Friday, January 20, 2012

Future of Management

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Table of Contents


Future of Management 4

Management Evolution 4

Present Day Theory 6

Managing the Future 6

Summary 8



This paper will discuss the future of management. First a brief history, including bullets of how management evolved, then the present practices, followed by future trends of management.

Future of Management

This paper will briefly summarize the evolution of management, leading up to present day theory. Then forecasted future trends of business are introduced, matched with key organizational management adaptations.

Management Evolution

From the dawn of time, up to the Eighteenth Century, Toeffler referred to business as “the long epic of agricultural civilization” (p. 41). Management skills throughout this period were virtually unnecessary. With technological, and scientific discoveries such as

• Steam engine,

• Electricity,

• Steam Boat

• Cotton Gin,

• Iron plow,

• Telegraph,

• Electric motor,

business began to grow due to enormous increases in productivity and output. This period is referred to as the Industrial Revolution. With this growth, came the need for formal management. The problem was that the only formal management experience to draw from was religion and the military. Consequently, the management style during this period had “centralized decision making, a rigid chain of command, specialized division of work, and autocratic leadership.” (Dessler, 2001, p. 10). This period focused mainly on resource allocation; this evolved to what Alfred Chandler  called the “rationalization stage” (referenced from the MIT Press). This is when management shifted from growth to efficiency (Dessler, 2001). With this huge value change, the first classical school of management emerged, (Scientific Management) by the efforts of Frederick Winslow Taylor. He argued that there is “one best way” to get any job done.

There have been many advancements in management theory since this time, including

• Frank and Lillian Gilbreth

• Time and motion studies.

• Henri Fayol’s Principles of Management

• Division of work, Authority and responsibility, Discipline, Unity of command, Unity of direction, Subordination, Remuneration, Centralization, Scalar chain, Order, Equity, Stability of tenure of personnel, Initiative, Esprit de corps (Union is strength).

• Max Weber’s Bureaucratic Organization Theory

• Well defined hierarchy of authority

• A clear division of work.

• A system of rules covering the rights and duties of position incumbents.

• A system of procedures of deal in with the work situations.

• Impersonality of interpersonal relationships.

• Selections for employment, and promotion based on technical competences.

• Hawthorne Studies

• Hawthorne effect is when the scientist inadvertently influences the participants. (Dessler, 001)

• Douglas McGregor, Theory X and Theory Y

•  Theory X is where the employee dislikes work and prefers to be directed.

• Theory Y is that people enjoy work, and would exercise self-control when work atmospheres were favorable.

• Rensis Likert, Employee-Centered Organization

• “To build effective work groups with high performance goals.” (Likert, 1961, p. 6)

• Chris Argyris, Mature Individual

• Management Science Approach

• Well defined problems

• Well defined alternatives

•  Then develop a theory describing how the factors are related.

• Systems Approach

• Operate within an environment

• Composed of departments, production, finance etc.

• Central purpose, which the organization’s efforts can be evaluated.

Present Day Theory

Situational management theory then developed, where “the appropriateness of the organization and its management principles were contingent on the rate of change in an organization’s environment and technology.” (Dessler, 2001). Burns and Stalker identified two main management styles, mechanistic, and organic. Mechanistic management system is for routine and unchanging tasks and an organic system when innovation and entrepreneurial skills were necessary. The key here is that it is contingent on change; with globalization, and the Internet, this is the basis of present day theory. The use of teams has emerged, and has shown that in some cases true synergy can be realized.

Managing the Future

A key to managing the future will be an organizations ability to attract, and challenge the true leaders of the future. Through acquisitions and mergers, future business will continue to grow; thus the strategic plans of these chosen few (leaders) will impact hundreds of thousands of people, and dictate the future growth, and success of the company.

From these key positions; new policies, procedures a new culture will develop and re-shape the values held by the employees. Today, we have recognized that fostering self-control within the employee is the key to success. This will be the dictum of all successful future companies.


The evolution of management theory stems from non-competitive agricultural, through the industrial revolution, on to networked based, globalized mega industries. As dramatic as these phases, so to were the changes in management style. As the future keeps expanding, and the world keeps shrinking, employer/employee relations will be key to future success. The energy and effort required to drive non-motivated employees, will drain and cause future businesses to fail. Business success will stem from the companies ability to motivate its employees to a level where they feel a sense of belonging, a deep down drive to continually improve the company, and themselves.

Chandler, A., Strategy and Structure (Cambridge, MA MIT Press).
Dessler, G. (2001), Management Leading people and organizations in the 1st century (nd ed.) [University of Phoenix Special Edition Series]. Upper Saddle River, NJ Prentice Hall.
Likert, R., (1961), New Patterns of Management (New Your McGraw-Hill)
Toeffler, A., (1971), Future Shock (New York Bantam Books) p. 4.

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