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Discovering the foundational philosophies, practices, and influences of modern management theory

Discovering the foundational philosophies, practices, and influences of modern management theory Purpose – The aim of this paper is to discuss the factors that influenced the establishment of modern management into the pervasive force it is today. It briefly describes modern management and discusses the reasons for this gap in knowledge in such a critical area. The main analysis of the paper focuses on the following social ideas and influences that created the conditions for modern management to be formed and established: social Darwinism and religion, the rise of social science, the promise of the scientific method, and the perspectives of the business tycoons. Design/methodology/approach – This paper analyzes the prevailing trends of the late 1800 s to determine which had the greatest influence on the formation of modern management. Findings – This paper concludes that the greatest factors on the establishment of modern management were social Darwinism and the promise of the scientific method. These, then, provided the perfect environment for Frederick W. Taylor to become the embodiment and popularizer of modern management. Perhaps, surprisingly, Christianity had little influence. Originality/value – Now that the prevailing influences of modern management have been surfaced, scholars and practitioners can more effectively critique the current state of management and determine whether legacy assumptions and influences are still valid, or whether modern management should change in some way(s) to better reflect accurate assumptions and influences operative today. The anonymous reviewers of this paper have found this analysis to be provocative and challenging. They have also concluded that a single article cannot do justice to such an important, yet relatively unexplored area. Consequently, the authors hope that other researchers will also be provoked to join in this important task. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management History Emerald Publishing

Discovering the foundational philosophies, practices, and influences of modern management theory

Journal of Management History , Volume 20 (2): 19 – Apr 8, 2014

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1751-1348
DOI
10.1108/JMH-09-2012-0056
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to discuss the factors that influenced the establishment of modern management into the pervasive force it is today. It briefly describes modern management and discusses the reasons for this gap in knowledge in such a critical area. The main analysis of the paper focuses on the following social ideas and influences that created the conditions for modern management to be formed and established: social Darwinism and religion, the rise of social science, the promise of the scientific method, and the perspectives of the business tycoons. Design/methodology/approach – This paper analyzes the prevailing trends of the late 1800 s to determine which had the greatest influence on the formation of modern management. Findings – This paper concludes that the greatest factors on the establishment of modern management were social Darwinism and the promise of the scientific method. These, then, provided the perfect environment for Frederick W. Taylor to become the embodiment and popularizer of modern management. Perhaps, surprisingly, Christianity had little influence. Originality/value – Now that the prevailing influences of modern management have been surfaced, scholars and practitioners can more effectively critique the current state of management and determine whether legacy assumptions and influences are still valid, or whether modern management should change in some way(s) to better reflect accurate assumptions and influences operative today. The anonymous reviewers of this paper have found this analysis to be provocative and challenging. They have also concluded that a single article cannot do justice to such an important, yet relatively unexplored area. Consequently, the authors hope that other researchers will also be provoked to join in this important task.

Journal

Journal of Management HistoryEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 8, 2014

Keywords: Religion; Science; Management history; Christianity; Scientific management; Social Darwinism

References