The Industrial Revolution was a very significant period in British history where rapid industrial growth caused a radical shift in focus from agriculture to industry, having a profound effect on socioeconomic and cultural conditions. This transition began in Great Britain in the 18th century and eventually spread to the United States during the 19th century. The rapid growth organisations experienced as a result of the Industrial Revolution had a lot of implications on managers at that time which created major managerial problems that I intend to discuss throughout this essay.
The first majorly significant development of the Industrial Revolution was introduced by James Watt, who perfected the work of others to develop steam power which led to a host of new uses including steamships. It was not until the civil war in the 1860’s that steam powered manufacturing became fully effective in the United States. Steam Power revolutionized British commerce and industry helping expand new markets and promote innovation. As a result of these technological improvements management now faced issues due to organisational growth and developing the new concept of delegation with the idea of sub managers.
The role of management become very important within businesses due to the organisational growth which they were experiencing and economic theory was reviewed and the entrepreneur was recognised a fourth factor of production joining land, labour and capital. More management was required as organisations continued to grow, however this created a lot of difficulties as the search for managerial talent was very limited due to the lack of a pool of trained managers.
Another issue was that this was a new situation for managers of this time who had no common body of knowledge about how to manage nor were there clearly defined principles of the role of a manager. In order to help combat some of these issues codes were developed for specific industries and gave advice about managers responsibilities and procedures to follow and James Montgomery appears to have prepared what appears to be the first management texts.
Managers became aware of other problems which they now faced such as with planning as factory demanded new arrangements of machinery, and more organising as factories grew in complexity and more departments where developed. This therefore exerted a great deal of pressure on managers as they faced a more issues than ever before such as the development of a new workforce and therefore a lot more expected from them and they become more aware of the issues which they now faced including recruitment, training and motivation of employees.
Developing a workforce was not an easy task for managers during this period as initially recruiting workers with no experience in factories proved to difficult. The three aspects of this labour problem included: recruitment, training and motivation. The existing labour force was unskilled and agrarian and the nature of the work was very different due to the transition from farm to factory. Initially agrarian workers did not look kindly on the monotony of factory jobs and tended to be restless, shiftless and deviant. Most personnel were lacking the relevant skills including basic educational skills and literacy was uncommon at this time. Therefore training methods became a problem an issue meaning that most training was done by oral instruction and employers resorted to developing their own schools to teach elementary arithmetic and geometry and other skills which where needed in the factory, with the goal of solving practical problems of finding and training personnel.
Another serious problem managers encountered was that new skills where needed in the factory that no other previous job had