The Palgrave Handbook of Management History

Bradley Bowden (Editor), Jeffrey Muldoon (Editor), Anthony M. Gould (Editor), Adela J. McMurray (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The coronavirus pandemic of 2019-20 and its associated global economic collapse has bluntly revealed that decision makers everywhere are ill-equipped to identify the innovative capacities of modern societies and, in particular, deploy managers to harness such capabilities. Getting the problem of management right is a voyage to the heart of human experience. Indeed, the perennial questions that haunt our existence almost invariably prompt answers that invoke conceptions of work, transformative effort and realisation of ideas. One way or another, all such endeavour requires management. It is often overlooked that more than any other discipline, management history brings into focus humanity’s most pressing questions. At the time of writing, these queries come with a disquieting urgency. What is management? How do its modern methods differ from those in pre-industrial societies? How does the management that emerged in Western Europe and North America in the nineteenth century differ from forms practiced in the twentieth? In what ways do Asian, African and South American societies have distinctive managerial philosophies? Perhaps most importantly, what don’t we know or don’t do very well?It is to these fundamental questions that the Palgrave Handbook of Management History speaks. The work’s 63 chapters – authored by 27 of the world’s leading management and business thinkers – explore virtually every aspect of management globally as well as across millennia. The series explores the theoretical contributions of classical Western business and management scholars (Adam Smith, Frederick Taylor, Elton Mayo, Peter Drucker, Alfred Chandler, etc.) as well as commentaries from critical theorists such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Hayden White. The Handbook is also practical. For example, its content addresses the day to day experience of management in ancient Greece and Rome as well as the contemporary approaches of China, France, South Africa, India, Denmark, Australia, South America, New Zealand and the Middle East. In short, the Palgrave Handbook provides students of economics, management, business theory and practice, and critical studies with a single comprehensive and in-depth point of reference.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages1483
ISBN (Electronic)9783319621142
ISBN (Print)9783319621135
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • management
  • managerial practice
  • managerial thought
  • business history


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