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The Evolution of Management Thought, 6th Edition

December 2008, ©2009
The Evolution of Management Thought, 6th Edition (EHEP000148) cover image


The sixth edition of author Daniel Wren's classic text provides a comprehensive understanding of the origin and development of ideas in management.  This text traces the evolution of management thought from its earliest days to the present, by examining the backgrounds, ideas and influences of its major contributors. 

Every chapter in the sixth edition of The Evolution of Management Thought has been thoroughly reviewed and updated to convey an appreciation of the people and ideas underlying the development of management theory and practice.  The authors’ intent is to place various theories of management in their historical context, showing how they’ve changed over time.  The text does this in a chronological framework, yet each part is designed as a separate and self-contained unit of study; substantial cross-referencing provides the opportunity for connecting earlier to later developments as a central unifying theme.

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Table of Contents

Part One. Early Management Thought.

Chapter 1 – A Prologue to the Past.

A Cultural Framework.

People, Management, and Organizations.


Chapter 2 – Management Before Industrialization.

Management in Early Civilizations.

The Cultural Rebirth.


Chapter 3 – The Industrial Revolution: Problems and Perspective.

The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain.

Management Problems in the Early Factory.

Cultural Consequences of the Industrial Revolution.


Chapter 4 – Management Pioneers in the Early Factory.

Robert Owen: The Search for a New Harmony.

Charles Babbage: The Irascible Genius.

Andrew Ure: Pioneering in Management Education.

Charles Dupin: Industrial Education in France.

The Pioneers: A Final Note.


Chapter 5 – The Industrial Revolution in the United States.

Antebellum Industry and Management.

The Railroads: Pioneering in U.S. Management.


Chapter 6 – Industrial Growth and Systematic Management.

The Growth of U.S. Enterprise.

The Renaissance of Systematic Management.

Big Business and its Changing Environment.

Summary of Part I.

Part Two. The Scientific Management Era.

Chapter 7 – The Advent of Scientific Management.

Frederick Winslow Taylor: The Early Years.

Taylor: The Peripatetic Philosopher.


Chapter 8 – Spreading the Gospel of Efficiency.

The Most Orthodox: Carl Barth.

The Most Unorthodox: H. L. Gantt.

Partners for Life: The Gilbreths.

Efficiency through Organization: Harrington Emerson.

The Gospel in Public Sector Organizations: Morris Cooke.


Chapter 9 – The Human Factor: Preparing the Way.

Personnel Management: A Dual Heritage.

Psychology and the Individual.

Foundations of the Social Person: Theory, Research, and Practice.

The "Democratization of the Workplace".


Chapter 10 – The Emergence of the Management Process and Organization Theory.

Henri Fayol: The Man and his Career.

Bureaucracy: Max Weber.


Chapter 11 – Scientific Management in Theory and Practice.

The Study and Practice of Scientific Management.

Emerging General Management.


Chapter 12 – Scientific Management in Retrospect.

The Economic Environment: From the Farm to the Factory.

Technology: Opening New Horizons.

The Social Environment: From Achievement to Affiliation.

The Political Environment: From One Roosevelt to Another.

Summary of Part II.

Part Three.  The Social Person Era.

Chapter 13 – The Hawthorne Studies.

The Studies Begin.

Human Relations, Leadership, and Motivation.


Chapter 14 – The Search for Organization Integration.

Mary P. Follett: The Political Philosopher.

The Erudite Executive: Chester I. Barnard.


Chapter 15 – People and Organizations.

People at Work: The Micro View.

Changing Assumptions about People at Work.

People at Work: The Macro View.


Chapter 16 – Organizations and People.

Organizations: Structure and Design.

Toward a Top-Management Viewpoint.


Chapter 17 – Human Relations in Concept and Practice.

The Impact of Human Relations on Teaching and Practice.

Hawthorne Revisited.


Chapter 18 – The Social Person Era in Retrospect.

The Economic Environment: From Depression to Prosperity.

