Aspects Of The History Of Management


Nowadays, it is challenging to name a more essential and multifaceted sphere of activity than management, on which both the efficiency of production and the quality of services to the population largely depend. Society is undertaking an extremely difficult, essentially contradictory, historically inevitable, and irreversible restructuring. It is transitioning from totalitarianism to democracy in the economy and from the administrative-command system to the market in socio-political life. Such changes in society, the economy, and the whole way of life are complicated because they require changes in the individuals themselves. An essential part of this change, as revealed by world experience, is the comprehension of the science and art of management. Therefore, the question of how management evolved and where it originated is of extreme relevance.


In principle, it is clear that the study of the history of any field of knowledge is of interest. The situation is more complicated in the social sciences, to which management belongs. The past is mainly inseparable from the object of study itself since the evolution of theoretical conceptions is primarily determined by changes in the object of study. Therefore, in the social sciences, the well-known statement that without history, there is no theory of the question acquires a special meaning (Griffin, 2021). Two fundamentally distinct approaches to presenting history can be discovered in the literature. The first is reduced to a chronological description of events, a formal statement of when a particular idea was formulated, one specific method proposed, or an important concept introduced. Reading such works is not very interesting because the general statement does not connect the individual facts and events.

A different approach to history involves conceptualizing the development of a particular field. Works written within this tradition explain why an idea, method, or concept emerged at a specific time and how it fits into the relevant historical context. Such works are, of course, more subjective, reflecting the views of their authors, but they are substantially more helpful (Griffin, 2021). Even if there is a divergence with the author’s position in the reading, it is constructive, for it forces one to look at the problem from various angles.

The history of management is an indispensable part of understanding the concept’s process and essence. Only comprehending the history and philosophy of management allows one to identify the closest idea and interpret the image following current realities. Several authors identify three main approaches to management – classical, behavioral, and quantitative. The most common is the classical interpretation grounded on the fact that management is a process that is the same for all organizations and has a universal character (Batiz-Lazo, 2018). The most significant achievement of the classical approach is that it recognizes management as an essential phenomenon of organized activity.

Representatives of behavioral science view management as a process of human interaction. They proceed from the fact that managers do their work by interacting with people and, therefore, must make use of advances in psychology and sociology (Batiz-Lazo, 2018). Hence, the valid conclusion is that a manager must be an effective leader. Quantitative management theory is based on the idea that management is a specific logical, interrelated process that can be reflected in mathematical models and, founded on which, ensure optimal managerial decisions are made.


Each management approach was formed during a specific historical period, but they all can lose their relevance over time. It is essential to understand that the history of management reflects the particular development of the concept that every day is evolving. Its understanding allows one to highlight the critical features in the process and adapt them to modern realities. Therefore, one should study the history to comprehend the essence of management and adapt all the transformations in practice properly.


Griffin, R. W. (2021). Management. Cengage Learning.

Batiz-Lazo, B. (2018). What is new in “a new history of management”? Journal of Management History, 21(1), pp. 114-124.