The Management Century: A Critical Review of 20th Century Thought and Practiceby Stuart Crainer
"Management has been practiced since the very dawn of civilization. But only during the last one hundred years has it been recognized, analyzed, monitored, taught and formalized," veteran journalist Stuart Crainer writes in The Management Century, his fascinating, lively tour of the theory and practice of management. Over the past one hundred years, Crainer says,
"Management has been practiced since the very dawn of civilization. But only during the last one hundred years has it been recognized, analyzed, monitored, taught and formalized," veteran journalist Stuart Crainer writes in The Management Century, his fascinating, lively tour of the theory and practice of management. Over the past one hundred years, Crainer says, the art of management has been reinvented time and time again. In The Man-agement Century, we get to live through each innovation and understand how it fits with the pastand the future. Crainer shows us that a careful study of the history of management holds vital clues to its future. There are lessons to be learned from early giants such as Henri Fayol, originator of the fourteen general principles of man-agement, and from more contemporary figures such as W. Edwards Deming, the American whose concept of Total Quality Management revolutionized the Japanese auto industry. Decade after decade, Crainer points out, each new trAnd in management thinking has been shaped by the successesand shortcomingsof the concepts that preceded it. The Management Century gives vibrant life to this chronology and pres-ents a rich cast of historic characters any novelist would envy. Including both thinkers and doers, the management innovators Crainer introduces throughout his book are as intriguing as the innovations they championed. These are individuals who, despite personal flawssometimes reflecting the biases of their timesmade undeniable contributions to corporate and social betterment. As a new millennium opens, The Management Century offers an in-dispensable read to any student of business and managementthose still in school and those who view their entire lives as a learning experience. Read-ers will gain a deeper appreciation for human ingenuity in dealing with the challenges of large organizations. They will realize that the demand for such ingenuity never changes. As Crainer tells us, in manage
Read an Excerpt
"What industrialization was to the 19th century, management is to the 20th. Almost unrecognized in 1900, management has become the central activity of our civilization. It employs a high proportion of our educated men and determines the pace and quality of our economic progress, the effectiveness of our government services and the strength of our national defense. The way we "manage," the way we shape our organizations, affects and reflects what our society is becoming."
The last hundred years have witnessed the dramatic genesis of management. Management has emerged as a profession. Management has moved from an unspoken, informal, ad hoc activity into one that is routinely analyzed and commented on from every angle possible. Management has emerged from the shadows to be recognized as one of the driving forces of economic and personal life. Its tentacles spread ever further. Nothing-no organization, no activity-now appears beyond the scope or ambition of management. There are, of course, differences in management between different organizations-mission defines strategy, after all, and strategy defines structure. But the differences between managing a chain of retail stores and managing a Roman Catholic diocese are amazingly fewer than either retail executives or bishops realize. The differences are mainly in application rather than in principles. The executives of all these organizations spend, for instance, about the same amount of their time on people problems-and the people problems are almost always the same.
is that management is multifaceted. Pinning it down is like nailing Jell-O. It is marketing. It is strategy. It is inspiring people. It is budgeting. It is organizing projects and commitments. It is a complex, highly personal, and now truly global calling.
November 1999 Stuart Crainer,
Twyford, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Meet the Author
STUART CRAINER is a UK-based journalist who has been covering the business scene for many years. He is a founder of Suntop Media, a media content, concepts, and consulting firm. His work has appeared in the Financial Times, Across the Board, and Strategy & Business. He is the author of numerous books on business: the Ultimate Series, The Financial Times Handbook of Management, and Gravy Training: Inside the Business of Business Schools (with Des Dearlove), also published by Jossey-Bass.
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