REVIEW - Further Reading

Antecedent Management Theory

Since management has been practised for many thousands of years it is almost impossible to provide a comprehensive survey of all of the theories or elements of theories that have been propounded. During the Twentieth Century the subject of management attracted hundreds of thousands of books, journals, academic papers, newspaper articles, and latterly film and television programmes. To produce a comprehensive survey, or even a realistic summary of such work is clearly impossible. Nevertheless, it is unreasonable to ignore such a wealth of knowledge — however superficial and fragmented any attempt may be. At least some highlights and milestones may be identified, although they cannot be regarded as genuinely representative of such a huge body of literature. Because of the breadth of the time scale involved, and the time taken for ideas to be presented and absorbed, there is little point in attempting to pinpoint precise dates for individual contributions. To be able to date the origin of their contributions to within a couple of decades is probably a delusion in precision. The only point in attempting to relate a General Theory to such a vast background is to illustrate that almost anything in the Management Universe, — however innovatory it might appear, is likely to have antecedents or precedents. Similarly, events that appear to illustrate problems of contemporary management are usually repetitions of similar situations that have occurred, have been examined, and explained many times before.


REVIEW - References

References and citations are regarded as an essential part of all textbooks and academic papers. The advantage of these is that they enable readers and researchers to pursue further details of the subject matter. They also, as a matter of courtesy, provide recognition of the original authors to whom the references apply. In theory, a large number of references or citations suggest widespread research on the part of the author of the narrative in the book or paper that includes them. In practice, it is only necessary to quote or refer to one phrase or sentence in some other work in order to justify the inclusion of a reference or citation. There is therefore a temptation for academic writers to include as many references and citations as possible in order to add authority and prestige to their works. In some universities and other institutions, particularly in the USA, the number of books and papers produced in a year by each academic member of staff is regarded as an indication of their career success. Each paper or publication may be graded on the basis of the prestige accorded to the journal in which it appears, or conference at which it is presented. Each paper or article will be judged by the publishers or their editors not only by its literary content, but also by the number of references and citations that are attached.

The references that are attached are not provided as a matter of prestige, but as a list of items that have interested the author over many years of practising, researching, and teaching management.


The Walrus and the Carpenter>
 Were walking close at hand:
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
  They said, “it would be grand!”

“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
  And shed a bitter tear.

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