Chapter 2 - Hondas attempts to find ways to make employees...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Honda’s attempts to find ways to make employees’ jobs safer and better aren’t unique. Many organizations are doing the same. Why? To help employees be efficient and effective, especially in today’s global competitive environment. As you’ll see in this chapter, searching for ways to help employees do their jobs better isn’t new. Managers have always looked for ideas to help them do a better job of managing. In fact, the history of management is filled with evolutions and revolutions in ideas. And many seemingly “new” ideas do have a basis in the past. OUTCOME 2.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF MANAGEMENT Although studying history may not be at the top of your list of exciting things to do, it can help you understand today’s management theories and practices and help see what has and has not worked. What is interesting, we think, is that management has been practiced a long time. Organized endeavors directed by people responsible for planning, organizing, leading, and controlling activities have existed for thousands of years. The Egyptian pyramids and the Great Wall of China, for instance, are tangible evidence that projects of tremendous scope, employing tens of thousands of people, were completed in ancient times. The pyramids are a particularly remarkable example. The construction of a single pyramid occupied more than 100,000 workers for 20 years. Who told each worker what to do? Who ensured that there would be enough stones at the site to keep workers busy? The answer is managers . Regardless of what these individuals were called, someone had to plan what was to be done, organize peo- ple and materials to do it, lead and direct the workers, and impose some controls to ensure that everything was done as planned. Another example of early management can be seen during the 1400s in the city of Venice, a major economic and trade center. The Venetians developed an early form of business enterprise and engaged in many activities common to today’s organizations. For instance, at the arsenal of Venice, warships were floated along the canals, and at each stop, materials and riggings were added to the ship. Doesn’t that sound a lot like a car “floating” along an automobile assembly line and components being added to it? In addition, the Venetians used warehouse and inventory systems to keep track of materials, human resource management functions to manage the labor force, and an accounting system to keep track of revenues and costs. Two events are especially significant to management history. First, in 1776, Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations , in which he argued the economic advantages that organizations and society would gain from the division of labor (or job specialization )— that is, the breakdown of jobs into narrow and repetitive tasks. Using the pin industry as an example, Smith claimed that 10 individuals, each doing a specialized task, could produce about 48,000 pins per day among them. However, if each person worked alone, performing each task separately, it
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 01/23/2011 for the course BADM 331 taught by Professor Franq during the Spring '10 term at N.C. State.

Page1 / 8

Chapter 2 - Hondas attempts to find ways to make employees...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online