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Evolution of Management Theories

The final report on your topic will be written up as a seminar report (worth 20%) and submitted to your lecturer by the end of the semester. You may incorporate ideas generated in the live presentation. The written report should begin with the broad research topic which is followed by each individual component identified by the individual student who prepared it.

Organisation of the research report A key ingredient to writing a successful report involves the planning or organising stage. Organising can help you to sort out your ideas and to present your report in the order that communicates best to your readers. Organisation is the procedure of constructing an outline that acts as a plan for your writing task. An outline forces you to think before you write. Your essay is to be structured and written as a business report. It, therefore, must begin with a Management (or Executive) Summary within which you state in stark form (i.e. unsupported by argument) what you are asserting in this report and you must do that in less than two pages.

As already stated above, you begin the main body of the report with some general background on the broad research topic. This introduction should end with a brief paragraph outlining the plan of the rest of the essay.What follows is the specific issues of each individual component which were considered. As for any good business report these omponents should be structured into sections and sub-sections and the heading for these should be in the Table of Contents. In these individual components the in-depth discussion of the relevant issues is elaborated based on the existing literature and/or data. You must provide in-text references to your sources.

The last section of the report contains a brief summary followed by a complete list of references that are cited in the text of the essay. Follow a standard referencing method consistently.Suggested limits are as follows:
? Management Summary: ideally one page but no more than two.
? Sections 1: Introduction 400-600 words,
? Section 2: Main body of the essay consisting of each of the individual components limit each  component to approximately 500 words each,
? Sections 3: Conclusions 100-300 words,
? Summary and Complete List of References (5-15 references- that depends on your topic). There are two components of assessment adding to a total possible mark of 30% of the subject:

? The Presentation which is worth Here we assess the quality of the presentation NOT the academic quality of the work.
? The Opening Impact 
? Overall Presentation Technique (incl. Quality of the Slides) 
? Adherence to Time Limit
? The Report which is worth . It is here that we assess the academic quality of your work (including referencing) as well as your ability to correctly structure a business report.
? The Management Summary 
? Report Structure (TOC, Paragraphs, Sections and use of Diagrams) 
? Academic Quality (incl. Referencing)

Evolution of Management Theories

Management theories find its origin in the past with several civilizations practicing these theories at some level. However, it received increased attention after the industrial revolution where several experts introduced their management theories which were implemented in a diverse set of organizations and industries in the 20th century. The management timeline theory given below clearly indicates how management theories have evolved in the past few decades. Several research studies have been carried out regarding the evolution of management theory (Oghojafor, Idowu and George, 2012).

Several arguments have been made by experts regarding the evolution of management theories considering most of currently existing theories to be more absolute than relative. Taylorism, Weber’s bureaucracy and empowerment are key theories that are widely discussed in the following section in the above context (Berry, Broadbent and Otley, 2016).  Sumerian traders were known to be the first to keep managerial records for government and commercial use, followed by the Egyptians who created the pyramids under the execution of a strong managerial theory.

The roman civilization has been one of the major contributors in framing several management theories that are still widely used in some or the other form. The following table gives a brief overview of management timeline since it was first initiated in the late 18th century with brief description of the management theories proposed during the period (Flak and Pyszka, 2013).





Scientific management

Time work theory was first introduced by Frederick Taylor



Several other managerial theories were implemented during the period


The Hawthorne Studies

Concluded that human factors were often more prioritised than physical condition in motivating employees to greater productivity


Organization Development

Analysed that learning is best facilated when there is conflict between immediate concrete experience.


Sociotechnical System Theory

Modification to sociotechnical system theory which considers both social and technical aspect when designing jobs.


Hierarchy of needs

Peter Drucker introduced the five basic roles of manager


Theory X and Y

Douglas Mc Gregor’s theory influence the design and implementation of management practices


Management Grid 

Robert blake and Jane mouton developed a management model that conceptualizes management style and relation.


Performance Technology

Gilbert described the behavioural engineering model that was widely applied by technological companies.


Learning Organization

Management with focus on learning organizations such as school, businesses and government organization



Focused on the ethics


Business process management


Drive Theory Motivation

Pink emphasized on role of motivation and rewards while emphasizing on the intrinsic nature of motivation

The above table efficiently describes the time of management theories. Different theories of different era represent the working culture and mindset of the people.  The management principles and standards have been gradually analysed and evaluated out these theories. Most of the above mentioned theories are widely prevalent and practiced in the current emerging economy. However, few management theories have widely been a topic of debate with their relevance and application in the current and emerging economy (Amanchukwu, Stanley and Ololube, 2015).

