Management has always been part of human organization, but it is only in the last two centuries or so that it has been the central driver of economic activity, as companies have moved from family firms to hugely complex, multinational corporations with many layers of management.
The term management is commonly used in three ways: as a process or activity; as a structure in any organization; and as a group or class of people carrying out certain roles in an organization. This book is the first detailed account of the evolution of management in all three senses. The focus is mainly on the UK, but throughout the broader question of why corporate management structures developed so impressively in the USA, Germany and Japan is borne in mind, while arguably little progress was made in this regards in the UK.
Equally the authors consider why, given that management is now so widely studied, so little careful research has been undertaken into the evolution of the practice and the profession of management.
The book is divided into four sections. Part One provides An Introduction to Management History; Part Two, Management and Organization, explores the historical development through the 19th and 20th centuries; Part Three, Managers in Context, looks at the social and cultural context of management and managers; and Part Four considers three key functional areas, labor, marketing and accounting and financing.
This rich, detailed, and path-breaking book will be essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the evolution of management as we now understand it, whether academics, students or managers themselves.
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John F. Wilson is Professor of International Business, University of Central Lancashire. He is author of British Business History, 1720-1994 (Manchester University Press, 1995) and Ferranti. A History, Vol. I, Building a Family Firm, 1882-1975 (Carnegie Publishing, 2000). Andrew W. Thomson was formerly Dean of the Open University Business School. He is author of Changing Patterns of Management Development (with C.Mabey, J.Storey, C. Gray and P. Iles, Blackwell, 2001), A Portrait of Pay, 1970-1982: An Analysis of the New Earnings Survey (edited with M. Gregory, Clarendon Press, 1990).
"By delving into a vast array of published sources, not all of which are readily available to scholars, the authors can rest assured that they have produced a pioneering study, which resonates with the current frontier of knowledge and identifies the parameters for future research."--Economic History Review
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