5 Phases of Development of Management


5 Phases of Development of Management:

The evolution of management can be divided broadly into five phases. These are briefly described here:

1. Pre historical


2. Organized society

3. Era of Industrial Revolution

4. Consolidation and codification

5. Modern developments



Awareness of the need for management skills dates back to beginnings of recorded history. Priests were worshipped by people by virtue of their authority as representatives of God.

The priests planned trade routes and organized the work of the laborers, artisans, soldiers, and traders. The history of the Roman Empire gives evidence of management knowledge in Courts, Government and Army.

Organized Society:


During this phase, available knowledge was not systematized. Techniques were developed by political, military and social institutions and not by business enterprises. Management was considered as an art and practiced by individuals as a personal affair.

Main contribution during this phase was made by Lao Tzu, the keeper of the Chinese Imperial Archives. He advised following principles of organization more than 1500 years ago.

i. Define sequence of activities (grouping)

ii. Divide tasks and determine ranks to perform such tasks


iii. Job descriptions and relationship determination.

iv. Fill up posts only after organization is established.

v. Performance appraisal through records.

Industrial Revolution


Some of the characteristics of this phase were:

i. Rapid growth of technology and technological progress.

ii. Development of Scientific Management

iii. Impact of industrial activity on the society.

iv. Term ‘management’ came to be associated with business enterprise.

The main contributors for the development of managerial thought during this phase were.

a) James Watt Jt. (1796 -1842) and Mathew Robinson Boulton (1770 – 1844)

b) Robert Owen (1771-1858)

c) Charles Babbage (1792-1871)

d) Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1951)

e) Frank Banker Gilbreth (1898-1924)

f) Henry Lawerence Gontt (1861-1919)

g) Mary Parker Follet (1868-1933)

Consolidation and Codification:

This stage of development of management though emphasis the need for investigation of the principle of management based on statistical validity. It saw the development of a number of techniques like:

i. Attitude surveys

ii. Performance ratings

iii. Production control systems

iv. Job analysis

v. Psychological testing

vi. Statistical control devices

vii. Work simplification Employee counseling

viii. Break-even analysis

An attempt was made to codify the knowledge developed in the field and to evolve a coherent pattern of management thought. Stress was laid on the quantitative aspects of management. Some of the main contributors during this phase were:

a) Henry Fayol (1841-1925)

b) Harrington Emerson (1853-1931)

c) James Mooney and Alan Beiley

d) Russel Robe (1846-1927)

e) Oliver Shed (1951-1984)

f) Henry Aruthur Hoof (1882-1949)

g) Chester Barnard (1886-1961)

h) Elton Mayo (1880-1940) and Fritz Roethilsberger

i) Ernest Dale

Modern Developments:

Compared to Taylor and Gilbreth whose thinking was confined to a narrow sphere of Management activity the writers in stage 4 had given considerable thought to studying an enterprise as a whole and developing a pattern of management thought, the attention shifting from the man, machine and product to the total enterprise and to industrial society as an entity.

This shift in emphasis has paved the way for the development of management to the distinct status of an indispensable institution in the modern age. Some of the trends are as follows:

a) Towards professionalization.

b) Requirements of a manager

c) Managerial Skills

d) Approach to the management process

e) From Capitalism to Managerialism

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