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Amazing Ways

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The History of Managerial Thought and Practice

The Origins of Managerial Thought
The topic of how to manage organizations did not receive systematic and wide-scale attention until virtually the start of the twentieth century. As we will see in the next few pages, a scattering of writers and recorded examples from a small number of organization in different places in the civilized world did leave their mark on management thought and practice before the beginning of the twentieth century.

Pre-Industrial Revolution Influance
As the feature “Even Ancient Civilizations Faced Managerial Challenges” shows, as far back as roughly 1000 B.C., preceptive officials in China were writing about how to manage and control organized human activity. Five hundred or so years later, in approximately the fourth century B.C., an illustrious Chinese military leader of the time, Sun Tzu, wrote about his views of principles of leadership (for example, the need for the leader to promote until within an organization), ideas that many consider are still relevant to today’s organization
Other civilizations, such as those of ancient Egypt and, later, Rome, were able to organize large numbers of people to carry out coordinated activities that required a form of what today we would call “management”
In the late middle ages, city-states in Europe such as Venice and Florence were managing certain activities with procedures that today we would consider “modern”. For example, Venice had a large shipyard at the time that, in effect adopted such managerial control procedures as the standardization of parts.

The Industrial Revolution in England
The fundamental changes that took place in human work performance in the latter half of the 1700s received that impetus from one key source: advances in technology. Especially those related to mechanized power
The beginning of the end of the...

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