The Evolution of Business Management During the 19th, 20th, & 21st Century.

The Evolution of Business Management During the 19th, 20th, & 21st Century.

M: Marketing

Classical into Contemporary Approaches
The classical management approaches extend from the mid-19th Century through the early 1950’s. 

Many of the classical management approaches that were prominent during this period of time were:

  1. Systematic Management
  2. Scientific Management
  3. Bureaucracy Management
  4. Administrative Management 
  5. Human Relations Management
  • Management is the process of working with people and resources to accomplish organizational goals.
  • Planning…the management function of systematically making decisions about the goals and activities that an individual, a group, a work unit, or the overall organization will pursue.
  • Organizing…The management function of assembling and coordinating human, financial, physical, informational, and other resources needed to achieve goals.
  • Leading…Stimulating people to be higher performers. It includes motivating and communicating with employees, individually, and in groups.
  • Controlling…The management function of monitoring performance and making needed changes.

What makes a good manager?

A good manager is effective at achieving organizational goals.

A good manager is to achieve goals with minimal waste of resources—that is, to make the best possible use of money, time, materials, and PEOPLE.

1. Systematic Management: 
As a country that was focused on manufacturing during the 19th Century, it was believed that firms during this time were chaotic. 

Poor working conditions often led to systemic breakdowns and roadblocks within the manufacturing process.

The systematic management approach brought procedures and processes into operations to ensure coordination of effort.” 

This allowed companies to focus on the financial side of daily operations. 

Management now understood making sure they had enough staff on hand to carry the workload. Systems that managed inventories in relation to how much of a demand was in the marketplace.

The factors that went into making this all possible were: 

  • Identifying job descriptions and tasks
  • Creating a standard operating procedure for job related tasks.
  • A process to sorting, organizing, communicating, and studying new information.
  • Various financial information such as inventory costs, payments to employees, and general overhead costs were no placed into an organized system to promote internal organization and communications.

2. Scientific Management

Fredrick Taylor is noted with uncovering the inefficiency of systematic management in it’s early stages of being used as a form of management.

He discovered that what employees were being paid was poor, no longer working, and efficiency of material use was non-existent.

Fredrick Taylor Theory of Scientific Management

He implemented a management style called scientific management, which used scientific study to decide the best approach to completing a production task. 

There are four principles of scientific management that Fredrick Taylor discovered:

  1. Management should develop a precise, scientific approach of one’s work to replace general guidelines.

  2. Management should scientifically select, train, teach, and develop each worker so that the right person has the right job.

  3. Management should cooperate with workers to ensure that jobs match plans and principles.
  4. Management should ensure an appropriate division of work and responsibility between managers and workers.

Fredrick Taylor utilized this style of management to discover the “one best way” to execute a specific job task. He then promoted truly finding the right employee who would be able to complete the tasks using the one best way, already discovered.

Another noteworthy element to Fredrick Taylor’s Scientific Management style is the use of the fidderential peicerate system.

He put into place a  payment system that allowed employees to earn ADDITIONAL wages when they exceeded an expected level of output for a given task. 

He was able to recognize the “win-win”scenario this creates for a manager and an employee.

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Fredrick Taylor started as a common laborer at Middle Steel Company in Philadelphia. Within 6 years, He rose through the ranks (clear, machinist, supervisor, and master mechanic) to become the chief engineer of the plant. His experiences at Middle Steel informed many of his ideas about scientific management. Source: D.A. Wren, The History of Management Thought (Upper Salle River NJ:Wiley,2005), pp. 122-124




Henry L. Gantt worked with his protege Fredrick Taylor and shared many of the same beliefs when it comes to scientific management.

Gantt Chart

He grew the idea of the piecerate system which suggested that frontline supervisors be paid a bonus for motivating workers to meet and exceed daily work related duties.