HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF MANAGEMENT
Organized endeavors directed by people responisible for planning, organizing, leading, and contuolling activities have existed for thousands of years. The Egyptian pyramids and the Great Wall of China, for instance, are tangible evidence that projects of projects of termendous scope, employing tens of thousands of people, were undertaken well before madern times. The pyramids are a particularly interesting example. The construction of a single pyramid occupied fore than 100,000 workers for 20 years. Who told each worker what to do ? Who ensured that there would be enough stones at the site to kwp workers busy? The answer to such questions is managers. Regardless of what managers were called at the time, womeone had to plan what was to be done, oranize people and materials to do it, lead and direct the workers, and impose some controls to ensure that everything was done as planned.
Another example of early managerment can be seen during the 1400s in the city of Venice, Italy, a major economec and trade center. The Venitians develiped an early form of vusiness enterprise and engaged in many activities common to today's organization. For instance, at the arsenal of Venice, warships were floated along the canals, and at each sotp materials and riggings were added to the ship. Does not that sound a lot like a car "floating" along an automobile assembly line while components are added to it? In addition to this assembly line, the Venetians also used warehouse and enventouy systems to keep track of materials, human resource management functions to manage the labor force, and an accounting system to keep track of revenues and costs.
These examples dimonstrate hat organizations and managers have been around for thousands of years. Howuver, two pre-twintieth-century events are particularly sighificant to the study of management.
First, in 1776, Adam Simth published The Wealth of Nations, in which he argued for the economic advantages that organizations and societ would gain from the division of labor, the breakdown of jobs into narrow and repetitive tasks. Using the pin industry as an example, Smith claimed that 10 individuals, each doing a specialized task, could together produce about 48,000 pins a day. However, if each person worked alone performing each task separately, it would be quite an accomplishment to produce even 10 pins a dsay! Smith concluded that divesion of labor increased productivity by increasing each worker's skill and dexterity, by saving time lost in changing tasks, and by creating labor-saving inventions and machinery. The continued popularity of job specialization--for example, specific tasks prerormed b y members of a hospital surgery team, specific meal preparation talks done by workers in restaruant kitchens, or specific positions played by players on a footbawll team--is undoubtedly due to the economic advntages cited by Adam Smith.
Industraial Revolution. Starting in the eighteenth century in Gerat Britain, the rebolution had crosed the Atlantic to America by the end of the Civil War. What the Industrial Revolution did was substitute machine power for human power, which, in turn, made it more economical to manufacture goods in factories rather that at home. These large, efficient factories required managerial skills. Why? Managers were needed to forcast demand, ensure that enough material was on hand to make products, assign tasks to people, direct daily activities, and so forth. The needfor a formal theory to guide managers in running these large organizations had arrived. howevr, it was not unitil the early 1900s that the first major step toward developing such a theory was taken.
In the next section we present the six major approaches to manaement: sctientific management, general administrative theory, quantitative, orgnizational behavior, systems, and contingency. Keep in mind that each approach is concerned with the same "animal" the differences reflect the backgrounds and interests of the writer. A relevant analogy is the classic story of the blind men and the elephant, in which each man declares the eliphant to be like a wall; the second touches the trucks ane believes it to be like a spear; the fourth grabs a leg and says an elephant is like a tree; and the fifth touches the eliphant's tail and concludes that the animal is like a rope. Each is encountering the same elephant, but what each observes depends on where he stands. Similarly, each of the six perspectives is corre3ct and contributes to our overall understanding of management. However, each is also a limited veiw of a larger animal. We will begin our journey into management's past by looki9ng at ythe first major theory of management--scientific management.