Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

School Of Management Thought

Awareness and understanding of important historical developments are also important to contemporary managers. The history of management theories, helps managers by organizing information and providing a systematic framework for action.

The concept of management is not new; its has been practiced for thousands of years, although terms such as management principles or management theory may not have been used.  The Sumerians, the Babylonians, or the Romans have provided numerous illustrations of effective management.  In terms of longevity, "the most effective formal organization in the history of Western civilization has been the Roman Catholic Church" (Harold Koontz and Cyril O'Donnell). However, management gained in importance, as mankind progressed and moved into the Industrial Revolution era.

Today's concept of management is the product of a long and complicated evolutionary process. Essentially, four major forces affect management are economic, social, political-legal, and technological.

Over the years, disagreement on exactly how many different approaches to management exist and what each approach entails has been common. Some count as few as three approaches, others as many as seven. In order to present the essence of the management movements, I have chosen to discuss three schools; based on the approach of Donnelly, Gibson, and Ivancevich.  They offered these three well-established approaches to management the thought: the classical approach, the behavioral approach, and the management approach. Each complements and supports the others.

Although not recognized as a separate school, the contingency and the systems approach are also discussed in this section, which attempt to integrate the three schools.