Management Theory in 20th century
By about 1900 one finds managers trying to place their theories on what they regarded as a thoroughly scientific basis (see scientism for the purported limits of this belief). Examples include Henry R. Towne's Science of management in the 1890s, Frederick Winslow Taylor's Scientific management (1911), Frank and Lillian Gilbreth's Applied motion study (1917), and Henry L. Gantt's charts (1910s). J. Duncan wrote the first college management textbook in 1911. In 1912 Yoichi Ueno introduced Taylorism to Japan and became first management consultant of the "Japanese-management style". His son Ichiro Ueno pioneered Japanese quality-assurance.
The first comprehensive theories of management appeared around 1920. The Harvard Business School invented the Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) in 1921. People like Henri Fayol (1841 - 1925) and Alexander Church described the various branches of management and their inter-relationships. In the early 20th century, people like Ordway Tead (1891 - 1973), Walter Scott and J. Mooney applied the principles of psychology to management, while other writers, such as Elton Mayo (1880 - 1949), Mary Parker Follett (1868 - 1933), Chester Barnard (1886 - 1961), Max Weber (1864 - 1920), Rensis Likert (1903 - 1981), and Chris Argyris (1923 - ) approached the phenomenon of management from a sociological perspective.
Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005) wrote one of the earliest books on applied management: Concept of the Corporation (published in 1946). It resulted from Alfred Sloan (chairman of General Motors until 1956) commissioning a study of the organisation. Drucker went on to write 39 books, many in the same vein.
H. Dodge, Ronald Fisher (1890 - 1962), and Thornton C. Fry introduced statistical techniques into management-studies. In the 1940s, Patrick Blackett combined these statistical theories with microeconomic theory and gave birth to the science of operations research. Operations research, sometimes known as "management science" (but distinct from Taylor's scientific management), attempts to take a scientific approach to solving management problems, particularly in the areas of logistics and operations.
Some of the more recent developments include the theory of constraints, management by objectives, reengineering, and various information-technology-driven theories such as agile software development, as well as group management theories such as Cog's Ladder.
As the general recognition of managers as a class solidified during the 20th century and gave perceived practitioners of the art/science of management a certain amount of prestige, so the way opened for popularised systems of management ideas to peddle their wares. In this context many management fads may have had more to do with pop psychology than with scientific theories of management.
Towards the end of the 20th century, business management came to consist of six separate branches, namely:
Human resource management
Operations management or production management
Information technology management responsible for management information systems