In the beginning …. Parry opines that the earliest amino acids may been formed by volcanic action (Perry, 2011). Businesses need to look for the opportunities when the environment changes. Then in the ‘primordial soup’, gene sequences that replicated themselves more quickly than other flourished [growth can lead to victory].
Suggested research topic: ‘In the post war period why was the Japanese motorcycle industry successful while the English motorcycle industry failed?’
Yamamura E., Sonobe T., Otsuka K., (2005), Time path in innovation, imitation, and growth: the case of the motorcycle industry in post was Japan, Journal of Evolutionary Economics 15: 169-186
Wexel F. C., van Witteloostuijn A., (2005), From Scooters to Choppers: Product Portfolio Change and Organizational Failure: Evidence from the UK Motorcycle Industry 1895 to 1993, Journal of Long range Planning 11.001
Then the dinosaurs ruled the earth [Size matters]. Not much management theory yet …
Dinosaurs ruled the earth for 120 million years. We have so far managed 2 million years. They have been much more successful than us.
Suggested research topic: ‘Why did the dinosaur era last so long?’
Brusatte S. L., Benton M. J., Ruta M., Lloyd G. T., (2008), The first 50 Myr of dinosaur evolution: macroevolutionary pattern and morphological disparity, biology letters December vol. 4 no. 6 733-736
Cooper R. G., Edgett S. J., Kleinschmidt E. J., (2002), Portfolio Management For New Products, Perseus Publishing, Second Edition
Then we had some global cooling, or was it a big bang and the dinosaurs disappeared and the little furry creatures - our ancestors - began their long march. Our furry cousins hunt in gangs. So do we. [Many successful businesses have a team or gang culture]
Suggested research topics ‘Teams (gangs) at Work’.
Warner M., (2013), The Sociology of the Workplace, Routledge Library Editions: Organizations
Let us jump forward to the Roman Empire. This ran on procedure manuals developed over hundreds of years.
Roman Army Formations
The Romans used a variety of battle formations depending on the situation. For an open field conflict, the Romans would place their infantry in the middle with auxiliaries on the right and left sides. Cohorts of calvary formed the rear flanks, and there would be a large reserve of infantry men behind the main force.
Another formation was known as the pig's head. The infantry was placed into a wedge-shaped formation and would push into the enemy with a wall of shields. When surrounded, the Romans formed a square formation with interlocking shields.
When laying siege to a fort, they used a formation called the tortoise. The soldiers in front and sides interlocked their shields. The soldiers in the back lines placed their shields over their heads to form a protective "shell" over top of the men. "It was so strong that (in training) a chariot could be driven over the top!" (Williams 2003, pg 28).
Here are seven specific instructions by Vegetius regarding the layout before battle:
On level ground the force is drawn up with a centre, two wings and reserves in the rear. The wings and reserves must be strong enough to prevent any enveloping or outflanking manoeuvre.
An oblique battle line with the left wing held back in a defensive position while the right advances to turn the opponent's left flank. Opposition to this move is to strengthen your left wing with cavalry and reserves, but if both sides are successful the battle front would tend to move in an anti-clockwise direction, the effect of which would vary with the nature of the ground. With this in mind it is as well to attempt to stabilize the left wing with the protection of rough or impenetrable ground, while the right wing should…