The Evolution of Management Thought

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The Evolution of Management Thought
Through the practice of management and the continued development of commerce and wealth we are transforming our lives. In Massachusetts (USA) in the 1850s the life expectancy of a male would have been 37 years of age and a female 40: in 1929 it was 58 for a male and 61 for a female; nowadays life expectancy would be in the region 70-80 years.
While appreciating the past success of ‘management’ we would also recognize that today’s accelerating pace of change is putting pressure on our organizations to be at the forefront of management thinking. If we want to maintain our standard of living our rate of change has to be comparative to the rest of the world.
But our present day management thinking has
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Our legal system is based on this misconception.
Into this growing of industrial society comes another Scot Daniel McCallum as President of the New York to Eire Railroad. In 1854 he was facing specific problems related to the size of his organization and a workforce that was in the main uneducated. His workers were immigrant and with an agricultural background and not used to a factory discipline imposed by management. In this environment he determines sound management as being based on: * Good discipline * Specific and detailed job descriptions * Frequent and accurate reporting of performance * Pay and promotion based on merit * Clearly defined hierarchy of superiors and subordinates * Enforcement of personal responsibility and accountability. * The search for and correction of errors
From this thinking he follows the classic hierarchical organization chart.
Charles Darwin’s work on ‘The Origin of the Species’ is published in 1859. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) subsequently develops the theme of survival of the fittest in his ‘Social Darwinism.’ Our society accepts the essential nature of competition, survival of the fittest and adulation of winners.
Ivan Pavlov does experiments with dogs to develop classical conditioning. He pairs an artificial stimulus with a natural one. He gives the dog a piece of meat while at the same time ringing a bell.
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