History of Management Thought: a Look at the Great Mangement Thinkers Throughout Time

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Case Study 1|
History of Management Thought|
Andrew Thomas|

In Jones and George’s “Essentials of Contemporary Management” they discuss many of the leading visionaries in the history of management thought and how their studies and ideas have lead to how we view and study management today. Some of the major contributors they look at are Frederick W. Taylor, Max Weber, Mary Parker Follet and Elton Mayo. Jones and George use many resources to draw conclusions on these studies, these sources can be used to validate claims made throughout the text as well as draw conclusions to how these findings are applied in today’s business management field. In the “Essentials of Contemporary Management”, Jones and George claim that Taylor employed four principles to Increase efficiency in the workplace (1). They go on to state that Taylor originally outlined these principles to increase efficiency in the workplace which is supported in Taylors paper “The Principles of Scientific Management”, when he outlines his purpose as “The principal object of management should be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for each employee.” (2) Taylor goes on in his paper to define his four principles and how he developed these ideas and how they can be used to develop better management techniques, Jones and Georges definitions and applications of these principles directly reflect those out lined in Taylors paper. To further delve into these principles, Jones and George also pull from Taylors paper “Shop Management” which is another view on Taylor’s use of these principles in his idea of management. Jones and George state that one of Taylors main focuses was uniformity not only in the workplace but in management styles (1), which is supported in Taylors paper when he addresses “lack of uniformity shown… in the development of the several elements, which together constitute what is called the management” (3). Working off of this premise Taylor goes on to address his solution to a more uniformed management, this is outlined and explain by Jones and George (J/G). The next great management thinker discussed is Max Weber. J/G outline Weber’s study and analysis of the Bureaucratic Theory, which through reading his papers is mostly clearly outlined in “From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology” (Essay: Technical Advantages of Bureaucratic Organization). J/G explain that Weber pioneered the idea that authority is most effectively exercised when it is arranged hierarchically. We see that this is a valid claim because Weber focuses on the idea that organizations that are “bound more to schemata and are more formless… is less unified, less productive and ultimately function slower” (4). Weber is calling for a more unified management system which he goes on to describe as the hierarchy system. Further in the passage J/G argue that there are many advantages of having “fair and equitable selection and promotion processes” (1) as outlined in “Complex Organizations: Ch 1” by Perrow. If you read Perrow’s work you will find that this is an accurate claim to his work, and as Perrow argues: to the application of management. Perrow states that using fair and specific selection and promotion systems allow for a better work environment because they encourage organizational members to act more ethically and further promote the interests of the organization because they feel the organization fairly represents an equal work environment. (5) Perrow states that it is also these ideals that allow managers to have more security in their decisions and less stress in their work environment, which J/G use as a foundation for another part of their claim. When going on to talk about Mary Parker Follet, J/G classify her as “The Mother of Management Thought” (1) because of her ideas and contributions. Putting her in this high of a classification is a pretty high statement for her work, but is backed by research shown in LD Parker’s “Control...
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