Evolution of Management Thoughts

Topics: Management, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Scientific method Pages: 10 (2622 words) Published: December 14, 2012

What is Management?
Management is defined as the social process of planning, organizing, staffing, directing, co-coordinating and controlling for the determination and achievement of organizational objectives in a dynamic environment.

Though management as a science is of a recent origin, the art of management existed as old as human society. In the ancient age, management study could not be developed, because of low esteem to the business prevailing in the society. The ancient civilization of Greek, Roman, Mohenzodaro, Harappa has contributed to a great extent towards the evolution of the principles of management.

In the middle ages, the town, fairs, market, the trading companies, the agricultural communities, the crafts and guides were found to exist. Though F.W Taylor is known as the father of scientific management many person before him made considerable contribution to the development of management thought Notable among them were James Watt, Robert Owen, Charles Babbage, Henri Robinson Towne etc.

In the later stages especially towards the second half of the 19th century many principles and technique concerning management science were published or circulated with due importance in different countries. In this age, the difference schools or approaches were evolved. The different approaches or schools of management thought which were advocated by eminent writers have now been discussed by dividing them into 3 main stages such as

a) Classical Approach (1900-1930)
b) Neo-classical Approach (1930-1960)
c) Modern Approach (1960-onwards)


In this approach, organization is treated as a machine. It is thought that the efficiency of the organization can be increased by making each worker efficient in it. The emphasis is given more on specialization of performance and co-ordination of various activities. The traditional or classical approach stands on 3 pillars. 1. Scientific Management School

2. Management Process School
3. Bureaucracy School of Management.

Scientific Management School

The main principle of the scientific management school is that the scientific method is to be applied to a management. In other words, the main principle and methods are to be determined through observation and experiments, searching for information and its sequence and analysis. This school was propounded by F.W. Taylor a few others actively helped and supported Taylor among them are (a) H.L.Grantt (b) Frank Gilbreth (c) Lilian Gilbreth apart from these three experts in scientific management, another two made remarkable contribution. They are Harrington Emerson and M.L.Cooke. These pioneers investigated the effective use of human beings in industrial organization.


Frederick W Taylor, one of the most distinguished business executives and perceptive thinkers, made significant contribution to what is now know as “scientific management”. At the age of 18 he started as an apprentice machinist and turner in Enterprise Hydraulie Works in Philadelphia of USA. At the age of 22, he join the Midvale Steel Company as a machine shop labourer. He was promoted to a gang boss after 2 years and then after 4 years he was appointed the Chief Engineer. Meanwhile he obtained graduation in physics and mathematics from Harvard University and later on Master of Engineering from Stevenes Institute, USA. In 1898 he was appointed by Bethleham Steel Company as a consultant and carried on various investigation and observation. After leaving Bethleham Steel Co in 1901 he devoted the rest of his life in writing and developing fundamental ideas about management. In 1911, he wrote a book named ‘The principles of scientific management’ which is a classic in the literature of management. In this book he has developed the true science of managing complete with clearly stated...
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