Key Lessons About The Function And Nature Of Management

Submitted By kapkap199
Words: 1987
Pages: 8

What key lessons about the function and nature of management can we take from an examination of its historic evolution?


In this essay I will dispute how management started out, it will compose a better understanding in management today. Firstly, a historical examination that enables us to get an idea between management in the past and today. Secondly, by tracing today’s management practices back to their routes of origin, and also how they’ve improved. These arguments are made over two sections contained by this essay. The first section, I apply Jenkins 1991, Cooke 1999, Cooke 2003, Blackburn (1997) to provide an outline of how modern day management can be linked back to events that took place in our history. My main asset in section two is Taylor 1911, I found this shows how scientific management is essentially, a historical management theory that was a the foundation of modern management. Lastly, I use Waddell, Jones & George 2011 and Van Buren 2008 to tackle human relation issues. This is to show how the human relation sector rose to address issues relating to the workforce.

Historical events that played a significant role to modern management

Historical management happenings are not to be considered as separate from recent events in management, but instead are thought to be as relevant to the present as they are to the past (Jenkins 1991; Cooke 1999). The fact that various management views fail to recognize slavery in the United States as a major contributor to modern management in the very country where management is thought to have been born, does not mean that slavery has not contributed to modern management (Cooke 2003). For example, Blackburn (1997) views slavery as one of the main reasons for the growing rate of the capital industrialization in Britain and also the growth in capital industrialization itself to have caused a rise in slavery. Page 1
Historical theories of management and modern management

In account to the historical events that are relevant to modern management, the contributions made by the historical theories of management to modern management cannot be underestimated. Scientific management is a historical management theory developed by Fredrick Winslow Taylor in 1911 and is said to have given rise to modern management (Taylor 1911). Scientific management aims to achieve efficiency by standardizing work based on formulae that all workers can follow, matching workers to tasks, and training workers and providing them with incentives to complete their work (Taylor 1911). The current use of commission-based employees who get paid a fee based on how much they sell especially in the retail sector and application processes that involve tests and interviews to select a single most suitable applicant out of several applicants shows that these principles of scientific management are still used today. Scientific management however has been criticized on the grounds that it exploited workers by cutting their wage rates (Van Buren 2008). Minimum wage laws have prevented exploitation in modern management, so in that respect the principles of scientific management may not be practiced today (Katz & Krueger 1992). However, the scientific management theory itself should be considered separately from its actual use, so we can still argue that it is very relevant to management today (Van Buren 2008).

Another management theory is the general administrative theory which holds the view that all organizations in differing sectors can achieve efficiency by being governed by fundamental management principles (Waddell, Jones & George 2011; Van Buren 2008). From this theory’s perspective, employees are driven by money and have to be managed and managers need to clearly define workers’ tasks and projected outcomes (Van Buren 2008). One of the main theorists for this approach was Henri Fayol who developed universally applicable principles including those that relate to