A History of Management Thought
Routledge – 2012 – 320 pages
For the past three thousand years people have been thinking about the problems of management. This book shows how thinking about management has evolved and changed. It shows how changing social, political and technological forces have challenged people to think about management in new ways, and how management thinkers have responded. Sometimes their responses missed the mark and occasionally, great ideas about management failed to be picked up and were lost along the way. Sometimes, truly original and creative, even world-changing ideas appeared.
Following key currents in management thought from the origins of civilization to the present day, the book begins in the ancient world, when people were wrestling with the problems of organization and leadership. It continues through the Middle Ages, east and west, as people pondered on how to manage risk and think strategically, and on the role of business in society. It shows how the Industrial Revolution led to the emergence of scientific management, and how political and social events of the twentieth century shaped management thinking right up to the present day.
From the pyramids to Facebook, from military strategy to managing for sustainability, A History of Management Thought tells the fascinating story of how management thinking has changed, shifted, evolved and developed down through the centuries. Students taking classes in the history of management thought will find this text to be the perfect accompaniment to their studies and will be a captivating read for anyone else.
'Writing a history of management thought is a formidable venture because it involves a span of time that dates back to the distant past. Witzel, a UK-based academic, takes the challenge head-on, providing in a relatively concise fashion an intelligent, well-argued treatise on how the discipline has evolved over the years. What strikes the reader immediately and emphatically is the wide variety of influences on the field…In all, the book is a great addition to the libraries of both business practitioners and those interested in business. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Academic, professional, and public library collections.' - R. Subramanian, Montclair State University, CHOICE
'This is a work of impressive scholarship and huge scope across time, geography and ideas. It is not just a history of thought, it is also the story of management through the ages.' - Andrew Thomson, Emeritus Professor, The Open University, UK
'Systems of management thought are central to the economic world, and how they evolved is central to our understanding of where we are now.' - Luchien Karsten, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
‘Witzel's history of management thought is exemplary… The author’s writing skills lead to a most accessible book, which will be of considerable use to both under-graduates and post-graduates, as well as to teachers of the subject and to interested practitioners.’ - Malcolm Warner, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK
1. Introduction 2. Early Management Thought 3. Management Thought in the Age of Commerce 4. Management Thought in an Age of Enlightenment 5. Scientific Management 6. European Management Thought 7. Management Thought and Human Relations 8. The Divisionalization of Management Thought 9. From Scientific Management to Management Science 10. The Age of the Management Gurus 11. Management Thought in the Internet Age 12. Conclusions
Morgen Witzel is a Fellow of the Centre for Leadership Studies, University of Exeter, UK. A writer, lecturer and consultant on business and management, especially on the history of management, he is the author of hundreds of articles for the academic and popular press and has written over 20 books including Doing Business in China, Management: The Basics, and Management History, all available from Routledge.