The following section aims at providing at discussing the relevance of traditional management in the current times. Three major managerial theories; Taylorism, Weber’s bureaucracy theory and empowerment have been discussed regarding their relevance in the current emerging economy of the present. The aim of the discussion is to analyse all the arguments presented by experts and firms and how they are still widely practiced in the current emerging economy directly or indirectly.


Taylorism – It’s relevance in the emerging economy today

Fredrick Winslow Taylor, a mechanist who belonged to the 18the century was the first individual to pioneer the idea of Taylorism which was widely practised in the century thereafter (Croft, Hunter and Reid, 2016). Practical implementation of his management theories gave an immense boost to industrial output and efficiency, especially in the core engineering domains across the world. Owing to his tremendous contribution, F.W. Taylor was also called as the father of Scientific Management.

Taylorism – Its relevance in the emerging economy today

His experience from the bottom-most level in the organization gave him an opportunity to closely study the several factors that added up to the low efficiency in the operations of an industry.  His theories have been a subject of debate across several managerial organizations (Geisler and Wickramasinghe, 2015). According to There are mainly four principles of scientific management that were given by Taylor in his book ‘The principles of scientific management’ published in the year 1911. Taylor’s scientific principle consisted of –

  • Scientific implementation of certain tasks and their handling in the industrial setup.
  • Adopting a scientific methodology in training, and developing each employee rather than passively leaving them to train themselves, thus countering employee empowerment.
  • Cooperation with the workers to ensure that the scientifically developed methods are being followed (Witzel and Warner, 2015).
  • Dividing the work nearly equally between managers and workers, so that the managers apply scientific management principles to planning the work and the workers actually perform the tasks.

Taylor’s scientific principles are great in terms of management but there are also certain drawbacks of these principles. Taylor’s management principles have surely increased the productivity of the work but it has also increased monotony of tasks among workforce. Many important factors required for the development of any industry such as skill variety, task identity, autonomy and feedback were missing in his principles of scientific management which is a major disadvantage in its execution (Sosik and Jung, 2018).

It has also been show to hinder industrial growth in the modern era of rapid discoveries and advancement. His theory seems to be good enough for the twentieth century but in the current twenty first century these principles which are not leading to any technological advancement or innovations and following the old system driven path could lead to a significant loss rather than increasing productivity.

Irrespective of its few drawbacks Taylor’s principles still outshines other principles of management as it involves taking good care of the employees and decreasing the pressure of work on them which has led to excellent productivity of the work. Taylor’s principle is based on a collaborative work rather than competitive work which has been very beneficial for the industry’s growth (Miner, 2015).  Taylorism has also helped in the learning and development of the skills of employees rather which helps in better understanding of the work by employee that further leads to productive work. According to Eldritch, Taylor concentrated more on productivity and productivity-based wages.

He stressed on time and motion study and other techniques for measuring work. Apart from this, in Taylor’s work, there also runs a strongly humanistic theme. He had an idealist’s notion that the interests of workers, managers and owners should be harmonized (Latham, 2014).  However, Peter stern argues that this management theory is more suited to certain industries like the core engineering and fails to be effective in emerging industries like the IT and software development where more empowered thinking has been found to be highly productive and affective, making it absolute for few industries and relative to several other industries in the emerging economy.  

Weber’s Bureaucracy Theory – Its relevance in the emerging economy today

Weber’s bureaucracy Theory of management

Max weber, a German sociologist was the first person to establish the foundations of beaueucracy theory and management which is widely practiced by all big and small organizations in the modern world. His in-depth interest and understanding of industrialization and its effects on society led to the framing of bureaucrat theory, which is based on rules and continuous guidance from authorities and mentors which according to him were highly important in improving the working efficiency and overall profitability and productivity of an organization, while also avoiding any kind of biasness or partiality among employees (Miller and Tsang, 2011).

Technical expertise, work experience, division of labour, policies and procedure, impersonal contribution and strict chain of command are vital aspects of weber’s bureaucracy model which have evolved significantly over the years and have played an important role in assisting organizations to reach new heights in their domain. Centralization of power with respect to planning, decision making and execution in the organisation is also emphasized under the weber’s bureaucracy.

