Management Theories Historical Records Show That People Term Paper

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Management Theories

Historical records show that people always organized themselves in order to work together towards a common objective and they coordinated their efforts to achieve this objective (Accel-Team 2004). It was not until the latter part of the 19th century that the concept of scientific management entered history during the Industrial Revolution, but management skills existed long before the 19th century. Ancient Egyptians built the pyramids, ancient Chinese erected the Great Wall of China, the Mesopotamians irrigated their lands and walled their cities and the Romans of old put up their roads, aqueducts and notably Hadrian's Wall not without established and superb management standards of their leaders (Accel-Team) and massive obedience and coordination among the followers. The pyramids of Egypt, wonders of the world, each measure 75,600 square feet at the base, 480 feet high and consists of more than two million blocks of stone, each weighing 2.5 tons. Its base is a perfect square short only of 7 inches For the ancient Egyptians to have accomplished this marvel without the help of modern technology can only attest to superior management genius already in existence then.

The Chinese philosopher Mencius who lived in 372-289 BC already worked on conceptual models and systems of an early type of production management techniques. He then already identified the advantages of a division of labor, which the ancient Greeks themselves recognized and practiced (Accel-Team). Classic records show that Greek soldiers were trained in the use of weapons and equipment in times of attack and sang work songs in order to reduce fatigue and enhance productivity. The Greeks, however, viewed work as something undignified and, therefore, avoided it as much as possible, placing their attention instead on the arts, philosophy and warfare (Accel-team). The wealthy acquired slaves to do the demeaning work for them, hence the flourishing of slavery. This aversion towards work persisted through the fall of the Roman Empire and when development was dented, feudalism replaced slavery. Work in those early times was considered a penalty for sin beginning from Adam and Eve, a view shared by the pre-Reformation Christians in Europe.

But it was essentially only when Heinrich von Wych of France invented the mechanical clock in 1370 and Guttenberg invented the first printing press the true developments in scientific management evolved (Accel-team). The mechanical clock measured the amount of work turned out, and the first printing press enabled visual indirect communication. Guttenberg also hinted that creative thinkig could be taken as a method study. In 1436, a Spanish visitor at the Arsenal of Venice noted an entire production line, including the cardage, the ballistics and mortars, with men in oars equipped from end to end and ten fully armed galleys emerging between 3 and 9 o'clock (Accel-team). The arsenal used standard parts, the bows of the warships had all types of arrows and hard parts to respond to all types of rudders and rigging. The deck parts were also interchangeable in what appeared to be an early version of waste control (Accel-team). This observation was made approximately 500 years before Henry Ford and his phenomenal Model-T. The productivity level of manufacturing of galleys implied some work measurement and method study before facilities could be established. They also gave clues to a concerted effort at improving that productivity quite likely in order to reduce costs, become competitive, and/or to protect or remain competitive (Accel-team).

The construction of monastery stonework also evidences the orderly work style by the monks in the 15th century as to standards of time, quality and output (Accel-team 2004). Attitude towards work, in the meantime, changed during the Reformation period when Martin Luther introduced a new belief in glorified work. Calvinism reinforced the new ethic by infusing the virtues of thrift and the honorable acquisition of wealth. Thus, the unpleasant view of work was reversed as a dignified activity and idleness as something to deplore (Accel-team). The Industrial Revolution brought in large-scale business and the need for professional managers, which was filled by the military and church organizations at that time.

The Classical school of management thought appeared in and dominated the first decades of the 1900s (Allen 1998). It focused on efficiency and included the bureaucratic, scientific and administrative management styles. The bureaucratic style relied on a set of rational structuring guidelines, such as rules and procedures, organizational hierarchy and a distinct division of labor. The scientific management style, on the other hand, focused on the best way of performing tasks. And the administrative management style placed emphasis on information flow in organizational operations (Allen). In those years, Max Weber, the Father of Modern Sociology, proposed that bureaucracy was the most logical and reasonable structure for large organizations. A bureaucracy is authority-derived, in turn based on law, procedures, rules and other hard-line foundations. Hence, it imposes the positional authority of a superior to a subordinate from its legal foundation. Bureaucracy assumed efficiency because of clearly defined and specialized functions, the use of legal authority, a concrete hierarchy, written rules and procedures, technically trained bureaucrats, positional appointments based on technical expertise, promotions based on competence and concrete, clearly delineated career paths (Allen). Scientific management centered on the relationship between the laborer and the machine and, thus, it saw that productivity could be maximized by increasing the efficiency of the production process. It laid major stress on efficiency in economizing on time, human energy and other resources of production, which had to be used according to precise instructions only (Allen).

Frederick Taylor, the Father of Scientific Management, published his work, entitled "The Principles of Scientific Management" in 1911. In this work, he proposed work methods that would increase productivity. Using his studies conducted at the Bethlehem Steel Company in Pittsburgh, Taylor examined the time and motion details of a job, came up with a better way of performing the task or job and trained the laborer or worker (Allen 1998)..He also offered incentives by paying on piece rate basis to motivate the worker to produce more. He successfully applied his methods on experiments, such as a worker loading pig iron to a rail car (Allen).

In the early part of the 20th century, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth introduced a method that instead focused on the elemental motions in work as these motions were combined as methods of operation and the standard duration each motion or movement took (Allen 1998). Their objective was to design work methods that could estimate the duration of output in advance rather than just rely on empirical studies by others. Frank was the Father of time and motion studies and took shots of individual physical labor movements, which consequently helped the manager in breaking the job down into parts and, thus, streamlining the entire process. His wife, Lillian, was a psychologist who wrote "The Psychology of Work." The couple believed that there had to be a "best way" to do something and this was replaced when a better way was discovered or devised (Allen).

Henry Gantt developed and introduced the Gantt chart for scheduling many and overlapping tasks over certain durations (Allen 1998). He suggested motivational schemes and placed stronger emphasis on the greater effectiveness of rewards for good work rather than punishment for bad or poor work. His method also included a pay incentive system with a guaranteed minimum wages and bonuses for those with fixed wages and underscored the significance of leadership qualities and management skills in making an industrial organization effective (Allen).

Henri Fayol, a French industrialist and the Father of Modern Management, highlighted on the manager in introducing another frame work in the study of management. He outlined the five functions of managers as to plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and to control. He also introduced the 14 principles of administrative management, which included division of work, authority and responsibility, discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, subordination of individual interests to the general interest, compensation of personnel, centralization, scalar chain, order, equity, stability of tenure, initiative and esprit de corps (Allen 1998).

Mary Parker Follett contributed her concept of the universal goal, the universal principle and the Law of the Situation (Allen 1998). The goal is the merger of individual effort into a synergistic whole, the universal principle as a reciprocal response that emphasized feedback to the sender, and the Law of the Situation stated that there is not a single best way to do something, because it entirely depended on the situation (Allen).

Human relations or behavioral management appeared in the 1920s and brought the attention to the human aspects of organization. It was initially viewed as a neoclassical school in its reactive pose to the defects and failures of classical management style. The human relations movement began with the Hawthorne Studies conducted from 1924 to 1933 and the Hawthorne Plant of the Western Electric Company in Cicero, Illinois (Allen). His studies demonstrated the major influence of the human factor on worker productivity.

Chester Barnard recorded and published his insights about management in his work, "Functions of…

Sources Used in Document:


1. Accel-Team. (2004). Developments from Ancient History. http://www.accel-team/scientific

2. Allen, G. (1998). Management History. Supervision.

3. Geocities. (2004). Human Behavior. sydication/hr.html

4. McNamara, C. (1999). Very Brief History of Management Theories.

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