Critically Discuss the Importance of Historical Perspectives on Management Thought. Please Use Tangible Examples from Your Reading and Personal Experience to Illustrate and Support Your Arguments.

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  • Topic: Protestantism, Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
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  • Published : March 12, 2012
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The organised use of labour or Management as we now call it, is as old as time. However it was only in the 19th century that management and the idea of management thought emerged as an important element of political, economic and social development. I believe that historical perspectives have been critically important to the development of management thought through the centuries. Management ideas have been developed out of social and cultural circumstances, over time the social and cultural circumstances have radically changed and developed but the principle of management and management thought has been slow in keeping up with these developments. From my reading, I would argue that there have been three main phases that have fundamentally shaped management thought since ancient times. These phases are; the early autocratic management approach, the change in management thought following the reformation and thirdly, the new work practices required to support the industrial revolution. From my research, it is evident that major historical events have also had an important role to play in the development of different management styles and structures. In ancient times, management of people was purely autocratic. Many of the work force in these times were slaves. This early practise of management seen in ancient Egypt, continued through to feudal times. It was very effective in supporting some of the great construction projects which ancient Egypt is famous for, such as the building of the pyramids, the irrigation of the Nile and the building of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Similarly in ancient China, the building of the Great Wall of China. These great works provide us with evidence of a very organised and autocratic approach to the use of labour and also project management skills . This early autocratic period of management was heavily dominated by cultural values such as; fear of punishment, fear of god, where people had no sense of individual...
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