Over the past hundred years management has continuously been evolving. There have been a wide range of approaches in how to deal with management or better yet how to improve management functions in our ever changing environment. From as early as 1100 B. C managers have been struggling with the same issues and problems that manager's face today.
Modern managers use many of the practices, principles, and techniques developed from earlier concepts and experiences. The evolution of management though the decades can be divided into two major sections. One of the sections is the classical approach. Under the classical approach efficiency and productivity became a critical concern of the managers at the turn of the 20 th century. One of the approaches from the classical time period were systematic management which placed more emphasis on internal operations because managers were concerned with meeting the growth in demand brought on by the Industrial revolution. As a result managers became more concerned with physical things than towards the people therefore systematic management failed to lead to production efficiency.
This became apparent to an engineer named Frederick Taylor who was the father of Scientific Management. Scientific Management was identified by four principles for which management should develop the best way to do a job, determine the optimum work pace, train people to do the job properly, and reward successful performance by using an incentive pay system. Scientific management was widely accepted with productivity and efficiency improving dramatically however not everyone was convinced that this approach was the best solution to all problems. Administrative management evolved from Henry Fayol who published a book summarizing his management experiences.
Fayol identified five functions and 14 principles in management. Typically all the writings in the administrative area strongly emphasize management in large corporations. Thus this type of management might not work in all situations. The fourth approach to management was human relations. This type of management was geared towards how outside factors intertwine with the work situation to influence performance.
This was the first major approach to forging informal work relationships and worker satisfaction. The last approach to classical management was bureaucracy. Bureaucracy was extremely popular in large organizations because it allows companies to perform many tasks while eliminating judgments of managers. Although bureaucracy works well with most organizations it may not be the best approach to organizations that require fast thinking and decision making. The second major section in the evolution of management is the contemporary approach. The contemp ary approach has four types of management that have developed from the time period around World War II to present time.
One of the approaches to contemporary management is quantitative management. Quantitative management uses math problems to help management with decisions and problems. Managers typically do not rely on this type of management as a primary approach to decision making. Many managers rely on their experience or intuition and use this only as a way to compare alternatives or eliminate weaker options.
Another type of contemporary management is organizational behavior which began to take place during the human relations time period. The basis for this type of management is that worker productivity and organizational success is based on more than satisfaction of economic or social needs. This type of management is commonly practiced upon organizations to present date. Another type of approach is the systems theory. Unlike the systematic approach where one aspect of management is considered at the expense of other areas of management, the systems theory is a managed system which transforms input into output. Out of the systems theory came the contingency perspective.
The contingency approach is based upon the thinking that there is no "one best way" to manage because circumstances vary from situation to situation. As you can see management has been evolving for many years and through trial and error new forms of management have arisen. As the world continues to change with time, management to has to keep continuing to change as well.