According to Heding, Knudtzen and Bjerre, (2015), although Weber’s bureaucracy is still widely practiced globally, few organizations have opted to go against this methodology. Emerging economies, especially those which employ the millennial generation are looking into other theories which go against weber’s bureaucracy model. For instance, several technological start-ups in the Silicon Valley have recently adopted a flat hierarchy in their organizations without any centralization of powers, planning and execution.

Majority of key decisions are made by collective consultations from every individual who were involved in the project. This methodology has also proved to be highly effective in meeting the needs and objectivity of the organization, while also keeping employees happy and satisfied (Heding, Knudtzen and Bjerre, 2015).However argues that Weber’s bureaucracy still makes tremendous sense in such organizations which is still practiced with a more employee centric approach. According to him, several large scale industries implement weber’s bureaucracy in their day to day operations, which is why they have remained to be dominant in their segment along with enhanced efficiency and excellent competency in the market.

Weber’s bureaucracy has wide relevance in the current economy where high productivity and efficiency are considered to be important internal factors for the firm or organization’s overall performance in a highly competitive environment (Stewart and Shamdasani, 2014). Having a well-structured hierarchy and proper distribution of labour among the employees of organization not only helps in efficient execution of the operating chain but also makes it easier to analyse issues and challenges that might be occurring at any stage.

Empowerment – Its relevance in the emerging economy today

Weber’s bureaucracy is thus an excellent managerial tool even in the current emerging economy. The opinion is further supported by Johnson who explains how organizations in the current socioeconomic setup are looking into using weber’s bureaucracy in a more flexible and non-rigid manner, to alignwith the thought process and workplace expectation of the millennial workforce (Johnson, 2017).

Empowerment - does it make sense in the present economy

Empowerment in layman terms is defined as the process of becoming more confident and stronger with respect to one’s activities and rights. It is something that began in the late 20th century when management leaders realised how empowerment of employees or workforce contributed immensely in long term growth of organizations (Kuratko, 2016). Empowerment in the current emerging economy can be discussed along several attributes. However, the discussion is restricted to a business organization setup in the growing economy and how employee empowerment has contributed in their progressive development over the years.

Empowerment in an organizational setup is one of the most important managerial tools in the current economy. Several industries in the current era consider employee empowerment to be highly important for the long term growth of an organization. Empowerment of employees is discussed in several aspects in the modern times with women empowerment being one of the most widely discussed issue across both developed and developing regions of the world.

According to Mahadevan, empowerment of employees at workplace is highly essential for the higher productivity of an organization. Empowerment at workplace was previously not given as much significance as it is being given in the present emerging economies due to diverse options available to employees in the market( Mahadeva, 2015). Companies today have realised that employee satisfaction at workplace is a key factor that determines their overall performance and output for the organization.

A recent example would be technology giant Google’s decision on promoting women empowerment in workplace when the organization realized that more than 80% of its employee consisted of men, especially in the engineering department. Owing to this initiative, several developing nations have also taken crucial steps in empowering women in technical fields which are otherwise purely dominated by men (Bloom,, 2012). Additionally, several corporate social responsibilities are aimed towards empowerment of individuals of society in form of scholarship, opportunities etc. this has produced several great results at a global level. Empowerment of individuals, especially in the developed and underdeveloped regions has also contributed immensely in having a positive impact on the growth of economy, thus proving to be significant for both the current and the emerging economy.


Strategic management is an effective tool that is widely used to deal with a wide array of factors which enable businesses to progress in terms of profitability and productivity. An insight into the development of strategic management shows that it has undergone major changes in the past few decades since its inception in an industrial or organizational setup, becoming better with time. Majority of the traditional management practices that are widely applied today are upgraded and improved versions of traditional management practices. Several of these modern and traditional management practices first initiated as theoretical studies, by contribution from well experienced management leaders and experts (Alexopoulos and Tombe, 2012).

