient management approaches. Further, the participants agreed that history is crucial when determining strategies in today’ s dynamic business environment. Interestingly, Wren (1987) asserts that as a medical practitioner needs information concerning the patient’ s medical history as a pre-requisite for making a diagnosis, a management consultant charged with the responsibility of diagnosing business problems also needs an insight into the organization’ s history. According to Smith (2007), a survey conducted in 1966 comprising seventy-five individuals from the history department of one of the management academies indicated that knowledge of management history led to a variety of advantages including the provision of concise background that helps management students to understand the discipline of management more clearly.
In addition, learning management history helps to dispel myths held by various management authors and also anchors the students properly in theory.
More so, other such outcomes have also been mirrored in other researchers conducted in the business education curriculum. As stated in management history, the transformation from the industrial revolution saw the development of sophisticated machinery and the use of steam power. According to Wren (1987), small workshops that manufactured different products were replaced with more developed and complex machinery run by skilled people. Moreover, it is through management history that students of management learn of Adam Smith, one of the management theories developers who suggested that work specialization helped in the realization of efficient management of working hours.
He further added that workers gained more skills when performing specific tasks in the mass production process. This early observation by Smith ignited further research by other management scholars in an attempt to investigate how improved job specialization enhances overall work performance. According to details of management history, Fredrick Taylor, popularly known as the father of management introduced scientific theories of management. These theories helped in understanding the connection between individuals and tasks with the goal of re-designing the work processes to enhance efficiency. Taylor’ s management theories teach both the modern managers and students of management of the need to ensure both employee and employer prosperity.
Further, Taylor’ s management theories require division of labor and task specialization to ensure efficiency at the workplace. According to Taylor’ s principles, providing workers with incentives helps to enhance their efficiency at the workplace. In this regard, Giannantonio & Hurley-Hanson (2011) asserts that the historical component of management sheds more light on past approaches to management and how they have contributed to efficiency in modern organizations. Basically, a critical review of management history helps the managers’ to forecast the probable future trends.
As echoed by Wren (1987), the use of historical information makes it for managers to establish a certain trend as observed over an extended period of time to objectively determine the foreseeable future. Knowledge of management history has also been used to gain an understanding of various management approaches and how they have been developed over time. For instance, it is through a critical review of history that managers and management students learn about the “ fathers of management” and thinking they held concerning different approaches to management.
In addition, the same history continues to indicate how other management thinkers have developed traditional approaches to management overtime to derive what is currently practiced. Such a concise linkage between traditional approaches of management and modern approaches empowers the modern managers and management students to think creatively and contribute to the development of the management discipline.
Bedeian, A.G. 2004. The Gift of Professional Maturity, Academy of Management Learning & Education, 3(1): 92-98.
Cummings, S. & Bridgman, T. 2011. The Relevant Past: Why the History of Management Should Be Critical for Our Future, Academy of Management Learning & Education, 10 (1):77-93.
Crainer, C. 2003. One hundred years of management, Business Strategy Review, 14(2): 41-49.
Giannantonio, C.M. & Hurley-Hanson, A.E. 2011. Frederick Winslow Taylor: Reflections on the Relevance of The Principles of Scientific Management 100 years later, Journal of Business and Management, 17(1): 7-10.
Smith, G.E. 2007. Management History and Historical Context: Potential Benefits of Its Inclusion in the Management Curriculum, Academy of Management Learning & Education, 6 (4):522-533.
Waddell, D., Jones, G.R., & George, J.M. 2011. Contemporary Management, 2nd edn, Sydney : McGraw-Hill.
Wren, D.A. 1987. Management History: Issues and Ideas for Teaching and Research, Journal of Management, 13(2): 339-350.