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Introduction to Management


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Chapter 2 : Evolution of Management Thought

Early Approaches to Management

Contributions of Robert Owen
Charles Babbage
Andrew Ure and Charles Dupin
Henry Robinson Towne
Assessing Preclassical Contributions

Classical Approach

Scientific Management
Administrative Theory
Bureaucratic Management

Behavioral Approach

Contributions of Mary Parker Follet
Elton Mayo
Abraham Maslow
Douglas McGregor
Chris Argyris

Quantitative Approach

Management Science
Operations Management
Management Information Systems

Modern Approaches to Management

Systems Theory
Contingency Theory

Emerging Approaches in Management Thought

Chapter Summary

The Industrial Revolution provided the impetus for developing various management theories and principles. Preclassical theorists like Robert Owen, Charles Babbage, Andrew Ure, Charles Dupin, and Henry R. Towne made some initial contributions that eventually led to the identification of management as an important field of inquiry. This led to the emergence of approaches to management: classical, behavioral, quantitative and modern.

The classical management approach had three major branches: scientific management, administrative theory and bureaucratic management. Scientific management emphasized the scientific study of work methods to improve worker efficiency. Bureaucratic management dealt with the characteristics of an ideal organization, which operates on a rational basis. Administrative theory explored principles that could be used by managers to coordinate the internal activities of organizations.

The behavioral approach emerged primarily as an outcome of the Hawthorne studies. Mary Parker Follet, Elton Mayo and his associates, Abraham Maslow, Douglas McGregor and Chris Argyris were the major contributors to this school. They emphasized the importance of the human element which was ignored by classical theorists in the management of organizations. They formulated theories that centered on the behavior of employees in organizations. These theories could easily be applied to the management of organizations.

The quantitative approach to management focuses on the use of mathematical tools to support managerial decision-making. The systems theory looks at organizations as a set of interrelated parts. According to the contingency theory, managerial action depends on the particular parameters of a given situation. One important emerging approach to management thought is Theory Z. This approach combines the positive aspects of American and Japanese management styles. All these views on management have contributed significantly to the development of management thought.

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