Evolution of Classical Management

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The study of management as is known, also referred to as the classical perspective of management, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Its' roots are based from the goal of some remarkable managers, to improve the efficiency of labor in the pre-modern work environments. By reviewing their backgrounds and concepts, which were scientific management, bureaucratic organizations, and administrative management, the reader should have a better understanding of who they were and how they contributed to management.

The first person that saw a need for change in the way management was being conducted, according to Daft and Marcic (1998) was Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915). He suggested that management rather than labor itself might, have caused the production inefficiencies at the time. Taylor believed that in order to achieve the changes required to improve the way thing were done, a scientific study had to be done (Daft and Marcic, 1998). Megginson, Mosley, and Pietri (1992) found that Taylor was not alone in his contributions to the scientific approach. Among these contributors were Carl Barth, Henry Gantt, Frank Gilbreth, Lillian Gilbreth, and Henry Ford (Megginson et al.). Most of them were associates of Taylor (Megginson et al., 1992).

Carl G. Barth (1860-1939) worked alongside Taylor in "developing, testing, and perfecting the mechanisms of scientific management", making the slide rule his greatest contribution (Meggison et al., 1992 p.55). Meanwhile, according to Daft and Marcic (1998), Henry Gantt (1861-1919) another colleague of Taylor, designed a chart that measured planned and completed labor along each leg of production, by utilizing graphics to present this information. Frank B. Gilbreth (1868-1924) and Lillian Gilbreth (1878-1972), were a couple that expanded on Taylor's ideas (Meggison et al., 1992). He worked on the development of time and motion studies, arriving to some of his conclusions "independently of Taylor" (Me... Continue Reading