Fifty Key Figures in Management

Fifty Key Figures in Management

Fifty Key Figures in Management

Fifty Key Figures in Management

Synopsis

Witzel dscribes 50 of the key figues in the development of management, giving a brief account of their lives and careers and summing up their contributions.

Excerpt

The title of this book, Fifty Key Figures in Management, immediately poses two questions: first, what is 'management', and second, what is a 'key figure'?

Management is one of the most important phenomena of modern civilisation. Andrew Thomson and Roger Young, writing in the preface to the first volume of The Evolution of Modern Management (2002), Edward Brech's monumental work on British management history, sum up the case: 'Management is the means by which organisations set and carry through their objectives; without it, modern civilisation and its processes of wealth creation would not exist.' Yet for all its importance and omnipresence, absolute definitions of what 'management' is are difficult to find. Many of the figures cited in this book have quite firm ideas about what management is, but these definitions do not always coincide: consider, for example, the differing concepts of management that appear in the works of F.W. Taylor, Peter Drucker and Tom Peters.

One useful way of approaching the concept is to consider the origins of the term. 'Management' and its associated words, 'manager', 'manage', etc., first appear in English in the late sixteenth century, in the time of Shakespeare. They derive ultimately from the Latin word manus, literally meaning 'hand' but also with connotations of 'power' and 'jurisdiction'. In the late Middle Ages we find the Italian word maneggiare gradually supplanting the older factore as the term for an official in charge of a trading or manufacturing enterprise (our word 'factory', originally used to mean a trading post as well as a place of production, comes from this root). The French term manegerie begins to appear in the sixteenth century as well. In English, the term 'management' for a long time referred in general terms to the controlling or direction of affairs, whether one's own or those of other people, and from the seventeenth century on there were literally

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