Several arguments have been made by experts regarding the evolution of management theories considering most of currently existing theories to be more absolute than relative. Taylorism, Weber’s bureaucracy and empowerment are key theories that are widely discussed in the following section in the above context (Berry, Broadbent and Otley, 2016).  Experts argue that most of these theories are outdated and have minimal or no significance in the current economy and the emerging economy, which is rapidly undergoing a dynamic trend in the managerial aspects. However, several other experts also argue that these management theories are still widely relevant and practiced with heavy modification in the current industrial and managerial setup, making them both absolute and relative.

Among the three managerial theories that have been discussed in the assignment, Weber’s theory and empowerment are currently the two managerial theories that are widely prevalent across almost every organization. However it has been found that several modified and improved versions of these theories have been applied and widely practiced in both small and large scale industries. Modified version of taylor’s principles also find wide industrial prevalence, but have become more industry specific.

 In-depth research and analysis leads to the conclusion that several management theories that were developed during the industrial revolution and after are still widely significant and prevalent in both the current and the emerging economy. These traditional managerial theories are both absolute and relative depending on several factors. However almost all the managerial theories are relative with few of the theories being absolute. Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that irrespective of the theories being relative or absolute, these managerial theories have evolved significantly in the last few years, being more accustomed to the millennial or the future workforce. 

Alexopoulos, M. and Tombe, T., 2012. Management matters. Journal of Monetary Economics, 59(3), pp.269-285.

Amanchukwu, R.N., Stanley, G.J. and Ololube, N.P., 2015. A review of management theories, principles and styles and their relevance to educational management.Management, 5(1), pp.6-14.

Berry, A.J., Broadbent, J. and Otley, D.T. eds., 2016. Management control: theories, issues and practices. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Bloom, N., Genakos, C., Sadun, R. and Van Reenen, J., 2012. Management practices across firms and countries. Academy of Management Perspectives, 26(1), pp.12-33.

Croft, P., Hunter, J.T. and Reid, N., 2016. Forgotten fauna: habitat attributes of long-unburnt open forests and woodlands dictate a rethink of fire management theory and practice. Forest Ecology and Management, 366, pp.166-174.

Flak, O. and Pyszka, A., 2013. Differences in Perception of the Participants in the Management Process and Its Real Trajectory. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management & Innovation, 9(4).

Geisler, E. and Wickramasinghe, N., 2015. Principles of Knowledge Management: Theory, Practice, and Cases: Theory, Practice, and Cases. Routledge.

Heding, T., Knudtzen, C.F. and Bjerre, M., 2015. Brand management: Research, theory and practice. Routledge.

Johnson, C.E., 2017. Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow.Sage Publications.

Jugdev, K. and Mathur, G., 2013. Bridging situated learning theory to the resource-based view of project management. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 6(4), pp.633-653.

Kuratko, D.F., 2016. Entrepreneurship: Theory, process, and practice. Cengage Learning.

Latham, J.R., 2014. Leadership for quality and innovation: Challenges, theories, and a framework for future research. Quality Management Journal, 21(1), pp.11-15.

Mahadevan, B., 2015. Operations management: Theory and practice. Pearson Education India.

McAlearney, A.S., Hefner, J.L., Sieck, C., Rizer, M. and Huerta, T.R., 2014. Evidence-based management of ambulatory electronic health record system implementation: an assessment of conceptual support and qualitative evidence. International journal of medical informatics, 83(7), pp.484-494.

Miller, K.D. and Tsang, E.W., 2011. Testing management theories: Critical realist philosophy and research methods. Strategic Management Journal, 32(2), pp.139-158.

Miner, J.B., 2015. Organizational behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation and leadership. Routledge.

Oghojafor, B.E.A., Idowu, A. and George, O.J., 2012. Application of management theories and philosophies in Nigeria and their associated problems. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(21).

Sosik, J.J. and Jung, D., 2018. Full range leadership development: Pathways for people, profit, and planet. Routledge.

Spaargaren, G., 2011. Theories of practices: Agency, technology, and culture: Exploring the relevance of practice theories for the governance of sustainable consumption practices in the new world-order. Global Environmental Change, 21(3), pp.813-822.

Stewart, D.W. and Shamdasani, P.N., 2014. Focus groups: Theory and practice (Vol. 20). Sage publications.

Tanaka, H., 2013. A viable system model reinforced by meta program management. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 74, pp.377-387.

Witzel, M. and Warner, M., 2015. Taylorism revisited: Culture, management theory and paradigm-shift. Journal of General Management, 40(3), pp.55-70.

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