Seeds of Change: The New Technologies.

The Social Environment: The Social Ethic and the Organization Man.

The Political Environment: From FDR to Eisenhower.

Summary of Part III.

Part Four. The Modern Era.

Chapter 19 – Management Theory and Practice.

The Renaissance of General Management.

From Business Policy to Strategic Management.


Chapter 20 – Organizational Behavior and Organization Theory.

People and Organizations.

Organizations and People.


Chapter 21 – Science and Systems in Management.

The Quest for Science in Management.

Systems and Information.


Chapter 22 – Obligations and Opportunities.

Individuals and Organizations: Relating to Evolving Expectations.

Management Opportunities in a Global arena Summary.

Chapter 23 – Epilogue.

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Author Information

Daniel A. Wren, Ph.D., the University of Illinois, is David Ross Boyd Professor of Management Emeritus and Curator of the Harry W. Bass Business History Collection at the University of Oklahoma. He has served as President of the Southern Management Association, Chairman of the Management History Division of the Academy of Management, is a Fellow of the Southern Management Association, as well as of the Academy of Management. He has been honored with the Merrick Foundation Award for teaching excellence and the Distinguished Educator Award from the national Academy of Management for his contributions “as the foremost management historian of his generation.” His research has appeared in numerous scholarly journals.

Arthur G. Bedeian, DBA, is a Boyd Professor and the Ralph and Kacoo Olinde Distinguished Professor of Management at Louisiana State University and A&M College.  A past President of the Academy of Management and former Dean of the Academy’s Fellows Group, he has also served as President of the Foundation for Administrative Research, the Allied Southern Business Association, the Southern Management Association, and the Southeastern Institute for Decision Sciences. He is a Fellow of both the Southern Management Association and the International Academy of Management. He is a recipient of the Academy of Management’s Distinguished Service Award, Ronald G. Greenwood Lifetime Achievement Award, and Richard M. Hodgetts Distinguished Career Award.

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New To This Edition

  • NEW section on evidence-based management and learning, and what principles work best to develop more practice-relevant knowledge.
  • Arthur Bedeian, a leader in the field of Management History, joins Wren as co-author.
  • Comprehensive coverage of the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) research about the latest findings regarding leadership in different cultures and how certain styles fit better, and some are less appropriate. 
  • NEW brief section on “lean manufacturing” and its roots in earlier quality control and other manufacturing practices.
  • Review of Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat to illustrate advancing telecommunications and their impact on globalization, moving markets from the ‘invisible hand’ to the ‘digital hand.’
  • Summary of Friedman’s The Lexus and the Olive Tree to illustrate the need to develop globally (the “Lexus”) while recognizing the roots of ancient customs that resist globalism (the “Olive Tree”).
  • Discussion of upper echelons theory and how an understanding of top-management teams adds to the earlier work of pioneers such as Henri Fayol and Rosemary Stewart.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • Gives students a solid foundation in the history of management thought presented in a chronological framework.
  • Updates on leadership research and theory and the semantic and definitional issues that plague the field
  • Presents "current" issues such as ethics in a historical background to show how these are, in fact, recurring problems.
  • Provides a thorough analysis of management theories from ancient to modern times.
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Instructors Resources
Wiley Instructor Companion Site
Instructor's Companion Website
Password protected website- www.wiley.com/college/wren



PowerPoint Slides
Created by Regina Greenwood and Julia Teahen: correlate with the text.
Instructor's Manual with Test Bank
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Students Resources
Wiley Student Companion Site
PowerPoint Slides
Created by Regina Greenwood and Julia Teahen: correlate with the text.
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Purchase Options
Wiley E-Text   
The Evolution of Management Thought, 6th Edition
ISBN : 978-0-470-47525-6
560 pages
October 2008, ©2010
$64.00   BUY

The Evolution of Management Thought, 6th Edition
ISBN : 978-0-470-12897-8
560 pages
December 2008, ©2009
$215.95   BUY

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