Evolution of Management Theory

Topics: Management, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Organizational studies and human resource management Pages: 12 (3695 words) Published: April 9, 2011
Managing is one of the most important human activities. From the time human beings began forming social organizations to accomplish aims and objectives they could not accomplish as individuals, managing has been essential to ensure the coordination of individual efforts. As society continuously relied on group effort, and as many organized groups have become large, the task of managers has been increasing in importance and complexity. Henceforth, managerial theory has become crucial in the way managers manage complex organizations. It has to be unequivocally emphasized that managers who mix management theories in their day-to-day practice, have better chances of managing their organizations more efficiently and effectively to achieve both individual and organizational objectives. Therefore, managers of contemporary organizations ought to appreciate the important role they play in their respective organizations if they are to achieve set goals. Secondly, there is need to promote excellence among all persons in organizations, especially among managers themselves. 1.1 DEFINITION OF MANAGEMENT

Management is the art, or science, of achieving goals through people. Since managers also supervise, management can be interpreted to mean literally “looking over” – i.e., making sure people do what they are supposed to do. Managers are, therefore are expected to ensure greater productivity or, using the current jargon, ‘continuous improvement’.

More broadly, management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, efficiently accomplish selected aims (Koontz and Weihrich 1990). In its expanded form, this basic definition means several things. First, as managers, people carry out the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling. Second, management applies to any kind of organization. Third, management applies to managers at all organizational levels. Fourth, the aim of all managers is the same – to create surplus. Finally, managing is concerned with productivity – this implies effectiveness and efficiency.

Thus, management refers to the development of bureaucracy that derives its importance from the need for strategic planning, co-ordination, directing and controlling of large and complex decision-making process. Essentially, therefore, management entails the acquisition of managerial competence, and effectiveness in the following key areas: problem solving, administration, human resource management, and organizational leadership.

1.2 Management Objectives
There are basically three management objectives. One objective is ensuring organizational goals and targets are met – with least cost and minimum waste. The second objective is looking after health and welfare, and safety of staff. The third objective is protecting the machinery and resources of the organization, including the human resources.

1.3 Management Functions
To understand management, it is imperative that we break it down into five managerial functions, namely; planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling.
Planning involves selecting missions and objectives and the actions to achieve them. It requires decision-making – i.e., choosing future courses of action from among alternatives. Plans range from overall purposes and objectives to the most detailed actions to be taken. No real plan exists until a decision – a commitment of human and material resources has been made. In other words, before a decision is made, all that exists is planning study, analysis, or a proposal; there is no real plan. People working together in groups to achieve some goal must have roles to play. Generally, these roles have to be defined and structured by someone who wants to make sure that people contribute in a specific way to group effort. Organizing, therefore, is that part of management that involves establishing an intentional structure of...
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